The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce won the support of more than 120 chambers across B.C. on policies related to B.C. Ferries, transit and protecting the marine economy around Vancouver Island.
The GVCC received unanimous support for all four of its proposed policies at the B.C. Chamber of Commerce annual conference in Nanaimo on May 22-23.
The Chamber wants a regional transportation authority for the Capital Region, greater commitment from B.C. Ferries to fare affordability and connecting communities and the expansion of private-public infrastructure projects.
A fourth adopted policy is a response to federal government plans to create a national marine conservation area in the southern Strait of Georgia, a designation that could impact everything from float planes to container shipping traffic en route to the Port of Vancouver.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of industry going on around the waterways … so the restrictions could very well have an effect on eliminating economic activity and negatively affecting the overall Canadian economy,” said Darlene Hollstein, GVCC chair.
The Chamber wants the federal government to clearly state how they plan to fund the necessary monitoring of the proposed conservation area, as well as undertake a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether a conservation designation is the best mechanism to protect the area, which would stretch from Gabriola Island to the Haro Strait.
“There are still a lot of questions about how this is going to impact our industry,” Hollstein said.
Full details on the policies can be found at victoriachamber.ca.