Advocacy

The Burnaby Board of Trade advocates on issues important to our membership via our social, environmental, and economic development committees, and through other targeted initiatives.

Recent:

BBOT Calls for Proposed Tax Changes for Private Corporations to be Stopped

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. 


BBOT Makes Submission to Parliamentary Committee about Encouraging More Women on Corporate Boards

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.


BBOT Voices Priorities for Upcoming Federal Budget

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. 



Amending and Replacing Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation – BBOT Policy Position

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.

Read the BBOT’s full policy here.


Burnaby Board of Trade Makes the Case for More Women in Corporate Boardrooms with New Policy Proposal

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.

Read the BBOT’s full policy here.


Burnaby Board of Trade Welcomes Budget’s Focus on Infrastructure, Innovation, Housing and Child Care;  Concerned with Lack of Plan for Return to Balance

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.


Burnaby Board of Trade Attends Provincial Budget Release in Victoria;
Pleased with 5th Consecutive Balanced Budget

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.


BBOT Supports Metrotown Downtown Plan Vision

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.


BBOT Statement on Trans Mountain Expansion Project

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.


Provincial Commissions Calls for Tax Reform; BBOT Renews Call to Fix the PST

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.

Read the news release on the Commission on Tax Competitiveness’ findings here, or see the full report here.


BBOT Releases Business Sentiment Report; Business Confident But Struggling with Finding Workers, Cost of Housing

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


BBOT Supports Film Tax Credits in Open Letter to Finance Minister

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


BBOT submits feedback on Climate Leadership Plan

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


Federal Budget 2016: Burnaby Board of Trade Welcomes Investments in Infrastructure and Green Economy; Calls for Plan to Return to Balance Budget Following Deficit

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


BBOT Presents to Burnaby City Council on Expansion to Inter Municipal Business License Program

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

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Burnaby Board of Trade Supports 4th Balanced Budget and Applauds Signal for PST Reforms

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

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Burnaby Board of Trade calls for realignment of Family Day in BC

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

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BC Announces $100 Million BC Tech Fund and Tech Strategy

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

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2015 Year-End Advocacy Report Card

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

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City of Burnaby makes permanent Inter-Municipal Business License

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

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Burnaby Board of Trade calls on PMO to work with business on GHG reduction targets

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

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Burnaby Board of Trade Wins Push for National Water Policy

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

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Fix the PST” says Burnaby Board of Trade at BC Budget Hearings

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

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BBOT Makes Submission to BC’s Climate Leadership Team

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

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Addendum to Letter of Comment, RE: Application for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project

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

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Following “No” vote Board of Trade urges government, TransLink back to the table

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

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Burnaby Board of Trade Reviews First Balanced Federal Budget since 2008

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

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Burnaby Board of Trade says it’s time to start fixing the PST

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

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Burnaby Board of Trade supports cautious ‘Yes’ in transit referendum

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

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BBOT Supports 2015/16 Balanced Budget

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

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Burnaby Board of Trade releases in-depth pipeline review

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

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Improved transit in Big Bend a huge success for BBOT and local businesses

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

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BBOT surveys 2014 municipal election candidates on issues important to business

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

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Two major successes for members of the Burnaby Board of Trade

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

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Burnaby Board of Trade Calls for Approval of New Waste Bylaw to be Delayed

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

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Board of Trade Report Identifies Major Risks to Lower Fraser River

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

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BBOT Concerned with CASL

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

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BBOT Applauds Transportation Vision

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

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BBOT expresses concern over proposed changes to federal trademark act

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

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BBOT Asks Government to Put the Brakes on MMBC

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

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Board of Trade acts on provincial, federal budgets

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

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BBOT works for MMBC exemptions

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

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BBOT submits business priorities to Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services for 2014 provincial budget

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

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Inter-municipal Licence to Benefit Burnaby-based Construction and Trades-Related Businesses

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

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BBOT organizes Executive Roundtable with the Honourable Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance)

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

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Burnaby Board of Trade calls for greater government support of BC’s film and television industry

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

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BBOT works for smooth PST transition

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