At the AGM & Mayoral Address hear how Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes plan to explore amalgamation between the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria.
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Your Chamber membership provides you with discounts on our benefit programs, opportunities to connect with our members throughout the region and supports your business through our advocacy efforts. Are you accessing all we have to offer? 

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or two tickets to YYJ Eats by completing the survey.
Support builds for giving civic vote to permanent residents
A movement to allow permanent residents the right to vote in civic elections is gaining momentum. Permanent residents have immigrated to Canada but have not yet attained citizenship
The Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities has lent its support to the resolution,  brought forward by the City of Victoria. The next step is to seek endorsement at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in September. If it wins approval there, the resolution will go to the province for a final decision.  
Immigration is a critical source of skills needed for our workforce.
Chamber News
Business Leaders Luncheons
April Business Mixer
Business Awards
YYJ Eats 2019
Event Photos
Upcoming Chamber Events

What opportunities are there for Canada's newest citizens and how can their skills contribute to our local workforce and economy? Find out during this conversation with federal Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed D. Hussen.
Thu, Apr 25 | 7:30-9 am     
The Union Club of British Columbia
805 Gordon St.


Chinook restrictions hurt fishing-dependent coastal communities
Tough rules designed to save endangered chinook stocks will force many Island communities to make painful adjustments to ensure they remain economically viable.
"On March 15, The Chamber hosted a Business Leaders Luncheon with the federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard ," said Catherine Holt, CEO of The Chamber , "so our members knew the department was working with data that would likely show bad news about Chinook stocks. What we want to know now is how the federal government plans to help support our Island's coastal communities that will bear the brunt of yesterday's announcement."
The new regulations require that, until mid-July, any Chinook salmon that are caught be released back into the ocean. After that, there will be limits on the number of Chinook that can be kept - one or two depending on the fishing grounds and month.

Read more:
April 16 - Business in Vancouver - Sport fishermen shocked at restrictions on chinook
Annual General Meeting & Mayoral Address
Residents of the City of Victoria and District of Saanich gave an enthusiastic yes when asked, "Are you in favour of spending up to $250,000 for establishing a Citizens' Assembly to explore the costs, benefits and disadvantages of the amalgamation between the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria?"

The Chamber is looking forward to a Citizen's Assembly examining the benefits for business resulting from amalgamation.

Hear how Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes plan to encourage this and other historic collaborations between the two municipalities.
Sponsored by:
Tue, May 7 | 11:30 am-1:30 pm 
Hotel Grand Pacific
463 Belleville St

Easter activities  
Not sure what to do for the Easter long-weekend? Why not plan a brunch with family or friends? There is still time to get a chocolate bunny and eggs for an Easter Egg hunt!
This weekend is hopping with egg-cellent festivities around town for people of all ages:
Please note The Chamber office will be closed from April 19-22. Hoppy Easter every-bunny!

Chamber wants answers from 'fair wages' commission
The provincial government's Fair Wages Commission is now seeking input on the gap between the minimum wage and a "living wage." The Chamber, with your input, will present to the commission. But before we do, we want to know what the province intends to do with the input it receives.  
The commission is stopping in eight BC cities, with Victoria the final destination on May 31. This is also the deadline for feedback.
The Chamber is concerned about any attempt by government to impose costs on businesses. There are many variables that go into wage considerations and we know that many businesses in Greater Victoria pay much higher than minimum wage in order to retain workers. A better approach for government would be to continue to focus on making living in Victoria more affordable. Government can create conditions for affordable housing, better public transit and more accessible child care - to help address three of the biggest costs facing employees.  
We'll have more coverage of this, and opportunities for our members to add their own input to the commission, in the next few weeks. If you have any questions or suggestions on this or any other advocacy effort, contact Jim Zeeben at
Trade Accelerator Program

Full bursaries available for a limited time, for qualifying companies.

Participating organizations experienced an average international sales growth of 70% within one year of completing the program. TAP can help penetrate new markets, and grow your workforce to meet increased global demand. Click here to watch a video on how TAP can help your business.

By enrolling in TAP Canada you can:
  • navigate complexities of the global trade ecosystem
  • leverage Canada's deep trade and investment resources
  • access tailored, face-to-face coaching and advice
  • learn about international best practices
This is a four-day course held over a six-week period. Victoria course dates are June 18, June 19, June 26 and July 24. Click here for more details.
Real estate industry moves to clean up money laundering
BC's real estate industry is taking an active role in cleaning up money laundering in the province.
Professional associations representing real estate agents, mortgage brokers, appraisers, and notaries public are teaming up with government to prevent criminal transactions. The industry group presented five recommendations, which have been embraced by BC Attorney General David Eby.
Eby spoke about problems with money laundering in BC during his speech at The Chamber's Business Leaders Luncheon on Nov. 7, 2018.

Members Around Town

Victoria's FARM among first licensed cannabis stores to officially open in BC  
The Original FARM Downtown officially opened its doors Apr. 15 as one of Victoria's first provincially licensed cannabis shops. The products now carried at FARM have been purchased through the Liquor Distribution branch from licensed producers across Canada. FARM is excited to introduce these new products developed by Canada's leading cannabis companies.  
Original FARM Downtown: member since 2018 
Honorary Colonels May 4th Black Tie Dinner and Auction
Murray Farmer, past Governors' Lifetime Achievement Award Winner and current Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's), is hosting The Canadian Scottish Regiment Honorary Colonels May 4th Dinner and Auction to commemorate the regiment's role in the D-Day landing at Juno Beach.
High-performance athletes benefit from Commonwealth Pool Fund   
The Province's $100,000 investment will support the Commonwealth Pool Operating Trust Fund, which reduces the costs associated with high-performance aquatics training at the pool - including swimming, triathlon, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo. This investment will also support more than 600 club-based athletes who use the facility's pool and other athletic resources. Following the 1994 Commonwealth Games hosted in Victoria, the Government of Canada, Province of B.C. and District of Saanich established the Saanich Commonwealth Place Operating Agreement as a legacy of the games.
District of Saanich: member since 2019  
Hungry Hearts shines bright for Our Place
Hungry Hearts, the foodie fundraiser for Our Place Society, raised a record $150,000 to help Victoria's most vulnerable people. Top local chefs and rising new talents fired up their culinary expertise and imagination in a fierce competition to see who could create the most popular savory and sweet bites. Guests were invited to "vote with their heart" in crowning their favourite dish. In a finger-licking finish, Chef Nicolas Hipperson of the Union Club of BC took home the Hungry Hearts Top Chef trophy for the first time with seared Atlantic scallop, English pea tortellini, carrot ginger emulsion, and pea shoot salad.  
Our Place Society: member since 2010    
The Union Club of BC: member since 1995 
Hotelier of the Year
British Columbia Hotel Association has recognized Ian Powell, Managing Director, Inn at Laurel Point & Paul's Motor Inn as hotelier of the year. The annual industry award recognizes an individual displaying management, leadership and communication skills at the highest levels of excellence along with a commitment to employees, community and the industry at large. This comes as no surprise, Inn at Laurel Point was last year's Business Award Winner for Outstanding Workplace
Inn at Laurel Point: member since 1991   
YYJ Eats   
Experience an exciting variety of gourmet food samples, local wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails created and presented by s ome of Victoria's most   popular  restaurants, breweries, wineries, cideries & spirit makers .
Tues, Jun 4 | 5-7 pm
St. Ann's Academy Historical Site
835 Humboldt St.
Sponsored by:  
Esquimalt aims to align bag ban with Saanich, Victoria
Esquimalt is poised to be the next Greater Victoria municipality to reduce single-use plastic bags. The township hopes to finalize its regulation by this summer, and have it take effect Jan. 1, 2020.
Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardin told CHEK news that the municipality is working to ensure its bylaw aligns with those in place in Saanich and Victoria. The Chamber advocates for consistent bag use regulation across the region to make it easier for business. 
Make Every Day Earth Day
Businesses need to adapt to climate change or face extinction says Forbes Magazine. Going green is good for business - think less waste, less resource use and smarter choices. Take advantage of funding and incentive programs offered by the Government of Canada for greening your business. There are local options too - The Chamber is proud to be Vancouver Island Green Business Certified.
In honour of Earth Day, join our members in celebrating:
Being green is good for everyone: people, planet, profit. Let's try to make every day earth day!
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