Dan Dagg of Hothouse Marketing, David Eby, Catherine Holt of The Chamber and Jamie Sawchuk of Deloitte.
Thank you to Deloitte for sponsoring the sold out Business Leaders Luncheon featuring Attorney General of BC, David Eby. See the photos from the event here and read a recap of the event here.  
What the ** EHT!?  
The Employer Health Tax was passed by the provincial legislature last night.
Employers will need to begin collecting the tax starting in January, on top of any Medical Services premiums being paid by the employer. MSP premiums are not scheduled to be eliminated until the following year.
The Chamber will continue to work on raising awareness about the unfair burden this tax puts on businesses. See our information on the tax here.  
You can read the details of the Bill here.
A total of 43 MLAs voted for the tax, with 38 voting against. There are a total of 42 Liberal MLAs in opposition, while 41 NDP and three Green MLAs make up the ruling minority government.
Chamber News
Industry Tour: BC Cancer - Victoria
November Mixer & Mingle
Sweater Weather Get Together
Event Photos

Chamber businesses helped create WWI Memorial Lane
Message from Chamber CEO Catherine Holt 
This article originally appeared in the November Business Examiner. The online edition is now exclusively available to Chamber members 
Almost 100 years ago in Greater Victoria, business leaders at the Chamber of Commerce decided to help memorialize the fallen soldiers of World War One.
The Chamber vision was to create a Memorial Avenue that might rival the Champs-Elysées by creating an avenue lined on each side with majestic trees, each bearing a small plaque with the name of a B.C. soldier lost to war.
Shelbourne Street was chosen, as it offered enough space to commemorate every soldier from the city who died. Chamber members went to work, planning the project. Business owners dug holes and planted trees along with members of the community and workers from Saanich and Victoria.
Wear your poppies with pride, November 11 is Remembrance Day. At the eleventh hour, on the 11th day, we are asked to take two minutes of silence, to remember the fallen and to honour those who serve. Attend one of the many Remembrance Day events around town to pay your respects.  
The Chamber will be closed on Monday, November 12.
Did you know Victoria is home to world-class cancer research?

Your tour will include a visit to the BC Cancer Deeley Research Centre where you will learn first-hand how BC is at the forefront of immunotherapy treatment development offering BC patients and families hope for the future.
Wed, Nov 21 | 7:30-9 am   
BC Cancer - Victoria
2410 Lee Ave.

David Eby speaks at Chamber luncheoneby
BC Attorney General David Eby spoke to a sold  out Business Leaders Luncheon today at the Hotel Grand Pacific.
Minister Eby addressed his office's ongoing investigation into money laundering at BC casinos.
He told the crowd how he was briefed on the issue after being appointed Attorney General.
"When you're a new minister and sworn into your role, staff brief you on what's coming down the road," he said. "The briefings were fairly routine, but there was one briefing that was not routine."
Eby said staff told him to, "Get ready, we think we're going to blow your mind."
BC casinos were being targeted by criminals who had developed a method that had become internationally known as the "Vancouver model" for laundering money.
The scale of the problem was indeed mind-blowing, Eby said. His government continues to address the problem, which has tendrils touching the fentanyl crisis and real estate speculation. The efforts made headlines earlier this week when Drake alleged he had been racially profiled at a casino while in Vancouver for a performance. It turns out the Canadian rapper was caught up in new rules that require the source of funds to be declared if a gambler tries to spend more than $10,000.
The Attorney General also spoke about saving money at ICBC, which is projected to lose $1.3 billion this year. Eby said his ministry is emphasizing cost cutting but will also raise rates for higher risk drivers.
"When we look across the board it's obvious there's no single source of problems at ICBC but there are many different and contributing factors we need to address," Eby said, noting that government will enable 24-7 red light cameras to catch speeders racing through stoplights. New rules will also crack down on repeat distracted drivers. They face an additional $2,000 premium if they get two distracted driving tickets. 
After his speech, Chamber members were able to ask the Attorney General about a number of issues under his mandate.
Eby's name has made a regular appearance in news stories lately. His ministry introduced legislation this week to amend the Recall Act, and to bring back the BC Human Rights Commission. The Attorney General is also responsible for the ongoing referendum on Proportional Representation. As of Nov. 6, only 1% of ballots have been received by Elections BC.
Don't fear the referendum

Don't worry, you're not the only one who has  struggled to grasp the complexities of the ballot on proportional representation.
British Columbians are being asked to choose between keeping our current first-past-the-post system or choose from one of three new methods for electing government. The process is fundamentally confusing, even for experts. The good news is that none of the options will cause the end of the world as we know it.
Bruce Hallsor
"Don't worry about the fearmongering. Vote for
the system that works for you," says Victoria lawyer Bruce Hallsor, who shared his expertise on electoral reform with Chamber members yesterday. " Our current system has served the province well for decades - we have an economy and society that is the envy of most of the world."
The versions of proportional representation being proposed won't result in radical changes to society, Hallsor says, despite what critics claim. It's also not likely to create more engagement among voters.
"Voter turnout is more of a cultural phenomenon and, sadly, a declining one," Hallsor says.
Hallsor was the co-chair for the yes side in two previous BC referendums on electoral reform. Despite his history, he says he is undecided on how he's voting this fall.
He also put the current proposal in historic context. BC governments have tweaked the system in the past. Back in 1952 an alternative vote was used to enable the Conservative and Liberal parties to keep the CCF from forming government. However, this led to a surprise win by the Social Credit party, which then changed the rules and won the next seven elections.
You can check out Bruce Hallsor's presentation to Chamber members here.

The referendum on electoral reform closes at midnight on November 23.

Members Around Town
YYJ receives award 
The Victoria Airport Authority received the British Columbia Aviation Council (BCAC) Environmental Award for its TenTen Creek Remediation. Each year BCAC recognizes an outstanding environmental initiative, program or accomplishment in one or more areas of protection, rejuvenation and awareness.   
Victoria Airport Authority: member since 1981
A new kind of food bank 
The Mustard Seed is officially launching its new Market this Saturday, November 10. The Market will transform its traditional, pre-packaged hamper food bank into a client-choice model which will offer the dignity of choice to community members. Similar in look and feel to a commercial grocery store, clients will be able to "shop" and select foods according to their dietary, cultural, and religious requirements. Volunteers will continue working alongside clients to engage directly in case management and expand food literacy. 
The Mustard Seed: member since 1999
UVic women's field hockey the best of the best 
The University of Victoria Vikes women's field hockey team hoisted the McCrae Cup for the first time since 2008 after a 3-1 win over hosts York University in Game 2 of the U SPORTS National Championships. The victory sealed the program's first national banner since 2008. The Vikes finished their season with a 4-1-3 regular season and were crowned the Canada West conference champions for the program's eighteenth time and first time since 2015. The championship ended a 7-year run of national titles by the UBC Thunderbirds.
University of Victoria: member since 1976  
BYO Bag info for restaurants 
The City of Victoria invites all restaurants, food delivery services, related suppliers and organizations to attend a collaborative session about Victoria's Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw on Monday, November 19 at City Hall. This workshop to explore restaurant-specific challenges and solutions to moving away from single-use checkout bags. This will be an opportunity for restaurants to exchange ideas and learn from restaurant peers and suppliers. 
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Join The Chamber and Prodigy Group in an excellent opportunity for members and prospective members to establish or renew valuable business relationships. 
Sponsored by:
Thu, Nov 15 | 5-7 pm   
506 Finlayson St
BC's natural gas supply will be limited this winter
Enbridge has completed repairs on one of its 36-inch natural gas transmission pipelines that had ruptured on October 9 near Prince George. The pipeline is now operating at a reduced capacity of about 55% operating pressure and will gradually ramp up to 80% through November.

Until both Enbridge-owned pipelines are back at full operating pressure, FortisBC will have a constrained supply of natural gas and our gas system will be vulnerable during periods of colder weather. While bringing Enbridge's full transmission to 80% will be a positive step, it is not enough natural gas to support the typical winter natural gas consumption of our entire customer base.

FortisBC is urging commercial partners to conserve by shutting off decorative appliances like fireplaces and fire features in lobbies or on patios. They also suggest turning down office thermostats a few degrees and lowering the temperatures overnight while staff are away, etc.
Watch Fortis's videos to learn more about BC's natural gas supply, why it will be limited this winter, and how customers can reduce their use.

FortisBC: member since 1990

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  Sustainable Business Practices award honours a business that:
  • Demonstrates sustainable business practices in their own operations (aside from the product or service for sale);
  • Raises environmental awareness;
  • Demonstrates leadership and commitment to sustainable development and energy conservation and shows how these practices benefit the regional environment; and
  • Exhibits a commitment to the community.
Know a business that deserves this award? Nominate them today!

Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2018 Business Leadership finalists below. Thanks to Camosun College for sponsoring this award.
Winner: Waymark Architecture
Finalist: Abeego Designs
Tofino Bus under new ownership
Effective November 15th, Vancouver Island's Tofino Bus Company will be under a new ownership group. John Wilson, President and CEO of the Wilson's Group of Companies and his family are pleased to announce their involvement.

"I knew Dylan when he first started Tofino Bus and have worked alongside him for quite some time when the discussions started about an acquisition, this seemed like the right fit," says Wilson. "Our family is excited about the opportunities Tofino Bus will bring and look forward to working with Dylan and his team."

Tofino Bus started in 2002 as an inter-city bus and charter service, in 2015 the company expanded to include the entire island as well as a freight service in partnership with Greyhound to ship packages on and off the island.
Wilson's Group of Companies: member since 2004   
In the spirit of the holidays and community, we are trying something new! VIATEC and the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce have joined forces for the first time to bring our members the Sweater Weather Get Together.
BEST OF ALL... kids are welcome! Bring the whole family as we'll have a kid zone filled with craft activities to activate their creative sides (and keep them busy).
Fri, Dec 7 | 4-7 pm              
Songhees Wellness Centre  
1100 Admirals Rd.   
Sponsored by:

*Members only. Small donation requested to support the United Way of Greater Victoria.
More people working in Greater Victoria
There were more people working in Greater Victoria in October than the same month last year, with 197,100 people employed out of a total labour pool of 205,100.
The region's unemployment rate held steady at 3.9%, the lowest in BC and second lowest in Canada.
Overall, British Columbia's Unemployment Rate dropped to 4.1% from 4.2% the month before. Across Canada, the October rate was down to 5.8% from 5.9% in September.
Wages continue to rise, up 2.19%, though the increase is less than many financial experts expected

SIPP welcomes global software development company
After extensive consultaion with the South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP), Brazilian global software company Daitan Group has established their Canadian office in Greater Victoria. One of SIPP's objectives is to boost the local economy by attracting new companies and investments to the region.

"Daitan Group is a prime example of the ideal type of company SIPP works to attract-it's a values-driven, innovative, growing company that believes in putting their employees first and creating a healthy work environment. We helped Daitan Group analyze the opportunity in the region," says South Island Prosperity Project CEO Emilie de Rosenroll. "We knew Daitan Group would be a good fit, and their decision to move here reflects Greater Victoria's ability to compete in the broader Cascadia/Pacific Northwest region."

Founded in 2004, Daitan serves a global client base from multiple locations. The company's North American headquarters is located near Silicon Valley in San Ramon, California; and now includes an engineering and operations center in Greater Victoria. The company's South American headquarters and operations center is located in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

South Island Prosperity Project: member since 2017
Welcome to Our Newest Member!  

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.