Bite into YYJ Eats June 5 from 5-7 pm at St. Ann's Academy! Come experience an exciting variety of gourmet food samples, local wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails created and presented by some of Victoria's most popular restaurants, breweries, wineries, cideries and spirit makers. Tickets on sale now!
How the Climate Smart program has helped local businesses 
With a little more than one month until the first customized training session, now is the time to sign up for the   Climate Smart Program and take advantage of a $1,000 discount available to Chamber members.

This offer is limited to the first 10 people to sign up. The program has already helped Chamber members cut waste and save money. Van Houtte Coffee Services saved more than $100,000 per year by converting their fleet to propane and optimizing vehicle routes. The company also reduced its Co2e emissions by 270 tonnes over two years.

Another Chamber member, Smart Dolphins IT Solutions, used its Climate Smart training to measure the source of pollution within its business and immediately reduce emissions by 51%.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Randi Kruse at Climate Smart directly at
604 698-7649 or randi@climatesmartbusiness.com, or simply register here.
 

Van Houtte Coffee Services: member since 2003

Smart Dolphins IT Solutions: member since 2002 
Chamber News
Events
Business Leaders Luncheons
AGM & Mayoral Address
Premier John Horgan Luncheon
Governor of the Bank of Canada Luncheon
YYJ Eats
Seminars
Webinars
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos
Getting ahead of marijuana legalization
One week from today, the Capital Regional District will vote to ban smoking cannabis and vaping from public places in Greater Victoria. Last Wednesday, Dr. Richard Stanwick, the Chief Medical Health Officer for Island Health, asked for vaping and smoking pot to be added to the prohibitions that fall under the CRD's Clean Air Bylaw. Currently, the bylaw restricts tobacco smoking from all public spaces, including parks and bus stops, as well as within seven metres of doorways, windows or air intakes.

With the federal government moving forward on legalizing cannabis consumption, municipalities across the country are looking to regulate public spaces.
In Calgary, city staff have recommended a ban on public consumption except for medical use or in designated areas of festivals (think beer gardens).
The City of Surrey has published a framework for BC municipalities that clarifies jurisdictional responsibilities such as taxation, zoning and public consumption.
Save big on your next Business Leaders Luncheon tickets!  

Save 10% when you purchase tickets to two or more of our upcoming Business Leaders Luncheons.

Business Leaders Luncheons are a fantastic opportunity to hear from industry and political leaders in the community. They also provide members an opportunity to network with each other and even the speaker themselves!

Wed, Apr 18
11:30 am-1 pm


Sponsored by
Annual General Meeting & Mayoral Address
Tue, May 1
11:30 am-1:30 pm


Sponsored by
 
Chris O'Riley, CEO of
BC Hydro

Wed, June 13
11:30 am-1 pm


Members Around Town
TP the Town 2018 date announced
Prodigy Group's TP The Town fundraiser will be held on Sat, Oct 13. Prodigy Group is encouraging local businesses to become a partner with TP the Town Victoria 2018 through corporate donations or team challenges. To learn more, visit the TP the Town website or Facebook page. You also can learn more about it by attending the April Mixer and Mingle and speaking with a Prodigy Group committee member

Rock the Shores 2018  
Atomique Productions has announced the line-up for Rock the Shores 2018 featuring Brian Wilson (of The Beach Boys), Social Distortion, X Ambassadors, Juliette Lewis and The Licks and more. The outdoor music festival will take place on the lower fields of West Shore Parks and Recreation July 13-15, after taking a year hiatus in 2017.
Atomique Productions: member since 2013 
 
BMO Financial Group gifts $1M to expand the Aboriginal Canadians Entrepreneur Program (ACE) 
To help expand this innovative and international award-winning program to other areas of BC and to regions across Canada, BMO Financial Group stepped up and committed $1 million to ACE. The first program expansion, to start this month, will be entrepreneurial training on Vancouver Island for Indigenous artisans wanting to launch or expand their art-based ventures. The University of Victoria's Gustavson School of Business developed the ACE program in partnership with the Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP), to provide culturally appropriate and community-tailored business education in Indigenous communities across BC. 
 
BMO Financial Group: member since 1962 
 
University of Victoria: member since 2016 
Victoria Royals continue playoff run
The Victoria Royals advanced to the semifinals of the Western Hockey League playoffs after winning game 7 of their opening-round series against the Vancouver Giants last night at the Save-on-Food Memorial Arena. Beginning this Friday and Saturday, on home ice, the Royals will take on the Tri-City Americans.
RG Facilities - Save On Foods Memorial Centre: member since 2002  
BC Ferries fare reductions    
On April 1, BC Ferries reduced ferry fares and fees as part of an agreement between the provincial government and BC Ferries to help make ferry travel more affordable. BC Ferries has increased the seniors' discount from 50% to 100% for travel Monday through Thursday on major and inter-island routes. Ticket prices for the 21 inter-island and northern routes, as well as the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale route, have also been cut by an average of 15%. Reservation fees have been reduced from $15 to $10 for customers who book a week in advance.

Learn more about BC Ferries fare restructuring and other projects at the upcoming Business Leaders Luncheon: Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries on Wed, April 18.  

 
BC Ferries: member since 1983
 
Your Chamber in the News!
 
1-Mar Business Examiner   
1-Mar Black Press 
8-Mar Bank of Canada governor to speak in Victoria (print only)  Times Colonist 
16-Mar Regional Transportation system (radio only)  CFAX
25-Mar   Catherine Holt: Top 10 things about employer tax that need fixing  Times Colonist 
Empress and Victoria now famous for pepperoni-fueled seagulls
A fantastic-but-true story first reported by  the Times Colonist has been picked up by media outlets around the world. Reporter Katie DeRosa first wrote about The Fairmont Empress lifting a lifetime ban of a guest who left out bundles of pepperoni and his windows open, allowing a flock of seagulls to make an awful mess of his room.

The quirky story with a happy ending has entertained readers of British media giants   BBC.com, The Guardian and the Independent as well as outlets across the U.S., ranging from the Wichita Eagle to the Miami Herald. The story has also been a hit with media targeting hipsters and tourists, as well as with readers in New Zealand and Australia.


The Fairmont Empress: member since 1962
Premier open to hearing from business on EHT?
Could comments made by Premier John Horgan indicate that the Province is willing to make changes to the Employer Health Tax before it's implemented?

At a breakfast meeting hosted by the Burnaby Board of Trade on March 28, Premier Horgan reportedly told the crowd: "I'm convinced that the way we've constructed the employer health tax will be manageable by the vast majority of people in this room, and those that would disagree with that I'm confident will be able to find my email and send me your thoughts on that."

The Burnaby Now reported that the Premier also suggested his government is open to adjusting how school districts and non-profits are charged EHT. "We don't want to be giving with one hand and taking away with the other when it comes to delivery of public services."

Horgan noted that, in the case of the speculation tax, the Province was "humble enough to recognize an error and quick enough to respond to it."

If you want to take up the Premier's offer to email him your thoughts, you can do so at:
premier@gov.bc.ca and john.horgan.mla@leg.bc.ca. The Chamber is also co-hosting a 5 Chamber Luncheon with Premier John Horgan on Tue, May 15. 

 
BUSINESS LEADERS LUNCHEON:
 
This is a rare opportunity to hear directly from one of Canada's leading experts on monetary policy. Poloz, a highly regarded speaker, has talked about economic uncertainties that keep him up at night including cyber threats, household debt and youth underemployment.
 
Governor Poloz, appointed in June 2013 for a seven-year term, has worked in the public and private sector and was the President and CEO of Export Development Canada before joining the Bank of Canada. 

Wed, June 27 | 11:15 am-1 pm
Crystal Gardens, 720 Douglas St. 

 
Sidney asks for exemption from speculation tax
The Town of Sidney has joined the chorus of groups asking the Province to rethink the proposed speculation tax and how it will be implemented. Mayor Steven Price wrote to BC Premier John Horgan asking for Sidney to be exempted from the tax, citing concerns over "panic sales" and significant losses in equity for existing homeowners.

The Province has exempted Parksville and Qualicum Beach after initially including them in the 2018 Budget announcement.

The goal of the tax was to create an incentive for property owners to add vacant or under-used housing to the rental market. Only time will tell if it actually works, says the head of Landlord BC in a Times Colonist article, noting that early feedback around Vancouver is that the tax might work as intended. 

Feds confirm construction of $80 million facility on Peninsula
 
The federal government has confirmed it is going ahead on an $80 million construction project to build a modern research and plant quarantine facility in Sidney. Work is expected to begin in 2020 and last for two years. The new facility will replace the Centre for Plant Health, which was built in 1912 and currently comprises 48 buildings. The centre is the only facility designed to quarantine and test tree fruits, grapevines and small fruits after they enter Canada. The centre also tests agriculture exports, making a significant contribution to Canada's $108 billion agriculture sector.

 
Plants flourishing in the workplace
Having plants at work has been increasing exponentially in  popularity! A New York Times article states that "millennial-minded companies are also going to great lengths to integrate greenery into their offices."

More and more people are outfitting their office, retail and living spaces with plants and, in turn, making these spaces healthier in the process. Not only does greenery add life and colour, it's also a relatively low cost way to provide cleaner air, and decrease stress-levels while increasing overall wellness and positivity.

Adding plants to an indoor space can be as simple and easy as making a teacup garden or can be more involved like creating a living wall. Check out our members who can help you add greenery to your life:
Tag The Chamber on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn if you get up to anything crafty. We'd love to see it!
 
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