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BC Chamber marks key wins for business

 
By now, you're no doubt up-to-speed on the details of the 2017 provincial budget, and may have read our press release on the wins for business that came out of the BC budget. Whether you have read our post-budget messaging or not, the section below is a helpful guide that takes you through the primary categories where the BC Chamber, in partnership with regional chambers and boards of trade, is marking key wins for B.C. businesses.  

Here are a few highlights:

Public Finance & Taxation

  • The government proposed eliminating the Medical Service Premium – a policy that the BC Chamber network voted into force in 2016. This was also a central feature of our recommendations to the Commission on Tax Competitiveness and to the Select Standing Committee.
  • The government endorsed the BC Chambers recommendations, which appeared in the larger Tax Commission’s recommendations, for a broader public consultation and engagement with the public on changes to the outdated and uncompetitive PST.

Housing Affordability

  • The provincial government increased the property transfer tax threshold from $475,000 to $500,000 – which, while not as high as our recommendation, shows that the government is committed to improving housing affordability for British Columbians.
  • The Federal government reduced anti-dumping duties on U.S. drywall imports being used in Western Canada – an initiative the BC Chamber supported local chambers in advocating for.

Healthy Communities

  • A one-year pause in the phase-out of the small business exemption for credit unions – which is a significant, albeit temporary, win for rural communities in BC where oftentimes the only financial institution investing in local businesses and entrepreneurs is a credit union.
  • The province invested $20 million for 2,000 new childcare spaces – which is in line with our 2016 policy "Addressing Childcare Access for Employees".

Resource Development

  • The budget included another extension to the Mining Flow-Through Share tax credit measures – which will help encourage investment into the industry.

BC Chamber welcomes ride sharing decision as Province endeavors to modernize taxi industry

 

The BC Chamber applauds the provincial government for today’s announcement that ride sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, will be coming to B.C. in time for the holidays this year.

Read our full press release here

Read about our position on the News 1130 website

Hear from our Director of Policy Development Dan Baxter on CFAX-1070

BC Chamber addresses minimum wage


BC Chamber of Commerce CEO Val Litwin and CCPA economist Iglika Ivanova discuss B.C.'s minimum wage rate on CBC's BC Almanac.

Hear the full interview here

Site C reaches employment milestone surpassing 2,000 workers


There are now more than 2,000 workers on the Site C Clean Energy Project, according to BC Hydro's latest employment statistics.
 

“The BC Chamber of Commerce worked alongside local chambers in the northeast region to facilitate workshops that connected BC Hydro with local businesses and expertise, and today we see how this effort has materialized into well-paying jobs for British Columbians. We’re encouraged that the Site C Clean Energy Project will continue to create opportunities for local skilled workers.”

- BC Chamber President and CEO Val Litwin

Fast facts:
  • There were 195 Aboriginal people working for Site C construction and non-construction contractors on the project site in January. In addition, approximately $150 million in procurement opportunities have been committed to Aboriginal companies to date.
  • There were 257 women working for Site C construction and non-construction contractors in January.
  • There were 42 apprentices employed during the month of January 2017. As with any construction project, the number of apprentices will vary depending on the type work being performed.

Applications being accepted to Rural Dividend Fund April 3–May 31

Applications for funding under the recently extended BC Rural Dividend will be accepted April 3 – May 31, 2017.

Funding is available in four categories:

  • Community capacity building
  • Workforce development
  • Community and economic development and
  • Business sector development.
Downloadable application forms, a revised program guide, as well as detailed instructions on how to apply will be available as of March 31, 2017, at the BC Rural Dividend website: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend

Find more information about the Rural Dividend Fund here.
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