Thank you to everyone who attended, and to Fortis BC for sponsoring, the Business Leaders Luncheon featuring BC Ferries' new CEO Mark Collins. See the photos from the event here and view Mark's presentation here.
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US-Canada Lumber Dispute - Again
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Monday his agency will impose new anti-subsidy duties averaging 20% on  Canadian  soft wood  lumber imports. According to this US Department of Commerce factsheet, the duties will affect US$5.66 billion worth of Canadian lumber imports into the US.

"Certainly we are concerned about it - it means higher lumber prices for the US, which could curtail business in Canada," said Steelworkers Local 1937 vice-president Rick Wangler in this Times Colonist article. "This certainly has everybody on edge."

It is still to be determined what kind of impact this will have on the BC economy. Since the last softwood lumber dispute in 2001, when thousands of jobs were lost due to decreased production, there has been work behind the scenes to provide more resiliency in the sector and to reduce reliance on US markets (e.g. market diversification, new product lines, and investments in more efficient sawmills).

"Canada's trade relations with Southeast Asia are growing significantly, and there remains enormous potential in the Southeast Asian market-both present and future," said Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade in this news release. "By increasing and diversifying our Canadian exports to the region, including in the forest sector, we will support new opportunities for Canadian businesses, which in turn will create more good-paying jobs for Canadians."

By value, Canada is the world's fourth-largest forest product exporter, and the world's leading exporter of softwood lumber and newsprint. Canada's share of the US lumber market has ranged from 26% to 31.5% since 2006, when the countries signed an agreement, down from 34%.
Winners of the Greater Victoria Business Awards
Video by The Number 

Congratulations to the winners of
the 2017 Greater Victoria Business Awards! Thank you to all the finalists, sponsors and attendees for a wonderful night. Click here to see the photos and click here to watch the videos.


Members Around Town

Pizzeria Prima Strada have launched a new private label house wine in partnership with Cowichan Valley's Averill Creek Vineyard. The house wine, affectionately referred to as their 'Vino della Casa' is the result of two Vancouver Island companies working together. In late March, Pizzeria Prima Strada opened their third location in Cobble Hill.
Pizzeria Prima Strada: member since 2009 
"Love is Welcome Here" - a campaign created by Hot House Marketing and Tourism Victoria won gold in the Integrated category at the Hermes Creative Awards, an international competition for advertising and PR professionals. The campaign was aimed at welcoming LGBTQ visitors to the Greater Victoria area.
Hot House Marketing: member since 2005 
Tourism Victoria: member since 1988
WCG Services has appointed Jocelin Caldwell as VP Operations. Jocelin is a values-driven leader who brings exceptional operational leadership skills and deep experience in vocational rehabilitation and employment services to the role.
WCG Services: member since 2014    

V2V Vacations vessel, the V2V Empress, has completed its final round of testing along the Victoria to Vancouver route. Its first sailing is scheduled for this coming Monday, May 1.
V2V Vacations: member since 2016
How Well Did They Listen? 

On Mar 2, the City of Victoria,
Downtown Victoria Business Association, The Chamber, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, and Tourism Victoria identified 6 shared areas of concern requiring provincial attention and action, presenting them to provincial candidates at a "Candidate Listening Session."

Six Priority Areas:
  • Increase affordable housing
  • Improve mental health and addictions services
  • Complete sewage treatment
  • Create a regional transportation Commission
  • Complete Belleville Terminal improvements
  • Develop Ogden Point and establish Home Port Victoria
On Thurs, May 4 from 5 to 7 pm, at the Victoria Conference Centre (Lecture Hall)  we have invited the provincial candidates back to hear their responses to our requests. Please join us for this "Candidate Response Session."

The Spirit of Giving Back
To help raise awareness for the World Partnership Walk Victoria, Chamber Chair Al Hasham is hosting a fundraiser tonight, Apr 26 at 5 pm at Max Furniture and Ruffell & Brown Window Fashions (2745 Bridge St). The World Partnership Walk Victoria, which takes place at the University of Victoria May 28, raises funds for the Aga Khan Foundation Canada's programs in Africa and Asia - initiatives that enable men and women to lift themselves and their children out of poverty to create better communities.
"Growing up in Africa, I was constantly surrounded by poverty and longed to help those around me," said Al. "After immigrating to Canada in 1972 and growing my businesses I'm in the position to give back and encourage others to do the same."

The event tonight is free and will include wine, appies and an amazing silent and live auction. No RSVP is required.
    Max Furniture: member since 2008  
  Ruffell & Brown Window Fashions: member since 1990  
City Moving to Develop High Profile Downtown Site
The City of Victoria has issued a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) to determine what opportunities exist for the development of the City-owned property at 749 Douglas Street, known as the Apex site. This opportunity is being explored now due to the favourable market conditions, new neighbouring development projects and the interest the site continues to generate. 

An  RFEI is a specific type of public procurement process whereby you publicly seek out all interested parties to submit their proposals and then evaluate the proposals based on a set of established criteria.  If one or more of the proposals achieve the stated objectives, the City can choose to negotiate directly or move to a Request for Proposal process.  
Darryl Hein
Retail Operations, The Market Stores

What's your favourite thing about your job? Working with our excellent well trained staff.
Business lunch or after work drinks? Business lunch.  Do you have a business etiquette pet peeve? Impolite usage of cell phones. How is your business involved in the community? We donate to many community charities. What is your company's greatest strength? The ability to adapt quickly. What was your first job? I worked in a family business in property management. What are you passionate about? Family, business, and golf. What do you think is the most important life lesson for someone to learn? That you can't do it all yourself. Who is your role model or has had the biggest influence on your life? Ernie Skinner. Where can we find you on the weekend? Gorge Vale golf course. What do you want to be when you grow up? I never want to grow up. Where do you like to eat in Greater Victoria? The Marina restaurant, Nautical Nellies, the Blue Crab, Il Terrazzo.....
More about Darryl - and additional Member Snapshots - can be found inside the March Business Matters.   

  The Market Stores: member since 1999

Be Email Fraud Aware
Victoria Police's Financial Crime Investigators are urging members of the business community to take steps to protect their finances and business practices after receiving reports of a series of similar frauds which have each led to significant losses. These frauds, which appear to target service professionals such as lawyers, accountants and purchasing managers, use "man-in-the-middle" style attacks where they use very similar email addresses to insert themselves in transactions

For example a lawyer's email address was in the format of: The fraudster's email address was:

The result of these "man-in-the-middle" attacks has been more than a million dollars of losses in two files alone. It is not yet clear how the fraudsters are inserting themselves into the communications, so Victoria Police's Financial Crimes Investigators are issuing a public warning to businesses.

Examples and more info here.

Victoria Police: member since 2008 

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