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Posted: September 23, 2019

Chamber presents policy at national AGM

Representatives from the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce travelled to Saint John, New Brunswick, late last week to attend the Canadian Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting being held September 21-23.

This year, the Cranbrook Chamber was presenting a policy on behalf of their members, calling on the federal government to implement a minimum remediation standard on homes that have been used for the production of legal and illegal drugs.

This policy was recently been presented at the BC Chamber AGM in May 2019 and fully supported by the membership. “The importance of this policy has been heightened significantly over the past year as the federal government moved to legalize cannabis and allow citizens to grow up to four cannabis plants in their homes, yet failed to provide any guidance on how to prevent the potential damage caused by growing cannabis in residential homes,” said Christine Hoechsmann, Vice President of the Cranbrook Chamber.

There is still a large stigma in the industry with regards to homes that have any grow activity, legal or not, leaving them no longer able to access fair market value insurance and mortgage rates. This could be putting homeowners at risk to higher insurance rates, mortgage rate or even creating liability issues.

“We are asking the federal government to take the lead on creating a minimum remediation standard for homes to bring some certainty to the industry and allow banks and insurance companies to rely on this standard to bring homes back into the housing stock without penalty,” added Hoechsmann.

In addition to the Cranbrook Chambers policy, representatives voted on 76 policies put forward by chambers from across the country.

Policies presented that were of particular importance to the Cranbrook Chamber included:

  • Addressing barriers to succession planning;
  • Credit card merchant fees;
  • Getting more rental housing on the market now;
  • The Impact of the Mortgage Stress Test on local economies;
  • Address labour shortages and access to labour;
  • Reforming Employment Insurance;
  • Removing barriers for indigenous participation in post-secondary education;
  • The Need for a Renewed Softwood Lumber Agreement;
  • Childcare;
  • Keeping Canada’s Air Travel Industry sustainable and affordable to Canadians;
  • Improve the Financial Viability of VIA RAIL to increase passenger rail service in Canada.

At the end of the second day of policy sessions, a total of four polices were adopted including Cranbrook Chambers policy on Remediation Standards (which passed with 94.1% acceptance from the delegation) and will become part of the 2020 Canadian Chambers of Commerce Policy Manual.

Chamber Executive Director Kristin Parsons with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney

In total, 323 chambers were represented at the conference with 71 from British Columbia. Next years’ Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM is set to take place in Ottawa, Ont. from September 26-28.

In addition to the policy sessions, delegates were given an opportunity to meet with members from across the country and discuss similar struggles and opportunities to collaborate.

To open the event, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney addressed the delegation bringing a challenge to all provinces to remove further trade barriers to inter-provincial trade.

“This was a unique opportunity to meet with Alberta’s Premier and personally invite him to the Cranbrook area to meet with our members to talk about inter-provincial trade,” said Kristin Parsons, Executive Director of the Cranbrook Chamber. “We were delighted to have Mr. Kenney take us up on our invitation and look forward to hosting him in our community very soon.”

Lead image: Christine Hoechsmann (Cranbrook Chamber Vice President) with husband Joey Hoechsmann at the opening ceremonies for the Canadian Chamber AGM. Photos submitted

Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce


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