On Nov 14, join us for our Membership 101 info session and realize the potential of your membership! We will be showcasing information on our member benefits and perks; ranging from resources to grow your business, networking, your online directory listing, to discounts on credit card fees. This session is open to both employees and business owners.
A lighthearted map of "Victoriaanch." tweeted by @LGeospatial the day after voters overwhelming supported a Citizen's Assembly to study merging Victoria and Saanich. 
Voters confirm support for Citizens' Assembly
Voters in Saanich and Victoria have confirmed they want their municipalities to move forward on a Citizens' Assembly to study the pros and cons of merging the capital region's two largest municipalities.
In Victoria, 67 per cent of voters are keen to take the next steps toward amalgamation. In Saanich, the number is 57 per cent. The support is telling.
Clearly there is an appetite for a single city. However, voters don't have much information beyond that. What are the benefits of joining forces? Are there potential pitfalls?
Proponents of amalgamation usually talk about a bigger picture. We have 13 municipalities. Is it worth the trouble going through this expense just to get to 12? We think it is.
The Chamber has long advocated for better governance through fewer governments. We believe the evidence will show that businesses will benefit from working with one municipality instead of two.
A Citizens' Assembly is the right vehicle to begin outlining next steps. The mandate is clear. Now it's up to the newly elected councils in Saanich and Victoria to keep moving forward.
Chamber News
36th Annual Dinner Auction Gala
Small Business Month
Business Leaders Luncheons
Industry Tour: BC Cancer - Victoria
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos

Wilson's wins former Greyhound routes 
Greater Victoria's Wilson Transportation has won the right to take on routes between Vancouver and the BC Interior that had been serviced by Greyhound. The iconic bus company announced in July that, as of Oct. 31, it would be abandoning all of its Canadian routes except for one between Vancouver and Seattle.  
The departure leaves many Canadian towns without a service they have relied on for decades.  
In BC, the Passenger Transportation Board moved quickly to encourage new operators to fill the void. Wilson's, which runs a number of services including the BC Ferries Connector, Gray Line Sightseeing Victoria and YYJ Airport Shuttle, was approved to operate commuter runs from Vancouver to Kelowna and Vancouver to Kamloops. 
"Our team at Wilson's is happy to have been approved by the PTB for these routes and we are excited to see what the possibilities this will create for our company," said John Wilson, co-owner and CEO of the Wilson's Group of Companies. "It is a great addition to our BC Ferries Connector -- the scheduled service between Downtown Victoria and Downtown Vancouver -- as well as the Box-to-Bus freight service that we operate in conjunction with Tofino Bus. Our team is hard at work firming up all of the details of this new service and we will be releasing further information about schedules and tickets in the coming weeks."  

Wilson's Group of Companies: member since 2004
Here's a sneak peek at a few items that will be at this year's Annual Dinner Auction Gala. Here's a sneak peek at a few items that will be at this year's Annual Dinner Auction Gala:
  • Take in the sights of Seattle with two round-trip seaplane tickets from Kenmore Air. Leaving from Victoria's Inner Harbour to downtown Seattle, traveling has never been easier, or more scenic.
  • Explore the beauty of the coast from your very own paddle board. This Bestway Hydro-Force Inflatable Paddle Board offers high maneuverability and lightness for both flat water and small wave riding. Courtesy of Ralmax
  • Test your escape skills and get your adrenaline pumping with two tickets to a horror themed escape room! Courtesy of Horror Escape
Any of these items catch your eye? Only 4 tickets left! 
Sponsored by:
Fri, Nov 2 | 6-10:30 pm
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa 
100 Harbour Rd.
Bank of Canada raises rate, targets ongoing increases

As expected, the Bank of Canada raised the benchmark interest rate to 1.75 per cent today.  The move comes as no surprise, though a recent Ipsos survey found that one-third of respondents were concerned the increase would push them closer to bankruptcy.

"With little decrease in household debt and the pace of rate hikes expected to accelerate, we will likely see a more immediate and significant effect on borrowers with rate increases in the future," stated Grant Bazian, president of MNP, which commissioned the survey.

The Bank of Canada cited a solid global economy, the recent approval of an LNG project in BC and the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement as reasons for following through on its strategy of increasing rates over time.

"The Canadian economy continues to operate close to its potential and the composition of growth is more balanced," the central bank said.

The latest outlook is more optimistic than when the Bank's Governor Stephen Poloz spoke to a full house at the Chamber's Business Leaders Luncheon on June 27.

The Bank also defined where it would like the rate to be, stating the goal is to reach a "neutral" state between 2.5 and 3.5 per cent.

Read More:

Billion dollar savings planned for ICBC  

On Nov 7, hear directly from the Attorney General of BC David Eby on how the government plans on cracking down on money laundering at casinos, and how it will save $1 billion by reigning in ICBC spending.
Sponsored by:
Wed, Nov 7 | 11:30 am-1 pm 
Hotel Grand Pacific
463 Belleville St.

Members Around Town
Mount Washington to add a zipline  
Set to open summer 2019, Mount Washington Alpine Resort has announced plans to install a $3.5-million zipline, the largest single capital investment it has made to its summer operations in history. The longest on Vancouver Island, the 2.3-kilometre, four-part attraction, will enhance the resort's famous alpine-to-ocean views by adding the thrill of a 415-metre vertical descent. The braking technology of the ZipTour allows for cable spans that are longer, steeper and more dramatic than a typical zip line canopy tour. 
Mount Washington Alpine Resort: member since 2017 
A new name  
The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD), founded in 2011, has changed its name to the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES) as it transitions into the new regulatory framework for cannabis in Canada. With its new name, ACCRES will be working with its existing members, as well as new and aspiring retailers, to navigate compliance with provincial and municipal licensing regulations.
Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers: member since 2018
BC Ferries trials debt cards
BC Ferries is trialing debit card transactions on all five vessels sailing the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route. BC Ferries has plans to expand the service to the larger vessels sailing between the mainland and Vancouver Island on other routes, and to walk-on passenger ticket sales, where it's currently not available. Credit cards were never a problem on board because they allow for the storage and delayed transmission of purchase information, something debit cards do not. 
BC Ferry Services Inc.: member since 1983   
Why closed? 
The Original FARM, Victoria's first licensed cannabis retailer, has closed its doors while it awaits provincial licensing. This is required as regulation transitions from current municipal bylaws to new provincial and federal laws. The Original FARM will be reopening as soon as possible as they anticipate becoming one of the first licensed cannabis retailers legally operating in BC under the new provincial system. 
The Original FARM: member since 2018 

So, what is proportional representation?

Do you support traditional first-past-the-post? Or are you looking for change at the ballot-level?
Bruce Hallsor

The ongoing provincial referendum on proportional representation will shape how our provincial government is formed in the years to come.

Guest speaker Bruce Hallsor is a Victoria lawyer who has been involved in previous referendums on proportional representation. He is knowledgeable about the various types of proportional representation and can provide insight into the questions being asked in the 2018 referendum.

British Columbians have started receiving voting packages from Elections BC, and have until Nov. 30, 2018, to vote in the referendum.

Tue Nov 6 | 11:30 am-1:30 pm
The Chamber
100-852 Fort St.

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 Innovation award honours a business that:
  • Exemplifies successful innovation
  • Demonstrates vision in the development of new technologies, products and/or services
  • Demonstrates the ability to take risks, 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 University of Victoria, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business for sponsoring this award.

Winner: Vecima Networks Inc.
Finalist: Sheringham Distillery
Concern growing over EHT as letter campaign gathers momentum
The Chamber's campaign against the EHT has struck a chord with businesses in Greater Victoria.  
Last week in Biznews, we included a link enabling businesses to join a letter-writing campaign showing our unified opposition to the provincial government's proposed payroll tax. More than 60 letters were returned to us! We will continue gathering letters as they come in and send them en masse to BC Finance Minister Carole James.
The province tabled legislation last week, without incorporating any of the changes requested by the business community. 
If you want to add your voice, you can download the letter here. Fill out the fields and email to communications@victoriachamber.ca.
You can help make sure the province understands your concerns by signing this letter to BC Finance Minister Carole James. Please sign and send to communications@victoriachamber.ca, so we can ensure they get the minister's attention.
EHT Calculator
Not sure if the EHT is a big deal for your business? Find out how much you'll pay by downloading The Chamber's EHT calculator
Canada Post strike targeted capital Monday

Greater Victoria mailboxes were empty on Monday as the region was chosen as one of the first targets of Canada Post's rotating strike action.
If you're a businesses in Greater Victoria that needs to ensure delivery of goods, you do have options. For a list of Chamber members that provide courier and delivery services, click here.

As well, Chamber members are also entitled to 40% off UPS shipping -- online only. Click here to learn more.
Spooktacular Victoria
Victoria has a ghostly history that comes to life in the month of October. Enjoy the brilliant colours of Fall while taking part in spooktacular events in BC's most haunted city.   
Highlight of events:
You also can check out Destination Greater Victoria's l ist of the " Top 11 Haunted Places in Victoria" if you're dying to see a ghost. While you're out exploring the region use #VICTORIABOO, we'd love to see what you get up to! Happy Halloween!
Welcome to Our Newest Members!  

A fresh new look - 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.