BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins, City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and BC Hydro CEO Chris O'Riley
Join us for lunch and connect with local leaders while getting first hand updates on BC Ferries, BC Hydro and the City of Victoria directly from the person in charge. Going to more than one? Save 10% on each additional event you attend in the series.
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Your Chamber membership provides you with discounts on our benefit programs, opportunities to connect with the business community and supports your business through its advocacy efforts. Are you getting your full membership value? 

Help us help you! Enter to win round-trip flights to Vancouver for two from Helijet
or two tickets to YYJ Eats by completing the survey.
Tax Season has arrived 
Is it tax season already? Don't let taxes get away from you! This year's tax deadline is April 30th. If you're self-employed, the CRA extends the filing deadline to June 15th but will begin assessing interest on tax due as of on April 30th.

For more helpful 2018 tax tips, click

Do you need help with your taxes? Check out our Accounting, Bookkeeping & Tax Services members.

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes" - Benjamin Franklin 

Chamber News
Business Leaders Luncheons
AGM & Mayoral Address
Premier John Horgan Luncheon
Governor of the Bank of Canada Luncheon
YYJ Eats
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos
Alberta and BC face off over Trans Mountain Pipeline
A war of words between the Alberta and BC legislatures broke out this week, after Kinder Morgan Canada announced on Sunday that it was suspending work on the $7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline.

On Tuesday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said her government is looking into whether it can reduce oil flows to BC in order to spike gas prices and pressure the BC government. Alberta and Kinder Morgan are upset with protests and delays to the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which would triple the capacity of oil flowing from northern Alberta to Burnaby.

"We believe we need to grow the economy, while protecting the environment,"   BC Premier John Horgan said in reply to Sunday's announcement. "We want to work to address these challenges together. But we will always stand up for British Columbians, our environment and the thousands of jobs that depend on our coast."

Kinder Morgan has set a May 31 deadline to resolve the issue. Notley is meeting with the Federal Government this week to try and keep the project moving ahead.

Join the Greater Victoria, Saanich Peninsula, WestShore, Sooke Region and Esquimalt Chambers to hear Premier John Horgan speak on his government's vision for the Province of British Columbia as well as regional priorities.
Sponsored by:
Tue, May 15 | 11:15 am-1 pm 
Crystal Gardens , 720 Douglas St.  

Members Around Town
Douglas Magazine's 10 to Watch 
Now in their ninth year, Douglas Magazine's 10 to Watch Awards recognize Vancouver Island's best new companies, which have been in business for three years or less. Chamber member winners include Stride Properties and HYAS Infosec Inc. Read more about them here.
Douglas Magazine: member since 2004 
Stride Properties: member since 2017 
HYAS Infosec Inc.: member since 2016
HarbourCats donate proceeds to Humboldt Broncos 
The Victoria HarbourCats are donating all merchandise sales this week to the Humboldt Broncos to help after last Friday's bus crash that killed 15 people. The organization, like many youth sports teams, knows all about long bus trips and was deeply affected by the tragedy.
Victoria HarbourCats: member since 2012 

Direct seaplane flight from Vancouver to Seattle
Daily seaplane service, through a collaboration between Harbour Air Seaplanes and Seattle's Kenmore Air, is set to launch April 26.  The operators will start with 20 flights a week, two round-trips each way Monday to Friday. The idea was to create a quick shuttle between the two cities that tech workers can use to bypass long lines at the border and lengthy commutes to and from Vancouver International Airport.
Harbour Air Seaplanes / Westcoast Air / Whistler Air: member since 1993
 Kenmore Air: member since 1987 
Rugby Canada opens new training complex  
Rugby Canada's new Al Charron Training Centre is officially open in Langford. Named after one of Canada's greatest players, funding for the two-storey, 1,900 square-metre training centre came in the form of $2.9 million from the federal government through the Building Canada Fund, $2.5 million in a repayable contribution from the City of Langford and $2.6 million so far in private donations.
Rugby Canada: member since 2013 
Memorial services for Chief Andy
Greater Victoria lost a powerful voice for First Nations on Saturday as Esquimalt Nation hereditary Chief Andrew Thomas died unexpectedly.

Known by many as Chief Andy, he earned a reputation as a caring leader who worked diligently to protect his community and served as an integral member of Greater Victoria Harbour Authority Board of Directors

  • A private memorial service for Chief Andy's close friends and community members is planned for 7 pm tonight, April 11, in the Esquimalt Nation Big House.
  • A funeral service will be held tomorrow, April 12 at 9 am at the Big House, next to the Esquimalt Nation Band office at 1189 Kosapsum Cr.


Chamber staff win award!
We are excited to announce that
Emara, Sophie and Cheryl Wirch-Ryckman, The Chamber's Director of Operations
Sophie Clodge, our Office  Manager and Emara Angus, our Membership and Marketing Coordinator, won a United Way of Greater Victoria Spirit Award in the Outstanding Employee Campaign Chair Under 100 Employees category. This nomination recognizes the fundraising campaign Sophie and Emara led this past December to raise awareness and funds for the United Way of Greater Victoria.

The campaign kicked off with a Holiday Open House at The Chamber with more than 100 people in attendance. Donations of holiday tea from Silk Road, delicious treats from Crust Bakery and door prizes from Lifestyle Markets and Max Furniture added to the spirit of giving. Alongside the Open House, there were bake sales, guest presentations and staff pledges to raise funds for the charity.

United Way of Greater Victoria: member since 1972

Silk Road: member since 2015

Crust Bakery: member since 2016

Lifestyle Markets: member since 2015

Max Furniture: member since 2008
The City of Victoria needs a parking plan 
Message from Chamber CEO Catherine Holt    
This article originally appeared in the April Business Examiner.

Downtown Victoria has a great reputation as a compact, walkable city. It's a wonderful place to bike to work or explore from your hotel, which is great.

What isn't great is the lack of a plan from the City for addressing a growing shortage of parking. The City continues to own and run its trusty parkades and surface lots and to put a priority on preserving on-street parking in the city centre. What has been lost is parking on private property. There have been 1,800 parking stalls lost to development in the last decade. Another 400 will be lost over the next few years.

Having more residents in the condos that now occupy these lots means downtown business have more potential customers within walking distance. But the building boom has also directly contributed to a drastic reduction in parking stalls.


The start of cruise season
The first cruise ship of 2018 arrived at Ogden Point in Victoria today, signaling the unofficial start to our region's summer tourist season. The 936-foot and 1,840 passenger Westerdam was due in port at 1 pm, but was delayed in docking due to high winds. It is the first of 245 ships scheduled for this year - three more than in 2017.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority expects more than   600,000 visitors will arrive by cruise ship, generating $130 million in economic activity by the end of cruise season on Oct 25.
Save big on your next Business Leaders Luncheon tickets!  

Save 10% when you purchase tickets to two or more of our upcoming Business Leaders Luncheons.

Business Leaders Luncheons are a fantastic opportunity to hear from industry and political leaders in the community. They also provide members an opportunity to network with each other and even the speaker themselves!

Wed, Apr 18
11:30 am-1 pm

Sponsored by
Annual General Meeting
& Mayoral Address

Tue, May 1
11:30 am-1:30 pm

Sponsored by
Chris O'Riley
CEO of BC Hydro
Wed, June 13
11:30 am-1 pm

Sponsored by
Smooth sailing at Victoria Shipyards

Multiple high-value public and private sector contracts at Victoria Shipyards means the operation's payroll for this and the next two years will exceed $210 million in total, said Joe O'Rourke, vice-president and general manager in a Times Colonist article. Currently about 800 workers are on the job at Victoria Shipyards and numbers are expect to reach more than 1,000 several times this year.

Current and upcoming projects:
  • Norwegian Sun - 848-foot-long cruise ship in for 16-day refit
  • New Zealand frigate Te Kaha - combat systems replaced
  • HMCS Corner Brook and HMCS Victoria - Canada's submarine maintenance program
See more upcoming projects here.

These contracts add  more to the local economy than the contract value in excess of  hundreds of millions of dollars. It means more jobs, more work for local suppliers and businesses and spending by visiting workers will deliver a major economic impact to the capital region.

Victoria Shipyards: member since 2002
Province expands job leaves for workers
Provincial Labour Minister Harry Bains announced significant changes to the Employment Standards Act this week, expanding or adding new categories for compassionate leaves from work.

Expectant mothers will be able to take maternity leave up to 13 weeks before their due date, and can take up to 18 months of leave with their jobs protected under the new law. The change aligns with federal employment insurance benefits.

Parents grieving the loss of a child under 19 will be able to take up 104 weeks off work on unpaid leave, and have their jobs protected. The province will also allow parents of a child who goes missing because of a crime to take up to 52 weeks off on unpaid leave.
Welcome to Our Newest Members!  



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