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Sep 29, 2021

Kelowna Chamber Talks Valley Issues to Provincial Finance Committee

MEDIA RELEASE

September 29, 2021

 

KELOWNA CHAMBER TALKS VALLEY ISSUES TO PROVINCIAL FINANCE COMMITTEE

Chamber Executive Highlights Numerous Concerns in Advance of Budget 2022

Kelowna: Chamber Executive Director Dan Rogers took the Okanagan Valley’s chamber of commerce issues to the Standing Committee on Finance Wednesday morning September 29 on its swing through Kelowna, in the last days of garnering feedback from the public as next year’s provincial budget is formulated.

“We spoke to two key areas,” said Rogers, “continuing the response to COVID-19 and, growing the economy as we recover. We took the time to highlight four Chamber-initiated policies in the first area – policies that all our chamber colleagues up and down the valley from the border to the Shuswap endorse. We also underlined the importance of getting our airport open quickly to international travelers.”

“The second area,” Rogers said, “is of critical importance: we can’t tax ourselves back to growth. We must implement bold policies that change the way we manage our economic future without heaping more financial burdens on businesses. We look forward to engagement with government ministers and representing the interests of our members” Highlights presented to the Committee included:

Continuing the Response to COVID-19

  • Targeted sector support for businesses impacted the most, especially tourism-related

  • Tax relief at all levels

  • Recovery that supports diversity and inclusion, particularly Indigenous tourism

  • Aviation: Innovation, Investment & Loosening Constraints on Growth​

 

Growing the Economy as we Recover

  • Addressing attainable housing – controlling tri-level government cost increases

  • Transportation infrastructure – spending needed in the Okanagan to enable growth

  • Removing inter-provincial trade barriers – growing Canada’s GDP with no added costs

  • Answering needs of agriculture – protection of AL;, education programs for farmers

  • Mental health issues & homelessness costs unfair cost burden on adjacent businesses

  • Environmental forward planning including protection of waterways from invasive mussels

 

​Links to Kelowna-generated province-wide policies were included. The full Submission can be read online in November, with the final Report at the Government’s Budget website: www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/fgs 

For more information: Dan Rogers, Executive Director, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce  dan@kelownachamber.org