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Sep 26, 2017


FREDERICTON - Kelowna's Chamber received overwhelming support for the policy it tabled at the Canadian Chamber AGM in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The policy resolution calls on the federal government to increase its efforts to prevent zebra and quagga mussels from getting into BC's fresh waters. If this species gets into our lakes it will have a devastating impact on tourism and the economy. The resolution received strong support from Chambers from across the country. It was one of close to 80 policies that were debated at the national convention.
"The resolution was first passed in 2014 and was about to expire; but, as the federal government has not taken as much action as necessary, we felt it was important to raise the issue again," said Dan Rogers, Kelowna Chamber Executive Director, who attended the AGM. "The federal government needs to match the dollars the province is kicking in, and they also need to institute mandatory and consistent inspections of watercraft entering Canada from the US."
The BC Chamber submitted 41% of the resolutions at the Canadian Chamber AGM last week, even though BC's chambers of commerce only make up 13% of the country's total.  The Kelowna Chamber continues to score above our weight, and the involvement of the local Chamber's 1,300 members continues to underline that fact.
The Kelowna Chamber also joined the majority of Chambers in passing an emergency resolution calling on the federal government to scrap their proposed tax policy changes and instead establish a royal commission that would undertake a full review of tax policies with the aim of creating a tax environment that encourages investment and growth of small business in Canada.
"The Finance Minister's comments at the AGM make it clear that the government is moving forward with the proposed tax changes, but he also suggested they are listening and will consider all comments prior to adopting any new bill," said Tom Dyas, President, Kelowna Chamber. "We will continue to encourage our members to contact their MP to convey their concerns."
"We are speaking up for middle class small business owners," added Rogers.  "Many have no voice with government and as small business owners they are facing the very real possibility that their income is going to be reduced and their plans for retirement are going to take a major financial hit. The result would undoubtedly have an adverse impact on the economy."
At this point, there are still far more questions than answers around the tax proposal.  Why is the government pitting citizen against citizen? Doesn't risk impost a heavier tax burden in comparison to employment income? Doesn't Canada need, or in fact, value its entrepreneurs?
At the Fredericton AGM, the Kelowna Chamber also supported a resolution that demands that the federal government not proceed with selling off Canada's ports and major airports, including YLW through share capitalization. The policy, which received the support of delegates, noted that such action in Australia resulted in cost increases to consumers and decreased the competitiveness of ports and airports. The current governance model is working and the federal government shouldn't tinker with it just to generate short term cash flow for federal coffers.  
Next year's Canadian Chamber AGM is set for Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Tom Dyas, President                                                      Dan Rogers, Executive Director
Kelowna Chamber of Commerce                                      Kelowna Chamber of Commerce
tom@kelownachamber.org                                          dan@kelownachamber.org
250-861-8834                                                               250-470-3407