March 16, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Minimum wage rising to $15.65/hour on June 1

On June 1, the minimum wage in BC will increase to $15.65 per hour based on a 2.8% rate of inflation in 2021. It will be the first increase tied to inflation, as announced in last month's BC Budget.

“I spoke to Finance Minister Robinson about this after the provincial budget was unveiled and made sure she understood that our members were concerned about how the government was going to tie an increase to inflation. Businesses need to be able to plan their costs,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said in a statement to media. “An increase of 2.8% is reasonable, given the uncertainty over the fluctuation in inflation caused by global events and supply chain issues connected to the pandemic.

"However, this represents one more cost for businesses already operating with tight margins. Raising wages contributes to rising prices, and we can’t take economic recovery for granted. Government has other options for making life more affordable, such as improving conditions for the construction of more homes to meet the demand of all the people who want to move to our region. It’s clear that without adequate housing supply, costs will continue to increase and make it even harder for people earning minimum wage to live in our province.”
Jobless rate up; more workers returning to office
Greater Victoria's unemployment rate was 4.2% in February, up from 3.9% in January, according to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada.

The February Labour Force Survey also shows that more jobs were returning to the office, with 37.2% of people working most of their hours from home. That's down 5.8% from January. Statistics Canada attributed the decline to easing of public health restrictions and an uptake in jobs difficult to do from home such as in accommodation, food services and retail.

"As employers implement return-to-office plans, a number of factors might influence their ability to attract and retain employees," the survey said, noting tightening labour market, workers' concerns about affordability, and a "desire to retain the flexibility and quality of employment associated with working from home."
Inflation rate now 5.6%: Statistics Canada
Canada's Consumer Price Index climbed to 5.6% February, according to the latest figures released today by Statistics Canada. This follows on the heels of a 5.1% increase in January. Prior to 2022, the largest gain was 30 years ago at over 6%.

Inflation has been rising for months due to challenges with global supply chains. Last month's invasion of Ukraine has amplified concerns over the supply of fuel and resources in many parts of the world. Inflation is higher than it has been in Canada since 1991 with food, shelter and transportation at the forefront of the increases.

However, experts say Canada's economy remains solid and will be able to weather the storm. There is speculation that the Bank of Canada will raise its interest rates by half a point in April to cool demand. The last increase was in March raising it a quarter point to .5%.

"Despite rising inflation and intensifying geopolitical risks, domestic economic data is expected to look firm," states a report issued by RBC Economics.
RBC Financial Group: Member since 1962
RBC Financial Group: Chamber Champion since 2020
Chamber applauds City support of treaty process
The Chamber supports actions required for reconciliation, and we applaud the City of Victoria's commitment to helping the Songhees Nation reacquire urban land as part of Treaty negotiations.

"It is a truly historic day, and we look forward to continuing our respectful and valuable relationship to benefit all families who live in Victoria and the surrounding area,” Songhees Nation Chief Ron Sam said in a statement.

Indigenous enterprises are vital to the long-term economic resilience of our region, and The Chamber is working to better include First Nations in the business community. The city has sent the provincial government a letter stating it approves the transfer of three properties to the Songhees. The lands will fall under the jurisdiction of the Nation and no longer be considered part of the municipality.

The properties are:
  • 1112 Wharf Street
  • 430 Menzies Street, and
  • 613/615 Pandora Avenue.
Songhees Nation: Member since 2017
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Funding improves foreign-credential recognition
The federal government is funding 11 projects aimed at improving how foreign credentials are recognized. The announcement, made March 9, provides $26.5 million to help new Canadians integrate their skills faster into Canada's economy.

“Attracting and retaining skilled workers through immigration is essential to our economic recovery and helping businesses succeed," federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Sean Fraser said in the news release. "It is vital that we accelerate the process for skilled workers to address our labour shortage, and build a prosperous future.”
Mark your calendar for March events
Create new connections
Member Networking Breakfast @ Sandman Hotel
The Chamber Member Networking Breakfast is a must-attend event for new and existing members. Facilitated by The Chamber, attendees will connect with nearly everyone in the room. Try it out for yourself and grow your business!

After breakfast and casual networking, The Chamber Team will take the floor to facilitate introductions and organize guests into roundtables. At each roundtable, guests will have a chance to introduce themselves and their businesses in a 60 second elevator speech; once everyone has had a chance to connect, it's time to meet an entirely new group of people at a different roundtable.
Only 5 spots left!
Thurs., Mar. 24 | 7:30 - 9 AM
Sandman Hotel Victoria
2852 Douglas St, Victoria, BC
To Your Health
Please note we will follow the COVID safety protocols at the time of the event. These will be communicated a few days before the event.
Find new staff today
UVic's Hiring Day
The University of Victoria, in partnership with The Chamber, is hosting Hiring Day on March 28th. Each year, a large number of UVic students join the workforce, contributing to the economy and helping employers fill positions. 
As a Chamber member, you have the first opportunity to book a booth. Don't delay if your organization could benefit from hiring students this year, this event was launched last week and is nearly 60% sold out.
Space is limited to 60 employers, so register today. Registration is free and open to Chamber Member businesses and non-member businesses alike.
Sponsored by:
Mon., Mar. 28 | 10 AM - 2 PM
University of Victoria - Michele Pujol Room, Student Union Building, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria
To Your Health
Please note we will follow the COVID safety protocols at the time of the event. These will be communicated a few days before the event.
Prodigy Group April Mingle
Time to get out and meet some new friends as the Prodigy Group launches its first live event of the year. This year's theme is creating connections greater than business.

Join us for a drink and appies in a space that will foster great connections and future collaborations with a diverse group of emerging professionals.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., April 14 | 5 - 7:00 PM
Friends of Dorothy Lounge
537 Johnson St., Victoria, BC
To Your Health
Please note we will follow the COVID safety protocols at the time of the event. These will be communicated a few days before the event.
The Chamber Annual General Meeting
We invite you to join us for our Annual General Meeting. In addition to our usual agenda including recent advocacy wins, a report from the Chair, and audited financial statements, we are pleased to have the Hon. Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure speak to us about Budget 2022 and Transportation on the South Island. 
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure plans and improves transportation networks, builds new infrastructure, provides transportation services, and implements transportation policies, to allow for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods. Join us to learn about how the Ministry’s priorities will impact your business.
Sponsored by:
Tues., April 12 | 11:30 AM - 1 PM
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
100 Harbour Rd, Victoria
To Your Health
To continue to safeguard the health of our community we require all attendees to be fully vaccinated to attend. Wearing masks at the event will be to each individuals' discretion.
Business Leaders Luncheon: Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries
Hear from BC Ferries on their plans to evolve our coast ferry system. One of the world's largest marine passenger systems, BC Ferries is an economic driver of our province. For 60 years, BC Ferries has been dedicated to providing safe and efficient travel to their customers. Their role as a ferry transportation provider goes beyond getting passengers from point A to B. With 25 routes throughout the west coast of BC, they serve as advocates for the coastal environment and communities where they operate.
Mark Collins, BC Ferries CEO, will take you through how the company is preparing for the future and contributing to a sustainable environment.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., May 12 | 11:30 - 1 PM
Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina by APA, 146 Kingston St, Victoria 
To Your Health
To continue to safeguard the health of our community we require all attendees to be fully vaccinated to attend. Wearing masks at the event will be to each individuals' discretion.
2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards
Celebrate excellence on May 7 at Fairmont Empress
The Chamber is excited to announce that the 2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards will take place in-person on Saturday, May 7 at the Fairmont Empress from 6 to 10 pm.

This gala event recognizes businesses in Greater Victoria that have achieved a standard of excellence in the community through their own abilities, efforts and initiatives. A spectacular night of prestige, entertainment and celebration, make sure you reserve your tickets now before they are sold out!

Click here to see the 2022 finalists! Finalists were chosen by an independent panel of prominent business leaders who served as judges.
Saturday, May 7 | 6-10 pm
The Fairmont Empress, 721 Government St.
To Your Health
To continue to safeguard the health of our community we require all attendees to be fully vaccinated to attend. Wearing masks at the event will be to each individuals' discretion.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Challenges in Construction
Despite an abundance of cranes on the landscape and busy work sites across the region, the construction and development sector is facing some challenges.

In this Chamber Chat, we talk with The Vancouver Island Construction Association and the Urban Development Institute about how the challenges impact housing, commercial space, and our economy.
Special thanks to our series sponsor:
Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA): Member Since 1986
Urban Development Institute - Capital Region (UDI): Member Since 2017
Lucky tips for St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow! With more opportunities to enjoy the holiday we hope you enjoy festivities this year safely and responsibly.

Looking for inspiration on what to do on St. Patrick’s Day? Well, you’re in luck! See what you can do to celebrate the holiday while also supporting local business:
Celebrating our Chamber Champions
Finding talent at the end of the rainbow

Looking for a bit of extra luck in finding your next employee? Try The Chamber’s job board!

We all know that a great employee is worth more than a pot of gold, but finding them can be more difficult than finding a leprechaun. Rest assured that when posting your job on The Chamber’s job board, your position is viewed by talented candidates from across Greater Victoria.

Chamber members can use the code INTRO2022 to post your first job for free. If you need any assistance, please email

If you’re looking for more ways to connect with great workers, be sure to register for UVic’s Hiring Day, a perfect opportunity to showcase your business to eager post-secondary students. Register today as there are a very limited number of employer booths available.
Grow your business with successful exporting
We are pleased to invite you to participate in the Vancouver Island & Coast Region Cohort of the Trade Accelerator Program (TAP)!

TAP is designed to help SMEs TAP into their full export potential. It has a proven track record helping participants get results. With new trade agreements, competitive Canadian dollar, and new business opportunities, now is the ideal time to extend your company's reach through international expansion of goods and services. Since 2017, World Trade Centre Vancouver has successfully delivered 24 TAP cohorts in B.C.

Qualifying Chamber Members pay only $500 (a $4,500 savings).
Apply Now

Enter Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce in the Who Referred you section.
Learn more about the program and apply today at

Have questions? Call TAP B.C. Team on 604-640-5491 or email
Workshop Days
9:00a.m. – 4:30p.m.
June 1, 2, and 3

Mentorship Days 
8:30a.m. – 12:30p.m.
July 12 and 13

Application Deadline:
May 17, 2022
Member News
Split the bill with RBC

With patio season just around the corner, RBC has unveiled a new tool to help manage expenses when you’re splitting the bill. Within the RBC mobile app, customers can now divide the cost of an expense amongst pre-determined contacts, request payment, and track to see who has paid.
RBC Financial Group - Commercial Financial Services, V. I. South: Member since 1962 
RBC Financial Group - Commercial Financial Services, V. I. South: Chamber Champion since 2020

Friday, March 18 is Transit Operator and Worker Appreciation Day at BC Transit, and the company is celebrating their team through the #ThanksTransit campaign. Riders are encouraged to share stories of their positive experiences with BC Transit, and heartwarming stories will be featured internally and online.
BC Transit: Member since 1999
Cruising into a new career

Ogden Point will be hosting a hiring blitz on March 19 in preparation for the upcoming cruise ship season. Hundreds of positions are looking to be filled, including jobs from Orca Spirit Adventures and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. With an estimated 350 ships arriving to Greater Victoria this year, the tourism industry could see $130 million in spending from April-October.
Orca Spirit Adventures: Member since 2011
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003
Local achievements in provincial tourism

At the BC Tourism and Hospitality Awards, two Chamber members received provincial recognition for their commitment to excellence. Accent Inns | Hotel Zed received the Employees First Award, while Malahat Skywalk received the Innovation Award.
Accent Inns | Hotel Zed: Member since 1992
Malahat Nation: Member since 2019
Innovating in retail environments

As consumer trends continue to shift, Canadian Tire Hillside has remained innovative as a brick-and-mortar retailer. By focusing on customer productivity the store is designed to reduce the amount of time customers are looking for their items. This model incorporates evolving consumer needs while minimizing waste and frustration, leading to a functional layout that eases stress for customers and employees. Canadian Tire is celebrating its 100 birthday this year.

Learn more about these innovations in Douglas Magazine.

Canadian Tire Hillside: Member since 2018
Douglas Magazine: Member since 2004
18 years of service at Maximum Express

Maximum Express Courier, Freight & Logistics is celebrating their 18th anniversary this year of delivering the goods! For nearly two decades, Maximum Express has provided quality deliveries and supported Greater Victoria through charitable events and non-profit support.

In December 2021, Maximum Express was the campaign partner for Shop #ChamberLocalVicBC, an initiative that delivered hundreds of packages from Chamber member retailers.
Maximum Express Courier, Freight & Logistics: Member since 2004
UVic researcher working towards syphilis vaccine

The University of Victoria is one step closer to developing a vaccine for syphilis. With the help of a $2 million grant, researcher Caroline Cameron and her team operate the only lab in Canada attempting to develop the vaccine and eliminate the stigma of the STI. If successful, their findings will also help develop a new diagnostic testing method to for early identification and prevention.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976 
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Safe travels at YYJ

The Victoria Airport Authority has been recognized with the Best Hygiene Measures in North America Award by Airports Council International. Receiving the award for the second consecutive year, Victoria International received the recognition for their continued commitment to safety, namely through the implementation of their TravelSafe YYJ program.
Victoria Airport Authority: Member since 1981
Do you have a success story?
We want to hear from you
Member to Member discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our newest members!