Special thanks to the University of Victoria for hosting the August Business Mixer last Thursday at the University Club of Victoria. Check out the photos here.

Missed out on your opportunity to network? Check out The Chamber's calendar for our upcoming Fall events!
Province sues opioid makers
British Columbia has become the first province in Canada to sue opioid manufacturers to try and recover some of the costs the health care system has paid because of the drugs. BC Attorney General David Eby made the announcement today, stating: "In court, we will argue that these drug companies deceptively marketed their products knowing full well the potential consequences, and as a result, British Columbia has incurred great costs." The announcement comes two days ahead of International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31

One of the companies named in the lawsuit, Purdue Pharma, paid $634.5 million (US) in damages in 2007, and acknowledged that its marketing was misleading.
The BC lawsuit names more than 40 drug makers, sellers and distributors as defendants. The province will also pattern legislation after what was introduced in 1998 to support litigation against tobacco companies.

The BC Centre for Disease Control has reported 742 unintentional overdose deaths between January and June this year. Most of them involved the opioid fentanyl.

The Chamber has identified Safe Communities as one of our 2018 advocacy priorities, noting that all of us rely on a safe community in order to function in our daily lives and businesses.

Chamber members can hear from BC Attorney General Eby first hand on Nov. 7, when he addresses Chamber members at an upcoming Business Leaders Luncheon.  Reserve your tickets now.
Chamber News
Auction Donations
Summer Social Series
The Business of Cannabis
Business Leaders Luncheons
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos

In Conversation With Christina Clarke 

Chamber board member and Executive Director
Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet
of the Songhees Nation Christina Clarke is featured in Douglas Magazine's latest edition.
In the interview, Clarke discusses her philosophy toward business, the challenges of Indigenous entrepreneurship and a new era of economic growth.

Songhees Nation: member since member since 2017   
Douglas Magazine: member since 2004  
End of Summer Soiree

Join us on the last official weekend of summer for a fun evening of luxury vintage cars, custom cocktails, gourmet food and good times!

Featuring signature cocktails by Nimble Bar Co., craft beer from Twa Dogs Brewery and catering by Toque Catering.
Sponsored by :
Fri, Sept 14 | 6:30-9 pm  
Secret Venue 
Two pick-up locations will be sent to attendees to take a shuttle to our secret venue location courtesy of  
Wilson's Transportation Ltd


Public Accounts reveal government surplus
BC Finance Minister Carole James unveiled the province's public accounts yesterday, and the audited financial statements show an operating surplus of $301 million and debt reduction of $918 million for the fiscal year that ran from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.
"Despite historic losses at ICBC and a $950-million adjustment to address the Auditor General's concerns about the former government's approach to [BC Hydro's] rate regulation, we reduced our debt and achieved a truly balanced budget," James said.

The Opposition BC Liberals responded, saying the surplus reflects work done by the previous government.

"It took 16 years of hard work to rebuild our province's economy after the NDP's disastrous term as government in the 1990s," said BC Liberal House Leader Mary Polak, saying the numbers don't reflect the government's recently introduced tax policies, including the Employer Health Tax. "What today's numbers don't show are the impacts of a pile of taxes the BC NDP have recently imposed on British Columbians."

Members Around Town
Street performers take over downtown 
The Downtown Victoria Buskers Festival, hosted by the Downtown Victoria Business Association, is taking place Aug. 30-Sept. 3. Talented artists and entertainers will be travelling from as far away as Australia to perform at three different venues in downtown Victoria: Centennial Square, Bastion Square and Market Square.
Downtown Victoria Business Association: member since 2007    
Castro Boteng's new cafe      
On Aug. 24, catering company House of Boateng opened its new House of Boateng Caf é at 2854 Peatt Rd. in Langford. A full-service café serving breakfast and lunch, the food is an imaginative combination of local ingredients with the essence of African and Caribbean flavours.  
House of Boateng: member since 2016  
Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival
 A Vancouver Island festival tradition for 32 years, this year's Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival, hosted by Intrepid Theatre Company, started Aug 22 and runs until Sept. 2. Featuring 47 shows from around the globe, the 12-day celebration of live performance highlights an eclectic mixture of spoken word, drama, musicals, dance, comedy, magic, theatre for young audiences and more. 
Intrepid Theatre Company: member since 2003  
Learn more about the regulation of the sale of cannabis, what this emerging industry means for businesses in Victoria and global opportunities. See the speakers here.

Wed, Oct 10 | 11:30 am-1 pm
Hotel Grand Pacific
463 Belleville St.

Court asked to nix union-only mega-project plan
A group representing builders and business
Tom Sigurdson
filed a petition with the BC Supreme Court on Monday, asking it to rule against the BC government's new framework for public infrastructure projects.

The group includes nine organizations, including the BC Chamber, the Independent Contractors and Business Association and the Christian Labour Association.
In a letter to Premier John Horgan, the group wrote that its members "strongly believe that one of government's primary obligations is to ensure fairness in procurement and that taxpayers are getting the best value for every dollar spent."

The government called the plan a Community Benefits Agreement, but construction and business associations were quick to criticize a requirement that workers join a government-approved union in order to work on publicly funded projects.

However, the executive director of BC Building Trades, Tom Sigurdson, says politics are clouding the intent of the government's plan.

Sigurdson told the CBC that non-union contractors can also bid on infrastructure projects. Their workers would be required to join the union if they are on the job more than 30 days, but membership only lasts until the end of the project.

To find out more, Sigurdson is the speaker at The Chamber's BC Building Trades Luncheon on Sept. 25. Get your tickets today!

BC's clean energy economy podcast 
Last year, in partnership with the Sierra Club of BC, The Chamber hosted a roundtable discussion on Climate Change & the Next Economy. Finding Climate Change solutions that work for business is one of The Chamber's advocacy priorities.  
Businesses from retail, tourism, construction and development, finance, education, health services, restaurants and more shared stories of green initiatives they were currently undertaking as well as ideas to move their businesses and the business community towards a greener future.  
At the event, The Sierra Club recorded a podcast on powering BC's clean energy economy. The podcast series is now available - have a listen you might recognize yourself or someone else from our local business community!    
The Sierra Club of BC: member since 2016 
Canadian Chamber hopeful on NAFTA deal
Canada's business community continues to watch the ongoing NAFTA negotiations. The agreement between the U.S. and Mexico earlier this week is being greeted with enthusiasm. Nationally, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has reached out to the federal government for more details, as well as an offer to help.

Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber, said his organization was pleased "to see the U.S. and Mexico make progress in their negotiations concerning NAFTA, although the full details of what has been agreed upon and how the process and timetable will proceed from here are still largely unknown."

Beatty said Canadian companies are pressing for a deal that includes Canada.

"We acknowledge that there are several outstanding and complex issues that still need to be resolved before a trilateral agreement can be concluded, and we urge all three parties to negotiate in good faith."

One thing that is clear is that the U.S. deal with Mexico is not the end of NAFTA - despite rhetoric out of the White House. For more on the tricky process required to end NAFTA, read the CBC's analysis.

New website highlights value of Citizens' Assembly
The Chamber supports the decision by Saanich and Victoria to ask voters about using a Citizens' Assembly to help make a non-biased decision on merging the two municipalities. After consulting with a range of community organizations that support better governance through fewer governments, a group of citizens has launched a new website, Worth the Study.  The site offers information on the ballot question, costs and how to get involved in the debate.

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria highlighted the website in their August newsletter, and The Chamber has long been vocal about the need for better regional governance.
Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria: member since 2018
Enjoying the Labour Day Long Weekend

Is it almost September already? You can feel it in the air - that combination of excitement to start a fresh school year mixed with the bittersweet feeling of the end of summer.

Make the most of your Labour Day weekend by supporting your fellow Chamber members. Celebrate by enjoying a bite out, a night away from home, or plan an action-packed weekend at these local treasures.

If you're a last minute kind of person, it's time to start making sure you have all the right supplies for back-to-school. Our Chamber members have you covered for school supplies and clothing.

Want to make sure all local children have what they need for school? You can donate school supplies or new clothing, shoes, and backpacks to The Mustard Seed to help children in need.

The Chamber will be closed Mon, Sept 3 for Labour Day.
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.