The Chamber is the voice of business for the Kelowna region, responding to many of the current issues that impact on business vitality. That role includes proactively working with and lobbying government to constructively influence public policy on a variety of issues in support of a healthy free-enterprise system. Part of this is an active media. We work closely with local reporters to educate, rally and communicate with the general public on a wide variety of issues that affect our membership and community.
Healthy and vibrant businesses are part of the fabric of any great community. In regular meetings with MLAs, MPs and Ministers, the Chamber has strived to work with and lobby government to provide a strong and constructive influence on public policy on a variety of issues. These issues support our members and a vibrant, sustainable business environment.
When policy statements have been successfully implemented by government, or a significant portion of the recommendation has been successfully implemented, the policy is deemed to have been achieved. It can take many years for policies to be adopted by government.
These policies, which originated at the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce as provincial or national policy initiatives, are being or have been implemented.
2012 Improving Consumer Choice: Removing Inter-Provincial Trade Barriers to Sales of 100% Canadian Wine (Initiated by the Kelowna Chamber in 2008). Resulted in the passing of Bill C-311 'Free the Grapes'
2012 Organized Crime Task Force Funding (Initiated by the Kelowna Chamber in 2008).
2014 Protection of BC Waters from Invasive Mussel Species. Resulted in;
As a member of the BC Chamber of Commerce, the Kelowna Chamber supports BC Chamber policies and are active in creating and debating these with provincial colleagues annually. View the current BC Chamber Policy Manual for policy details.
We are also proud and active members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and annually participate in the development of national policies Canadian Policy Manual.
For more details, please read the Provincial and Federal Policy Committee sections below.
See our media releases for updates on the Kelowna Chambers' latest advocacy efforts.
As a standing committee of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, this group will provide leadership in identifying and taking action on issues relating to municipal affairs in Kelowna. These issues must be of specific interest to the members of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, and of concern to the business community at large.
Chaired by a member of the Chamber Board of Directors, this group will work with Chamber staff to provide proactive leadership in the role of increasing awareness for members and providing advocacy on municipal affairs issues that impact the long-term health and vitality of the economy of Kelowna.
For more information about the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s Local Issues Committee and how to get involved please contact us. To see what current issues we are working on, visit our Key Issues.
In May 2015 the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce travelled to Prince George for the BC Chamber AGM. We brought forward five resolutions from our membership and received support from our colleagues across the Province.
The theme this year for four resolutions seems to be the continuing fight on four separate issues where we have seen some success and support from Provincial and Federal governments, but feel that there is still room for improvement. We recognize the positive support the BC and Canadian Chamber networks receive from government on many of our resolutions and sincerely appreciate that we are their go to organization representing business.
We asked the Province to tighten the net and improve check points on BC border points. This is to ensure that no invasive mussel species enters BC’s pristine lakes on boats and devastates our infrastructure and lake dependent economies.
Another on-going issue is the shipment of private purchase wine, beer and spirits between provinces. Some provinces like Ontario are refusing to allow the free flow of quality BC product. The BC Government was asked to keep the pressure on these hold outs.
The digital media industry has become a significant economic driver in B.C. with no signs of slowing down over the next years ahead. With this growth B.C. has an opportunity to set up the infrastructure necessary for this industry to become global leaders across all its sectors and continue to strengthen B.C.’s economy.
There is an opportunity for the provincial government to work with the federal government, local governments, the academic sector and the digital industry to identify impediments to this sector’s growth.
The Chamber network continues to work with the real estate and construction associations to draw the province’s attention to the Property Transfer Tax that is counter productive to housing affordability. We are making joint recommendations to ensure tax flows to government are tied to indexing of new housing prices and ultimately we call for the elimination of the Property Transfer Tax. We have also asked to eliminate tax on title transfers of common owner, better breaks for first time home owners and higher rates for non-resident property owners.
And we rounded out our weekend of policy debates with a new resolution to consider changes to British Columbia’s Employment Standards Act to harmonize its hours of work and overtime provisions with those in Alberta’s Employment Standards Code. This is an issue with employers who have employees working in both provinces
For more information about the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s Provincial and Federal Policy Committees and how to get involved please contact us. To see what current issues we are working on, visit our Key Issues.