Thank you to the Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina by APA for hosting the August Business Mixer last Thursday. Click here to see the photos.
How Many Municipalities to Change a Light Bulb?
The Province today released the long awaited Capital Integrated Services and Governance Initiative.

Minister Fassbender, who commissioned the study, explicitly did NOT give the project team the mandate to build a case for amalgamation. And yet they have.
It is an exhaustive and exhausting description, like none other, of the crazy world we live in when it comes to local government services.

Why does Victoria pay $573.68 per citizen for policing and View Royal pays $115.40. Does anyone believe that Vic PD are not contributing to keeping the people of View Royal safe?

Does anyone think we need four separate professional fire departments and multiple volunteer fire departments populating 14 committees to coordinate their efforts - instead of one fire department?

How about 11 local emergency programs each with their own plan about how to respond in an emergency and no coordination among them? It's a good thing earthquakes follow municipal boundaries.

The authors could not identify a single service that is provided the same way for the same cost across this region.

"This is the best evidence we have ever had that we need better governance through fewer governments." said Catherine Holt, CEO of The Chamber. "No one can read this report and think that what we have is not badly broken."

Chamber News
Harvest Dinner
Business Leaders Luncheon: Bill Stewart
Industry Tour: Point Hope Maritime
Auction Donations
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos
Renovation Tax Credit
Changes to the BC Building Code to increase energy efficiency could add as much as $80,000 to the price of a new home said Casey Edge, of the Victoria Residential Builders Association in a Times Colonist article. The Association is recommending instead that the provincial and federal government implement a new tax credit for renovating existing homes. This would result in more increased energy conservation as it would apply to more homes with lower levels of energy efficiency. 

However, Mark Bernhardt of Bernhardt Contracting (who recently completed 4 projects that would comply with these changes) disagrees. "The BC energy step code is a very positive step for the building industry," he says. "Our clients are willing to pay the extra cost on construction to gain the long term energy savings - and we expect costs to come down in the future as this becomes common practice."
"The Chamber supports a renovation tax credit," said Catherine Holt, CEO of The Chamber, "We've been advocating for it through our policy resolution adopted by the BC Chamber. However, we certainly see the benefit of using both approaches to reducing energy consumption."
Victoria Residential Builders Association member since 1989
Bernhardt Contracting Ltd. member since 2016

No Financial Surprises Yet
This week BC Finance Minister Carole James released the 2016-17 Public Accounts. BC continues to show stable economic growth with an operating surplus of $2.7 billion dollars.

The Finance Minister did not make any shocking revelations of financial mismanagement by the outgoing government, despite this being a Canadian tradition among finance ministers. She did express concern about the excessive surplus being a lost opportunity to provide help to British Columbians finding life to be unaffordable.

BC's provincial debt is also a concern, hitting a new high of $65.9 billion. The cost of fighting forest fires this season is $389 million over budget, so far.  

On Sept 11 the provincial government will deliver a budget update, which is not expected to depart significantly from the previous Liberal government's proposed budget. The next full budget will be announced in Feb, 2018. A Throne Speech will also be delivered in the Legislature on Sept 8.

Discover Where Transformation Happens
On Sept 7, Woodwynn Farms is hosting The Chamber for a Harvest Dinner. This dinner will be a farm-to-table feast prepared by House of Boateng with drink pairings by Silk Road Tea and will showcase Woodwynn Farms' freshly harvested heirloom fruits and veggies, and farm raised poultry.
"Hosting the Harvest Dinner is a way
Catherine Holt, Ian Batey and Richard Leblanc at Woodwynn Farms in May.  
for the business community to see first-hand what Woodwynn Farms is all about," says Richard Leblanc, founder and executive director at Woodwynn Farms. "We're excited to welcome you to a place where transformation happens and people get back on their feet."
Woodwynn Farms is a 193 acre organic farm and a therapeutic community for the homeless, offering an opportunity to change peoples' lives with educational and work programmes based on responsibility, dignity, independence and the principles of peer-to-peer help. The daily responsibilities of farming provide participants with fresh and nutritious food, physical exercise, structure, routine and a shared community along with a clean and sober environment.
To register and to see the menu for the Harvest Dinner click here. To find out more about Woodwynn Farms' programs click here.

Woodwynn Farms: member since 2017
Be Part of a Business Delegation to China
A spot has become available in the South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP) business development trip to China (Shanghai & region) this fall. This trade delegation will provide a business with a low-risk opportunity to establish new relationships and/or deepen existing ones.

SIPP will help with the following:
  • Setting up B2B meetings in Shanghai.
  • Exploring large opportunities through business consortiums
  • Deepening relationships through value-add events
  • One-on-one coaching/strategizing prior to the trip
This delegation will coincide with the visit by Mayor of Victoria Lisa Helps to Shanghai as part of a broader trade mission to China and Japan. Mayors play a significant role in business development in Asian culture (especially in China) as they open doors and enhance your reputation with prospects and partners.

Click here for more information.
Keep your most important asset - your people - healthy and well taken care of with the Chambers Plan - the most popular and affordable employee benefits plan in Canada for small business. Click here for more information.
Members Around Town

IKAN Installations opened its first showroom in Cook Street Village after being in operation since 2011. Using IKEA cabinets, storage solutions and hardware, IKAN creates custom kitchens for their clients.
IKAN Installations: member since 2017   
The City of Victoria announced the first shipment of steel for the new Johnson Street Bridge arrived in Victoria at Point Hope Maritime this week. It includes the north and south rings, the lower counterweight and the temporary structure (false work) used to support the various components of the bridge during installation. 
City of Victoria: member since 1976
Ralmax Group of Companies: member since 2011 
On Aug 27, the Fish Eye Project will host the first ever live stream of a dive in Cambridge Bay, located in the Canadian Arctic. Viewers in BC will be able to e xplore this remote area and ask questions by watching the live stream via at 11 am PST. 
The Fish Eye Project: member since 2017     
Keep It Simple
In an age of increasing mobile retail, less can be more when designing an effective website suitable for a smartphone screen. Simple website UX (User Exprience) is more likely to get shoppers' clicks.

It's no surprise to hear that Amazon dominates the e-commerce market, but their true grasp on the industry is staggering. According to data firm Slice Intelligence, Amazon accounted for 43% of total US online sales in 2016, with this figure on course to reach 50% in 2021. Squeezed retailers are increasingly looking at innovative ways to improve the customer experience and compete in this intensely crowded online environment.

Want to learn how to stand out? On Tue, Oct 3 The Chamber is hosting UX Design expert and the inventor of the screensaver Bill Stewart! Hear Bill talk about how you can use visual design to improve your user experience and improve revenue, profit and customer satisfaction. Click here to sign up.

Point Hope Maritime
Take a free behind-the-scenes tour of one of the province's busiest shipyards and hear about its expansion plans.

Tues, Sept 19 | 7:30 -9 am      
Point Hope Shipyard 
345 Harbour Rd.

BC Ferries Hits Record Highs and Implements Smoke-Free Environment
On the heels of announcing passenger levels have been extremely high this past quarter,  BC Ferries also announced they will introduce a smoke-free environment aboard all their vessels and terminals starting Jan 22 and passengers in the lower car decks will no longer be able to remain in their vehicles

From April to June passenger levels were the highest BC Ferries has experienced in the past 20 years and vehicle traffic levels were the highest the company has ever experienced compared to the same quarter in prior years. Passenger traffic increased 3.8% and vehicle traffic increased 4.4% compared to the same quarter in the prior year. 

The smoke-free policy coincides with National Non-Smoking Week, which runs from Jan 21-28, 2018. It will apply to tobacco, marijuana and e-cigarettes , and is expected to reduce the number of complaints BC Ferries receives from customers related to second-hand smoke.

BC Ferries: member since 1983

Welcome to Our Newest Members! 

Chamber Name Tags
Need to get one of the snazzy new Chamber Name tags? Email Reception to order yours today.

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