The Burnaby Board of Trade advocates on issues important to our membership via our various committees, and through other targeted initiatives.
The Burnaby Board of Trade is releasing a Electoral Reform Referendum Report ahead of the end of the ongoing referendum about our voting system. The report was created with the participation of members on a Electoral Reform Task Force who met and identified fundamental principles and areas of concern which they thought were important to assess. With that, the Task Force then met with representatives from the official proponent and opponent groups and analyzed the arguments made for and against electoral reform. Click here to read the BBOT’s Electoral Reform Referendum Report
The Burnaby Board of Trade on the federal government to ensure a quick end to the ongoing job action by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers that is disrupting the postal service. This labour disruption poses a challenge for businesses who rely on Canada Post for parcel shipping and for mailing invoices and receiving payments and the uncertainly caused by these drawn-out labour negotiations is unacceptable. Read more about the BBOT’s position.
The BBOT supports the proposed supportive housing project slated to be built on Norland Avenue in central Burnaby. The BBOT has submitted a formal letter to Mayor and Council supporting the rezoning required for this project, and spoke in favour of the proposal at an August 28, 2018 public hearing on the matter. Click here to read the BBOT’s letter of support.
As part of initial consultations with the new Small Business Task Force struck by the provincial government in June 2018, the Burnaby Board of Trade has made 9 recommendations on how the provincial government can better support the small business sector. With input from BBOT members via an online survey, the Government Relations Committee, and member meetings, the BBOT has made recommendations to address the rising costs of doing business in BC and the scope and awareness of government programs, among other areas. Read more about the BBOT’s 9 recommendations to the task force here.
The Burnaby Board of Trade, with the aid of a task force of member businesses, has reviewed the issue of road pricing and the potential impacts on the region, and has issued a policy bulletin that identifies seven fundamental principles which should underpin any future proposed road pricing system, including revenue neutrality and a focus on congestion relief. Read the BBOT’s Road Pricing in Metro Vancouver report here.
In BC Budget 2018 presented on February 20th, the provincial government announced the introduction of an “employer health tax” which will require organizations with payrolls of over $500,000 per year to pay a new payroll tax ranging from 0.98% to 1.95% to fund the removal of Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums. The Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) does not support imposing the new employer health tax tax on businesses and not-for-profits. Should the tax go ahead, the BBOT is advocating for several changes to be included in the final regulations/legislation to minimize the undue negative impacts of this tax. Read the BBOT’s position on the Employer Health Tax here. The BBOT has met with all four Burnaby MLAs to discuss this issue and has contacted Minister of Finance Carole James with our concerns.
On behalf of its Women’s Business Success Network (WBSN), the Burnaby Board of Trade has made a formal submission to the BC Securities Commission regarding ways to encourage and support more women serving on corporate boards. The submission was part of a consultation started by the BC Securities Commission following calls to adopt regulatory policies in BC regarding gender diversity—calls lead by the Burnaby Board of Trade and its 2017 policy paper. Read more here.
2018 Federal Budget Summary: Budget Contains Laudable Support for Women in Business and Clarity on Small Business Tax, But Continues Deficits and Ignores Tax Competitiveness
On February 27 Minister of Finance Bill Morneau released the 2018-19 federal budget which features few new, major funding announcements or priorities, but provides significant policy support for women, and clarity on the new taxation of passive income in private corporations. The $338.5 billion federal budget also features an $18.1 billion deficit for the coming fiscal year.
The Burnaby Board of Trade, as part of our mandate to provide our membership with insight on key business issues, has reviewed the federal budget and has provided some of the key highlights along with further Budget 2018 resources in a BBOT Issue Update which you can view here.
BBOT BC Budget Review: New BC Government Releases First Budget; Sees New Health Payroll Tax on Business and Significant Positive Investments in Childcare and Housing
On February 20, 2018, Minister of Finance Carole James released the first full budget of the new provincial government, a balanced budget with significant spending commitments and tax changes in the areas of housing affordability and childcare, and with the implementation of a new health payroll tax on the business community. The Burnaby Board of Trade, with input from our Audit & Finance Committee, reviewed the provincial budget and summarized some of the key budget highlights and takeaways in a BBOT Policy Bulletin which can be viewed by clicking here.
BBOT Issue Update: Road Pricing in Metro Vancouver
Translink’s Mobility Pricing Commission is investigating how to implement road pricing across the region. The Burnaby Board of Trade has been engaging with the Commission for several months, providing input and ensuring the interests of business are heard. Read more.
After five years of inconvenience for the business community caused by a misaligned BC Family Day statutory holiday, the Burnaby Board of Trade is reiterating its call for the provincial government to align Family Day with the holidays of neighbouring jurisdictions by moving the date to the 3rd Monday of February starting in 2019. While BC has the Family Day holiday on the 2nd Monday of February, seven other provinces observe holidays on the 3rd Monday of February, which is also a federal holiday in the United States. For companies which conduct business in other parts of Canada or in the United States, this misalignment of holidays can create a barrier to commerce and trade and can be a significant inconvenience. Read our position on Family Day in this BBOT Policy Alert.
UPDATE: The BBOT is pleased with the provincial government’s announcement that Family Day will be moved to the 3rd Monday in February to align with other jurisdictions starting in 2019. Read more here.
Burnaby Board of Trade Releases Business Sentiment Report on the Big Bend-Glenlyon District
The Burnaby Board of Trade held its latest Business Walk to gauge the sentiment of businesses in one of Burnaby’s fastest growing business districts—the Big Bend-Glenlyon area. A Business Walk is an economic development and business engagement exercise designed to generate real, on-the-ground information from the business community. In total, 72 businesses and organizations were interviewed and provided input as part of the Business Walk. That input was compiled and used to create a Business Sentiment Report for the area. Read about the Business Walk here or download a copy of the report.
Burnaby Board of Trade Releases Report on BC’s Minimum Wage and Appears Before Fair Wages Commission
As part of the Burnaby Board of Trade’s (BBOT) appearance before the Fair Wages Commission, the BBOT has released a report entitled “BC’s Minimum Wage: Getting to 15,” offering the perspective of its members and the Burnaby business community in this issue.
With input from surveys of its membership specifically on this issue, and engagement with several of its member-driven committees, the report summarizes the results of those member surveys and details that business is not opposed to a $15 per hour minimum wage in principle, but that the speed with which the minimum wage is increased and the “knock-on” inflationary effects on other wage levels are both concerns which need to be considered and addressed by government. Read the BBOT’s report on the minimum wage here
UPDATE: The BC Government has announced that the minimum wage will reach at least $15.20 by June 01, 2021. The BBOT acknowledges that these increases will be spread out over 3.5 years and have been published in advance, which does give business some time to plan and adjust. However, we are disappointed that a longer timeline was not implemented and that the increases are so front-loaded, with a $2.50 increase within the next 16 months. For some of our members this will be a hardship. Read more here.
Burnaby Board of Trade Appears Before House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance To Talk Budget 2018
Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) President & CEO Paul Holden appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday, October 4th as part of an invite-only panel to discuss priorities for the upcoming federal budget. The BBOT urged the federal government to prioritize transportation, employee attraction, high real estate costs, and business investment. Read more here.
The federal government has proposed significant changes to the taxation policies and regulations surrounding private corporations which may have substantial negative impacts on small businesses and incorporated individuals. The Burnaby Board of Trade is standing up for our members and calling for these changes to be stopped. The BBOT is advocating directly with our federal Members of Parliament and will be voicing our concerns about these sweeping changes with the Ministry of Finance. Read about these proposed tax changes.
The Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) has submitted a brief outing our recommendations on how to encourage and support more women to sit on corporate boards to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women in Ottawa. The business case is clear that greater diversity at the board level is good for the bottom line. Our policy, developed by the members of our Women’s Business Success Network, calls for some progressive regulatory changes to encourage companies to consider gender diversity at the board level and include more women in the interview process for board vacancies. Read the BBOT’s brief to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women here.
Following consultations with our membership, the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) has made an official submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance regarding the 2018 federal budget and areas that should be prioritized. The BBOT’s submission focused on transportation/transit, attracting/retaining workers, high housing and real estate costs, and incentivizing business investment in software, equipment and technology. Read the BBOT’s brief to the Standing Committee on Finance here.
The Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) is calling for Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) to be immediately amended to remove the most damaging aspects of the law and to be replaced with a more effective law that protects Canada’s ability to communicate and compete in the global digital economy. The BBOT is calling for immediate amendments to exempt all business-to-business communication from the legislation, to make email consent never expire, and to allow consent to be sought via email. In addition, the BBOT is calling for consultations to start on creating a new and better law to eventually replace CASL. This position has been adopted as a formal provincial position of the BC Chamber of Commerce.
At the current pace, it will take 75 years to reach gender parity in BC’s corporate boardrooms. The Burnaby Board of Trade is making the business case for greater gender diversity on corporate boards as a way of driving economic growth and is calling for provincial action in a new policy proposal. The BBOT’s new policy is calling for BC to take several steps to encourage greater gender diversity including: implementing gender diversity disclosure rules, requiring companies actively consider women for vacant board positions, and setting provincial gender diversity goals for BC’s business community to strive towards. This position has been adopted as a formal provincial position of the BC Chamber of Commerce.
Yesterday, the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, released the 2017 federal budget in Ottawa outlining the Government of Canada’s spending priorities for the coming years, including innovation, skills training, infrastructure, affordable housing and child care, while forgoing any major changes to taxation.
Read the BBOT’s full statement here.
The 2017 BC Budget was announced yesterday by Finance Minister Michael de Jong, and the Burnaby Board of Trade was in Victoria to hear directly about the new budget and represent our members with the provincial government. The BBOT has reviewed the new budget and its key highlights and is very pleased to see a fifth consecutive balanced budget and continued prudent fiscal management from the provincial government.
Read the full statement here.
Given the vision the plan provides for Metrotown and the significant economic activity involved, the Burnaby Board of Trade supports the City’s proposed Metrotown Downtown Plan and the goal to further develop Metrotown into a vibrant and diverse urban centre with walkable, transit and cycling-oriented communities, mixed-use residential development, and a variety of new opportunities for business. Creating a true downtown in this area will allow Burnaby to maximize the tremendous potential of the Metrotown area, creating a destination for people to live, businesses to operate, tourists to visit and commerce to be done.
Read the full statement here.
While understanding the economic justification for the project and supporting responsible resource development, the Burnaby Board of Trade had serious concerns with this project as it was proposed and voiced those through the review process. However, with today’s announcement the Burnaby Board of Trade accepts the decision of the federal cabinet and the conclusion of a years-long approval process and will look to work with Kinder Morgan to find ways of helping local businesses maximize the benefits of this significant project while ensuring our concerns and all regulatory conditions are addressed.
Read the full statement here.
The Commission on Tax Competitiveness, which was created in Budget 2016, has now released its final report on BC’s tax system and has agreed with the Burnaby Board of Trade that it’s time to fix the PST.
The BBOT has advocated for PST reform for years, arguing that the tax burden on business investment in new equipment, machinery and software should be reduced. Last year, the BBOT spoke directly with Minister of Finance Mike de Jong on the issue and presented to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services advocating for this change. The BBOT believes that the provincial government, by removing the PST on new equipment, machinery and software could help invigorate business investment in the province and help boost the competitiveness of our local firms.
The Burnaby Board of Trade released a Business Sentiment Report based on interviews with dozens of businesses in the Lake City-Production Way business district as part of a Business Walk in that area. Burnaby businesses reported doing well overall, but have challenges finding workers and with the high cost of housing in the region. A Business Walk is an economic development activity which involves visiting businesses of all sizes and sectors in person, door-to-door, to get input on how their business is performing, get their impression of the business climate in the city, and identify both areas of strength and potential issues or obstacles. This Business Sentiment Report will be shared with the BBOT’s membership and Board of Directors, the City of Burnaby, and media and will help inform the Board’s advocacy and policy development process. READ THE FULL BUSINESS SENTIMENT REPORT
On behalf of the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) and its over 1,100 members, President and CEO Paul Holden submitted a letter to Finance Minister Michael de Jong encouraging him and his ministry to continue the provincial government’s strong support of the film and television industry by maintaining BC’s current film tax credit regime and being cautious with any review of the tax credits as proposed in Budget 2016. “While we were excited to hear the provincial government’s recent commitment to the creative economy with the creation of the new Creative Economy Strategy, we feel that a change in the film tax credit system would be counter to this important priority,” said Holden in the letter. READ THE LETTER
On behalf of the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT), its Environmental Sustainability Committee, and its over 1,100 members, President and CEO Paul Holden submitted feedback on the development of BC’s new Climate Leadership Plan. In a letter to Environment Minister Mary Polak, Holden noted that the BBOT feels that BC deserves an aspirational and innovative Climate Leadership Plan (CLP) which will meet ambitious emission reduction goals while maintaining economy activity, fostering future growth and unlocking the potential opportunities for the transition to a lower carbon economy. The BBOT encourages the government to adopt a final CLP that commits to a diverse suite of creative solutions which together will help meet our sustainability goals. READ THE LETTER
The first budget of the new federal government was announced on March 22 by the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance. The $317 billion federal budget contains a deficit of $29.4 billion for fiscal year 2016-17 as well as projected deficits of a total of $113 billion through fiscal year 2020-21. The BBOT understands the value of strategic spending as a means of stimulating economic growth in light of a sluggish economy and weak commodity prices, however we would like to see the federal government articulate a clear plan for a return to balanced budgets as soon as possible. READ THE BBOT FEDERAL BUDGET BULLETIN
After advocating for a pilot program to allow businesses that work across city boundaries to be able to get one interchangeable business license, the Burnaby Board of Trade again appeared before Burnaby City Council on March 7th to argue for an expansion of the program to allow businesses in the construction and trades-related sectors to be able to work in any city from Hope to West Vancouver with a single inter-municipal business license. READ MORE
The Burnaby Board of Trade represented our members with the provincial government on February 16th by attending the provincial budget speech live in Victoria. Overall, the BBOT was pleased to see the provincial government continue its commitment to balanced budgets and prudent fiscal management with the release of its fourth consecutive balanced budget. The BBOT was also encouraged that Budget 2016 signals the potential for provincial sales tax (PST) reform through the establishment of a Commission on Tax Competitiveness which will be asked to consider ways to modernize the existing sales tax and taxation policy to keep pace with our changing and evolving economy. See the full Highlights Bulletin HERE
The Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT is calling on the provincial government to align BC’s Family Day statutory holiday, currently held on the 2nd Monday of February, with the holidays of neighbouring jurisdictions which are held on the 3rd Monday of February, to better facilitate trade and business. In a letter to Jobs Minister Shirley Bond, BBOT President and CEO Paul Holden notes that having a holiday separate from six other provinces—and the whole of the United States—has shown to have negative impacts on the operations of businesses across BC. READ THE LETTER
The Government of BC recently announced a comprehensive technology strategy aimed to attract more skilled talent to BC, expand markets for local tech companies and their products/services, and provide increased access to venture capital for tech start-ups, a move applauded by the Burnaby Board of Trade as an important step in supporting BC’s dynamic tech sector. READ MORE
The Burnaby Board of Trade is the voice of the local business community and routinely comments to all levels of government on a variety of issues important to our members. We feel it is key for decision-makers to hear and consider the business perspective on the issues they face. Please take a moment to review the below highlights from the past year. READ MORE
Following BBOT advocacy efforts and a successful two year pilot project, The City of Burnaby has passed a new bylaw to make permanent the Inter-Municipal Business License (IMBL) for construction and trade-related businesses. The new license allows eligible businesses to operate across participating municipalities and regional districts while streamlining and simplifying the licensing process, reducing costs, and making it easier to do business across six different cities in the region. READ MORE
In advance of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, the Burnaby Board of Trade has submitted a letter to the Office of the Prime Minister (PMO), calling on new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to join with other international leaders in seeking a meaningful global agreement to address climate change with new greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets. The Board of Trade also asked that government work with business organizations such as itself to develop the necessary market-based strategy to help Canada, and its business community, achieve those reductions. READ MORE
The Burnaby Board of Trade has successfully lobbied for a national water sustainability framework to become official Canadian Chamber of Commerce policy during the national business organization’s Annual General Meeting in Ottawa, Ontario. The policy resolution, entitled “Does Our Water Abundance Mask a Potential Challenge? The Need for a National Water Framework” calls on the federal government to work with the provinces and territories to commission research into the sustainability of Canadian water resources and to craft a national water framework with the goal of aligning water policies across the country. View the full policy resolution
As part of the 2016 Budget Consultation process, the Burnaby Board of Trade has made a submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services calling on the provincial government to fix the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) by removing the tax on key business investments in new equipment, machinery and software with the creation of a refundable input tax credit. SEE FULL SUBMISSION
A core value of the Burnaby Board of Trade is the commitment to the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental priorities. Accordingly, the BBOT has commented on the development of the provincial government’s Climate Leadership Plan calling for more support of the Clean Technology sector, increasing public transportation, and the importance of business engagement. READ MORE
As an official Commenter at the National Energy Board hearing into the proposed Trans Mountain Expansion Project, the Burnaby Board of Trade issued an addendum to its Letter of Comment to address issues raised in the NEB’s Draft Conditions of Approval for the project. READ THE ADDENDUM
Following of the announcement of the defeat of the Metro Vancouver Transportation & Transit Plebiscite, the Burnaby Board of Trade is calling on government and TransLink to begin working on a new solution to address the region’s long-term transportation needs. Despite the result of the plebiscite, the Burnaby Board of Trade believes the proposed transportation improvements in the Mayors’ Transportation and Transit Plan are required to ensure the ongoing viability of the region. READ MORE
The 2015-16 federal budget was announced today by the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance, and the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) has reviewed key elements of this first balanced federal budget since 2008. The BBOT is pleased to see several business-friendly announcements contained in the budget, including a reduction in the small business tax rate and an accelerated capital cost allowance for industry.SEE FULL BULLETIN
On the 2-year anniversary of the return of the provincial sales tax (PST), the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) is calling on the provincial government to fix the tax by beginning to remove the tax burden on business investments in new equipment, machinery and software with the creation of a refundable input tax credit. SEE THE FULL BULLETIN
The Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) has come out in support of a cautious “Yes” vote, despite concerns, on Metro Vancouver’s upcoming transit plebiscite for a .5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax to help fund transportation expansion across the region.
In a policy bulletin released Wednesday, the BBOT cites reservations about the proposed funding model and concerns about its impact on business, the accountability for the new revenue, and the precedent the new tax may set. Ultimately, though, it concludes that the vote likely represents the best chance to achieve sustainable, long-term funding and accomplish meaningful improvements to regional transportation. SEE THE FULL BULLETIN
The BBOT is generally supportive of this ‘stay the course’ budget and is especially pleased to see the province announce another balanced budget with a strong surplus. As part of its review of the provincial budget, the BBOT sought analysis and comments from the business and academic communities to share with its members. READ MORE
On January 14th, 2015, the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) released an independent review of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and its potential implications for Burnaby. The review was prepared by a special task force appointed by the BBOT Board of Directors following the Board of Trade’s successful application for commenter status at the National Energy Board hearings. READ MORE or SEE THE FULL REVIEW
Board of Trade celebrates the first day of improved transit in the Big Bend industrial area, following board of trade advocacy efforts and years of petitioning from local businesses. The initiative began to gain momentum last January when the Burnaby Board of Trade and Alpha Technologies co-hosted a Transit Solutions Forum, where businesses were invited to express their concerns and ideas with TransLink representatives in attendance. In mid-September, Burnaby City Council approved the plan to increase service. READ MORE
Leading up to the 2014 municipal election, the Burnaby Board of Trade sent a brief questionnaire to each mayoral and council candidate to find out where they stand on issues that are important to businesses in Burnaby. SEE THEIR RESPONSES
At the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting (AGM), held Sept 2014 in Charlottetown, P.E.I., the Burnaby Board of Trade, on behalf of its members, submitted two resolutions and co-sponsored a third. READ MORE
While the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) supports Metro Vancouver’s goals of reducing waste and increasing regional diversion rates, it has concerns with Metro Vancouver’s Bylaw 280 and is recommending the Minister of Environment delay its approval. READ MORE
The Burnaby Board of Trade, in partnership with 12 other Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, released a report titled ‘The Economic Importance of the Lower Fraser River’. The study finds that $50 billion in economic development along the banks of the Lower Fraser River is at risk unless all levels of government act now to address serious issues facing the River. READ MORE
With Canada’s new anti-spam legislation (CASL) coming into effect on July 1st, the Burnaby Board of Trade is voicing concern over potential negative impacts the new regulations will have on businesses, particularly SMEs. READ MORE
As a member of the Moving in a Livable Region consortium, the Burnaby Board of Trade is pleased to see a regional focus was taken when crafting this vision and strategy. Long term regional transportation investments are necessary to relieve the region of increased congestion. Metro Vancouver has grown from 1.7 to 2.4 million people in the last twenty years with an anticipated increase by 2041 to one million more residents and an additional 600,000 jobs. READ MORE
The Burnaby Board of Trade has joined with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (representing over 450 local Chambers and Boards) to voice concern with proposed changes to the federal Trademarks Act. READ MORE
The Burnaby Board of Trade is urging the provincial government and the Minister of Environment to delay the implementation of the new recycling regulations under the Multi Materials BC (MMBC) stewardship program due to the continued concerns of a variety of industries. READ MORE
In response to the federal and provincial budgets being released in February, the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) both issued a budget statement and organized an exclusive roundtable discussion with the senior regional Minister for BC on behalf of the Burnaby business community. READ MORE
Starting in May 2014, new environmental regulations will mean that all businesses which distribute printed paper and packaging to consumers will have to register with the new stewardship agency Multi Material BC, calculate and report the amount/type of paper and packaging they distribute each year, and pay fees to cover the cost of recycling that material. The Burnaby Board of Trade had concerns with the impact of these new regulations on its members, particularly small businesses, believing that the cost of compliance in both fees and staff time necessary for reporting represented an excessive burden for many businesses. Therefore, the BBOT recently took these concerns directly to MMBC and discussed options for mitigating the impact of the new program on small businesses. READ MORE
Each year the provincial government’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services seeks input from British Columbians on priorities for the coming year’s budget. This year, building on previous advocacy positions, the Burnaby Board of Trade made a submission to the committee calling for government to consider transportation and support of the high tech & film industries as priorities for the 2014 provincial budget. READ MORE
As of October 1, 2013, construction- and trades-related businesses based in Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, Delta, Richmond or Vancouver may be eligible for an Inter-municipal Business Licence. The licence will allow eligible businesses to work in all of these municipalities for a single fee, rather than obtaining additional non-resident licences for each municipality in which they operate outside of Burnaby. READ MORE
On August 28th, the BBOT organized an executive roundtable discussion with the Honourable Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance). A dozen representatives from the BBOT membership attended the roundtable which was hosted at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown as part of the Minister’s first official trip to British Columbia since being appointed the portfolio in July. READ MORE
The Burnaby Board of Trade, in the interest of a strong, innovative and diverse creative economy, is calling on government to increase their support for British Columbia’s film and television industry by finding ways to increase the tax competitiveness of the industry. READ MORE
In winter and spring of 2013, the BBOT led a campaign to educate its members on the transition from HST back to the PST. This campaign included creating info sheets and FAQs, hosting transition workshops, and holding a special event with Naomi Yamamoto, the provincial Minister responsible for the transition. LEARN MORE