Representatives of the BC Chamber of Commerce attended the Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Ottawa this week. Over 200 delegates gathered from chambers of commerce and boards of trade from across the country to hear speakers, share ideas and solutions, and discuss issues that matter to businesses from coast to coast to coast.
“Businesses across the country face several challenges, including rising costs, a shortage of skilled labour and increasing pressure to find ways to remain profitable and open for business,” said Fiona Famulak, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “While we all have unique circumstances, it is clear to me that there are far more similarities than differences in our circumstances and collaboration is key to overcoming the challenges and harnessing the opportunities ahead.”
As part of the conference, delegates debated 50 policy resolutions that covered a breadth of public policy areas, including transportation, taxation, infrastructure, human resources and international affairs. British Columbia’s delegates brought forward 12 resolutions to the policy debate – all 12 were ratified by conference delegates.
The resolutions introduced by BC members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (presenting chamber of commerce/board of trade) are as follows:
- Share a Handshake: A Renewed Vision for the Future of Canada-US Border Cooperation (Peachland Chamber of Commerce)
- Revitalizing the Arts Industry – A Modern Massey Commission (Surrey Board of Trade)
- National Economic Impact: Strategic Management of the Lower Fraser River (BC Chamber of Commerce)
- Fostering Aerospace Innovation Clusters to Create New Business for Canada (Kelowna Chamber of Commerce)
- Accelerating Transportation Infrastructure to Serve one of the Fastest Growing Regional Economies in Canada (Peachland Chamber of Commerce)
- The Importance of Canadian Ports and Transportation Corridors to the National Economy (BC Chamber of Commerce)
- Support for the Development of Microcredential Programs (Greater Vancouver Board of Trade)
- Childcare (Victoria Chamber of Commerce)
- Natural Assets: Giving a Dollar Value to Forests, Green Spaces and Wetlands to Grow Canadian Business (Kelowna Chamber of Commerce)
- Critical Minerals – Critical for Everything from Batteries to National Security (Surrey Board of Trade)
- Adapting the Federal Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) Program to Address Climate Change (Kamloops Chamber of Commerce)
- Fair Taxable Benefit Exemptions for Employee Gift Cards (Kamloops Chamber of Commerce)
In order to be ratified, a resolution requires a 2/3 majority approval of the accredited delegates in attendance. In total, 27 BC delegates made the trip to Ottawa, representing 14 unique chambers of commerce and boards of trade from around the province. In addition, 33 chambers of commerce provided their proxy vote to delegates, giving the BC delegation 47 of 304 votes at the conference.
“I’m very proud of the work our members undertook to raise these important issues onto the national stage. With only 15% of the total votes, our members had to reach out across the country to gather support and work collaboratively to ensure these policies passed,” added Famulak.