October 11, 2023

Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!

Know any of these faces? 😊 Check out all the photos from last month's 5 Chamber Mixer, and other Chamber events. Chamber gatherings are always popular, so be sure to register early!

Chamber win: New legislation aims to streamline credential recognition for newcomers

The Chamber has long called for a more sensible approach to recognizing the skills newcomers bring to Canada. We've all heard the stories of trained doctors driving cabs and other professionals who can't work in their chosen field despite high demand for their service.

"That is changing. I'm thrilled to share the news that British Columbia is moving to help regulatory bodies improve the process of credential recognition," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We hear all the time from employers who are frustrated because they need workers but can't hire qualified newcomers because they were trained out of province."

Upcoming legislation will streamline pathways for skilled people with international credentials while maintaining standards and safety.

According to the provincial government, 387,000 newcomers are expected to enter the B.C. workforce, filling 38% of job openings over the next 10 years.

Upcoming Events

International Student & Local Business Virtual Emerge Connector - Thursday!


2023 Marketplace Mixer

Small Business Month Member Networking Breakfast - Waitlisted


Navigating Volatility: What Your Business Should Look Out For

Emerge Connector @ Coastal Community Credit Union

November Business Mixer with BCLC

Wisdom for Family Enterprises - Dinner with David Bentall - 10 tickets left!

Check our Events Calendar for updates.

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Passing the buck not the answer to rising inflation

Last week's announcement by the federal government that it was working with Canada's largest grocers to stabilize food prices is a start. But it will take more than blaming business to bring inflation back to its target rate of 2%.

On Oct. 5, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry said grocery store chains were committed to price stability. The government also moved to strengthen the voice of consumers, increase industry transparency and improve available data on Canada's agri-food supply chain.

Yesterday, an industry association representing grocers called for a pause on increases to the regulated price of milk. The Canadian Dairy Commission sets changes to the cost of milk that take effect every February.

"If government is serious about reducing the price of groceries it needs to look at cutting costs before products get to retailers," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "Government contributes to cost increases when it adds regulatory burdens and increases taxes. We can't expect farmers and other producers to pay for these extra costs which get passed along to the consumer."

Fund invests in construction industry workforce

Chamber advocacy is helping make changes that will increase housing supply. This is critical to a sustainable economy. We need more homes for people of all incomes so our region remains attractive as a place to grow a business, build a career and raise a family.

One of the keys to building more houses is for our construction sector to have enough skilled workers. The industry is expecting more than 72,000 jobs to open up over the next decade.

A new fund, announced today, will provide grants of up to $5 million per project. The Workforce Innovation Fund will:

  • support industry to adopt new technologies and improve productivity
  • improve workplace culture and human resource practices to attract and retain workers, including under-represented and diverse workers
  • develop and support innovative training practices
  • elevate the prestige and awareness of the industry and a career in construction
  • and streamline career pathways for newcomers.

"We continue to work with all levels of government, our partner organizations and our national chamber network to call for investment in the construction industry," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "Builders need to have the people and resources required to improve our critical housing supply."

Digital tool will help builders cut through red tape

Cutting through red tape is another way to help construction projects get started faster and proceed more efficiently.

Starting next spring, 16 local governments β€” including the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria β€” are piloting a new digital tool that could speed up the process of building new homes.

β€œDigitizing the BC Building Code and building permit processing will help builders more efficiently obtain approvals to deliver the homes and job spaces British Columbians need,” Urban Development Institute president and CEO Anne McMullin said. β€œUDI is pleased to participate on the digital advisory council for this pilot partnership and is committed to working with the government on innovative solutions like this.”

City of Victoria: Member since 1863

District of Saanich: Member since 2019

Urban Development Institute - Capital Region: Member since 2017

Toxic drug supply poses risk to safe communities

The Chamber strongly supports safe communities. Everyone needs to feel safe at home, at work and in our communities.

Last week, new legislation was introduced to ban the use of illicit drugs from:

  • a six-metre radius from building entrances, including businesses and residential buildings
  • within six metres of a bus stop
  • within 15 metres of playgrounds, spray and wading pools, and skate parks
  • and at parks, beaches and sports fields.

The legislation attempts to address concerns raised now that personal possession of small amounts of illegal drugs is permitted. The rule change is part of a pilot program to reduce stigma, cited as a barrier holding people back from seeking help.

If passed, the legislation will allow police officers to stop people from using drugs if they don't move to a supervised consumption site or other appropriate area.

Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams

How the auto industry is recovering after pandemic disruption

Powering our province's future with BC Hydro

Galaxy Motors: Member since 2013

Chamber Chats

The automobile industry and local dealerships were hit hard early in the pandemic, affecting inventory, parts and service and prices. In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams hears about the current situation in the vehicle sector from Amy Jones of Galaxy Motors and Mandu Goebel of the Campus Auto Group.

Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings

Meet with their local experts for solutions as unique as your business.

Greater Victoria Business Awards 2024

Nominate a deserving business today!

Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.

The Emerging Business Person of the Year Award honours a business owner or founder 39 years or under, who has excelled in business; exemplifies outstanding leadership and/or entrepreneurial skills in their field; and demonstrates exceptional vision that contributes to business success.

Sponsored by: Royal Roads University

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to Hanna at [email protected]

Winner: Mackenzie Wavryk. - video

Upcycle Clothing Collective

Finalist: Jeff Crone - video

Figs Mobile Detailing

Nominate Today
Award Categories

Chamber welcomes Camosun co-op student

The Chamber is pleased to welcome co-op student Tara Hebdon to the team as our new Events and Administration Assistant.

Tara is currently in her second year at Camosun College, pursuing a diploma in Business Administration with a major in Marketing. She is passionate about people and believes that healthy relationships create a strong foundation for successful business and community.

Working collectively with local and international stakeholders towards mutual, purposeful goals is where she thrives. Her experience in event planning, communications and outstanding customer service make her a great asset to The Chamber team!

You can connect with her at [email protected] or 250-383-7191. Hiring a co-op student is an investment in our future and a great addition to your team. We encourage you to reach out to co-op programs at Camosun College and the University of Victoria to see how a co-op student can benefit your organization this year.

Upcoming Events

The Chamber Auction - November 5-12

Showcase your product or service

It's almost time for The Chamber's Annual Auction Nov. 5 - 12! Watch for your official invite to get started soon!


Last year, we received thousands of visits to our auction platform for an action-packed week of bidding on fabulous gifts and memorable experiences. Take a look at a few of the great items being featured this year!

Brentwood Bay Resort 

With this gift certificate, you and a guest will enjoy a two-night stay at the gorgeous Brentwood Bay Resort in a Classic Bay King Room. Then, indulge with a delicious dinner at the newly renovated Arbutus Dining Room. With floor to ceiling windows, a view of the marina, and a gas fireplace in-room, you'll never want to leave!

Aero Services

Give your home some love with this gift certificate for one furnace and duct cleaning from Aero Furnace, Duct & Chimney Cleaning! Aero's rigourous cleaning process and attention to detail will have you breathing easier.

Hatchet & Seed

Create the garden of your dreams with this gift certificate for a custom-built galvalume raised garden bed, courtesy of Hatchet & Seed. Dimensions of the bed are 4ft x 4ft x 20" tall with galvalume cladding on the side. Your outdoor oasis awaits!

7 Cedars

Stay and play in Sequim, Washington with this gift certificate to 7 Cedars Resort! This package includes a one-night stay in the 7 Cedars Hotel, a $100 gift certificate to the House of Seven Brothers Restaurant, and a round of golf for two at the Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course.

Do you want your products and services featured in the auction?


From gift cards to great local items and everything in-between, reach hundreds of potential customers by donating a prize today.

Sponsored by:


As an event sponsor, Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics is offering donors complimentary delivery of their auction item to The Chamber office.

Any questions? Please call (250) 383-7191 or email [email protected]

Donate Today!
Chamber Member Events
Want to know what events are happening in the community? Check out The Chamber's Community Calendar to stay up to date with plays, seminars, grand openings and more.
Are you a member? Post your own events for free.

Member News @VictoriaChamber

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Tiny Capital:

Member since 2021

Oak Bay Beach Hotel:

Member since 2011

District of Saanich:

Member since 2019

William Wright Commercial:

Member since 2023

Share your good news so we can share with other members! 

Retirement means big shoes to fill at The Chamber

A message from Cheryl Wirch-Ryckman, Managing Director

After 12 years with the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, working with great leaders, inspiring staff and amazing members, I'm happily stepping back and moving on to semi-retirement. 

We're on the search for a Managing Director of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. You'll be looking after nearly 1,400 members, 10+ staff and the proud legacy of a 160-year-old institution.

Among the benefits, you'll work with Bruce Williams as CEO and engage with a talented staff and enlightened board to manage The Chamber's internal operations. As a progressive employer, we provide excellent Chamber Group Health Benefits, flex time, matching RRSP contributions, a competitive salary and 4+ weeks of vacation. But best of all the benefits, is the feeling that you've done something that really matters.

Know the perfect person? Please pass this along. Happy to chat at any time.

Chamber Job Board an exclusive member benefit

As an exclusive member benefit, use the code INTRO2023 at checkout to receive a free 30-day listing on The Chamber’s job board.

If you have any questions or need help uploading your job, email The Chamber at [email protected].

Chamber Job Board 

Financial Planner – TD Canada Trust

Senior Development Manager – Starlight Developments

Service Support Officer – Scotiabank

Associate Portfolio Manager – RBC

Office Manager – Berwick Retirement Communities

Director, Financial Reporting and Budgets – Camosun College

Member to Member Discounts

Winkchronicity - Save 10% when you book your first retreat

Bard & Banker - $9.99 Breakfast before 9am at the Bard & Banker

Bay Centre - 15% off Corporate Gift Cards

Charge Fitness - 10% off Personal Training & Complimentary Introductory Session at Charge Fitness

FRS Clipper - Save 10% on all Clipper owned/operated products

View all Member to Member discounts

Members can post Coupons and Discounts free

Welcome to our Newest Members! 

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