September 8, 2021
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
A transition period will run until Sept. 26, during which the cards received from vaccine clinics will suffice as proof.

"All of us want to avoid further restrictions on business, and the data shows COVID is much less of a risk when people are fully vaccinated," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams says. "We all want to put the pandemic behind us, and immunization continues to be our way forward."

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, the current surge in cases is primarily occurring in people who are unvaccinated. One of the goals of requiring proof of vaccination is to prompt those who are not vaccinated to get their shots.
Border re-opens for international travellers
On Monday, Canada opened its borders to international visitors. The move will give another boost to the tourism sector trying to make the most of the last few weeks of summer.

Visitors don't need to quarantine but do need to meet criteria set out by government. International travellers must show proof they are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before entering Canada. They also need to supply the negative results of an approved COVID test within 72 hours of arriving in Canada.

The opening of the border has attracted attention of travel media, such as Men's Journal which recently included Victoria among its suggested places to visit.
Vote for Chamber Board elections starting Thursday
This year, there are 11 amazing candidates nominated for four (4) positions on the Chamber Board of Directors.

Each fall, The Chamber holds an election to fill open seats on our board. Directors are elected to two-year terms with staggered renewal dates.

Election ballots will be emailed Thursday, Sept. 9, to the main contact of every Chamber member. The Chamber uses a weighted voting system, based on your organization's number of employees. Voting will close at noon Thursday, Oct. 7.

Personal write-ups for each of the nominees are included with the electronic ballot. You can also view the nominees on The Chamber’s website here.
Building permits up 56% from one year ago
Greater Victoria had $202 million in building permits for July, according to Statistics Canada. The number represents a 56.4% increase over July 2020, and 26.6% jump from June 2021.

In July, Greater Victoria recorded 617 housing starts for a year-to-date total of 2,500. Of that number, 2,182 have been completed.

Across Canada, the value of building permits was $7.5 billion — up 19.6% from a year earlier but down 6.5% from June 2021.
Candidate Listening Sessions — Focus on Business
On Sept. 20, Canadians will go to the polls to elect a new federal government. As businesses continue to be affected by the pandemic, the stakes have never been higher to have our voices heard by political candidates vying to form our next government.

The Chamber is hosting a series of Candidate Listening Sessions to ensure whoever represents our region will understand the issues facing business our area. The sessions will be recorded and available for you to watch at your convenience.
Register below to receive an event reminder leading up to the Facebook livestream. 
Tues., Sept. 14 | 12-1 PM
Tues., Sept. 14 | 3-4 PM
Saanich-Gulf Islands
Wed, Sept. 15 | 12:30-1:30 PM
Thurs., Sept. 16 | 12-1 PM
Get outside with The Prodigy Group
We're taking a fresh-air break from Zoom in this re-imagined Mingle.

Join us in one of three lovely locations across Greater Victoria for a stroll, walk or hike — your pick. Invite a colleague or supplier or connect with someone new while recharging your mental health with a little fitness. Each location will have a maximum of 15 guests, so we ask you reserve quickly.

For those of you engaging in this year's ClimbUp campaign, consider it early training.

For details about this event including best choice for all levels of physical capability - click here.
Proof of vaccination required. Safety protocols will be in place and we will be following Provincial Health Guidelines for events. If you are feeling unwell we ask that you refrain from attending.
Ogden Point Breakwater
Victoria (Accessible)
Esquimalt Lagoon
Colwood (Moderate)
Mount Douglas
Saanich (Intermediate)
Virtual September Business Mixer
And for those that enjoy the traditional mixer environment, this month we have a return to our successful Zoom model, featuring break-out rooms.

This vibrant, after hours business social event provides an excellent opportunity for members and prospective members to establish or renew valuable business relationships.
Thurs., Sept. 23 | 5 - 6 PM
Would you like to join a Chamber committee?
The Chamber has a number of active and engaged committees that report to our Board of Directors. A key reason for the success of our board committees is the involvement of our Chamber members as volunteer committee members.

Each year, there are a few openings on our committees for new members. We are recruiting now for members who will be available starting on Jan. 1, 2022 for at least a two-year term. Here are our committees:
  • The Ambassador Committee
  • The Finance and Audit Committee
  • The Prodigy Group
  • The Public Policy and Advocacy Committee
  • Indigenous Business Task Force
  • Committee for the Advancement of Diversity and Inclusion

The opportunity to apply for any of the above committees will be open until Oct. 15, 2021. At the end of the application period, the chair of the committee will be in contact by email or phone.
PocketPills – A new Chambers Plan benefit
The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan is now offering prescription medication delivery for all Chambers Plan members through PocketPills.

PocketPills is a proudly Canadian online pharmacy and technology company that provides free home delivery for prescription medications — often by the next business day. They also offer direct access to their team of pharmacists by text, live chat, phone or email. And their app allows individuals to manage not only their own prescription needs, but also those of family members.

Plan members are also eligible for an extra 10% drug co-insurance coverage on prescription drugs filled through PocketPills. Get more coverage for the same cost to you and your employees.

Looking for more information on how to use this new benefit? For more than 17 years, Jack Insurance and Financial Services has helped Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce members design a Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance plan reflecting the size and requirements of their businesses. For more information, contact Ryan at Jack Insurance
Showcase your business at the 2021 Auction
Take a sneak peek at an incredible item available at the 2021 Virtual Chamber Auction from Nov. 7 – 14!
Take your picnic anywhere you go with an insulated picnic backpack! Including a blanket, bottle of wine and a $50 gift card to Red Barn Market – Kindly donated by Ruffell & Brown Interiors Ltd.
Interested in having your products or services showcased at our auction?
Fill out our 2021 Auction Donation Form, call (250) 383-7191 or email
As an event sponsor, Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics is offering donors complimentary delivery of their auction item to The Chamber Office.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
A chat with Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes
In our ongoing series of conversations with regional mayors, this week we chat with Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes. The District of Saanich is a diverse municipality with a mix of urban, industrial, commercial and urban areas.

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Mayor Haynes about evolving priorities for the near future and beyond.
Corporation of the District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Make this a well-staffed September

Make sure you’re well-staffed this September by making full use of The Chamber’s job board!

Chamber members receive one free 30-day job posting annually. With the help of The Chamber, get your seasonal and permanent positions featured on our website and in our weekly newsletter BizNews.

Enter the code INTRO2021 at checkout to claim your free post.
If you have any questions or need assistance uploading your job, please email
Member News
CIBC acquires Costco credit card portfolio

CIBC has become the exclusive credit card issuer for Costco in Canada. CIBC will acquire the existing credit card portfolio in 2022 and will bring forward new ways for members to save and earn rewards. Mastercard will remain as the exclusive payment network for Costco.
CIBC - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: Member since 1962
CIBC - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: Chamber Champion since 2020
Costco Wholesale Langford: Member since 1998
Green roofs on the rise

After nearly 10 years, the garden roof of the Vancity Savings Credit Union building in the District of Saanich has led to energy cost savings and significant environmental benefits. Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes, who has added a garden roof to his single-family home, encourages developers and companies to consider investing in this sustainable solution.

Vancity Savings Credit Union: Member since 2021

Corporation of the District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Camosun students create kelp seed launcher

Cascadia Seaweed has partnered with Camosun College to develop an award-winning product design. Four mechanical engineering students from Camosun were tasked to develop a kelp seed launcher aiming to improve the kelp seeding process. The students won an award for creating an innovative out-of-the-box solution. At the 2021 Greater Victoria Business Awards, Cascadia Seaweed was the winner of the Sustainable Business Practices Award.

Cascadia Seaweed: Member since 2021
Camosun College: Member since 1981
Cycling Safety a priority for Saanich

The District of Saanich is working to ensure that kids feel safe while riding their bikes to and from school. Over the last six years, Saanich has worked with the Capital Regional District (CRD) to develop safe routes to schools and projects to introduce students to cycling. New bollards, pavement markings and sidewalks are being created to improve safety and accessibility.

Corporation of the District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Capital Regional District (CRD): Member since 1993
Top-5 Apps for Work

Just in time for back to school, Douglas Magazine has created a list of the top-five apps to increase your productivity. From, an app that uses machine learning to transcribe your speech, to Mmhmm, a camera app that creates virtual backgrounds and slides for Zoom, take a look at new apps you can download today.
Douglas Magazine: Member since 2004
Kenmore Air celebrating 75 years of flight

Kenmore Air celebrates their 75th anniversary this year! To commemorate the milestone, Kenmore Air is offering $75 scenic flights, which include music and narrated highlights about Seattle. Since 1946, Kenmore Air has flown routes between BC and Washington state.
Kenmore Air: Member since 1987
Seaspan Shipyards supports growth of tech sector

Seaspan Victoria Shipyards has announced a three-year, $75,000 commitment to support the development of digital skills in BC. The BC Tech Association’s Digital Life Internship provides individuals with paid hands-on experiences in the tech sector. The funds will be used to attract talent to meet the growing demand for technology skills across the province.
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Member since 2002
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Chamber Champion since 2002
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