Kelowna: Dan Rogers, CEO of the Kelowna Chamber, made an in-person presentation to the province’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services in Penticton on June 8, 2023. Rogers spoke to four key issue areas of greatest concern to the Kelowna Chamber and its members.
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Primary was the need for provincial spending in the Interior on transportation infrastructure. Following on the Chamber’s current policy taken to government in the last two years, “Accelerating Transportation Infrastructure to Serve one of the Fastest Growing regional Economies in Canada” Rogers noted that no major funding has been seen in the Interior on transportation for over five years.
Rogers’ second point addressed the cumulative impact of direct costs imposed on businesses in British Columbia is impeding growth, entrepreneurship, and investment in the province in the face of global economic headwinds. According to a recently released study by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, between 2022 and 2024, businesses in BC will shoulder an additional $6.5 billion in direct costs imposed by governments as they grapple with what is an already daunting economic outlook.
The third recommendation brought to the Committee was that the Provincial Government spend dollars with immediate effect on urgent care beds to relieve the street drug and homelessness crisis and provide treatment, in light of the dramatic spike in open drug use in Central Okanagan centres, including Kelowna, following decriminalization in January. Steps must be accelerated to remove and prosecute repeat offenders. The province must work with local government to assist businesses in the high impact-high crime areas feeding off the illicit drug trade.
The fourth recommendation asked the province to put into effect recommendations from adopted housing policies of the BC Chamber, some of which were authored by the Kelowna Chamber: seven in all, to rapidly improve the accessibility of market-based affordable housing in the province to the BC labour force seeking housing in the Okanagan and throughout the province.
For more information:
Dan Rogers, CEO - email@example.com