March 1, 2023
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
BC Budget 2023 addresses symptoms of unaffordability but offers little help for business
Minister Conroy said global inflation and the lingering effects of the pandemic are contributing to systemic challenges that make life less affordable for British Columbians.

In the next 30 days, the $3.6 billion surplus left over from last year needs to be spent and will be used for a number of projects currently in the works. Details of that spending will be made available in the coming weeks.

“The Chamber has heard from our members that they need help finding and keeping workers, and they want more done to ensure safe communities for all,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said, noting there are also annual increases to the Carbon Tax, which will add to the cost of doing business. “This budget will help by addressing symptoms of unaffordability through the renter’s tax credit, school food programs and a significant increase to healthcare funding. It’s a start but we would have liked to see BC Budget 2023 give a higher profile to the role business plays in improving the quality of life for all British Columbians. Businesses are the ones who make the investments needed to build resilience and create real solutions to affordability.”
Thank you to our Event Sponsor:
Chamber speaks up for keeping jobs in our region
The Chamber takes its role as the voice of business seriously. When our members ask us to speak up on their behalf, we listen.

The power of that unified voice was on display last week as Chamber CEO Bruce Williams collaborated with the Downtown Victoria Business Association, Destination Greater Victoria, the Hotel Association of Greater Victoria and the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association to call on the province to keep government jobs in Greater Victoria.

A letter sent to the Deputy Minister to the Premier, Shannon Salter, expressed the concerns of Greater Victoria's business community about a directive taking effect April 1. The BC Public Service, like almost every employer, is struggling to find and keep staff. A proposal to hire workers who would report to offices in other BC communities and connect with co-workers virtually was being touted as a modern solution.

The Chamber celebrates change — specifically those "pivot pilots" who quickly found new ways of serving customers and showed the way forward during the pandemic. However, we also can't stand by and watch good jobs be removed from regional economy — particularly our regional downtown that drives a significant share of that economy.

Public sector workers are protected from recessionary pressures that face most private sector workers. Having that as a foundation is one of the keys to allowing a relatively small city like Victoria develop an internationally envied tourist economy and high tech sector.

"The Deputy Minister wrote back to us four days later to reassure Chamber members that government has heard our concerns," Williams said. "All we want is government to consider the impact of any directive on business before the harm is done."
Downtown Victoria Business Association: Member since 2007
Destination Greater Victoria: Member since 1988
BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association Member since 1996
Company selected to build film studio at Camosun
Camosun College announced last week it has selected a company to be pre-qualified to design, build and fund a film studio with education components.

The Visionary Group of Toronto will now enter into discussions with Camosun to determine the scope, timelines and cost for the project.

In 2021, the province gave Camosun $150,000 to explore educational opportunities for students in the BC film industry and the potential development of an on-campus film studio. The project has been touted for land at Camosun's Interurban Campus in the District of Saanich.
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Camosun College: Member since 1981
Contract awarded for RBCM building in Colwood
A $204.8-million contract has been awarded for a major project that will see the Royal BC Museum build an important new facility in the City of Colwood.

Construction is expected to begin this summer on the museum's Collections and Research Building as part of a long-term plan to protect the Province’s collections, including more than seven million artifacts and the BC Archives. Total capital project costs for the building are valued at more than $270 million. The project is being undertaken in consultation with the Songhees Nation and Esquimalt Nation.

The state-of-the-art facility will be 163,611 square feet and use mass timber construction to safely house the Province’s collections, BC Archives and research departments. There will also be dedicated research labs and learning spaces.

“Alongside the safe and modern storage of the collections and provincial records, the (Collections and Research Building) will be a dynamic and welcoming community space,” RBCM CEO said Alicia Dubois said. “We hope to inspire future paleontologists, entomologists, botanists and historians through greater learning opportunities by enhancing public access to our work.”

The new building will provide a secure location for a number of items that had been at risk, such as: archival books and manuscripts; rare and priceless artworks, including watercolours from the 1700s; several paintings by Emily Carr; and early provincial maps.
Royal BC Museum: Member since 1994
City of Colwood: Member since 2020
Songhees Nation: Member since 2017
April Business Mixer
Join us for cocktails and community at the most comfortable Mixer of the year. This after-hours business social event will be a vibrant evening that promises to provide an excellent opportunity for members and future members to meet face-to-face, and establish or renew valuable business relationships.
Sponsored by:
Max Furniture, 3460 Quadra St.
Hire a co-op student to benefit your team
Interested in hiring a Camosun or UVic co-op student, but not sure where to start? Come learn about timing, mentorship and the benefits of hiring a student in 2023.

Engaging a student is a cost-effective way to tackle ebbs and flows in the workplace— no matter the economic temperature. Students are available from a wide variety of programs from technology and sciences to business and communication and everything in between!
Sponsored by:
The Chamber's AGM featuring BC's Minister of Housing Hon. Ravi Kahlon
We invite you to join us for our Annual General Meeting luncheon. Our agenda includes recent advocacy wins, a report from the Chair and a presentation of the 2022 audited financial statements. Following the AGM we are pleased to have the Honourable Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing provide an update on the provincial government’s work to address the housing crisis in communities across the province, with a focus on new solutions and initiatives bringing housing to the South Island and elsewhere. 

The No. 1 expense for workers in Greater Victoria is the cost of their home. We believe all levels of government need to encourage an increase in the supply of private-market housing as well as investing in housing for all — including affordable rental units and non-market housing for working families. 

Join us to hear directly from the government on their plans to improve housing affordability and end chronic homelessness.
Keep your personal information safe and secure
Did you know that, in 2022, nearly 56,000 Canadians were direct victims of fraud with $530 million being stolen?

March is Fraud Prevention Month, and now is a perfect time to learn about which scams are unfortunately on the rise. Here are a few ways you can help make sure your loved ones and colleagues are educated in the identification and prevention of fraudulent activities.

If you think you are a victim of fraud:
  • Immediately contact your bank or credit union if you believe your identity or money is at risk
  • Contact the police to report acts of fraud
  • Protect yourself with identity theft coverage with an insurance provider
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
What's next for the City of Langford?
For many, the biggest surprise in the results of last year’s Municipal elections was the massive change in the City of Langford.

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams discusses what is planned for the future of Langford with newly elected Mayor Scott Goodmanson.
City of Langford: Member since 2019
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Find your next best employee this March
This March, make sure you’re well-staffed for the year ahead with The Chamber’s job board! 

Chamber Members are entitled to one free 30-day listing on the job board every calendar year, and there’s no better way to kick of 2022 than by adding great talent to your team. Use the code INTRO2023 at checkout!

The Chamber’s job board is an exclusive benefit for members. Reach the right candidates with the help of The Chamber.

If you have any questions or need assistance uploading your job posting, email
Member News
Chamber Champion receives national recognition

ColdStar Solutions Inc. has been featured on Today’s Trucking Top 10 list of new and emerging truck tech for 2022. The company was recognized for their implementation of the first all-electric Class 6 refrigeration truck in Canada, which can drive up to 340 km when all batteries are charged.
ColdStar Solutions Inc.: Member since 2012
ColdStar Solutions Inc.: Chamber Champion since 2022
World’s smallest chef arrives to Greater Victoria

Le Petit Chef, the world-famous immersive culinary experience, has arrived at the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour. Using cutting-edge 3D Mapping Technology, guests can enjoy a show of the world’s smallest chef creating their meal right on their table. 
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour: Member since 2004
Local Champions program fosters vibrant communities

Are you interested in being a part of creating vibrant and engaged neighborhoods? The City of Victoria has opened applications for the Local Champions community-based leadership development program, an opportunity to learn practical skills to lead a variety of community-based initiatives. The city is seeking 24 students to be part of the 2023 cohort, and those who are interested are encouraged to apply here.
City of Victoria: Member since 1863
Franco Fest returns

La Société francophone de Victoria is hosting their annual Franco Fest from March 10 – 16. This year, guests are invited to attend concerts, a cooking party, a public market, workshops and much more in celebration of French-Canadian traditions and culture.
La Société francophone de Victoria: Member since 2010
CFB Esquimalt building new homes

In an effort to address Greater Victoria’s housing shortage for service members, The Canadian Armed Forces is adding 84 residential units to CFB Esquimalt. This will increase the total number of units on the base to 793, allowing more families to reside in affordable housing.
CFB Esquimalt: Member since 1979

IMAX Victoria is hosting a film festival from March 3 -26. Featuring fan-favourite documentaries involving oceans, space, animals and more, guests can purchase a festival pass to gain access to all eight films throughout the month.
IMAX Victoria: Member since 1998
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Member to Member Discounts
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