The provincial government's financial picture was better than expected in the first quarter, with the year-end deficit projected to be $4.8 billion — about half of what was initially forecast five months ago in the 2021 budget.
The Chamber recently presented to BC's Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services to advocate for policies that will help grow the economy and allow the province to return to budget surpluses.
The updated numbers show that BC's economy is rebounding, and that the province has the capacity to continue helping hard hit sectors, such as tourism and transportation, until they can fully participate in the recovery.
On April 27, BC's Minister of Finance Selina Robinson provided Chamber members with an overview of the recently unveiled budget and she answered questions about the state of the province's economy.
If you missed seeing it live, you can still watch a recording of the event to hear what Minister Robinson had to say about government plans to help business and families, and implement new initiatives to ensure our economic recovery continues.
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On Tuesday, The Chamber held our 2020 Annual General Meeting, sponsored by Fortis BC, with a special panel featuring mayors from four Greater Victoria municipalities.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes, Colwood Mayor Rob Martin and View Royal Mayor David Screech spoke about affordable housing, amalgamation, the financial impact of COVID-19 and the need to provide mental health services to address homelessness.
"It was a great forum and truly illustrated what makes our region so diverse," says Chamber CEO Bruce Williams, who moderated the panel. "We share a lot of challenges across Greater Victoria and there are definitely opportunities to adopt best practices. But there are also differences that we need celebrate as we continue to advocate for better governance for our region."
Election Panels a chance to hear from local candidates
The Chamber is proud to bring you a series of Election Panels featuring candidates running for the three major parties in five of Greater Victoria's electoral districts.
On Tuesday, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams moderated a panel for Victoria-Beacon Hill.
Earlier today, we featured Oak Bay-Gordon Head. Tomorrow, we host candidates in Saanich South. On Friday, it's Esquimalt-Metchosin and, next Tuesday, we have candidates from Victoria-Swan Lake.
"We're asking questions that reflect regional concerns, such as child care and transportation, as well as topics that are more specific to each electoral district," says Williams, who spoke to CFAX yesterday about The Chamber's efforts to host the 2020 Election Panels.
The Chamber is setting up Election Panels to help our members get information on candidates running in Greater Victoria for the provincial election on Oct. 24.
We'll be collaborating with community chambers so make sure to save the following dates and plan to watch via Facebook Live!
Candidates have until 1 pm on Oct. 2 to register, so keep reading BizNews for the latest on when the Election Panels will be held, and who is running in your riding.