BC Chamber of Commerce Releases 2023-2024 Policies & Positions Manual
The BC Chamber of Commerce has released its 2023-2024 Policies & Positions Manual that contains 61 policies adopted by members at the 71st AGM and Conference in Whistler last month. The policies cover a broad spectrum of provincial and federal issues critical to the success of B.C.’s business community.
“The manual reflects what our members view as the most important issues that need to be addressed by government to support their communities and members,” said Fiona Famulak, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “Through the policies contained in this year’s manual, our network is asking governments to leverage B.C.’s strong foundation as a springboard to a future where businesses are successful, families thrive and communities flourish.”
Local Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade are attuned to the issues that are important to their communities. This year’s manual includes new policies that address taxation, Indigenous reconciliation, housing, public safety, infrastructure, and workforce issues. Some notable examples include:
- Addressing the Costs Businesses Face Due to Crime and the Consequences of Illicit Drug Decriminalization – calls for limits on the consumption of drugs in public spaces, similar to the requests being made by many municipal governments.
- Financial Supports for Indigenous Investments in Core Economic Sectors – requests government develop financial mechanisms to facilitate Indigenous investment and ownership in major projects in the province.
- Excluding Ineligible Employees from Employer Health Tax Payroll Calculations – seeks to exempt the remuneration paid to temporary foreign workers from the EHT payroll threshold, because the provincial government does not allow them to access public health care.
- Northern British Columbia Export Strategy – suggests the provincial government develop an export strategy focused on Northern B.C. to assist the region and province grow exports, expand infrastructure, and ensure supply-chain resiliency.
- Accelerating Critical Minerals Strategies for British Columbia – encourages government to focus time, energy and resources on developing new mines and mine extensions to ensure we capitalize on the world’s growing need for critical minerals.
“The BC Chamber of Commerce will continue to focus its advocacy efforts in four key areas: reducing the costs businesses face, incentivizing companies to innovate and grow, building resilient infrastructure to ensure products get to market and investing in programs and services that help make our communities healthy,” added Famulak.
This year’s manual - along with the manuals of the previous two years - form the foundation of the advocacy work of the BC Chamber of Commerce. The complete 2023-2024 Policies & Positions Manual is available here, while the 2022-2023 and 2021-2022 manuals can be found here.
In early March each year, local Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade submit policy resolutions to the BC Chamber of Commerce for consideration to be debated during policy sessions at the provincial association’s AGM and Conference. Resolutions are voted on by members and must receive two-thirds support to be included in the final Policies and Positions Manual.