Representatives of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce were in Kelowna last week raising a number of issues with members of the federal Liberal Pacific Caucus.
President Tracy Cobb-Reeves and general manager Dan Rogers represented the local chamber and among the issues they raised was the need to review the service standards and staffing levels for CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) at the Port of Vancouver.
“The issue has been raised by one of our members in the manufacturing sector that has been waiting weeks for his container of parts to be inspected in Vancouver,” said Rogers, chamber general manager.
“It is our understanding that the delay in inspections is impacting his orders, creating angry customers and threatening to reduce his operations all at a time when we are trying to grow our manufacturing sector.”
The chamber is seeking an immediate review of the situation and its impact on small business.
Other issues raised by the Greater Vernon Chamber included:
n The need for a national housing strategy to address affordable and attainable housing.
n Support of the Canadian Airports Council in working with federal authorities to make Canada’s airports more competitive and air travel more affordable.
n The need for continued support of the Local Immigration Partnership Council in its efforts to create a welcoming community for newcomers, immigrants, and refugees.
n The need for federal government infrastructure funding for the Regional District of North Okanagan’s Master Water Plan and for the development of the Okanagan Rail Trail initiative.
n The potential for growth and cooperation along the Highway 97 corridor from Washington State through the North Okanagan in order to grow business and cross-border trade.
n The need for further due diligence in preventing Zebra and Quagga mussels from entering B.C.
“It was a great opportunity to meet with federal government representatives and be able to convey some of the important issues that our members and the community have brought to our attention,” said chamber president Cobb-Reeves.
“We appreciate the time Kelowna Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr took in hosting the sessions and his keen interest in our members’ issues.”