BC Chamber says Core Review promises “substantive” gains July 31, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2013/07/core-review-terms-of-reference-released.html  ( Link to BC Government Announcement)

Vancouver, July 31, 2013 – The BC Chamber of Commerce commends the B.C. government for advancing plans for a Core Review, which targets greater efficiency and accountability in government’s use of taxpayers’ dollars.

“We think a Core Review with this mandate and scope promises substantive gains for B.C.’s taxpayers,” said John Winter, the BC Chamber’s president and CEO. “This initiative is great news for British Columbians and aligns directly with what our 36,000 represented B.C. businesses have been calling for.”

Winter said that some of the best news coming out of the government’s just-released terms of reference for the Core Review includes the broad scope of the initiative, which includes B.C. ministries, boards, commissions, Crown agencies, schools, universities, colleges and hospitals; and  an emphasis on finding alternative, more cost-efficient service delivery models.

“We’re very pleased to see that the government is truly trying to put its house in order, including tackling areas of public concern such as B.C.’s Crown corporations,” Winter said. “We also commend the government for emphasizing alternate service delivery models, which could bring private-sector efficiency to some government operations.”

The BC Chamber also applauded the B.C. government’s plans to refine the ideas that emerge from the Core Review through consultations with industry and other stakeholders.

“All in all, we’re extremely pleased to see how this initiative is advancing and we look forward to helping find private-sector solutions to some of B.C.’s challenges,” Winter said.

The BC Chamber is the largest and most broadly-based business organization in the province. Representing more than 125 Chambers of Commerce and 36,000 businesses of every size, sector and region of the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce is “The Voice of Business in BC.”

BC BUSINESSES’ OBLIGATION TO REDUCE HARMFUL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS July 24, 2013

BC BUSINESSES’ OBLIGATION TO REDUCE HARMFUL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

By Miranda Vecchio, Membership and Community Relations Manager

 

Along with other Chambers of Commerce from within the province, NWCC participated in a conference call on Thursday, November 18th, hosted by the BC Chamber. The purpose of the call was to hear from an organization called *Multi-Material BC who would be providing information about changes to the BC Environmental Management Act that will impact many companies province-wide.

 

This was the first time however, that any of the participants had heard of MMBC or a recycling regulation that was amended in May 2011 calling for compliance by November 19, 2012. It relates to the recycling of packaging and printed paper supplied to residential consumers, effectively shifting the responsibility from local governments to businesses that introduce PPP into the residential marketplace.

 

Producers (companies who provide packaging or printed paper to the BC residential consumer) include brand owners, franchisors and first-importers. They or their government-approved Steward (such as MMBC) are required to submit and operate a BC Ministry of Environment – approved stewardship plan. This plan is to include collection, recycling & diversion of items from landfill.

 

Items that fall under this legislation include: food & consumer packaged goods; personal care products; grocery, drug & mass merchandise retailers; quick service restaurants; newspapers, magazines & directories; banks, financial institutions, insurance & utilities; nursery & floral; and electronics.

 

Packaging categories include: paper; plastic; steel & other metal packaging; aluminum; and glass. Not included in the EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) regulations are: beverage containers; paint cans; antifreeze containers; and oil containers.

 

Producers /Stewards will be required to fund the following: collection, recycling and processing costs; consumer awareness and public education costs; ongoing operating and administrative costs; research and development costs to address unrecyclable PPP.

 

The Chamber will be bringing you more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, please visit http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/recycling/

 

To contact Multi-Material BC, visit: http://www.multimaterialbc.ca

 

* Multi-Material BC is a not-for-profit agency formed to develop a Ministry of Environment-approved Stewardship Plan to satisfy the requirements of the BC Recycling Regulation for Packaging & Printed Paper.

 

Finding a Balance Between Efficiency, Opportunity and Transparency July 11, 2013

Finding a Balance Between Efficiency, Opportunity and Transparency

 

New Westminster, BCOn Monday July 8, 2013, the City of New Westminster announced that it will be reviewing its current purchasing processes in an effort to streamline operations and to eliminate long waiting times and unnecessary red tape.

Some fear that these changes may pose challenges to local businesses in that they will not be able to compete. Chambers of Commerce across the country have long encouraged the Cities, community organizations and individuals to purchase locally-made products whenever at all possible. It is these local companies that pay taxes locally and create jobs for local people. We hold our business community’s goods and services in extremely high regard. The quality of the goods and services produced in New Westminster are of high calibre so making sure that our local businesses are fairly considered and chosen when their price and quality are competitive is only logical.

The reaction to “protect our own” is only natural, but it can also be self-defeating in the long run. British Columbian companies in all communities – large and small – rely on both domestic and regional markets to create and grow jobs. By seeking to shut out our markets, we put at risk the very businesses and jobs in our communities that depend upon regional access. We have to keep our doors open to our neighbours as well.

Other concerns raised from our local businesses are that there is the perception that such policy changes may see contracts being awarded to a “chosen few” and that the opportunities for procurement may not be accessible to all.

As a general principle, the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce is in favour of local government initiatives to reduce waste and inefficiency, so long as such initiatives strike an appropriate balance with providing local businesses with reasonable opportunities to compete for City tenders.

The New Westminster Chamber would welcome the opportunity to work with and consult with the City of New Westminster to assist in the development of a program that would allow for businesses in the community to be able to be made aware of the City’s procurement opportunities.

 

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The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce is a catalyst for business people to work together to create a strong and vibrant economy and enhance the quality of life in our community. The Chamber reduces barriers to business, opens new markets for business, provides a cohesive business network and provides programs and services which have a positive impact on your bottom line.

 

 

Media contacts:

 

Mrs. Christine Conway                                               Mrs. Cori Lynn Germiquet

President                                                                     Executive Director

604-521-3778                                                              604-521-7781

 

Tragedy in Lac-Mégantic, Québec July 11, 2013

Tragedy in Lac-Mégantic, Québec

 

As you must know by now, a massive fire has devastated the 6,000 people living in the town of Lac-Mégantic, Québec. The town centre has been demolished. You have undoubtedly seen for yourself the horrific images that have been broadcast around the world.

Needless to say, the community of Lac-Mégantic is reeling from this tragedy that struck a few short days ago. We can only express our deepest sadness at this turn of events and let the residents of the town and the business community know that our thoughts are with them.

Much like you, I am sure the tragedy has been on your mind. Imagine having the entire core of your community destroyed.

The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Chamber Staff are individually making donations in an effort to assist Lac-Mégantic in the rebuilding of their community.

 

If you would like to join us, we will be collecting donations until July 19, 2013. See below for donation form

 

We will send those donations to  Lac-Mégantic, Québec along with a letter of support from the New Westminster BC Chamber of Commerce members.

 

Thank you for considering this request.

Chamber of Commerce congratulates Ledcor Resources & Transportation and Mainland Sand and Gravel July 11, 2013

 

 New Westminster, BC The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce congratulates Ledcor Resources & Transportation and Mainland Sand and Gravel for their signing of a long-term exclusive agreement for marine transportation services.

 

Ledcor will haul crushed stone and aggregate from Mainland’s Cox Quarry and other riverside storage facilities to its ramps and distribution points along the Fraser River. As part of the deal, Ledcor will invest approximately $18 million dollars in equipment.

 

The New Westminster Chamber has long realized the tremendous economic potential of the Fraser River and recognizes that this deal will help meet regional demand for quality crushed stone and aggregate products.

 

“This agreement demonstrates that the movement of goods on the Fraser River makes good business sense from an economic, environmental and efficiency perspective,” says Christine Conway, president of the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber also recognizes that using the river to transport the aggregate should result in a reduction in diesel use and greenhouse gas emissions.”

 

The Fraser River is a driving force in the regional, provincial and national economies. From its headwaters on the Pacific slope of the continental divide within Mount Robson Provincial Park, the Fraser River flows along a 1375 kilometer course to the ocean in the southwest corner of BC. The entire basin drains 13 main watersheds – one third of the area of the province – and is home to more than 2.8 million people. Output within its catchment areas account for 80% of the provincial and 10% of the national gross domestic product.