Published On: Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Live Issues Impacting Business: Hand in Hand With Plicy

Live Issues Impacting Business: Hand in Hand With Plicy

WEST SHORE - In May I attended my first BC Chamber Conference and AGM, which this year took place in Kamloops. There were lots of opportunities to learn, enjoy and network, but what has particularly stuck with me are the policy sessions. Sixty-one Chambers of Commerce from across British Columbia came together to vote on policies which will steer the BC Chamber in its advocacy with the provincial government, as well as the federal government, over the next year.

One of the policies that was passed was “Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” Both the BC and the Canadian Chambers acknowledge the role the business community can play in implementing the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. If as a business owner you would like to be supportive but don’t know where to start, one option is to get in touch with the Indigenous Perspectives Society at ipsociety.ca.

Another very relevant policy that was supported by the BC Chamber membership was “Anti-Canadian Tariff – Pressing the Pause Button on BC’s Proposed Speculation Tax.” Concern about the Speculation Tax continues to grow, as was evidenced by the approximately 450 people in attendance at the 6th Bi-Annual United Nations Kenneth W. & Patricia Mariash Global Issues Dialogue on the BC Housing Crisis in Victoria on June 12th. The WestShore Chamber has expressed its concern by joining the “Scrap the Speculation Tax” campaign. While there is clear support for targeting property speculators, many in the business community and beyond do not believe the Tax in its current form will do so. “I’m worried about jobs more than anything else,” said City of Langford Mayor Stewart Young. “This is a direct job killer. I want jobs in Langford. I don’t want to begin on a speculation tax that kills jobs.”

Chambers also voted overwhelmingly to support the policy “Minimizing Undue Negative Impacts of the Employer Health Tax,” although I have to say that this politely worded policy in no way captures the level of concern expressed by BC Chambers. This Tax in its current form will impact on everyone in BC, with businesses shouldering an unreasonable proportion of the bill.

You can add your voice by expressing your concerns in writing to Premier John Horgan, Finance Minister Carole James and your local MLA. You can also check out scrapthespeculationtax.ca

Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce.

You can reach her at jlawlor@westshore.bc.ca