« Back to News
Jun 28, 2022

KELOWNA CHAMBER PRESENTS TO STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE

Kelowna Chamber makes submission at Committee Hearing in Vernon

 

Kelowna: The Kelowna Chamber raised several critical issues in its presentations to the BC Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.  Kelowna Chamber Executive Director Dan Rogers made a submission to the committee last week as they wrapped up their pre-budget consultation in Vernon.  The Standing Committee includes Okanagan Liberal MLAs Ben Stewart and Renee Merrifield as well as NDP MLA for Vernon-Monashee, Harwinder Sandhu.

“It’s a long time in advance of the 2023 Budget but as the largest big tent business organization in the Okanagan, it was important for us to ensure the Standing Committee heard from us and got a sense of the issues important to our members and to the region’s economy,” stated Rogers.

The Kelowna Chamber spoke to the Committee about three key issues and included recommendations as part of the Chamber’s formal submission that call on the Provincial Government to:

  • Accelerate investment in transportation infrastructure throughout the Okanagan to better serve one of the fastest growing regions in the country.
  • Incentivize & encourage greater cooperation among local governments to increase efficiency in processing development applications. Labour shortages mean shared service models & collaboration among adjacent local governments is vital if all regions of the province are to experience growth & prosperity.
  • Either remove the Speculation & Vacancy Tax, or revise legislation to ensure it becomes a factor of actual data, and not just a list of cities. And, that it establishes clear criteria linked to vacancy rates so there is greater transparency as to when the tax is activated and importantly when it is removed if rental vacancy rates improve (i.e., greater than 2%)

“We’re pretty passionate about these issues,” Rogers continued, “We need better transportation solutions throughout the Okanagan that increase safety on our highways while ensuring the efficient movement of commercial goods and increased labour mobility.”   

The Kelowna Chamber looks forward to seeing the issues we have raised reflected in the Committee’s final report and in Budget 2023.