In the last week of May the President, Tammy Leslie, and Executive Director, Mark Drysdale, attended the BC Chamber AGM in Burnaby, BC. This event brings Chamber Directors and Executives from all over the province to network, hear speakers and lobby for the policies that will go forward to the Federal, Provincial and other levels of Government. Speakers this year included the Honorable Carole James, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier for BC, the Honorable Melanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophone for Canada, amongst others plus the breakfast panel “Cutting Edge of the Ledge” featuring Bill Good, Simi Sara, Vaughn Palmer and Keith Baldrey from the media.
The Policy sessions are the hard work of the AGM and involve an afternoon in our various area meetings talking with other Chambers in our area determining what are the hot topics and why then onto two days of debating and voting on the delegate floor.
This year the Ladysmith Chamber had our name on two policies as co-submitters plus our name on one more as a supporter of the policy. Most notably, we co-wrote a policy asking Work Safe BC to put a policy in place to refund the Employers in this province when the funds held exceed the liabilities expected to a level where the funds are not required to meet the expected liabilities. This required lobbying on the part of President, Tammy Leslie, and a modification to the language that evening. We are proud to say that this policy passed unanimously on the floor of the delegates the next afternoon.
We also had our name on the policy asking the Federal Government, specifically Fisheries and Oceans, to relook at their policies around the fin fish closures and Southern Resident Killer Whales. This policy was submitted by nearly every Chamber on Vancouver Island and we were proud to add our name to it.
In all forty-seven new policies were voted on and there was much debate around some while others passed unanimously with little contention. These policies will now be forwarded onto their respective government recipients. In speaking to a member of the Policy Review Committee, the committee which oversees the policy process, we learned that in some years over 90% of policies affect government action going forward. It was great to be a part of such an important chance to speak on behalf of BC business with such a broad voice.
CPA, CGA, CA
Palmer Leslie, Chartered Professional Accountants