May 31, 2023
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
One of the major benefits of Chamber membership is the chance to build business relationships in a fun, social setting. Our mixers and connectors are always popular, selling out quickly. Make sure to register well in advance for all Chamber events to secure your spot. Check out our recent event photos here.
BC taps local municipalities to increase housing
The provincial government released the first cohort of municipalities that have been targeted to increase housing supply. The City of Victoria as well as the District of Saanich and the District of Oak Bay are on the list.

The Housing Supply Act allows the province to set housing targets that encourage municipalities to make construction more efficient so housing can be built faster. Some of the suggested tools include updated zoning bylaws and streamlined approval processes.

“The housing crisis is hurting people and holding back our economy, and we’re taking action with our partners to cut red tape and get homes built faster for people. Municipalities are our critical partners in addressing the housing crisis and building healthy, economically viable communities,” BC's Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon said.

“We welcome being part of a first wave of communities challenged to accelerate building homes for people," Victoria mayor Marianne Alto said. "These targets reflect the city’s own commitment to housing current and future Victorians.”

The other municipalities are Abbotsford, Delta, Kamloops, North Vancouver, Port Moody, Vancouver and West Vancouver. A second cohort of 10 municipalities will be announced later this year.
City of Victoria: Member since 1863
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
District of Oak Bay: Member since 2021
Hockey Day in Canada announcement coming June 5

"Hello Canada, and hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland."

That famous line will no doubt be repeated often between now and next January, when Greater Victoria hosts Hockey Day in Canada.

The formal announcement is planned for June 5, with Ron MacLean making the call at 4:30 pm during a Stanley Cup finals broadcast. A media conference will be held at Ship Point at 1 pm, and will include Chamber past-chair John Wilson, who is chair of the Victoria Hockey Legacy Society.

Hockey Day in Canada started in 2000, and moves to cities and towns across the country. The broadcast spans 14 hours and attracts millions of viewers annually.
GDP sails past forecast, raising talk of rate hike
What is going on with Canada's economy? Talk of a looming recession has been ongoing for months, but the latest GDP figures released today by Statistics Canada show the economy grew faster than expected. The economy grew at a rate of 3.1% in the first quarter, after Statistics Canada had been forecasting an increase of 2.5%.

The news comes one week before the Bank of Canada's next interest rate announcement. The pace of growth has some experts now wondering if we can expect a further rate increase.

Victoria business leaders will have the opportunity to hear directly from the Bank of Canada, as The Chamber hosts the release of the Bank's Economic Progress Report the day after the rate announcement.

Statistics Canada says household spending was up, specifically durable goods such as vehicles and clothes as well as travel. At the same time, investment in housing is down 3.9% with less new construction and renovations taking place across the country. Businesses are also investing less in machinery and equipment.

The Consumer Price Index was 4.4% in April, more than twice the target rate of 2% that the Bank of Canada is working to achieve.
All eyes on Victoria for Bank of Canada visit
Column by Chamber CEO Bruce WIlliams in the current edition of the Business Examiner

Last June, the Bank of Canada met with the Gatineau Chamber of Commerce to release its June 2022 Economic Progress report.

The news was bracing when it came out, and it seems like we’ve been living with the repercussions for a long time. This year that report will be presented at a Greater Victoria Chamber luncheon event happening June 8.
Thurs., June 8
11:30 AM - 1 PM
Victoria Conference Centre
Luncheon Sponsors:
Be there for the Bank of Canada in Victoria
It’s been more than five years since Vancouver Island last hosted the Bank of Canada and The Chamber is proud to announce Victoria will serve as host for the Bank of Canada’s mid-year Economic Progress Report on June 8.

The Economic Progress Report, delivered by Deputy Governor Paul Beaudry, will be presented the day after the Bank of Canada makes its next interest rate announcement. Join us for this important event for the opportunity to hear first-hand about recent developments in the Canadian economy and implications for monetary policy and your business.
Rebates offer incentive for commuters to try e-bikes
E-bike are being lauded as a game changer for getting commuters to make the shift from cars to active transportation. And, to help more people choose an e-bike as a way to get around, the province is offering rebates to all British Columbians over 19. Based on income, rebates range from $350 to $1,400, with $6 million available to subsidize as many as 9,000 e-bike purchases.

The program will be administered by the Scrap-It Society.

Efficient regional transportation is one of the keys to attracting and retaining workers. E-bikes also produce less emissions than motor vehicles as well as being a healthier alternative for commuters — especially those with sedentary jobs.

Share your priorities for next year's BC budget
Every year, The Chamber gathers comments and concerns from our members in order to present them to the province's all-party Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. The committee travels BC to consult with businesses and residents about budget priorities for the year ahead.

Public budget consultation closes June 16, at 2 pm, and The Chamber will have an opportunity to address the panel at a later date.

You can share your thoughts directly or send them to [email protected]. We'll gather feedback and help amplify individual concerns as the voice of business for Greater Victoria.
Welcome to The Chamber team!
The Chamber is pleased to welcome Mabel Marin to the team as our new Marketing & Engagement Manager.

Constantly curious and often wearing many hats, Mabel is a Brazilian-Canadian professional, focusing her career on supporting non-profits through sustainable marketing practices and community engagement. With a solid background in communication and marketing, Mabel has a comprehensive skill set in content management, brand promotion, and stakeholder engagement.
Using her extensive experience in marketing and communications and her love for Greater Victoria, Mabel is ready to commit her skills and positively impact businesses through her new role as Marketing & Engagement Manager at the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. Her contributions will empower and promote local businesses' growth while fostering a sustainable culture.

Mabel is excited to join the team and connect with more of the Greater Victoria business community. You can reach her at [email protected]
July Business Mixer @ Government House
Located on the traditional territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, Government House is the office and official residence of the Lieutenant Governor and the ceremonial home of all British Columbians. This event will be hosted by the Honourable Janet Austin, OBC Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

Come join us on this historical site, surrounded by beautiful gardens and woodlands for a vibrant, after-hours business social. 
Sponsored by:
Government House: Member since 2020
Tues., July 18 | 5 - 7 PM
Government House
1401 Rockland Avenue
There's still time to complete The Chamber's Membership Survey!

In less than 10 minutes, you can share your thoughts on your Chamber membership by taking our Membership Matters Survey.

Your Chamber Membership provides you with discounts on our benefit programs, opportunities to connect with the business community and supports your business through its advocacy efforts. Are you getting your full membership value?

Help us help you! Enter to win round-trip flights to Vancouver for two from Helijet by completing the survey.
BC Hydro's electrification plan

With a focus on climate change and the electrification of more devices, homes, vehicles and industries, find out how BC Hydro is helping their customers make the switch from fossil fuels to clean electricity.
Sponsored by:
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Travel is back in a big way
World, national and local travel is back in a big way. Where are people going and what do we need to know? In this Chamber Chat CEO Bruce Williams gets all the answers from Cathy Scott at Departures Travel.
Departures Travel and Niche Travel Inc.: Member Since 2013
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Updating relationships in your new Member Portal
Keeping your employees engaged and up to date in the new Chamber Membership Portal has never been easier!
Next time you login to your Member Portal, click on the relationships tab to see which members of your staff are currently related to your organization.
From here you can add/remove profiles, choose who has editing privileges, who receives Chamber newsletters, invoices and more. You can also update your employees email, phone number, or other personal information by scrolling over to the Actions tab and clicking “Edit”.
If you have any questions about your new Membership Portal, please contact Julia at [email protected].
Find the best talent for your team
If you’re looking to grow your team this Spring, The Chamber’s job board is your next best resource.

Attract the best workers by posting a 30, 60, or 90 day job listing. Tap into the Google Jobs Network and candidates that are eager to work for a Chamber member.

As an exclusive member benefit, use the code INTRO2023 at checkout to receive a free 30-day listing.

If you have any questions or need help uploading your job, email The Chamber at [email protected]
Member News
Play Ball! HarbourCats open season at home Friday night

The forecast calls for sunshine and fans of the Victoria HarbourCats know the team's home opener Friday night at Royal Athletic Park promises to be a fun time.

The West Coast League club is celebrating its 10th season, and hoping to continue its success on the field and in the stands. Game time is 6:35 pm, against the Kamloops Northpaws.
Victoria HarbourCats: Member since 2012
Saanich seeks feedback on draft Official Community Plan

The District of Saanich has unveiled its Draft Official Community Plan, a document that sets out a long-term vision for the municipality. The OCP helps when council and staff are making decisions about land use, transportation, parks and housing.
Saanich is now hosting info sessions, workshops and surveys to gather opinions about the draft plan before it is eventually approved. Watch a short video to learn more about the project.

District of Saanich: Member since 2013
Cascadia Seaweed secures $1.5M funding

Cascadia Seaweed secured $1.5 million to accelerate the commercialization of their large-scale agricultural products to reduce greenhouse gases and improve food security, with the potential to reduce emissions at the megatonne scale. This funding supports the development of a 100-hectare seaweed farm and bioprocessing facility in Prince Rupert.

Cascadia Seaweed: Member since 2021
Bayview Place set to welcome Van Gogh experience
Bayview Place will host Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, June 20 to Aug. 20, in the at Starry Night Pavilion at 355 Catherine St. The show incorporates still images and virtual reality to make more than 300 works of art come alive. The creator aims to have viewers feel as if they've stepped into a Van Gogh painting.
Bayview Place: Member since 1987
Uber set to launch ride-hailing service next week

People in Greater Victoria will finally be able to call for an Uber to get them around the region. The well-known ride-hailing service officially launches here next week. The precise day has not yet been announced.

The Chamber, on behalf of our members, supported Uber's application to operate in Greater Victoria. The service has come to be expected at international destinations and can complement other transportation services in our region.

Uber Canada: Member since 2019
Celebrate cycling during Go by Bike Week in Greater Victoria

It's Go By Bike Week, May 29 to June 4, with Capital Bike helping celebrate Greater Victoria cycling community. Last year, participants covered about 390,000 kilometres and took part in celebration stations around the region. This year, there are 13 stations planned for the week, culminating with a Bike Block Party on June 4 in the District of Oak Bay.
Capital Bike: Member since 2022
District of Oak Bay: Member since 2021
Documentary offers Indigenous view of West Coast tsunamis

A new documentary supported by Ocean Networks Canada looks at how Indigenous peoples have experienced Pacific Ocean tsunamis, and what lessons they can teach all of us today. By combining traditional indigenous knowledge with ocean science, communities can be better prepared. The documentary, called Tsunami 11th Relative, screens June 7, at 7 pm, at the Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas St.
Ocean Networks Canada: Member since 2019
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