Chambers demanding action from Ottawa

Business leaders want changes to Canada’s Blue Skies policy and the temporary foreign worker program.

Canadian business leaders meeting in the Okanagan have urged Ottawa to fix Canada’s Blue Skies policy and reverse changes to the temporary foreign worker program.

At the Canadian Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting in Kelowna, delegates backed these two policies from the B.C. Chamber of Commerce and its network of local chambers.

“Canada’s business community has come together to say, ‘Mr. Harper, Canada’s restrictive air policy and gutted temporary foreign worker program are hurting Canada’s businesses,’” said John Winter, B.C. chamber president.

“When Canada’s business community, from coast to coast to coast, calls for change, you know these issues matter.”

Winter explained that, on the air access issue, Canada’s Blue Skies policy doesn’t go far enough to enable B.C. to tap into the global marketplace.

“From B.C.’s perspective, with an export-oriented economy and a big tourism industry, we need a more competitive air policy to allow both goods and people to travel at competitive prices,” Winter said.

“But this isn’t just a B.C. issue. When chambers across the country backed our policy, it was clear that businesses want progress on air access.”

With regards to temporary foreign workers,  Winter says key sectors from construction to tourism to the digital industries rely heavily on the program to hire skill sets that aren’t available locally.

“Program changes announced in April are already hitting B.C. companies, causing hiring delays, and making the program unusable for many small businesses,” he said.

“When business leaders from across Canada backed our policy, it confirmed that Canada as a whole is feeling this fallout as well.”

Winter believes the policies endorsed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM send a strong and clear message to government.

“The national chamber movement represents Canada’s largest, most diverse and most community-based business voice,” he said.

“When chambers across Canada join together to call for policy change, we’re saying to Ottawa, ‘Canada’s business community is urging this change so that our country can move forward.’”

 

Just Posted

Coldstream celebrates spring with Easter egg hunt

The family-friendly event takes place Mackie Lake House Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m.

Vernon woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

Vipers win pivotal game 5 to take 3-2 series lead

Vipers beat the Trail Smoke Eaters by a score of 5-2 and will look to end the series Saturday night in Trail at 7 p.m. at the Trail Memorial Centre. Contributed: Vernon Vipers Staff

None injured in small fire near Lumby

“It looks like it was accidental, definitely nothing suspicious.”

Vernon road closed again following landslide

The road that was reopened Thursday morning was closed again Friday following geotechnical engineer report.

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read