Dear (Contact First Name), 

It's the party of the season - and who would know better than man-about-town, our chair, Al Hasham?  The Chairs Holiday Reception is right around the corner on Dec. 5th. In the spirit of the season, Al's looking to share the wealth with a swag bag giveaway that night!

Contact membership@victoriachamber.ca if you'd like to add to the swag and do some holiday marketing!
Housing to Fight Poverty
A recently released report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp showed over 1.7 million households across Canada in "core housing need" in 2016. That means that either over 1/3 of their income was spent on housing or their housing is substandard/doesn't meet their needs. Last fall, research was released on a Canada-wide survey with a promise to allocate money to the issues in Federal Budget 2017.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced today that the federal government has a 10 year $40 billion National Housing Strategy. This federal program relies on - in some cases - matching provincial dollars to unlock the funds. Beyond the funding, a new Federal Housing advocate will be created and legislation introduced to entrench a right to housing.

The goal is to inject 60 - 100,000 new units, and target 240 - 300,000 existing units for renovation. The focus for the program is on poverty reduction indicating that housing is the best way to tackle poverty and includes a new benefit for people waiting for low income housing. The benefit is estimated to deliver $2,500/year/household and potentially could support 300,000 households across Canada.
 
Chamber News
Events
2018 Business Awards Nominations
Chairs' Holiday Reception
Peter Legge Luncheon
Business Mixers
Event Photos

Home Sweet Business

City of Victoria has recently amended a zoning bylaw regulating the number of home-based businesses from one to a maximum of three. This will bring Victoria's regulations in better alignment with other municipalities, potentially cut down on commuting and hopefully encourage small businesses to register all their businesses.
 
Touted as a red tape reduction, the new zoning continues to permit only one of the three businesses to have onsite customers and still prohibits businesses such as artist studios.  Planning is in place to add an amendment to ensure that cannabis-related businesses are prohibited as home-based business.
 
Councillor Geoff Young's comments reported in the Times Colonist pointed out that the city's taxation policy is "the driving force" behind the growth of home-based businesses. Commercial properties in the city are taxed at over 3x the residential rate - a ratio that isn't the highest in the region by far - and fewer services are provided for business than for a resident, including the right to vote.
 
Getting Shipshape
In mid-December, Seaspan Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd. will begin the largest LNG conversion in North America, converting ships owned by TOTE Maritime Alaska to a dual-fuel system. Both Joe O'Rourke, GM of Victoria Shipyards and Michael Noone, president of TOTE are excited about how this benefits the environment and proves that this region has the talent and the resources to do projects like this. 

This is just one of a steady stream of large contracts on the horizon. Joe was quoted in the Times Colonist that this would see an increase in employment of about 25%. Victoria Shipyards boasts the largest solid bottom commercial drydock on the West Coast of the Americas.

Never content to sit on its laurels, Seaspan Marine Corporation continues to invest in environmental advances for the shipping industry. The University of Victoria received $1 million from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and Seaspan Shipyards, plus an additional $1.4 million from the federal government, to fund research into renewable energy for coastal communities and ships in order to cut down on greenhouse gases.

Seaspan Marine Corporation: member since 1972

Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd.: member since 2002
 

Expanding Tech & Trade
Minister Ralston
At yesterday's Business Leaders' Luncheon, Minister Bruce Ralston outlined the provincial government's plans for small business and initiatives to expand trade, innovation and the technology sector in BC.

Minister Ralston spoke about the limitless possibilities in the growing tech sector in Victoria and raising our profile given the desirability of our region.  Several Chamber members were highlighted including Llama Zoo Interactive Inc., Smart Dolphins IT Solutions Inc.VIATEC and Proline Management Ltd., many of whom are previous Greater Victoria Chamber Business Award winners.

Utilizing tools such as the small business tax break that was announced last month and the upcoming trade mission to China, the government aims to further support innovation and technology in the province.    

We should also soon see the creation of a small business task force to provide better insight to the government on the challenges and needs of small businesses and the appointment of an Innovation Commissioner to align federal and provincial support for the tech sector.

Thank you to everyone that attended our Sold Out event yesterday and to our event sponsor, Technical Safety BC! Click here to see the photos. 
35th Annual Auction    
This year's auction features outstanding items ranging from stunning jewellery, exciting exotic and luxury car rides, flights and the luggage to get you there in style and getaways to locations near and far. We also have ungettable gets like a guided tour of the Art Gallery vault and a Peninsula Co-op Slurpee a day for a year.  
 
Our thanks as always to the many, many generous businesses who are kind enough to donate their outstanding goods and services. Take a look and dream.   
 
If you don't have tickets for this year's Sold Out event make sure you email us to get on the list for next year.    
 

Members Around Town
Santa Claus Lights up The Downtown
Saturday night, Victoria leads the way with the first Christmas parade on the island. The Island Farms Santa's Light Parade boasts 75 entries and is rumoured to be the largest lighted parade in Canada. Managed by the Greater Victoria Festival Society, this marks the 36th parade. See you out there at 5pm on the corner of Belleville and Government St. 
Island Farms: member since 1961
Greater Victoria Festival Society: member since 2016  
New Planet on the Horizon 
An astonomer from the University of Victoria is part of an international team that has identified both a new star and new planet. Still in its infancy, EC53 is considered a proto-star with a still hidden planet circling it on an 18-month rotation.
  University of Victoria: member since 1976   
Ringing the Bell  
You know it is Christmas as you hear the jingle of bells for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. In its 127th year, the local goal is to raise $225,000 for the disadvantaged. The campaign provides vital funds to feed, clothe and shelter individuals and families in need of support.  
  Salvation Army: member since 2006   
World-class Beer
Anyone who tipples a brew or two from our local brewmasters knows we make world-class beer. The proof is in the vat as Vancouver Island Brewing received three medals at the World Beer Championships in a blind-tasting competition by Tastings.com. You'll see Hermannator 30th Anniversary Ice Bock and Hermannator Barrel Aged Ice Bock sporting gold medals while Gladstone Brewing Collaboration Burton Ale won bronze.
Vancouver Island Brewing: member since 1993
BC Chamber Needs Your Input
Collective views and collective voices make an impact when we all participate. BC Chamber asks businesses throughout the province to participate in the annual Collective Perspective Survey. The results will be shared with Cabinet Ministers and  Deputy Ministers in early December to ensure the collective voice of business is heard.

Not only are you making sure that the needs of Greater Victoria businesses are being heard - you could win a $500 voucher for Air Canada. Take part today. 
Global Warning Issued
In their own Doomsday alert, over 15,000 scientists from 184 countries have issued a global warning - there needs to be change in order to save Earth. Rising evidence points to Earth having entered the 6th mass extinction event, brought on by humans.

This is the 25th anniversary of the first warning issued by only 1,500 scientists back in 1992. 25 years later only one of the key concerns has been addressed, ozone depletion. Other items such as freshwater availability, ocean dead zones, forest losses, climate change, dwindling biodiversity and population growth are still growing problems. Carbon emissions have actually increased 62% since the last report.

One of the potential solutions is to stabilize the population. If we reduce family size, consumption patterns don't rise as much. And that can be done by empowering girls and women through education - including education on family planning.

 


Nominate Now for The Chamber's 2018 Greater Victoria Business Awards
Each week The Chamber will be profiling a different award category, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member for our 2018 Business Awards.

The Sustainable Business Practices Award honours a business that:
  • Demonstrates sustainable business practices in their own operations (aside from the product or service for sale);
  • Raises environmental awareness;
  • Demonstrates leadership and commitment to sustainable development and energy conservation and shows how these practices benefit the regional environment; and
  • Exhibits a commitment to the community.
Know a business that deserves this award? Nominate them today!

Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2017 Sustainable Business Practices finalists below.

Winner: Berhardt Contracting
Finalist: City Green Solutions Society  
Thanks to Sierra Club of BC and Horne Coupar for sponsoring this award last year.
Home Insurance for You and Your Employees
Along with your business, your home is one of the biggest investments that you'll ever make. And we understand that it can be very challenging navigating the many insurance providers available.

Did you know that as a Chamber member, you and all your employees could save with preferred rates on home and tenant insurance? Being a member means you have privileged access to the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program, which provides savings through lower preferred insurance rates, plus enhanced protection that can be adapted seamlessly to your changing needs.

Good home and tenant insurance is one of those things you just can't do without. Click here to learn more.
 
TD Home Insurance: member since 2016

 
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