Bank of Canada
More than 400 community leaders packed the Crystal Garden this afternoon , June 27, for the Governor of the Bank of Canada Luncheon, sponsored by  Odlum Brown Limited and the City of Victoria. Click here to see the photos.
With the eyes of Canada's finance industry glued to every word of the speech, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen S. Poloz detailed how and why the bank needs to communicate more clearly to Canadians. The financial media was poised to pounce on any hint of an interest rate hike, but Poloz steered clear of foreshadowing what the Bank will do at its next rate announcement on July 11.
With ongoing rhetoric about an escalating trade war between Canada and the U.S. and actual tariffs imposed by U.S. President Trump on Canadian steel and aluminum, economic forecasters need to be careful to make sure they're working with facts.
"We are data dependent, not headline dependent," Poloz said, noting that the Canadian economy is operating near capacity and inflation is on target. Poloz said the economy has hit a "sweet spot," though there has been less investment by business than had been forecast.
The bank does have a "notional idea" that investment is being held back because of uncertainty caused by rhetoric, but the data doesn't exist to inform policy.
"Having the occasional data point that didn't fit market expectations is not the sort of thing that throws that entire narrative off course," he said.
Chamber News
Auction Donations
Summer Social Series
The Business of Cannabis
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos
Cannabis business coming 
The Federal Government announced Oct. 17 as the date when retailers will be able to legally sell cannabis for non-medicinal uses. With this news, and the fact the City of Victoria has issued business licenses to 10 cannabis businesses that met Victoria's rigorous licensing requirements, The Chamber has welcomed The Original FARM Downtown as its first cannabis-focused retail member.

On Oct. 10, The Chamber is hosting a panel called The Business of Cannabis. Find out what regulations affect the sale of cannabis and what this emerging industry means for businesses in Victoria and the global opportunities. See the speakers here.

Last Friday, the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch selected Shopify as the platform it will use to sell recreational cannabis to the public online.

City of Victoria: member since 1962
The Original FARM Downtown: member since 2018
Brewmaster's Dinner

Join us for a fun evening featuring award winning beer from Lighthouse Brewing Company Inc. and a four-course BBQ dinner prepared by Jones Bar-B-Que served long-table style in one of downtown Victoria's most iconic spaces. Not a beer drinker? We will have non-alcoholic options at the event.
Sponsored by:
Thu, Aug 16 | 5:30-9 pm
Market Square - Anthem Properties
39-560 Johnson St.

Victoria and Saanich agree on amalgamation question

It's a small step in the right direction. Last night, Victoria and Saanich councils held a special meeting to work out the wording of a question that will be presented to voters in both municipalities on the Oct. 20 election ballots.
"Are you in favour of spending [an amount to be determined] 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 key to the question is that it specifies a Citizens' Assembly will be used to take a non-partisan and objective look at the pros and cons of merging Greater Victoria's two largest municipalities. The challenge will be ensuring voters see this primarily as an opportunity for an assembly, and not a vote on whether to spend a specific amount.  
The Chamber is an advocate for better governance through fewer governments, and CEO Catherine Holt has written about the benefits of a Citizenss Assembly.
A Citizens' Assembly was the approach taken by North Cowichan and Duncan. Despite a recommendation from the Citizens' Assembly to merge municipalities, voters in Duncan - a much smaller municipality than its neighbour - rejected amalgamation.
It was a democratic decision that gives some finality to the north of the Malahat discussion.
Plastic bag ban starts Sunday
The City of Victoria is hosting a public party tonight to help remind retailers and residents that, starting July 1, businesses will no longer be allowed to provide single-use plastic bags to customers.
The BYO Bag Launch runs from 5 to 7 p.m. at Fort Commons, 1017 Blanshard St., and features a performance by Vince Vacarro. As well, the winners of the City's  BYO Bag Video Contest, judged by Chamber Chair Dan Dagg of Hot House Marketing, will be announced.
Victoria's initiative is making waves outside the Capital Region. Earlier this month, P.E.I. became the first province in Canada to ban single-use plastic bags. We're not sure all of B.C. is ready to get on-board  but businesses in Greater Victoria would be better served if this was a regional initiative. Retailers have been leading the way in reducing single-use plastic bags for many years. Local governments need to complement these efforts by working together to minimize consumer confusion, and ensure  businesses don't suffer because of this regulation - whether they operate downtown or across the region.

City of Victoria: member since 1962
Members Around Town
Foodie of the Year 
Kunal Ghose, owner and chef of Fishhook was named  Western Living Magazine's 2018 Foodie of the Year. The magazine recognized Ghose for opening 2 new restaurants this year and serving as culinary chair for Our Place Society's annual Hungry Hearts event. 
Fishhook: member since 2015   
Our Place Society: member since 2010 
New Chair of Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal 
Emily Drown been appointed the new chair of the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal (EAAT), effective June 30, 2018. A Victoria lawyer with a strong background in both administrative and family law, Drown has been chair of the Safety Standards Appeal Board for five years. She is the president of the BC Council of Administrative Tribunals, and a member of the Canadian Council of Administrative Tribunals. She has worked with the law firm, Stevenson, Luchies & Legh. 
Stevenson, Luchies & Legh: member since 1997   
UVic appoints new women's rowing coach 
A new era is set to begin for the University of Victoria Vikes women's rowing program as they've named Olympian and former Vikes men's rower Barney Williams as head coach following the recent retirement of Rick Crawley. Williams, who won silver at the 2004 Olympics in the coxless four, was previously the interim women's rowing head coach at NCAA Division 1 Cornell University.  
University of Victoria: member since 1976  
Who owns B.C.?

On June 20, the   Provincial government announced a new public registry that would reveal who actually owns B.C. real estate, with the aim of ensuring appropriate taxes are paid. It makes sense to have a transparent way to know if a property is being flipped as a business investment or if it's being purchased by someone as a home to live in. 

The Province has issued a white paper about the proposed legislation, with more details about the draft land-owner transparency act.

The public is able to provide feedback on the proposal until Aug. 19 by emailing
Board Election Information Session
Interested in running for the  Board of Directors of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce? Find out everything you need to know at this information session facilitated by Dan Dagg, Board Chair.

Representing Greater Victoria's business community, The Chamber Board is one of the most influential community boards in the region.

Tue, July 10 | 12 noon to 1 pm
The Chamber, 100-852 Fort St.

Click here for info on key dates, the nomination process and the voting procedure. Additional questions can be directed here.
Shifting to other modes of transportation
2018 Chamber Bike to Work Week
Between May 28 and June 3, spinning your wheels took on a more positive connotation as CEO Catherine Holt, Graphics and Communications Coordinator Kate Masters, and Director of Operations Cheryl Wirch-Ryckman all participated in Bike to Work Victoria!

More children, youth and adults cycled than ever before during the latest Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week, newly released figures show. This year almost 7,300 people reported that they travelled to school or work by bike.
This is keeping with the trend as a household travel survey conducted for the Capital Regional District shows there is a slow but steady shift to other modes of transportation. In 2017 about 59% of all daily trips in the region were done by a car and driver. That compared to 62.9% of all trips in 2011 and 64.3% in 2006 showing that progress is being made toward achieving the CRD's goal of having 42% of all trips taken using active transportation and transit by 2038. Currently it's at about 27%.

Capital Regional District: member since 1993 
Canada Day
Happy 151th Birthday Canada!  This weekend is a time to celebrate all that makes us Canadian. So add some extra maple syrup to your pancakes, make sure to don your plaid, say 'sorry' needlessly and reinforce the walls of your igloo.  
You could also join your fellow Chamber members in celebrating by enjoying a bite out, a night away from home, or plan an action packed weekend at these local treasures .
There are a ton of fun things to do around town this weekend, check out the Canada Day event schedule here . From being in the living flag on the lawn of the Parliament buildings to rocking out to live music to watching fireworks in the Inner Harbour, Canada Day has something to offer everyone!
The Chamber will be closed Mon, July 2 in lieu of Sun, July 1.
Welcome to Our Newest Members!  

Chamber Name Tags
Need to get one of the snazzy new Chamber Name tags? Email us to order yours today.