November 20, 2019
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Do you oppose a 50% pay hike for Victoria council?
Make sure to have your say tomorrow
As a strong advocate for good governance, The Chamber is concerned about a City of Victoria motion that would greatly expand the scope of elected officials and give councillors a 50% pay raise.

Our members have been vocal in their opposition to such a pay hike, and Chamber CEO Catherine Holt spoke with the media to offer alternative solutions for council to consider.

Make sure to have your say by filling out the City of Victoria’s online budget survey . You can also participate in person or online in a Budget Town Hall tomorrow.

The issue came to light after the Times Colonist reported on a question embedded in the survey seeking approval for a $25,700 increase in pay for councillors. The motion does not include the mayor’s salary.
New solution needed for Victoria police
It’s clearly time to take a serious look at how police services are delivered in Greater Victoria. For the second year in a row, the provincial government’s Minister of Public Safety has been asked to wade into funding decisions in the City of Victoria to ensure police have enough resources to keep citizens safe.

“It’s unfortunate it has to go to this,” Minister Mike Farnworth told the Times Colonist, adding that the decision ought to be resolved by Esquimalt and Victoria, who fund the Victoria Police Department.

The Victoria Police Board is asking for money to cover four new positions that were rejected during the budget process last year. Esquimalt was willing to pay for two of the positions, but Victoria council refused to support any of the new roles.

With the mayors of Esquimalt and Victoria calling for a regional police force, The Chamber agrees that it’s paramount that BC’s capital city remains a safe community.

The province could pay for a police force focused on the downtown and legislative precinct, or work to encourage case loads and resources — as well as 911 calls — are more efficiently shared by a regional police service.

See Chamber CEO Catherine Holt’s column:
Victoria Police Department: Member since 2008
Victoria 3.0 - Pivoting to a Higher Economy:
Small Business and Finance Roundtable
Businesses have a chance to help guide the City of Victoria’s economic plan for the next two decades. 
A roundtable discussion tonight , from 6 to 8 pm at city hall, will include small business and financial institutions, with the goal of helping the city develop its next economic action plan, Victoria 3.0 – Pivoting to a Higher Value Economy. 
The roundtable, one of a series being presented by the city, is open to anyone running a small business or financial institution in Victoria, especially those operating downtown.
Wed, Nov 20 | 6-8 pm
Victoria City Hall, Antechamber
1 Centennial Square
BC MPs retain four seats in federal cabinet
Two of BC’s four federal ministers were given new roles today as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet for the first time since winning a minority government on Oct. 21.

Vancouver South MP Harjit Sajjan will continue as Minister of National Defence.
Canada’s new high-profile Minister of Environment and Climate Change is North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson, who spoke to Chamber members in March as Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray continues as the Ministry of Digital Government. Murray was also the President of Canada’s Treasury Board when she met with a small group of Greater Victoria business leaders as a guest of The Chamber in March.

Delta MP Carla Qualtrough, formerly Public Services Minister, is now Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.
Canadian Chamber calls for provinces to drop trade barriers
Making it easier for businesses to trade between provinces would increase Canada’s GDP by 3% to 7%, adding as much as $130 billion to the economy, says a recent report .

“The sad truth is that, in many cases, Canadian companies can trade more easily with other countries than they can between provinces,” the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said in a news release

The Canadian Chamber says the problem is political will, with only Alberta and Manitoba removing exceptions to inter-provincial trade under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
Find your next employee
Whether you’re a CEO, small business owner, or a manager looking for talent, finding and retaining employees is crucial. Recently, The Chamber launched a job board to help.

For the remainder of 2019, Chamber members can post up to five jobs for free using the promo code: INTRO. Learn more about how to post here .
Chamber Member Tip of the Week

“Employers need to be flexible in regards to retaining an employee as it really depends on the employee's needs and what motivates them. It might be a specific amount of flex days instead of sick days; it might be accommodating start/end times if they have kids; it might be giving them the occasional option to work from home.”
Rose Arsenault, 
Branch Manager of Agilus
The Chamber comes with numerous benefits , for your team including The Chamber’s Group Insurance Plans. Contact us for details.
Make Connections and Grow Your Network
Tomorrow - Last Business Mixer of the decade!
Don't miss our last mixer of the decade! The Victoria Golf Club has generously donated a one-year social membership valued at $2,000.

  • Full clubhouse privileges (Macan’s, pro shop, lesson)
  • Use of clubhouse lounges and facilities with a wide range of social and special events year round
  • Unlimited dining year round
  • Exclusive ability to host events at the club (e.g. wedding receptions, business meetings)

Bring your business card to enter to win!
Victoria Golf Club
1110 Beach Dr
Sponsored by:
Tues, Dec 3 | 4-6 pm
The Commons
614 Humboldt St.
Sponsored by:
Thu, Jan 9 | 12-1 pm
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
100 - 852 Fort St.
ICBC ‘profits’ should go to drivers, Eby say
BC’s attorney general plans to introduce a law that will prohibit government from using ICBC profits as general revenue.

BC AG David Eby says any ICBC surplus needs to be used to reduce insurance rates for drivers. He noted that, from 2010 to 2016, the previous government padded provincial budgets with $1.2 billion in ICBC profits.

However, the new law will be meaningless unless ICBC returns to profitability. In the past two years, ICBC lost $2.5 billion due to increased legal fees and a rise in claims.
Wear a bow tie to honour our departing chair, Dan Dagg!
Holiday Health Tips
With so much to do during the holiday season, it’s important to keep your immune system strong. Avoid those colds and flus that take down so many people this time of year by following these tips!

  1. Stay Active. Visit a local gym/ fitness facility to keep your immune system in fighting shape.
  2. Drink water. Staying hydrated flushes out harmful germs and bacteria from your body.
  3. Wash your hands. Experts say handwashing can kill 99.9% of germs on your hands!
  4. Eat Healthier foods. Have great ingredients delivered to your door or pick them up at a grocery store.
  5. Pick up some immune boosting supplements such as Vitamin C and Zinc.
  6. Visit a health & wellness counsellor to learn how to manage stress of the holidays.
  7. Get your flu shot at a local pharmacy.
  8. Take advantage of your Chamber Plan health benefits, which includes access to Teladoc — the ability to connect with a licensed doctor by phone and receive advice and prescriptions when necessary.

Above all, it is important to take care of yourself during this holiday season. Your colleagues will thank you for not getting them sick, and you’ll recover faster if you give yourself the time to rest.
Hosting a Holiday event? We want to hear from you!

Submit your event to [email protected] to have it added to our Community Events calendar. *Members Only*
Nominations open for 2020 Business Awards
Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.
The Outstanding Customer Service award honours a business that:
  • Demonstrates exceptional customer service
  • Serves as a role model, mentor or example of excellence to other businesses
  • Exhibits a commitment to the community.

Can provide up to 10 testimonials from customers dated within the last 2 years. 
Need inspiration? Check out the videos of our 2019 finalists for Outstanding Customer Service.

Thanks to the Innvo8 Digital Solutions Inc. for sponsoring this award.
Finalist:  Connect Hearing  
Members Around Town
F estival of Trees underway

On Nov. 21, the Festival of Trees will once again be showcased throughout the Bay Centre.

The event, which has been Victoria’s unofficial kick-off to the holiday season, has been an annual celebration for the last 27 years.

The Festival of Trees is a fundraiser for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, and, last year, $387,659 was raised to support children’s healthcare across the province.

Entry is by donation, and visitors are asked to vote on their favorite trees, sponsored by local businesses.
Bay Centre: member since 1990
BC Children’s Hospital Foundation: member since 2016
All booked up for Guinness

Russell Books has recently earned the Guinness world record for the largest tower made of books.

The six-metre tower was built at the opening of Russell's new location at 747 Fort St.

Without the use of glue, adhesive, or other structural support, the remarkable tower used 1,000 books.

All were donated editions of the Guinness Book of World Record, including some dating back to 1962.
Russell Books: member since 1999
Prince of Whales acquires North Island Kayak

Prince of Whales has recently purchased North Island Kayak, a kayak rental and tour company operating out of Telegraph Cove.

Adding to their regular fleet, they will now also have 130 kayaks.
Prince of Whales: member since 2002
Islander earns international acclaim

The founder of Flytographer was featured in Forbes Women recently. Victoria's Nicole Smith has qualified for the 2019 EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program. To qualify, a business must be owned by a woman and generate a minimum of $2 million in revenue for the past two years.

A rare accomplishment, according to American Express' 2019 report on the State of Women-Owned Businesses. Only 1.7% of all women-owned businesses pass the the $1 million mark. Fewer yet maintain the year-over-year growth. Congrats Nicole!

Flytographer: member since 2015

American Express: member since 2019
Canada’s first non-alc gin

Sheringham Distillery has recently unveiled Canada’s first non-alcoholic gin. “Lumette!” contains a variety of botanicals including mint and rose, and provides complex flavours similar to a regular spirit.

This “bright, light alt-gin” will be available for purchase later this month, and will be a great addition to any seasonal cocktail party.

Sheringham Distillery: member since 2018
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