Join Prodigy Group for the September Mingle tomorrow, Sept. 12, from 5-7 pm, at Canoe Brewpub. This is a great opportunity to make business connections in Greater Victoria while enjoying delicious food and drinks! Register today.
2020-21 Chamber Board Elections - Please Vote!

Each fall, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce holds an election for its Board of Directors.

Each board member is elected for a two-year term with staggered renewal dates. This year we are asking you to elect four board members.

For a list of nominees click here.

Election ballots will be emailed to the main contact of your organization Thursday, Sept. 12.

The Chamber uses a weighted voting system, based on your business's number of employees. Voting will close at noon, Thursday, Oct. 3.

If you are The Chamber's main contact for your business and don't receive your ballot on Sept. 12, please contact us at 250 383-7191.


Chamber News
Events
Women Business Owners' Roundtable
Prodigy Group September Mingle
5 Chamber Business Mixer
37th Annual Dinner Auction Gala
Event Photos
Upcoming Chamber Events
All-candidates listening session tonight
 
Federal election campaigning is officially underway (though, of course, it's been going on unofficially for weeks already). The formal writ process was engaged this morning, just in time for tonight's meeting of Greater Victoria candidates.
 
The Chamber, in collaboration with other leading community organizations, is co-hosting an All-Candidates Listening Session, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, inside the Lecture Hall at the Victoria Conference Centre.
 
Chamber CEO Catherine Holt told Times Colonist columnist Jack Knox that the plan is to be specific about what Greater Victoria wants from the federal government - what programs they want expanded, which projects they want funded. 
 
"We want solutions to help Greater Victoria overcome the hurdles that prevent our economy from reaching its potential," says Catherine Holt, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. "We've identified changes to policies that the federal government can adopt to ensure more people can participate in our workforce, and we can continue to be a great community with good businesses."
 
Greater Victoria candidates running in the upcoming federal election have been invited to attend and will each have two minutes to speak at the end of the event.
The regional priorities and their presenters are:
  • Labour Shortage - presented by Paul Nursey, CEO, Destination Greater Victoria
  • Improved Transportation- presented by Catherine Holt, CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
  • Available and Affordable Child Care - presented by Catherine Holt
  • Affordable Housing - presented by Councillor Jeremy Loveday, City of Victoria; and Jeff Bray, CEO, Downtown Victoria Business Association
  • Climate Change Solutions - presented by Mayor Lisa Helps, City of Victoria
  • Reconciliation - presented by Mayor Lisa Helps
There will be an opportunity following the presentations to engage with the panel and candidates.  
SMALL BUSINESS MONTH:
 
How do businesses successfully attract and retain workers?
 
The #1 issue we hear across all sectors is the challenge of finding staff and keeping them. Employers are looking for solutions today to this ever-growing problem of almost zero unemployment.
 
Join our panel of experts as we look at successful strategies, trends for the future and the changing culture of employment in this region.
Sponsored by:  
Thu, Oct 10 | 11:30 am-1 pm  
Hotel Grand Pacific
463 Belleville St.    
                
 
Finance minister lowers surplus forecast
BC's Finance Minister has changed the province's fiscal forecast, projecting lower growth and a smaller than expected surplus.

Minister Carole James provided a first-quarter update yesterday. Global trade tensions, such as those between the US and China and concerns over the UK's split with Europe, are partly to blame, James said.

The province expects a surplus of $179 million, almost $100 million less than what had been forecast in February.

"We will continue to monitor and adapt to global economic volatility and trade uncertainty, but our plan is working, and our economy is resilient. By investing in the people who power our province, we are building a more sustainable economy that will pay dividends for years to come," James said, noting BC communities, including Greater Victoria, have some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.
Back to school for more ECE students
Last week, the provincial government reminded  British Columbians of funding aimed at increasing the pool of available early-childcare-educators. A total of 314 ECE seats have been added to BC post-secondary schools, including 37 at Camosun College.

This is a good first step to making it easier for working parents to access quality, affordable child care, which, after housing, is the second highest expense for young families. Without adequate child care, parents may not participate in the workforce, or may work part time which makes our labour shortage worse.

It's a complex problem that requires careers in child care education to be treated seriously. The role requires people who can educate and care for the children who are our future.


Camosun College: member since 1981

The Chamber's new co-op student!
The Chamber is pleased to welcome Sarah Grunert as our new Events Assistant. She will be working on acquiring donations for the 37th Annual Dinner Auction Gala and assisting on other events throughout the fall.

Sarah is currently in her fourth year of a double major in Political Science and Sociology at UVic with a focus on social disparities in healthcare and migration. Outside of school, Sarah enjoys hockey, embroidery and travel photography. Sarah just recently returned to Victoria from a summer co-op placement at Democracy Reporting International in Berlin, Germany.

Sarah is thrilled to start her job and cannot wait to begin connecting with Chamber members. Feel free to connect with Sarah at the next Chamber event, on LinkedIn, by email or phone at 250-953-6684 to discuss donation opportunities.  
 
This black-tie evening includes cocktails, chef stations, a silent and live auction and entertainment, including dancing and an interactive photo booth.

Sat, Nov 2 | 6-10:30 pm
Fairmont Empress, 721 Government St.


  
Here's a sneak peek at a few auction items:
  • Ever wanted to be a VIP? Well now you can at Bear Mountain Golf Club with four rounds of VIP golf on the Prestigious Valley Course.
  • Fill your heart and your tummy this Christmas with a Chocolate Santa Claus from Rogers' Chocolates.
  • Live in luxury for the night with dinner and a one night stay in a superior king room at the Hotel Rialto, followed by breakfast in the morning.
  • Spring is fast approaching. Make the most of it with advertisement space on the inside back cover of Mind X Magazine's Spring 2020 issue.
Want to see your item showcased at the auction? Contact chamber@victoriachamber.ca.
Sponsored by
 
  Stick to daylight savings, survey says
   
There can be little doubt that British Columbians are tired of springing ahead and falling back. Almost one quarter of a million people completed the provincial government's survey on Daylight Saving Time, and 93% of respondents said they wanted to stop adjusting their clocks twice a year.

Clocks go back Nov. 3.
Clocks go back Nov. 3 this year.
"The people of British Columbia have spoken and their collective voice has come through loudly and clearly," said Premier John Horgan in a news release.

The province has been watching efforts by Washington, Oregon and California to get approval from the US federal government to adopt daylight savings year round. 

"On the BC side I think we will wait for the Americans to go first, but there has to be a change in legislation by the province," Minister of  Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston told the Times Colonist. "We don't want to go out alone on this, so we will co-ordinate our efforts. We want to see what the American Congress does first, although it looks like it will go forward."

The Chamber has been part of a province-wide advocacy effort to stick with Daylight Saving Time in order to avoid the disruption that comes with adjusting clocks.
New doors will protect bus drivers 

Don't worry, you'll still be able to thank your bus driver.
 
BC Transit is spending $6.5 million on protective doors after a spate of violent attacks left a number of bus drivers injured. The retrofit will start in Greater Victoria before moving to other communities served by BC Transit.
 
The Chamber advocates for safe communities as one of the fundamentals for good business, and the new barriers on buses will keep drivers safe while still allowing full communication with passengers.
 
 
BC Transit: member since 1999

New trade agreements and a competitive Canadian dollar make it an ideal time to extend your company's reach through the export of goods and services online. Discover online marketing strategies to best achieve your international e-commerce sales goals.

Wed, Sept 25 | 7:30 am-3 pm
Victoria Conference Centre
720 Douglas St.


Members Around Town
 
Beer and wine pilot project  
Starting in October, BC Ferries' passengers of legal drinking age will be allowed to purchase one glass of wine, or one glass of beer while dining in the Pacific Buffet. Alcohol service will start at 11 am on these ferries on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay routes: the Spirit of Vancouver Island, the Spirit of British Columbia and the Coastal Celebration. The ferry operator said the pilot project does not change its zero tolerance policy for impaired driving. BC Ferries already offers beer and wine on northern routes sailing to and from Port Hardy, Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii and Central Coast ports.
BC Ferries: member since 1983
UVic retains STARS gold sustainability standard 
In the 2019 Sustainable Campus Index (SCI), published by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the University of Victoria tied for fourth for low greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation, and outdoor air quality. The SCI recognized top-performing colleges and universities across North America, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). UVic is one of only three universities in Canada to earn the STARS gold rating, which the school has held since 2017.
 
University of Victoria: member since 1976
Festival of Trees going green 
Festival of Trees will once again be hosted by the Bay Centre and take place from Nov. 21 to Jan. 6, 2020. Keeping it green, the festival is using brand new, pre-lit LED trees this year. Last year, the popular Victoria event raised $186,000 for BC Children's Hospital Foundation with its inventive holiday-themed trees.  
 
Bay Centre: member since 1990 
BC Children's Hospital Foundation: member since 2016
Access to a doctor right away
Chambers look after their members and we want to help you look after your employees. With the shortage of family doctors, your staff can now access a qualified doctor right away by phone. 

Chambers Group Health Plan is the first in Canada to offer Teladoc's world-leading services. The Teladoc telemedicine service helps members consult with a physician about non-urgent medical matters by video conference or phone from wherever they are, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Contact Rob Jack to find out how you can take advantage of this Chamber benefit.
New rules coming for BC lobbyists
 
A new law aimed at making lobbying activities more transparent will add significant new administrative obligations for people and organizations whose work involves influencing the provincial government.
 
There is no date yet for when the Lobbyists Transparency Act will take effect, but the office of the Registrar of Lobbyists for BC has released a guide to help with the transition to the new rules.
 
Among the key changes will be the need to submit monthly reports, the removal of the 100-hour threshold for being considered a lobbyist and a new definition of what constitutes "lobbying" a public office holder.
Welcome to our newest members!
 


Chamber Name Tags
In response to members' requests, The Chamber has redesigned the name tags Chamber members can purchase. We increased the prominence of your business name while keeping your name clearly visible.

Need to get one of the snazzy new Chamber Name tags? Email us to order yours today.