This morning at the BC Cancer - Victoria Industry Tour, Chamber members heard from Dr. Brad Nelson, Director of the Deeley Research Centre which focuses on how the immune system responds to cancer. Starting in February, clinical trials will start where patients' own immune cells will be cultured, expanded, and re-infused back into their bodies to fight their cancer. 
See the photos from the event here. The BC Cancer Foundation hosts monthly public tours or if you have a group of 10 or more you can request a private tour. For more information please contact Cindy Greenway.  
Ride-hailing coming, but not for a while
The provincial government introduced legislation on Monday to allow ride-sharing services such as Lyft to run in BC. The Passenger Transportation Amendment Act enables ICBC to sort out insurance products, adds a fee to fund transportation options for people with disabilities and strengthens enforcement and regulation of fares and areas of operation.
The new regulations also give taxi companies more flexibility regarding where they can pick up and drop off passengers.
The legislation is being hailed as a way to increase transportation options by as early as next fall.
However, critics have pointed out that the 46 pages of legislation require more consultations and approvals and that could mean ride-sharing won't arrive in BC until 2020.
Meanwhile, research suggests ride-sharing needs to be considered by regional transportation planners. The findings indicate that cities with efficient transit actually benefit from ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. However, cities that don't have convenient public transit options for commuters could see their ridership eroded by the ride-sharing services.  
Lyft: member since 2017 
Chamber News
Sweater Weather Get Together
Business Leaders Luncheon
Prodigy Group January Mingle
Business Mixer with Destination Greater Victoria
Event Photos

Poll shows voters split on proportional representation
As of Tuesday, 24% of eligible voters in BC have cast a ballot in the referendum on electoral reform, but only 11% of eligible voters have done so in Greater Victoria. Voters only have until November 30 to ensure their ballot has been received by Elections BC.
So far, it appears the decision is too close to call. A poll released yesterday by Research Co. has found that 40% of people plan to vote for the status quo, with 40% stating they will vote to switch systems.
Most of those choosing to keep first-past-the-post are older than 55 (57%), while most people who want change are under 35 (53%). Respondents between 35 and 50 are split, 42% in favour of the current system, and 35% preferring changing to proportional representation.
On Vancouver Island, 42% of those polled don't want change, compared to 43% who do.
Here's how the 11% of ballots of received (as on 8:20 am, November 20) break down by riding in Greater Victoria:
Canadian Chamber Survey - 2019 Election Edition
2019 is a federal election year. We want to make sure that business issues are front and centre for candidates across the country.  
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce wants you to participate in a brief survey, so we can work together on advocacy positions that reflect the views of Canadian businesses - big and small - from across Canada. Respondents will have the ability to focus on the themes that most interest them and provide input into what issues matter to Canadian business.
Hobnob with the bright lights in business and tech.  
The theme is fun! There will be a holiday sweater competition (details on where you can find a snazzy sweater here), photo booth and a DJ. Bring the whole family as we'll have a kid zone filled with craft activities to inspire their creative sides (and keep them busy).

The Sweater Weather Get Together is brought to you by VIATEC and The Chamber and sponsored by TELUS.
Interested in showcasing your business? The Chamber is looking for some one-of-a-kind door prizes. Email or call the office at 250-383-7191 if you're interested.   
Sponsored by: 
Fri, Dec 7 | 4-7 pm
Songhees Wellness Centre    
1100 Admirals Rd.  

Therapeutic community is our ray of hope
Message from Chamber CEO Catherine Holt 
This article originally appeared in the Times Colonist.  
I attended an event that was filled with hope and celebration late last month on a topic that isn't often associated with those words. It was the opening of the therapeutic recovery community in View Royal, operated by Our Place Society and funded by the provincial government, as well as many private donors.
It is a game-changer for our region.
Not everyone on the street has an addiction and not every addict is on the street - but there is a large overlap. And those are the people who will experience the change.
Our Place Society: member since 2010 

Members Around Town
Journalist rewarded for his reporting    
Saanich News: member since 1987
Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria: member since 2018 
MNP celebrates the Canada Games  
The MNP Canada Games Torch Relay for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta, arrived in Victoria today. The torch started this leg of its journey at Clover Point and ended at the BC Legislature with an official torch ceremony. Local Olympic and Paralympic athletes in attendance included Ryan Cochrane, Simon Whitfield, Michelle Stilwell, and the Canada Games mascot.  
MNP LLP: member since 2013
Compost solutions welcomed 
Capital Regional District is taking another run at setting up a local facility to compost the thousands of tonnes of kitchen scraps generated annually in Greater Victoria. It is seeking ideas from interested companies on how to build and run a composting plant that could be developed on two acres of cleared land at Hartland landfill or at another location within or near the capital region. 
Capital Regional District: member since 1993   
BC Ferries reservations 
This Spring, BC Ferries is planning "variable-priced fares" for its three major routes between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. Currently, reservations cost $10 if booked more than seven days in advance, $17 if less than seven days, and $21 for same-day. BC Ferries is hoping if passengers prepay their fare in full, they will be more likely to show up. The reservation fee is proving to be not enough of an incentive to cancel, leading to many no-shows for reserved spots.  
BC Ferries: member since 1983
Bridges and tunnels and roads, oh my! Trevana will review what's coming down the road in Greater Victoria including transit improvements and green transportation initiatives.

Wed, Jan 30 | 11:30 am-1 pm  
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
728 Humboldt St.

Feeding the brain
According to the 2015 Canadian Census, 15% of children in Greater Victoria were living in poverty. That's 3,000 kids, and a 5% increase over 2010. Starting the day hungry impacts a child's ability to focus, grow and thrive. 
Breakfast2Music is a volunteer-led not for profit that is partnering with the Rotary Club of Victoria Harbourside. They are calling on businesses to support the Polar Express Pancake Pajama Party at IMAX Victoria on Sunday, December 9.  

"We have been supporting the meal programs at four local elementary schools for the past several years" says Gary Liebel, Chief Financial Officer at Ralmax. "We are proud to challenge other local businesses and organizations to step forward, ... This year, we have dedicated $16,000 to our schools. We are also providing up to $4000 in matching dollars for the Polar Express Pancake Pajama Party."

 Learn more here.

IMAX Victoria: member since 1998

Ralmax: member since 2011

Greater Victoria School District SD61: member since 2018
Sharing your upcoming holiday events/fundraisers
We know Chamber members go above and beyond blue-gift.jpg when it comes to giving around the holiday season. In the spirit of giving, we plan to list Chamber members who are doing fundraising events like toy drives, Christmas dinners, warm clothing drives and fundraising events for different charities or non-profits.  
Or if you are hosting an open house where you'll be raising food/money for a charity, please let us know!  
To have your event included on The Chamber's community Event Calendar and in an upcoming BizNews please contact Emara Angus by email or call 250-360-3478.   
BC targets 100% ZEVs by 2040

Environmental sustainability goes hand-in-hand with economic prosperity, which is why The Chamber welcomes news that BC is moving to require all new light-duty cars and trucks be zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) by 2040.
The provincial government plans to introduce legislation in the spring, setting targets of 10% ZEV sales by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.
To help get there, the province will expand its network of charging stations and add $20 million to the current $37 million the New Car Dealers Association of BC has for incentives. The money is used to offer a $5,000 incentive to buy or lease an electric car, and up to $6,000 for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

You can check out automobile dealers who belong to The Chamber here.
Nominate Now for the 2019 Business Awards
Each week, The Chamber will profile a different award category, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.
The  Young Entrepreneur of the Year award recognizes someone under the age of 35 who:
  • Has excelled in business;
  • Demonstrates a commitment to the community.
  • Exemplifies leadership and entrepreneurial skills; and
  • Exhibits exceptional vision that contributes to business success.
Know a business person who deserves this award? Nominate them today!

Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2018 Business Person of the Year finalists below. Thanks to United Way of Greater Victoria for sponsoring this award.
Winner: Raul Caballero, Oui Jewellery
Finalist:  Matt Peulen, Stride Properties
Education updates
New student housing a step in the right direction 
A new type of arrangement with the provincial government is helping the University of Victoria build 620 additional housing units. The province announced on November 15 that it is providing financing for $123 million, while the University of Victoria Foundation will provide $45 million and UVic will provide $33 million. Construction will start on the new units in 2020, with 418 units online by 2022 and the remaining 202 by 2024.
The Chamber has advocated for more student housing to relieve the pressure on lower-cost rentals occupied now by students. However, with a student population of more than 22,000 at UVic, the new housing represents only a fraction of what our region needs to meet the demands.
Ex-foster kids utilizing free tuition   
The number of former children-in-care taking advantage of the free-tuition program has more than tripled in a year, the Ministry of Advanced Education reports. A total of 687 students are benefiting from the waivers at 25 institutions. That's compared with 189 students who received free tuition at 11 colleges and universities before the government expanded the program provincewide in 2017.

With 76 students in the program - more than double the number it had a year ago - Camosun College has the second best enrollment in the province.
Funding hands-on experience gives students a head start
Provincial funding announced November 5 will help address the challenge businesses are having attracting and retaining workers. The Ministry of Education and the Industry Training Authority are providing BC school districts with $1.3 million, including $40,000 for Greater Victoria School District SD61 and $30,000 each for Sooke and Saanich. The ITA's Youth Work in Trades programs provides students in Grades 10-12 the opportunity to work with local employers and gain apprenticeship experience.

University of Victoria: member since 1976

Camosun College: member since 1981

Greater Victoria School District SD61: member since 2018

Where to get your Holiday Sweater    sweater
The season of the holiday sweater is upon us - they truly are a wardrobe staple this time of the year. Before we tell you the best places around town to get one, let's first delve in to the origin of the ugly holiday sweater here.
Where to get your holiday sweater:
Now that you have your sweater all sorted out, wear it to our Sweater Weather Get Together on Dec 7th ! There will even be prizes for the best holiday sweater.

Welcome to Our Newest Members!  

Chamber Name Tags
In response to members' requests, The Chamber has redesigned the name tags Chamber members can purchase. We increased the prominence of your business name while keeping your name clearly visible.

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