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Posted: September 12, 2019

Chamber discussion aims to improve business climate

On September 10, representatives from eight chambers of commerce from the Kootenays, including the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, met with 21 government representatives—including Deputy Ministers and Assistant Deputy Ministers across 11 ministries —to discuss both local and pan-provincial issues affecting businesses in those regions.

The network presented its policies (adopted at the 2019 BC Chamber AGM), which contained recommendations to government.

Specifically, the Kootenay consortium addressed the following:

Pan provincial issues

Taxation (Competitiveness);

Species-At-Risk Act legislation and considering the impacts on business;

Transportation and Infrastructure;

Emergency Management;


Specific to the Kootenays regional concerns were also discussed, namely:

  • Agriculture;
  • Finance;
  • Forestry, in particular Wildfire Interface management;
  • Jobs, Trade & Technology;
  • Municipal Affairs;
  • Public Safety & Solicitor General.

“The opportunity to present our policies to senior level government staff, who are truly doing the heavy lifting when it comes to policy, was a unique opportunity,” said Cranbrook Chamber Government Affairs Chair Christine Hoechsmann. “There were no canned answers; it was a real discussion on the issues that face our members every day and they heard first-hand how some of their policies are effecting our members here in the Kootenays.”

“We received great feedback on our policies on wildfire interface, species-at-risk and remediation standards and made great connections with those ministries to enable us to move forward with our work to push government for change,” said Kristin Parsons, Executive Director, Cranbrook Chamber.

“The connections we made today will be instrumental in the success of our policy work moving forward.”

“Presenting our policies to government is a critical part of our network’s robust policy process,” said Val Litwin, CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to working collaboratively with government in the year ahead on numerous files for the betterment of all BC’s regional economies.”

The BC Chamber and its local chamber network has or will be meet with government in eight regions across the province between July and October. These consultations were created to enable the BC Chamber network to communicate directly with government and propose legislative and policy solutions that will expand opportunities for business, strengthen B.C.’s economy, and drive deeper consultations with government moving forward.

Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce

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