Don't miss the November Mixer & Mingle tomorrow, November 15 from 5-7 pm at Campus Honda. Join us for the opportunity to connect with the Greater Victoria business community - sign up today!  
Only 4% of local ballots cast for referendum 
With a little more than two weeks left to vote on electoral reform, fewer than 4% of Greater Victorians have returned their referendum ballots to Elections BC.  
That number was substantially lower in all ridings before last Thursday's televised debate between BC Premier John Horgan and Opposition leader Andrew Wilkinson.
There is no minimum threshold for the vote to count, which means the future of the province's electoral system will likely be decided by a tiny fraction of the population - barring a rush of ballots at the last minute.
Voters must cast their ballot by Nov. 30. If you have not yet received a voting package, you have until Nov. 23 to request one.
If you missed last week's seminar on electoral reform held at the Chamber's office, make sure to check out the excellent presentation by Bruce Hallsor. He's a local lawyer and recognized expert on proportional representation.
Chamber News
Industry Tour: BC Cancer - Victoria
November Mixer & Mingle
Sweater Weather Get Together
Event Photos

Is your beer vegan? 
This has been a big year for Vancouver Island Brewing. They have dropped their cryptic "VI" logo in favour of an updated logo featuring circular text decorated with two orca whales - an homage to an even earlier logo that showed a breaching orca. In addition to that, all of their beer is now vegan. When beer is filtered, most breweries add fish bladders as fining agents to remove excess yeast and particles from ingredients like dry hops.
In a Victoria News article, Chris Bjerrisgaard, the marketing director of Vancouver Island Brewing, said they've had increasing requests for vegan beer in the last few years. "It is much more predominant," he said. "The interesting thing is I don't think a lot of people even knew beer could not be vegan. I think it's when vegans find out they start contacting every brewery saying, 'Is your beer vegan? Oh no, I've been drinking beer for so long and had no idea I wasn't maintaining my vegan status.'"
Instead of fish bladders to clarify their beer, Vancouver Island Brewing bought a centrifuge. The liquid is poured into a bowl that spins quickly, the force of the movement making the excess yeast and particulates stick to the sides of the container and allowing the beer to flow through.
Vancouver Island Brewing: member since 1993 
Did you know Victoria is home to world-class cancer research?

Your tour will include a visit to the BC Cancer Deeley Research Centre where you will learn first-hand how BC is at the forefront of immunotherapy treatment that offers BC patients and families hope for the future.
Wed, Nov 21 | 7:30-9 am   
BC Cancer - Victoria
2410 Lee Ave.

Baby steps toward universal child care
Life is suddenly much more affordable for working parents using one of the two child care centres in Greater Victoria that are part of a pilot project to bring $10-a-day child care to BC.
On Friday, the BC government announced that 53 centres across the province will become prototype sites under a 10-year plan to determine a model for universal child care.  
Lexie's Little Bears Child Care in Langford, and Fernwood Infant and Toddler Care in Victoria are the two centres in the capital region taking part in the pilot project.
Parents who had been paying as much as $1,500 per month for two children at the Fernwood centre now have their fee capped at $340 per month for both kids.  
The federal government is contributing $60 million as part of the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.   
The pilot project runs until March 31, 2020, and  child care operators will provide feedback to the province.
The goal is to determine what's needed to bring in universal child care, which was the subject of a column in the Times Colonist by Chamber CEO Catherine Holt: The Universal Truth about Universal Child Care.
The Chamber supports this investment in affordable and available child care, which will help employers in our region attract and retain young working families.  

Members Around Town
Horse-drawn sleigh rides come to Victoria this holiday season
With it typically snowing in Greater Victoria only a few days a year, Tally-Ho Carriage Tours has modified a traditional sleigh from Indiana's Nappanee Amish country, to include an inconspicuous wheeled undercarriage, complete with electric brakes for safety. The new horse-drawn sleigh attraction will operate in Victoria during the month of December, as part of Tally Ho's 115th anniversary celebration. 
Tally-Ho Carriage Tours: member since 1980
TELUS reports Q3 profit and revenue up from one year ago
TELUS reported a third-quarter profit of $447 million - up from $406 million a year ago - and raised its dividend. The company says it will now make a quarterly payment to shareholders of 54.5 cents per share, up from 52.5 cents. Telus reported 145,000 net new wireless customers, as well as an increase of 36,000 high-speed Internet subscribers and 18,000 Telus TV customers. 
TELUS: member since 1962
Mayfair renovations complete in time for holiday shopping
Just in time for Christmas, Mayfair Shopping Centre announced that its massive renovation project is complete. The two year, $72 million project includes 100,000 more square feet of leasable area, and nine new retailers. The shopping centre's infrastructure has also been upgraded, with two more floors of rooftop parking that can accommodate more than 2,000 vehicles. 
Mayfair Shopping Centre: member since 1963   
Bilingual English and Chinese language delivery service
KAVL Technology has rebranded its Island Life app to now be TUTTI. A first for Vancouver Island, TUTTI is Victoria's only bilingual English & Chinese language delivery service. TUTTI is a food & lifestyle delivery service that specializes in connecting you with a vast array of locally owned businesses. For more information, KAVL Technology is hosting a lauch event for TUTTI Friday, November 16.
KAVL Technology: member since 2018
"Earthquake Evacuees" wanted for Emergency Reception Centre Exercise
This is a drill. The City of Victoria wants individuals, families and their pets to portray "evacuees" who have been displaced from their homes due to a major earthquake. Break out your acting skills and volunteer to participate in Emergency Management Victoria's emergency reception centre exercise on Sunday, November 18 from 2 pm-4 pm at the James Bay Community Centre School. Don't be afraid to ham it up! Find out more details here.
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Hobnob with the best and brightest in business and tech. VIATEC and the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce have joined forces for the first time to bring our members the Sweater Weather Get Together.
The theme is fun! Bring the whole family as we'll have a kid zone filled with craft activities to inspire their creative sides (and keep them busy). There will also be an adult zone with live music and Christmas cheer. 
Fri, Dec 7 | 4-7 pm              
Songhees Wellness Centre  
1100 Admirals Rd.   
Sponsored by:

*Members only. Small donation requested to support the United Way of Greater Victoria.
The new flow of traffic
It's been a busy week for transportation news. The Chamber continues to advocate for better transportation for the region and is encouraged by these developments. 
Ride-hailing legislation coming this fall, Premier says  
Earlier today, the provincial government made a major announcement about long-awaited ride-hailing legislation. Premier John Horgan expects legislation to be passed by the end of the month, paving the way for Uber and Lyft to begin the process of setting up in BC next year.
The news marks an ongoing shift in how transportation is delivered in Greater Victoria.
Bus Priority Lanes  
As of November 5, daily commuters have faced new rules on Douglas Street as only buses and cyclists can use new priority lanes. The rule is in effect 24 hours per day, seven days per week between Tolmie Ave. and Kings Rd., and between 6 and 9 a.m. on weekdays from Kings Rd. to Fisgard St.
The change has upset some members of the taxi industry. They want to be allowed to use the priority lanes. However, the Greater Victoria Transit Commission has said the lanes are not for all High Occupancy Vehicles. The goal is to make sure buses are able to move quickly into and out of downtown to enable them to become a viable option for commuters.
'Green wave' studied
The City of Victoria is also trying to make the drive downtown easier for motorists. A consultant has been hired to study traffic flow problems at 52 intersections. The goal is to optimize the network of traffic signals to better serve drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, and create a "green wave" of coordinated intersections that would allow traffic to move more smoothly in the same direction.   

City of Victoria: member since 1962

Lyft: member since 2017

Torch Awards
Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Vancouver Island announced the 2018 Torch Award Winners at its annual awards gala celebration in early November. 
Congratulations to The Chamber members who won:  
Computer & Internet Services - Dial-a-Geek Consulting Inc.: member since 2017
See the full list of winners here
Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island: member since 1963 
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 Business Person of the Year award recognizes someone that:
  • Is the founder, owner, CEO, President or Senior Executive of a company(ies)
  • Exhibits business leadership and vision;
  • Displays a significant commitment to the success of both his/her business and the region as a whole;
  • Serves as a positive role model or mentor for other business people; and
  • Demonstrates a commitment to the community.
Know a business person who deserves this award? Nominate them today!

Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2018 Business Person of the Year finalists below. Thanks to United Way of Greater Victoria for sponsoring this award.
Winner: Christine Willow, Chemistry Consulting Group
Finalist: Jim Swanson, Victoria HarbourCats
Province announces plan for 4,900 affordable rentals
Greater Victoria is getting more than 900 new affordable housing units as part of the provincial government's announcement of $492 million for 4,900 homes across BC.
The City of Victoria is the biggest winner in the region, with $65 million earmarked for five projects that will add 588 affordable rental homes.
"We hear frequently from our members that housing prices in Victoria make it very difficult to attract and retain workers," says Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "We have been advocating that government invest in non-market housing to help address this serious problem, so we are pleased to see this investment." 
The province also announced two projects in Esquimalt. The Greater Victoria Housing Society will get $13.7 million for 137 homes, and the Rogers Court Society will get $2.4 million for 24 homes.
In Saanich, Dawson Heights Housing Ltd. will get $8.5 million for 85 homes.
In Langford, Pacifica Housing will get $8 million to add 80 units to its Oak Park Development, on top of the 73 that currently exist there.
The province says the new housing will meet the needs of people at a range of income levels, including middle-class families. There will also be highly subsidized rentals for seniors and people on fixed incomes as well as low-wage workers.
The new units are part of the government's plan to invest $1.9 billion over 10 years to build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes.

Go on, tell us your business' birthday!  
Your business deserves to be highlighted! We know that you work hard year round, and we want to celebrate that by recognizing your continued success. Submit your business's anniversary date here so we can celebrate you.

Canadian Chamber Survey - 2019 Election Edition
2019 is a federal election year and during an election year, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce wants you to participate in a brief survey, so we can work together on advocacy positions that reflect the views of Canadian businesses - big and small - from across Canada. Respondents will have the ability to focus on the themes that most interest them and provide input into what issues matter to Canadian business.
Welcome to Our Newest Members!  

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