2019 is a federal election year. We want to make sure that business issues are front and centre for candidates across the country. Take some time to participate in a brief survey, so we can work together with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on advocacy positions that reflect the views of Canadian businesses - big and small - across Canada.
Debt-free province can afford to cut EHT
The provincial government announced impressive news on Monday, stating that British Columbia is operating debt-free for the first time in 40 years.
The question needs to be asked, if the province anticipates a large surplus, why do they need to burden business in 2019 by making employers pay MSP premiums as well as the EHT? There is no need to double dip. Better yet, the province should rework the EHT completely.
While the Province forecasts property transfer tax revenues will decline by $150 million, there has been higher-than-expected revenue from personal and corporate income tax.  
The surplus has allowed the province to make significant capital investments in affordable housing, schools and hospitals - so now it's time for some EHT relief.
The government's projected overall surplus is $1.35 billion for the 2018-19 fiscal year, with B.C. expected to lead Canada with 2.4% growth in provincial GDP.  
Chamber News
Sweater Weather Get Together
Business Leaders Luncheon
Prodigy Group January Mingle
Business Mixer with Destination Greater Victoria
Event Photos

Advertising deadline is Friday, November 30!
Chamber Member of the Year: Rose Arsenault
The Chamber is pleased to announce that Rose Arsenault of Talentcor has been named Chamber Member of the Year for 2019.   
Rose has been an active member of The Chamber since 2007. She has spent countless hours as a board and committee member - most recently, as an Ambassador providing outreach and assistance to new members.
"Rose Arsenault has been a steadfast and dedicated board director and volunteer at The Chamber. She is always ready to help our staff and provide guidance for our new members," says Dan Dagg, Chair of The Chamber's Board of Directors. "Her time and effort lending a hand is immeasurable, and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to recognize her contribution through the award of Chamber Member of the Year."
The recipient of the Chamber Member of the Year award is chosen by The Chamber Board to recognize an outstanding member of The Chamber. Rose received unanimous support. 
Rose will be recognized at the 2019 Greater Victoria Business Awards May 16, at the the Fairmont Empress. Nominations in other categories are still being accepted until January 23, 2019, after which they will be assessed by a panel of independent judges.   
Talentcor: member since 1997 
SD61 gets 439 new child-care spaces, funded by province
Another piece of the puzzle is in place with news the provincial government is providing $4.6 million to fund 439 licensed child-care spaces in our region.
The Greater Victoria School District is partnering with non-profit groups to provide the spaces at Doncaster, Frank Hobbs, Macaulay, Tillicum, Vic West and Willows elementary schools.
Investing in child care is one of The Chamber's advocacy priorities as it allows parents to be full participants in the workforce. The Chamber is pleased with this initiative as we have called on the provincial government to work with school districts to use their property for affordable child care.
Greater Victoria School District: member since 2018
Hobnob with the bright lights in business and tech.  
The theme is fun! There will be a holiday sweater competition (details on where you can find a snazzy sweater here), photo booth and a DJ. Bring the whole family as we'll have a kid zone filled with craft activities to inspire their creative sides (and keep them busy).

The Sweater Weather Get Together is brought to you by VIATEC and The Chamber, and sponsored by TELUS.

Sponsored by: 
Fri, Dec 7 | 4-7 pm
Songhees Wellness Centre    
1100 Admirals Rd.  

Federal update gets tepid response from business
Last week's economic update from Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced plans to help Canadian business be more globally competitive.
Rather than change corporate tax rates, Morneau announced measures to encourage businesses to invest in growth as a way to counter US tax reforms.
The feds are offering $14 billion to write-off capital investments, and to streamline regulations that will spur an increase in exports to Asia and Europe, and make it easier for businesses to invest in growth.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce stated that the news is a good start but more can be done.
"They didn't go all the way in terms of accelerated write-offs for capital investment, but they went much of the way," Canadian chamber CEO Perrin Beatty told Bloomberg. For an analysis of the federal government's announcement, we suggest you read the synopsis published by national accounting and financial advisory firm, Grant Thornton.
Grant Thornton: member since 1973 
Members Around Town
Urban Smiles therapy dog   
To help dental patients combat their nerves, Urban Smiles Victoria now employs Maddy, Dr Staples' five year old hypoallergenic Australian Labradoodle. Maddy is an empathy dog in training and will stand or sit beside anxious patients during local analgesic injections. She also can be seen at reception to greet clients and make sure they're comfortable. 
Urban Smiles: member since 2012   
2018 Diamond Technology Reviews   
Vecima Networks Inc., has been honored with a four diamond rating in the BTR (Broadband Technology Report) 2018 Diamond Technology Reviews for its Entra Remote PHY Monitor. The award was announced at the cable telecommunications industry's biggest event, SCTE's Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta, Georgia. Criteria used in the Diamonds rankings include, first and foremost, unique technology or application thereof, innovation, ease-of-use, efficiency, reliability and contribution to profitability.
Vecima Networks Inc.: member since 2006
Expanding Western Forest Products  
Western Forest Products has agreed to purchase the assets of Columbia Vista for $30.5 million US, making it the second Washington State lumber mill Western has purchased in the last year. Columbia Vista focuses production on Douglas fir specialty products for the Japanese and US markets, two areas in which Western is looking to grow its business. Operating in Vancouver, Wash. for more than 60 years, Columbia Vista employs 90 people and produced approximately 60 million board feet of lumber in 2017.  
Western Forest Products: member since 2016    
Camosun Fires 
A string of arson incidents at Camosun College's Interurban campus early Sunday morning damaged the Centre for Trade Education and Innovation  (CTEI), Centre for Business and Access (CBA) and Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence (PISE) . The buildings reopened today after being closed for Monday and Tuesday. PISE was more seriously damaged than the other two buildings, so the first floor has only limited access, but all classes are scheduled to resume as normal.  
Camosun College: member since 1981
Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence: member since 2008 
Bridges and tunnels and roads, oh my! Minister Trevana will review what's coming down the road in Greater Victoria including transit improvements and green transportation initiatives.

Wed, Jan 30 | 11:30 am-1 pm  
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
728 Humboldt St.
Sponsored by:

Chamber priorities noted in BC finance committee report
The Chamber's advocacy efforts are mentioned in several places in the provincial government's report on Budget 2019 consultations.
The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services published the report on November 15.
The committee toured the province from September 17 to October 15, including a stop in Greater Victoria on October 9. Chamber CEO Catherine Holt spoke at the Songhees Wellness Centre to advocate for child care availability, public transit, workforce housing and changes to the employer health tax.
The committee took note of The Chamber's comments, and included them in the published report.
Chamber member holiday events/fundraisers
We know Chamber members go above and beyond blue-gift.jpg when it comes to giving around the holiday season. Check out the events and fundraisers below to see what they're up to.  
Nov 5-Dec 5 - VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge - For the 16th year, VIATEC is challenging companies in Victoria to compete to raise $100K in food and cash donations for the Mustard Seed.
Nov 10-Dec 15 - Christmas Toy Drive - Donate new toys for children in need at the Mustard Seed's gift wrapping booths at Mayfair, Hillside, or Tillicum Shopping Centre.
Nov 15-Jan 727th Annual Festival of Trees - Local business and organizations have transformed The Bay Centre into a lush forest of hand-decorated trees. By voting for your favourite tree you'll be directly supporting the BC Children's Hospital.  
Nov 28-Dec 16 - CFAX Santas Anonymous - Every December, CFAX supports local families living with poverty by providing Christmas Hampers containing gifts for  children, and food for the holidays.  
Dec 1-Dec 31 - Community Cheer Campaign - Help WIN- Victoria Women In Need Community Cooperative reach its goal of $10,000 in monetary donations that'll go directly to its Self Sufficiency Program. 
Dec 16 - The Zone's Toy Drive - Join Dylan and Jason of The Morning Zone from 6-10 am in the Mayfair Shopping Centre parking lot (corner of Finlayson and Blanshard) as they broadcast live while collecting toys and cash donations for the Christmas Giving Network. 
Dec 22 - Christmas Hamper Making Party - Supported by the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission, you can donate ingredients to make a Christmas hamper or join volunteers on Dec 22 to package all the hampers.
To have your event included on The Chamber's community Event Calendar, and in next week's BizNews, please contact Emara Angus by email or call 250-360-3478.   
Meet The Chamber Board: Christina Clarke
Occupation:  Executive Director of Songhees Nation . A First Nation Government, Songhees Nation provides education, health and social services, and local government services to members and residents. Songhees Nation Chief and Council are responsible for the Nation's assets as well as for exerting aboriginal and treaty rights and pursuing Economic Development.  
How are you involved with The Chamber? I am in my second year as a Director of The Chamber Board. I am on the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee and, starting in 2019, will serve as Secretary on the Executive Committee What project is your business proudest of? The Songhees Wellness Centre Project. It was a community-led initiative that dreamed up the building and brought it into being over an eight year period. What's the best question to ask someone at a networking event? Do you have any pets? You can learn a lot about a person by their pet stories. What was your first job? Cleaning real estate offices. What is one job you could never do? Cleaning! Favourite place on Vancouver Island? My home at Spirit Bay, on Scianew First Nation lands, we can see whales from our living room window and hear wolves across the bay at night. Favourite summer activity to do in Victoria? Boating in any number of gorgeous spots on the south Island and on any type of vessel! If you had a superpower what would it be? It would be to soften eyes and open hearts so people see the true nature of their fellow beings.
Each month in BizNews, The Chamber will feature a Chamber board member to help our membership get to know our current Board of Directors.
Deadline extended for electoral reform referendum
Citing rotating strikes at Canada Post, Elections BC  has extended the voting period for the 2018 referendum until December 7.  
You can return completed ballots by mail or drop them off at a Service BC Centre.
On Monday night, the federal government legislated Canada Post back to work, ending a series of rotating strikes.
Nominate Now for the 2019 Business Awards
Each week, The Chamber will profile a different award category, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.
The  Non-Profit of the Year award recognizes a non-profit organization or association that:
  • Is incorporated as a non-profit organization;
  • Provides outstanding contributions to the community;
  • Demonstrates how their service provides benefits to others and how they differentiate themselves;
  • Show quantitative and qualitative results.
Know a business person who deserves this award? Nominate them today!

Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2018 Business Person of the Year finalists below. Thanks to Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island for sponsoring this award.
Winner: Greater Victoria Housing Society
Finalist: Silver Threads Services
'Civil society' adds $4 billion to local economy
It's not a sector usually associated with economic vitality, but the contributions of Greater Victoria's charities adds up to more than $4 billion.
That was the finding of new research by the Victoria Foundation and University of Victoria, who announced the release of a new study yesterday detailing the economic and social impact of charitable organizations. The sector, which has taken on the mantle of "civil society," supports 63,000 full-time jobs and pays more than $300 million in municipal taxes every year.
"This research finally gives civil society organizations the credit they deserve," said Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. "We already knew that the sector was incredibly valuable to our community, but this study has shown definitively that it's right up there with tourism and the tech sectors as one of the most important to our region's economic and social wellbeing."
According to the analysis, the economic activity rises to nearly $7 billion when you include subsequent spending by suppliers. With that multiplier, the sector supports 122,000 jobs and almost $584 million in municipal taxes.

University of Victoria: member since 1976

Victoria Foundation: member since 2004

2018 EcoStar Awards
Synergy Sustainability has announced the winners of its 2018 EcoStar Awards.  The awards recognize excellence in environmental achievement and leadership of Island businesses, organizations and individuals. 
Congratulations to The Chamber members who won:  
Experiential Tourism - Butterfly Gardens: member since 2008
Leadership in Design & Construction - Western Interior Design Group: member since 2013 
See the full list of winners here
Synergy Sustainability: member since 2017 
DIY holiday gifts 
Add a personalized touch to the holidays this year by making your own gifts. Go solo or make an event of it with a group of colleagues or friends. Here are some fun and thoughtful ideas:  
Happy DIY'ing and don't forget to tag us in your creations on social media!
Welcome to Our Newest Member!  
Member to Member Deals

Want your company's special offer to appear here? Send us an email!