Over 300 people made new connections at The Chamber and Tourism Victoria Business Mixer last week. Hosted by PARC Retirement Living at the Royal Theatre it was a great way to kick off 2018! Click here to see the photos.
Building Good Business: Advocacy Priorities 2018   
The Chamber engages, supports, and informs the business community to shape dialogue and identify issues of concern to member businesses. The 2018 Advocacy Priorities are as follows:
1. Attracting and Retaining Workers
a. Adequate Labour Supply
b. Affordable and Available Housing
c. Improving Regional Transportation
d. Affordable & Available Child Care
2. Effective Local Governance & Services
3. Improving the Regional Economy
4. Fair Regulations
5. Finding Climate Change Solutions
6. Safe Communities
Click here to learn more about each of these proposed priorities.  
The Chamber is at its most effective when backed by an active and informed membership. To that end, if you think we've missed an important issue, make sure you let us know what you'd like addressed.  

Chamber News
Peter Legge Luncheon
Chamber Week
Business Leaders Luncheons
Marketplace Mixer
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos

Call 250-595-8676 or email pmarshall@tec-canada.com for more info.
Wild Weather on Vancouver Island
This past week Vancouver Island has been hit with some intense weather systems. 

Over the weekend Mount Washington Alpine Resort wa
Mount Washington
s buried under over 100 cm of snow in only 24 hrs. The resort was closed for all of Sunday as staff spent the day assisting stranded guests, digging the lifts and cars out of the snow, among other things. With more snow in the forecast Mount Washington should be prepared for a long powdery season!

Meanwhile in Greater Victoria, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel sustained damage to its large mineral bath and hot tubs after high winds caused waves to smash over its glass fences early Sunday morning. The  mineral bath was scheduled to undergo a full refresh later this month, and is now scheduled to reopen Jan 29th; however, the two smaller hot tubs will be back in service today.

Finally a tsunami warning was issued early Tuesday morning following a large earthquake off the coast of Alaska. Fortunately the warning was cancelled earlier in the morning, but it's a good reminder that emergencies can happen at any time. If you didn't know about it as fast as you would've liked, you can sign up for the City of Victoria's free emergency notification service Vic-Alert . It was used to inform subscribers by text, phone and email about the tsunami warning. You don't have to be a resident of Victoria to sign up.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort: member since 2017
Oak Bay Beach Hotel: member since 2011
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Rick Mercer at UVic
Last week the Rick Mercer Report launched its 2018 - and final - season on CBC. A recent episode features the comedian and satirist's visit to University of Victoria campus in which Rick gets a brainwave assessment in Olav Krigolson's neuroeconomics lab, test-drives a 3D-printed prosthetic at the Victoria Hand Project lab and finishing on a high note, attempts to sing opera with music professor Benjamin Butterfield.

Rick gets a brainwave assessment in Olav's neuroeconomics lab. Watch the full video here.

"This campus has it all," Rick says in the video. "Beautiful on the outside, cutting-edge on the inside."

University of Victoria: member since 1976
E&N Corridor, Highway 14 & Douglas St. Bus Lanes
The BC Ministry of Transportation has earmarked $10 million in upgrades for the Highway 14 corridor. The multiple phase project aims to boost safety, reduce congestion, and keep people moving from Langford to Port Renfrew. 
At the press conference for this announcement, Premier Horgan spoke on the future of the E&N corridor stating in a Times Colonist article, " We have an unused corridor that stretches from Comox right into the city and it's underutilized," he said. "That's stupid and we need to fix that. I know everyone here agrees with that. The challenge is what's the mode and what's the least [costly] way to make that happen?"
Horgan said Esquimalt-Metchosin NDP MLA Mitzi Dean is leading discussions with First Nations and regional governments on the issue, but wants to avoid another study.
The Province and the Greater Victoria Transit Committee also announced funding to expand the Douglas St. bus priority lanes from Tolmie Ave to Hillside Ave, adding another piece to the ongoing project.

The Chamber is pleased to see the future of the E&N corridor and expanding bus lanes from downtown Victoria to Langford is in the forefront of BC government's plans. It is a start to easing congestion in Greater Victoria.
Did You Meet @ The Chamber?
One of The Chamber's main purposes is helping members  make valuable business connections and we'd love to hear how The Chamber connected you. Tell us about a valuable connection you made through The Chamber for a chance to be featured in BizNews and other Chamber materials.

To share your story, click here.
BC Ferries Smoking Ban
Effective Mon, Jan 22, BC Ferries officially became a smoke-free environment, banning all smoking substances including tobacco and e-cigarettes at all terminals, on vessels, and in the interior of any vehicles parked on their property.

"As enforcement, it will be an education process," said Deborah Marshall, BC Ferries executive director of public affairs in an article with Victoria News. "Our employees would be explaining to a customer that if somebody was smoking that we are now a smoke free environment and we would appreciate if they would extinguish their cigarette."

BC Ferries: member since 1981

Woodwynn Farms' Uncertain Future  
The Creating Homefulness Society that
Catherine Holt, Ian Batey and Richard Leblanc at Woodwynn Farms in May.
operates Woodwynn Farms has been struggling for a decade to get fully operational. On Jan 18, it was announced that the philanthropists who bought the property have started foreclosure proceedings.
This follows a Nov 9, 2017 decision by the province's Agricultural Land Commission to refuse an application for non-farm use (housing farm workers undergoing therapy) by the society. The Central Saanich-area property, which falls under the agriculture land reserve, was bought in 2009 to create a long term therapeutic community and operating farm to serve recovering addicts.   

"Especially given the fentanyl crisis, this is the wrong outcome for our community," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "We need long-term services that help people addicted to drugs and alcohol avoid churning through short-term housing and treatment so they can have a real opportunity to change their lives."
On Sept 7, 2017, Woodwynn Farms hosted The Chamber for a Harvest Dinner which showcased farm-fresh heirloom fruits and veggies, and poultry. During dessert, Richard Leblanc, founder and executive director at Woodwynn Farms spoke about the high success rate of the therapeutic community approach and the extreme need for it in our region.  
Woodwynn Farms: member since 2017
Amazon HQ2 Shortlist  
After months of speculation , bets and hefty competition  between cities across North America, the race is nearly won. Amazon has selected 20 finalists  to house its second headquarters  - and Toronto is the only Canadian city to make the shortlist.

Unlike its competitors Toronto did not offer any financial incentives to Amazon. Instead, the Ontario government pledged to boost support for students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and those studying artificial intelligence (AI).
Amazon plans to invest more than $5 billion into the project and hire 50,000 highly paid employees in the city housing it.
2018 Marketplace Mixer - Booths On Sale!

Exhibitors, showcase your businesses to over 300 people, including Chamber members and the public. Book your booth early to avoid disappointment!

  Times Colonist
Maximize your exposure.  
Full colour Times Colonist advertising is available for $100. Creative services provided by the Times Colonist for no additional cost. Limited supply.

Thu, Mar 15 | 4-7 pm
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa
100 Harbour Rd.
The Dynamic Beast crane barge is returning to Victoria this weekend to install the 46-metre long bridge deck span and the steel roadway infill panel , the last of
the major components for the new Johnson Street Bridge. During the work to complete this major milestone in the new bridge's construction, the existing Johnson Street Bridge will be closed from 7 am Sat until 5 pm on Sun to all pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

The new bridge will look essentially complete with these major pieces in place, but there is still work to be completed before it is ready to open to the public at the end of March. This includes a comprehensive series of tests of the mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems.

Ready for 2018?
Make sure your business info is up to date in The Chamber's online business directory, a powerful tool that helps people find your business while strengthening your online presence. 
  • Is your business name correct? 
  • Is your main contact correct?   
  • Is your address and postal code correct?
  • Is your phone number current?
  • Are there any changes to your website address or social media accounts?
  • Are you still in the right category? 
Not sure how to login and update your listing? Email us and we'll be happy to help. Our online directory listing is a phenomenal tool for promoting your business online and we want to make it work for you.

Want to give your business a little more exposure? Click here to book your ad in Biznews, Chamber Events or on victoriachamber.ca.
Welcome to Our Newest Members!  


Photo Luc Cardinal

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