Don't miss out -- final week to purchase your tickets! Bite into YYJ Eats Tuesday, June 5 at St. Ann's Academy. Sample craft beer, local wine and spirits while you dine on gourmet bites from some of the city's best eateries. See a sneak peek of the menu here.

EHT will hurt payroll growth, survey confirms
The Chamber has been saying it since the 2018 B.C. Budget was announced, and now, a survey by the Vancouver Board of Trade (VBOT) and the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) confirms that small- and medium-businesses will bear the brunt of the proposed Employer Health Tax.

The survey found: 
  • 61% of businesses with fewer than 50 employees will pay the new tax
  • More than one-third of businesses polled will be double-billed in 2019, paying MSP premiums and the EHT
  • Two-thirds of respondents who don't currently pay for their employees' MSP premiums are budgeting for the new expense the EHT creates as of Jan. 1, 2019
  • The average bill for the payroll tax is expected to be $157,233
  • Business with fewer than 50 employees anticipate an average annual tax bill of $40,040. The median among these businesses is $10,000.
"Payroll taxes are job-killers, as they increase the cost of employing people and growing businesses," says Chris Gardner, ICBA President and CEO.

Chamber News
Business Leaders Luncheons
Governor of the Bank of Canada Luncheon
Auction Donations
YYJ Eats
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos
Fort Street bike lanes open for Bike to Work Week
The dedicated bike lanes on Fort Street opened just in time for Bike to Work Week and, judging by the number of cyclists zipping past The Chamber's Fort Street office, it appears the new lanes are a popular way for commuters to get downtown. 

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps spoke at the official opening of the two-way bike lane, which runs for one kilometre between Wharf and Cook streets. At the event, she apologized for the disruption caused to business and challenged them to measure sales "from this day forward."

However, a group of Fort Street businesses have given Council three options to make up for "millions of dollars in lost revenue" linked to construction of the lanes.

Businesses want relief from the business improvement levy, a reduction in tax assessments or compensation for lost profit and added expenses incurred because of the project.

From the controversial Site C dam to residential electricity rates increasing by 3% or to a report on "Myths blocking road to electric vehicle adoption" BC Hydro has many different initiatives affecting a wide variety of people and businesses. Find out more from Chris O'Riley, new President BC Hydro, the province's largest Crown Corporation with over 5,500 employees and over $5 billion in annual revenue.
Sponsored by:  
Wed, June 13 | 11:30 am-1 pm
The Union Club of British Columbia
805 Gordon St. 



Greater Victoria advocacy priorities passed at B.C. Chamber AGM

Ever wonder how politicians decide on policies that directly affect your wallet? For governments to make smart decisions, they need to hear from the people who will be most affected by proposed changes. 

That's why the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce identifies advocacy priorities important to our region. And it's why we work with like-minded chambers from across the province to craft resolutions that will help government policy makers write better legislation and regulations.

Last weekend, seven resolutions that the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce identified as important to our region were adopted at the B.C. Chamber of Commerce AGM in Kamloops. 

A total of 54 resolutions were passed after passionate debate and discussion. These policies will become part of the B.C. Chamber's advocacy agenda. For a complete list, go to

Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce supported policy resolutions
  • Minimizing undue negative impacts of the Employer Health Tax
  • Stabilizing Minimum Wage Hikes
  • Using Purchasing Power and Supplier Diversity to Drive Growth and Prosperity
  • Abandoned Vessels: Improving Oversight and Accountability
  • Providing Salary and Wage Consistency for Fire and Police Collective Agreements in B.C.'s Labour Market
  • Protecting Funding for Tourism Marketing Programs and Projects
  • Stop the Harmful Tax Changes on Private Corporations
Members Around Town
Vital Signs Survey
The Victoria Foundation is asking Capital Region residents to weigh in with their opinions on 12 areas critical to our community. The 2018 Victoria's Vital Signs Survey asks respondents to identify the most important issues facing the region.  Their responses help non-profit organizations, civic leaders and individual and business donors make decisions about grants, policy-making and charitable giving.
Victoria Foundation: member since 2004
National Basketball team comes to Victoria 
Eight of the 12 Canadian NBA players are expected in the lineup when Canada plays China at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre on June 24 in an international exhibition basketball game. The new Greater Victoria Sports Tourism Commission helped bring this event to our city. 
Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre: member since 2002
Catherine's Rope for Hope
Catherine Holt 
More than 40 people rappelled down CIBC's 15-storey building in downtown Victoria as part of the "Rope for Hope" event. One of those people was The Chamber's very own CEO Catherine Holt! Congrats on reaching your fundraising goal and helping the Make-a-Wish Foundation BC/Yukon raise over $50,000. Catherine's donation page will remain open for donations until September, if you would still like to donate.
Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon: member since 2018
HarbourCats opening weekend 
It's the Victoria HarbourCats opening weekend at Wilson's Group Stadium at RAP with skydivers landing before the first pitch on Fri, June 2 and fireworks after the game on Sat, June 3. The HarbourCats have also welcomed two Cuban pitchers Alejandro Ortega Lopez and Adriel Quesada Peña to their roster when they play at home -- their Cuban visitor visas will not allow them to travel to the United States for away games. Perhaps we'll see them in action this weekend?  
Victoria HarbourCats: member since 2012
Minimum Wage jumps $1.30 Friday
People earning the lowest wages in B.C are getting a raise this weekend.
The minimum wage is going up by $1.30 per hour. The general minimum wage will be $12.65, while the minimum for people who serve liquor will rise to $11.40 per hour

The increase is based on recommendations from the Fair Wages Commission. The Province will eliminate the lower wage for alcohol servers completely by 2021.

At the B.C. Chamber of Commerce AGM last weekend, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce supported a resolution to ask the provincial government to tie increases in the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index for B.C., as of 2021, to ensure predictable, affordable changes.
Warning: this event may cause mouth-watering reactions. Here's a sneak peek at what a few of our exhibitors are serving at YYJ Eats:  
  • Varsha Indian Kitchen - Vegetable pakoras, tandoori chicken, and a pork belly naanwich
  • Swans Brewery, Pub & Hotel - Smoked fish spread with chives on a beer bread crostini with Hazy IPA and Pharoah's Reserve Lager 
  • Cakes Etc - Fruit melody, cappuccino torte, raspberry Neapolitan, and a gluten-free raspberry almond bar
Stay tuned for more sneak peeks of tasty sips and bites leading up to YYJ Eats! See a full list of participants here.

Last week to buy your ticket!
  Sponsored by:
Tue, June 5 | 5-7 pm
St. Ann's Academy National Historic Site, 835 Humboldt St.

Questions remain after feds buy pipeline
The big news this week has been the federal government's purchase of the TransMountain pipeline project for $4.5 billion. This move takes the controversial expansion out of the hands of a private Texas company and gives it to the Canadian government, though the deal leaves a number of questions unanswered.

B.C. Premier John Horgan responded to the news with a statement:
"It does not matter who owns the pipeline. What matters is defending our coast -- and our lands, rivers and streams -- from the impact of a dilbit spill," Horgan said. "Our government is determined to defend British Columbia's interests within the rule of law and in the courts. We will continue our reference case, to determine our rights within our provincial jurisdiction."

B.C. Opposition leader Andrew Wilkinson told the CBC, "This is a critical project that should have been built and owned by the private sector. Now, British Columbians and Canadians are left paying for Horgan's historic blunder."

Times Colonist legislative reporter Les Leyne says the Premier is walking a political tightrope in order to preserve support of the B.C. Green Party, vital to the current minority government, while trying to rebuild strained relations with Alberta, the federal government and proponents of a major job-creating investment in B.C.

Extreme weather hits BC   
Grand Forks is still reeling from two days of intense rain causing the worst flood the region has seen in 70 years, roughly two feet (0.6 metres) higher than ever recorded.
The Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce has been working to get local businesses back up and running, and any small donation helps.  

The Weather Network has just released its
Summer temperatures
annual forecast  for the summer months -- June, July, and August -- and, if they're right, we're in for hotter and drier conditions than usual. This means the forest fire season could be just as bad as last year, or worse.

With extreme weather in the forecast this summer -- and always the possibility of the "Big One" hitting the Island -- it's extremely important to have an emergency plan for your business in case of natural disaster. Saving your business from the consequences of an earthquake, flood or fire is critical not just to you and your employees, but to restoring a community.
June is Free Education Month for Chamber members

Our webinar partners, Small Business BC along with Worksafe BC, are offering free education for the month of June. Take advantage of webinars on a wide range of topics that address your business's specific needs, including:
  • Hiring the Right Candidate
  • Building your Tourism or Hospitality Business 
  • Instagram Marketing for Busy Entrepreneurs
Spaces are limited so register today!
Sponsored by: 
Welcome to Our Newest Members!  

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