In May I had the pleasure of attending the Annual General Meeting of the BC Chamber of Commerce in Burnaby, BC. Having never been to a provincial AGM before, I had a lot to learn in a short amount of time.
The three-day event covered many topics, including informative speeches from:
- Hon. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophone who spoke about the enormous potential for tourism in our beautiful province;
- the Hon. Carole James, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier, who spoke about investing in BC from small towns to province wide;
- and The Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, who spoke about Orca's and Caribou.
Industry leaders were present including representatives from Rio Tinto, Enbridge, LNG Canada, and CN to name a few. These presentations followed the same theme of supporting our economy to drive a prosperous business structure in BC.
The main focus of the AGM, however was to amend and pass the over 70 resolutions on 'policies and positions’ of the BC Chamber by Chambers for 2019. These resolutions were developed within communities across the province, initiated by small business owners, concerned citizens, Chamber member groups and Chamber of Commerce Boards. Northern BC Chambers including Prince George, Terrace and Fort St. John, submitted several resolutions for consideration. Although these resolutions were developed within communities, if passed, their impact could make change to all communities in the province.
It took two 3 hour policy review and voting sessions to amend, pass or not-pass the 70+ resolutions. Almost all were passed. The role of the BC Chamber of Commerce staff is now to formulate all this information into an ‘
’ document. The BC Chamber’s roll is also to advocate these policies, on behalf of all Chambers, to the BC Premier, Provincial Ministers, and the Federal Government. Each Chamber within the province also has access to this advocacy document and is encouraged to advocate locally as well on policies that are important for our business community.
The strength of this document is that each policy and position presented has the backing of the rest of the BC Chambers and the many voices the individual Chambers have. We encourage you to take a moment to review the 2019-2020 document "When Business Needs a Champ"
BC Chamber Policies
as some policies could have an impact on YOUR business, including…
Daylight Savings Time
Wildfire Interface and Prevention
Future of the Forest Industry
Rights of Farmers and Ranchers and Agricultural Business
Art Education Investment
Species-At-Risk Considering the Impact to Business
Improving Highway Infrastructure in Northern BC
Credit Card Merchant Fees
and many more!
As a final note, next year’s BC Chamber of Commerce AGM will be held in Prince George, May 2020. As the neighbouring community and Chamber, this is an incredible opportunity for our Chamber to put forward a resolution for discussion. An Advocacy Committee will be formed this fall to receive ideas/issues from ANY member of our Chamber. Resolutions that the Committee agrees to move forward on will then get support from the BC Chamber of Commerce staff to formulate into a resolution for the BC AGM. It is an exciting opportunity for Vanderhoof to have a voice at the next AGM, and to show our membership and community that we are moving forward to connect business and community.