Join Prodigy Group for its June Mingle, hosted by United Way of Greater Victoria, this Thursday from 5-7 pm. Don't miss out - register today!
EHT casting chill on local businesses  
 
Douglas Magazine is continuing the work of The Chamber to keep the pressure on the Province to fix the Employer Health Tax.
 
There's a lot of attention being given to the provincial speculation tax, but The Chamber has been fighting to keep the EHT in the spotlight. The EHT will affect many more businesses and is already casting a chill on wage and payroll growth by businesses across B.C.
 
In the June/July edition of Douglas, the magazine interviewed local businesses about the EHT, which will costs them a lot more than will be saved by the elimination of MSP premiums.
 
Dave Cowen, CEO of The Butchart Gardens, said the proposed tax is making his company reevaluate its capital investment plan.
 
"The EHT will generate a 260% increase over the amount of MSP premiums currently paid, with the new tax being calculated on all employees, including those not previously covered by benefits, such as seasonal staff who are dependent children covered by their parents' plans or are exempt due to age," Cowen told Douglas.
 
   

Douglas Magazine: member since 2004

The Butchart Gardens: member since 1976
Chamber News
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Business Leaders Luncheons
Governor of the Bank of Canada Luncheon
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Business Mixers
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Event Photos

Have you ever given blood?
Did you know less than 4% of Canada's  population supports 100% of the patients needing blood in Canada? It's the 10th anniversary of National Blood Donor Week (June 11 to 17) and Canadian Blood Services in BC and the Yukon is aiming to fill 6,000 appointments to donate blood in clinics across the province.

Women can donate every 12 weeks, men every 8 weeks. In April, Canadian Blood Services updated the criteria for blood donation to make more Canadians eligible. There is no longer an upper age limit! If you are still unsure if you can donate you can take an eligibility quiz.

By July 1, an estimated 44,000 blood donors are needed across Canada. The summer season tends to see a drop in the number of donors and CBS struggles to maintain the levels of blood needed. Canadian Blood Services needs 100,000 new donors this year so there is enough of each blood type on hand for patients across Canada.  

Canadian Blood Services in BC: member since 2017
BUSINESS LEADERS LUNCHEON:
 
Cyber threats, household debt and youth underemployment are just some of the economic uncertainties keeping Stephen S. Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, up at night.

This is a rare opportunity to hear directly from one of Canada's leading experts on monetary policy and find out what's being done to safeguard our economy.

Table sponsorships are now sold out.
Sponsored by: 
Wed, June 27 | 11:15 am-1 pm
Crystal Gardens, 720 Douglas St. 

   
 
Table sponsors: 
BMO Bank of Montreal
Budget Car & Truck Rentals
GICdirect.com Financial Services Ltd.
KPMG LLPMG
LandlordBC 
Leith Wheeler
PI Financial Corp.
Scotiabank Group
Tourism Victoria

Victoria Foundation, The 
Business property taxes place unbalanced load on business

The Chamber continues working to shine a light on local municipalities that are increasing the municipal tax burden on businesses for no valid reason. In Chamber CEO Catherine Holt's June 7 column in the Times Colonist and an appearance on CFAX, Catherine notes that all 13 Greater Victoria municipalities charge businesses a much higher property tax rate than they do residents.
 
"Municipalities are struggling to keep up with increasing costs downloaded from higher levels of government - most recently, the Employer's Health Tax has been added to everyone's load," Catherine writes in her column. "However, dumping costs onto business is really just a diversionary tactic. Adding to the business-tax burden means a business needs to earn more, which means it needs to charge more or find ways to cut costs. Residents who enjoy the products and services end up paying more or finding there are fewer options as businesses become priced out of their neighbourhoods."
 
After the column was published, Langford Mayor Stew Young wrote to The Chamber explaining that his council has "taken steps to ensure local businesses are well supported to allow them to continue to contribute to our growing economy and generate good paying local jobs."
 
In 2017, Langford Council embarked on a 10-year program to close the gap between business and residential property taxes. By 2026, the ratio of business taxes to residential taxes will have been reduced from 3 times higher to 2.5 times higher.

 

Members Around Town
 
Gain opened a Maserati dealership
The GAIN Group opened a Maserati dealership in Victoria in May - the first for Vancouver Island - as the company invests $25 million in new expanded facilities for its automobile brands. Maserati will join Alfa Romeo at their Roderick Street location until renovations are complete for both brands' new 15,000-square-foot space on Douglas Street and Summit Avenue.
GAIN Group: member since 2012
New scholarship fund supports UVic's best graduate students
The Province is providing a new  $2.25-million graduate-student scholarship fund at the University of Victoria. The new scholarships are part of the $12-million fund announced by the Province that will support 800 awards of $15,000 each for students in graduate degree programs. The scholarships are research-focused, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and include professional programs, such as business administration and health. 
 University of Victoria: member since 1976 
World Cup teams could train on Island
Victoria is among 52 training base options presented to FIFA in the official bid booklet put forward by the United Bid (Canada, the United States and Mexcio), which Wednesday morning defeated a bid from Morocco to host the 2026 World Cup of men's soccer. T he University of Victoria and Royal Athletic Park - are mentioned specifically in the bid book. Although the provincial government nixed B.C. Place as a venue for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, citing the lack of cost assurances from FIFA, Victoria could still have the chance to see world class athletes.  
 
Royal Athletic Park (City of Victoria): member since 1962  
University of Victoria: member since 1976 
Bayview Place Open
Sam Fidone won the Bayview Place DC Bank Open at Uplands Golf Club to become the 36th champion of the oldest event on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada . The native of Lufkin, Texas, won the $36,000 first prize with a score of  19-under par 261, five strokes clear of second-place Blake Sattler of Dover, Ohio.
 
Bayview Place: member since 2006
 
Uplands Golf Club: member since 2009 
Victoria's new City Manager
Jocelyn Jenkyns has been appointed the City of Victoria's new City Manager. Jenkyns has been Acting City Manager since September 2017 and the Deputy City Manager since 2014. This is the first time in more than two decades that someone from within the City has been appointed to lead the organization, overseeing a professional workforce of 800 and an annual budget of approximately$241 million.
 
City of Victoria: member since 1962  
Mayors eye alternative to speculation tax
The Chamber is keen to hear more about an idea that has emerged out of the vocal and sustained outcry over the Provincial government's proposed speculation tax. At yesterday's Global Issues Dialogue, hosted by Bayview Properties Ken Mariash, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said she has been working with other local mayors on an alternative tax for the Province to consider.

Increasing the Capital Gains Tax would reduce the profit from flipping properties, dampening the appeal for speculators who have been using homes to make a quick return.This is added tax revenue could also be used for affordable housing. It's an interesting idea, but the mayors would have to convince B.C. Finance Minister Carole James. In March, the Minister defended the speculation tax by saying it worked better than a Capital Gains Tax for encouraging property owners to rent out homes rather than keep them empty.
Your Chamber in the News!
 
1-May CHEK
3-May Black Press 
9-May Home advantage? The capital finally gets a premier  Times Colonist 
10-May Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce celebrates local business excellence  CHEK
13-May 'Transforming' region not always desirable  Times Colonist 
15-May B.C. premier receives lukewarm reception at Chamber of Commerce luncheon  Canadian Press 
15-May  Tough Crowd greets Premier John Horgan at the GVCC luncheon  CHEK 
15-May  Health Tax and Educational Opportunity are good for the economy, premier says  The Tyee 
15-May  Employer Health Tax is Good Policy says BC Premier  CFAX 
15-May Regional transportation authority not currently on the table for the CRD  CFAX
15-May  BC Premier addresses tourism concerns from Kinder Morgan Battle  CFAX 
16-May  Horgan puts brakes on light rail for E&N   Times Colonist 
16-May  Horgan taps brakes on idea of restoring rail service on South Island  CTV 
16-May  Premier Horgan dashes rail hopes   CFAX
17-May  Region's politicians laud movement on E&N rail corridor  Times Colonist 
18-May  Putting buses on rail line route near impossible, says developer Mariash  Times Colonist 
18-May  Premier Horgan wants buses instead of trains on E&N railway  CHEK 
20-May  Commuter train became less viable when new bridge was built without rail  Times Colonist 
20-May  Editorial: No case for light rail  Times Colonist 
21-May  Victoria Day Parade Honours Humboldt; how judges keep score  Times Colonist 
Next steps to employment
A new program at Our Place Society called Next Steps to Employment wants to help people who suffer from multiple barriers, such as homelessness, brain injury or literacy issues, to join the workforce again. The program is a direct result of talking to people who visit Our Place on a daily basis, and listening to their struggles to get into the work force and maintain steady employment.
 
Catherine Holt, CEO of The Chamber, says, "We hear from many employers that they can't find enough workers in our low unemployment economy. Next Steps will help people get back on their feet and able to fill those vacancies."
 
Frank Bouree, a partner at GT Hiring Solutions, has been impressed with his early contact with the Next Steps team, and says, "Our GT Hiring Solutions WorkBC team is looking forward to working closely with Next Steps to assist those marginalized in our community find meaningful work."
 
The public is invited to learn more at a special Open House on June 14 from 11:15-11:45 am at 1627 Quadra St.


Our Place Society: member since 2010

GT Hiring Solutions: member since 2006
Board Election Information Session
Interested in running for the  Board of Directors of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce? Find out everything you need to know at this information session facilitated by Dan Dagg, Board Chair.

Representing Greater Victoria's business community, The Chamber Board is one of the most influential community boards in the region.

Tue, July 10 | 12 noon to 1 pm
The Chamber, 100-852 Fort St.

Click here for info on key dates, the nomination process and the voting procedure. Additional questions can be directed here.
Capital City Station given four-year extension
The right-sized bus depot serving downtown Victoria has proven to be a success. Victoria City Council will vote tomorrow on a staff recommendation to commit to the current configuration of Capital City Station for the next four years. The station, operated by The Wilson's Group, has successfully concluded an 18-month trial period. Over that time, Capital City Station staff worked with residents to alleviate all concerns. Since 2016, there have been no complaints.   
 
"We are thankful the City of Victoria has recognized the work we have done to be good corporate neighbours," says John Wilson, President and CEO of The Wilson's Group of Companies. "I'm proud of our team for addressing all of the initial concerns, and the fact Capital City Station has been welcomed into the neighbourhood. We will continue providing a well-run service that fills a need for residents and visitors travelling by intercity bus to and from Victoria."


The Wilson's Group of Companies: member since 2004
Father's Day
Make sure Dad feels special this Father's Day! Need a gift? You can't go wrong with tried and true Dad-pleasers like golf , something tasty for the grill or chocolates!
 
Here are a few great events happening around town this weekend to take Dad to:
 
Welcome to Our Newest Members!  

 
Chamber Name Tags
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250-383-7191  

victoriachamber.ca
chamber@victoriachamber.ca