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May 29, 2021

Kelowna Chamber Policies Soar Through Annual BC Policy Session

MEDIA RELEASE

May 29, 2021

Kelowna Chamber Policies Soar Through Annual BC Policy Session

Kelowna:  The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce submitted nine policies to the BC Chamber AGM held over the weekend and all of them received support.  The Kelowna policies that were endorsed by business leaders from across the province included one that calls on the Province to address  the issues raised earlier this year by the B.C. Urban Mayors Caucus co-chaired by Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.  

“It was important for our network as a whole to review what the Urban Mayors Caucus was calling for and we were pleased to lead the effort to support the many critical issues they had raised not the least of which is the need for additional funding for mental health and addiction treatment,” says Executive Director Dan Rogers.  “Chambers are also supportive of having the Province look at a new fiscal relationship with local governments although we believe business has to be at the table to ensure cost reduction through streamlined regulations and initiatives that take advantage of the economies of scale are among the items discussed.”

Delegates also endorsed the eight other policies the Kelowna Chamber brought forward including one that calls on the province and local governments to slow down the implementation of the Step Code to ensure it doesn’t accelerate the cost of housing at a time when affordability is such a massive issue for our city and others.  

The Kelowna Chamber also worked closely with the BC Fruit Growers Association in developing a policy that calls on the Province to accelerate training in the agricultural sector as a means to address labour shortages and to stimulate economic growth and recovery opportunities.  It too was endorsed by chambers from across B.C.  The BC Chamber will now take adopted policies to government ministers in Victoria to prompt action on the various issues.

“Not all chambers in the Okanagan are members of the BC Chamber so they aren’t able to represent their members at this high level and we believe and as one of the largest chambers in the region we can help ensure the voices of their members is heard at the BC Chamber,” says Rogers. 

“Thanks to the continued investment of our loyal members we are able to commit significant resources in developing strong business cases for each policy we submit. We also know that gaining the endorsement of business leaders from across the province speaks volumes for the importance of action on the issues identified.”

The BC Chamber hosts its policy convention to consider grass-roots-developed policies from chambers across the province on an annual basis and for the second straight year it was held virtually.  Next year the Annual Conference is slated to be held in Prince George.

 

For more information:

Dan Rogers, Executive Director, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

250-469-7356     dan@kelownachamber.org 

 

MEDIA BACKGROUNDER

Kelowna Chamber Policies submitted to and adopted by the BC Chamber May 28 & 29, 2021

  1. Increase Focus on BC Government-Funded Training Programs for Fruit Growers to Increase Productivity, Get People Back to Work

  2. Implementation of BC’s Energy STEP Code – A More Collaborative and Incentive-Based Approach

  3. Natural Assets: Giving a Dollar Value to Forests, Green Spaces and Wetlands on Government Finance Reports

  4. Agricultural Land Commission Regulation Reform: Creating Principles-Based Farmland Use Policy

  5. BC Digital Media Industry: A Continuing Growth Engine for BC & Canada

  6. Interprovincial Trade Barrier Reform: Beer, Wine & Distillery Industries Still an Unresolved Issue

  7. Pressing the Pause Button on BC’s Speculation Tax

  8. Property Transfer Tax Reform – Addressing BC’s Housing Affordability Challenge

  9. Urban Mayors Caucus Blueprint for BC’s Urban Future: A Business Perspective

All adopted policies will be available shortly on the Kelowna Chamber website https://www.kelownachamber.org/news-policies/advocacy/keyissues/ 

All policies adopted by the BC Chamber will be published in their 2021 Policy & Positions Manual in June 2021.   The Canadian Chamber AGM will be held virtually on October 27 & 28.