Prince George, May 27, 2014 – At the BC Chamber Annual General Meeting & Conference, the province’s foremost business gathering, held this year in Richmond May 22-24, more than 200 delegates voted in 39 policies; these adopted policies now become part of the BC Chamber’s advocacy agenda. The Prince George Chamber of Commerce submitted three resolutions during policy sessions which met with approval from the BC Chamber membership and passed successfully. The resolutions include:
“Providing Certainty for Business through the Timely Administration of Justice”
Overview: Civil, criminal and family court cases are all handled by the same court system. Any delay in a criminal or family case slows down all cases especially civil cases involving businesses. Enhancing the Court Service Branch, maintaining an appropriate level of Provincial Court judges and providing adequate funding to legal aid will go a long way to dealing with the delays and backlog, which in the end will support businesses along with the families and communities that depend on those businesses.
“Easier Access to VISA Programs”
Overview: Canada’s visitor visa system could better facilitate economic trade and tourism and the business opportunities for British Columbia and Canada would result. The Chambers ask that the provincial and federal governments support the amendment of the Visitor Visa program by streamlining the process for travelers who need visas and remove the obstacle of surrendering passports for visitors who pose no threat to Canada’s security; considering low risk ways to get legitimate visitors out of the need for a visa altogether for travel to or through Canada; expanding the Transit Without Visa program; and improve its student visa procedure to make it quicker and easier for potential international students to receive study and work visas.
“Further Improvements to the Provincial Nominee Program”
Overview: With current and forecasted economic growth in BC, it is apparent that the demand for skilled labour will outweigh the local supply of qualified skilled workers. We asked the BC Government to work to facilitate the ability of specific industry groups to request creative responses to proven and targeted labour market needs, to advocate for a higher annual nomination limit for the BC PNP, and to ensure that adequate resources are available to maintain effective BC PNP processing times.
Policies passed at the AGM are available here and here (late resolutions). These have been updated to reflect amendments made at the AGM. Please note that these are still in draft form and undergo minor editorial changes/clean up before the BC Chamber publishes final versions.
Jennifer Brandle-McCall, Director of External Relations
Prince George Chamber of Commerce
C: 250-617-6921 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org