Public Affairs Update Header
Issue 32 September 24, 2012
In This Issue
Union of British Columbia Municipalities Annual Convention Begins Monday
BC Government Announces New Skills Training Initiatives
Former BC Conservative Party Candidate to Seek BC Liberal Party Nomination
Small businesses worried about hiring, investment under NDP
Dear Susan,

The Public Affairs Update is your weekly insight, perspective and analysis on politics in British Columbia and Canada.  This newsletter is brought to you by the largest, and most broadly-based business organization in the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce – the Voice of Business in BC.
Union of British Columbia Municipalities Annual Convention Begins Monday
The annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention is scheduled to begin today in Victoria. One of the first issues to be discussed will be the funding of community services and alternatives to property taxes to fund these services.
Specifically, mayors are looking for new sources of revenue from the BC government in order to finance the growing costs of added responsibilities incurred from provincial and federal governments.
In a policy paper released in May, the Business Council of BC compared the provincial government’s rate of spending to that of 21 Metro Vancouver municipalities. The report found that local governments’ spending increased by an average of 32 per cent between 2000 and 2010, while provincial spending increased by 10 per cent in the same period.
Greg Moore, Mayor of Port Coquitlam and the UBCM executive’s representative for Metro Vancouver, said the federal and provincial governments are responsible for some of the municipal cost pressures. As such, municipalities are proposing new sources of revenue, such as receiving a share of the carbon tax or provincial sales tax, to pay for municipal services.
BC Government Announces New Skills Training Initiatives
Premier Christy Clark has announced a plan to expand skills training and coordinate programs and students with economic opportunities. As part of the plan, the BC government will:

  • Work to promote the opportunities in the trades and technical fields and improve policies to support these choices;
  • Invest $75 million to improve training facilities and equipment, and ensuring the availability of technical education teachers, particularly with trades certification; and
  • Work toward getting the right mix and quality of trades and technical programs and reduce the time required to achieve certification; and
  • Match economic immigration selection to meet British Columbia’s labour market needs.

The Premier Clark also announced investments of $29.2 million in funding for trades facilities at Camosun College, and $28 million for the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College.

$1500 for Business Training Interested in receiving up to $1500 for training to improve the efficiency or productivity of your business? The BC Chamber of Commerce Micro Business Training (MBT) Program is 100% funded by the government, and offers courses on multiple topics in several different formats.

Former BC Conservative Party Candidate to Seek BC Liberal Party Nomination
John Martin, a former BC Conservative Party candidate, has announced he will seek the BC Liberal Party nomination in Chilliwack for the upcoming May election.

In April, Martin ran for the BC Conservative Party in the Chilliwack-Hope by-election, which was won by the BC NDP’s Gwen O’Mahony.

Martin’s announcement came one day before the BC Conservative Party Annual General Meeting. At that meeting party members decided that John Cummins will continue on as their party leader.

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This weekly report produced for the BC Chamber of Commerce by Fleishman-Hillard.  While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information included in this publication as of the date of issue, events and government policies are subject to frequent change.  Therefore, the BC Chamber of Commerce and Fleishman-Hillard cannot assume any responsibility for actions taken solely or principally on the basis on the information contained herein.