At The Chamber's annual post-budget Business Leaders Luncheon, BC Finance Minister Carole James presented the 2018 Provincial Budget to Chamber members at the Fairmont Empress. Click here to see the photos.

The event was sponsored by Coastal Community Credit Union & Insurance and  the Co-operative Education Programs at the University of Victoria and Camosun College.
Provincial Budget Gives and Takes
The 2018 Provincial Budget shows that government is listening to business. In the budget speech, Minister Carole James noted the work done by BC's chambers of commerce to urge the Province to improve access to affordable child care. The budget also offered a multi-faceted plan to make housing more affordable as well as a fuel tax that will be used to expand local transit.

"The Chamber has been a vocal advocate for employers in Greater Victoria who are having a difficult time attracting and retaining workers due to our region's high cost of living," said Catherine Holt, CEO of The Chamber. "Having a better chance to purchase or rent a house in our region and turn it into a home will go a long way to making Greater Victoria more attractive to the types of workers we need."

However, the 2018 Budget also includes an unwelcome surprise for business.

"In a budget that goes some distance to make working life more affordable, the unexpected tax on payrolls is a move in the wrong direction," Catherine said. "The plan to introduce a Health Tax creates a new cost for many employers and hurts their ability to hire and promote staff and grow their business."
Chamber News
Chamber Week
Business Leaders Luncheons
Marketplace Mixer
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos
Keep your most important asset - your people - healthy and well taken care of with the Chambers Plan - the most popular employee benefits plan in Canada for small business. Click here for more information.
Point Hope Graving Dock
The City of Victoria has granted the  Ralmax Group of Companies, which operates Point Hope Maritime shipyard, the development permit to add a new $50-million-plus graving dock to their existing shipyard. The new dock will be capable of servicing vessels up to 170 metres, enabling the shipyard to service most Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard vessels as well as most BC Ferries vessels.

This means Ralmax will add another 200 jobs at Point Hope Maritime, paying between $90,000-$130,000 a year.

Prior to start of construction, Ralmax will need approval from a number of agencies, including Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the provincial Ministry of Environment but having the City of Victoria's approval will expedite this process. Once approvals are granted, construction will take 18 to 24 months.

In the November Business Matters, The Chamber interviewed Ian Maxwell, CEO of  Ralmax about the graving dock project. Click here to read the indepth piece.

City of Victoria: member since 1962

Point Hope Shipyards: member since 2011

Regional Salary Rates vs Regional Police  
Oak Bay Police are looking for a pay hike on par with the recently settled Saanich and Victoria police forces.  A better question would be whether there should be a regional force rather than a city-by-city negotiation of harmonized pay. Currently the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria have passed the following two motions:
  • remain receptive to any initiatives for the creation of a regional police force
  • call on the Province of British Columbia to establish and fund a Citizens' Assembly on Amalgamation with interested municipalities
The Chamber urges the District of Oak Bay to pass a similar motion, because better use of police resources is the more important issue that needs to be addressed.

Tickets Selling Fast!

A spectacular night of prestige, entertainment and celebration, the Greater Victoria Business Awards recognize members in 14 different award categories. Click here to see the finalists.

Limited number of tickets available.

Thu, May 10 | 6-10 pm
The Fairmont Empress
721 Government St. 
Island Athlete Wins Gold

Four Olympic athletes got their start
Cassie Sharpe
at Mount Washington Alpine Resort and this past week Cassie Sharpe won Olympic gold in the women's ski halfpipe. Sharpe, who grew up in Comox scored an opening run of 94.40 and followed that up with an even better 95.80 score on her second run to clinch gold.

Other Island athletes in Pyeongchang who trained at Mount Washington:
  • Spencer O'Brien finished 22nd in women's snowboard slopestyle
  • Carle Brenneman finished 18th in women's snowboard cross
  • Teal Harle competed Saturday evening and placed fifth in slopestyle
Currently Canada has 9 gold medals, 5 silver medals and 7 bronze medals. Stay up to date with all the action here.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort: member since 2017

$19.4 Million Expansion at YYJ
On Tuesday the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) announced it's investing $19.4 million dollars over the next 27 months to expand the Victoria International Airport. The project includes doubling the size of the existing lower passenger departure lounge, providing dedicated aircraft gates and covered walkways, new washrooms and additional food and beverage and retail space.

"The upsizing of aircraft from 30-50 seat Dash-8s to 76-80 seat Q400s combined with passenger growth has driven the need to expand our lower passenger departures lounge," VAA President and CEO, Geoff Dickson says.

Victoria International Airport (YYJ) saw another record year in 2017 with 1.93 million passengers, up 4.2% over 2016.  In response to this strong passenger growth and the use of larger aircraft in existing markets, the construction on the lower passenger area will add an additional 1765 square-metres of waiting room.

Victoria Airport Authority: member since 1981

Hear from BC Ferries on their plans to evolve our coast ferry system.

BC Ferries is one of the largest ferry operators in the world and an integral part of the highway system for anyone who resides or does business on Vancouver Island.

Hear from their CEO, Mark Collins, on their strategic plan Connecting Communities and what the future looks like for our coast ferry system as it continues to evolve.

Wed, Apr 18 | 11:30 am-1 pm
Hotel Grand Pacific, 463 Belleville St.

If They Can Do It...
Wondering what it takes to have a bus-based rapid transit system for a city the population of Greater Victoria?

Saskatoon - a city of about 270,000 - recently released plans for creating a network of bus lanes using direct routes to quickly move commuters throughout the prairie city. The Bus Rapid Transit project is designed to meet the needs of a city of 500,000 using high-frequency, direct service along the city's major corridors.

The City of Saskatoon, governed by a single mayor and council, estimates the cost of the project will be $120 million and take three years to complete.

Dragons Den Auditions in Victoria!
Got an idea brewing  you've been waiting to cash in on?

Dragon's Den, the Canadian reality television show that throws aspiring entrepreneurs into the pit of venture capitalism, will touch down in Victoria on March 10, when auditions will take place at the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour from 10 am-5 pm. Auditions are open to the public as producers hit the road in search of the best business ideas in need of investment.

Those pitches selected will get a shot at earning a real investment, and an appearance on the show - now in its 12th season - where they will face the dragons to convince them of their worth.

Let The Chamber know if you're planning on auditioning, and check out this article if you are considering it, " What entrepreneurs wish they'd known before pitching on Dragon's Den."

Chamber Members - #Social

Anyone who has interacted with a Chamber member knows we're a very social group. And we're only getting more social - in fact our directory listings boast more than 3,900 different ways to connect with our membership.

Over 56% of our members have Facebook on their directory listing and 47% of our members have Twitter. Those are just two of the choices out of the 14 different social media channels available to you for your listing in our directory. The latest two options include: Trip Advisor and Houzz. Are you up to date?

Make sure you take advantage of these options to increase your online presence, improve your SEO and market your business. The best part - besides it being free - you don't need to be a web guru to update your listing. Simply login at The Chamber or send us your social media links and we'll update for you.

Welcome to Our Newest Members!  


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