December 4, 2019
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Victoria Council's 'motion sickness' self-induced
The public has made it clear that a request by Victoria Councillors to have their pay increased by 55% is out of line. More than 86% of the 5,110 people who participated in an online survey “strongly disagreed” with increasing councillors’ pay to $70,100 a year — the median income of a city staffer.

Clearly, there is a lot wrong with this approach. The Grumpy Taxpayers called it boneheaded and the editorial departments of local media have called out the idea as “ tone deaf” and one of numerous “ follies.”

The Chamber has been vocal that a better solution is for Victoria council to focus on the many critical decisions needed to help staff run the city effectively. In the past year, Victoria council has made a whopping 752 motions and The Chamber estimates almost 350 were related to issues outside of Victoria's 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.

The next step is for council to accept the survey results and focus on the vital work needed to run the city.
Chamber announces 2020 Member of the Year
Rahim Khudabux, owner and general manager of Max Furniture , has been named Chamber Member of the Year for 2020!

Khudabux told the Times Colonist that he was surprised to win the honour, and that the award from The Chamber is a reflection of work done by his entire team.

“Rahim is passionate about The Chamber and an awesome role model for other members,” says Dan Dagg, Chair of The Chamber’s Board of Directors.

The Chamber Member of the Year award recognizes an individual who has served as a volunteer at The Chamber, has taken an active role with the board or committees, fosters relationships with the community and advocates on behalf of business.

Nominations for all 12 categories of the 2020 Greater Victoria Business Awards are open now until January. Finalists will be announced in February.
Max Furniture: Member since 2008
Give the gift of recognition this holiday season!
Nominate your favourite local business for the 2020 Greater Victoria Business Awards.

From start-ups to local legends, the awards shine a light on hard-working businesses, business people and community leaders in 12 categories worth celebrating. Finalists are chosen by an independent panel of prominent business leaders who serve as judges.

See categories and judging criteria for details at
World first as HarbourAir tests commercial e-plane
The history-making first flight of HarbourAir ’s prototype electric plane is set for next Wednesday. It's believed to be the world's first flight of a commercial electric plane.

A HarbourAir test pilot will take off in a Beaver seaplane fitted with a 750 horsepower all-electric magni500 propulsion system. The flight will happen at Vancouver airport’s south terminal.

Current technology still needs regulatory approval and is only appropriate for short flights, such as between Victoria and Vancouver or Nanaimo. However, the plan is to eventually have a fleet of electric seaplanes that can carry passengers on extended trips.
HarbourAir: Member since 1993
UVic researchers turn greenhouse gas into rock
An innovative solution that turns greenhouse gas into rock is being developed in Victoria by international researchers, including Chamber members.

The University of Victoria’s Pacific Institute of Climate Solutions (PICS) and Oceans Network Canada are working on extracting CO 2 from the air and then using ocean-based wind and solar energy to inject the CO 2 into basalt below the seafloor. The process mineralizes the CO 2 into solid carbonate rock.

Testing will continue for four years to determine the best technology before a “live” demonstration at Ocean Networks Canada’s observatory site is conducted.

“Drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are essential but not sufficient to combat climate change,” said PICS executive director Sybil Seitzinger, in a news release, adding a feasible solution could eventually be used in oceans around the world. “The ultimate goal is to develop a commercially viable solution to support negative emissions by 2050.”

Ocean Networks Canada: Member since 2019
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
Victoria unveils next phase in bike lane network
The next phase of bike lanes in Victoria is focused on connecting neighbourhoods to the downtown core. City staff are now doing the planning for four more corridors:

  • Kings – Haultain
  • Government Street North
  • Richardson Street
  • Kimta Road

The next public open house is planned for tomorrow, from 4 to 7:30 pm, at the Bayview Place Presentation Centre.

Victoria has approved building 32 kilometres of bike lanes that are accessible to all ages and abilities. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Saanich takes practical approach to plastic bag ban
Saanich has taken a practical approach to limit single-use plastic bags in the municipality.

Saanich Council voted to rescind its former bylaw because it was based on a City of Victoria bylaw that was struck down by the BC Court of Appeal. Saanich then introduced essentially an identical bylaw but have formally asked the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to approve the regulation. The move addresses the court's concern that the original bylaw was focused on environmental regulation — an area outside the purview of municipalities.

The Chamber supported Victoria's bylaw as it was based on extensive consultation with businesses. The Chamber also encouraged other municipalities to adopt the same bylaw to ensure the regulations are the same for businesses and consumers throughout the region.

Saanich's move makes sense for taxpayers, and shows council understands the scope of its role.

District of Saanich: Member since 2018
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

“It isn’t only about pay anymore for retaining employees — people want to have a fun and healthy work environment. Because they spend most of their day at work, everyone wants to enjoy coming to work and look forward to it. No one wants to hate going to work and, in a job market like this, they will just make a change, so try and create a work environment that is healthy and fun for the staff but also productive and efficient to ensure business success”

Rahim Khudabux,
General Manager of Max Furniture
The Chamber comes with numerous benefits , for your team including The Chamber’s Group Insurance Plans. Contact us for details.
What's ahead for 2020
Business Leader's Luncheon:
Shayne Ramsey, CEO, BC Housing
Tues, Jan 28 | 11:30 am - 1 pm
Union Club of BC
805 Gordon Street  
Hear CEO, Shayne Ramsay, discuss how BC Housing is at the forefront of creating solutions to our province's affordable housing crisis.
Thu, Jan 9 | 12-1 pm
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
100 - 852 Fort St.
Thu. Jan. 23 | 4:30-6:30 pm
Future Home of Max Furniture
3460 Quadra Street
Sponsored by:
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*
Tis’ the season for sustainability
This holiday season, be sure to shop locally and sustainably! Follow these Chamber tips to help your local community and the earth as a whole.

  1. Make your own gifts from reusable materials, such as knitting with wool, or baking.
  2. Give the gift of time by visiting a local park, museum or art gallery with a loved one.
  3. Donate to a non-profit or charity, and put the donation in your gift recipient's name.
  4. Buy pre-owned goods from a charitable organization to reuse perfectly good items.
  5. Give a beautiful floral arrangement or other plant: a truly green gift!

Supporting your community this Christmas can be done by shopping locally, sustainably and ethically.
Members Around Town
New head of Royal and McPherson

The Royal and McPherson Theatres Society has named Franz Lehrbass as their new executive director. With a background in classical music performance and audio engineering, Franz will begin leading the organization on Jan 21.
Royal and McPherson Theatres Society: members since 1976
Berwick Retirement Communities honored

Gordon Denford, founder and chairman of Berwick Retirement Communities has received the inaugural B.C. Senior Living Association Pioneer Award.

The award was presented in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of Berwick House, and is in recognition of Denford's contribution and positive impact to the senior living industry.

Berwick was named Chamber Business of the Year (40+ employees) in 2019.
Berwick Retirement Communities: member since 1970
Ice cream for a cause

This month, Cold Comfort Ice Cream will be donating 100% of scooped ice cream sales to the Umbrella Society. The Umbrella Society provides programs to support those who have or are affected by substance abuse.

Donations will help make counselling, housing, and outreach offered by the Umbrella Society more accessible.
Cold Comfort Ice Cream: members since 2017

Umbrella Society: members since 2018
$1-Million to UVic

The University of Victoria has received $1 million from Coast Capital Savings for the university's Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre.

Innovators and entrepreneurs at UVic will be able to use this centre for financial support as well as mentorship opportunities.

Since 2016, the centre has led to the creation of 70 startup companies.
Coast Capital Savings: members since 2011
University of Victoria: member since 1976
Welcome to our newest members!
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