Key Issues

key issues

key issues

Through our annual member survey and the work of our Policy & Business Advocacy Committee, key issues for 2020 have been identified. Click on the sections below for more details on recent activities, policies and reports. 

The Policy and Advocacy Committee meets monthly to discuss issues and opportunities that face Squamish businesses. Recommendations are then presented to the Board of Directors. If there are any issues that the Committee should consider, please email louise@squamishchamber.com.

Squamish Chamber members are also invited to participate in our quarterly ‘Chamber Chats’, which are informal lunches with a small number of members (max 10), where you can tell us what’s on your mind. Check out the events calendar for upcoming Chamber Chats.

The Squamish Chamber is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the community by actively supporting business, economic growth and economic diversification. Preserving employment lands, attracting well-paid jobs, supporting business growth, and developing the workforce are key priorities.

We continue to work closely with the Squamish Economic Development office and other levels of government to support opportunities, identify areas of concern, and provide feedback and data to inform budgets, strategies, plans and initiatives that impact the Squamish community.


GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Preserve Employment Lands

The Squamish Chamber supports maintaining and growing a viable economy and has a strong interest in preserving the District’s remaining employment land acreage and building capacity for various business operations. Preserving and enhancing employment lands brings revenue to the District, jobs to residents and provides a variety of types and sizes of sites for employment opportunities, allowing the District to remain competitive domestically and internationally.

Attract Well-Paying Jobs

As the cost of living and housing continues to increase, attracting well-paid jobs to Squamish has never been more important. The Squamish Chamber supports attracting well-paid jobs across business sectors so that we can continue to build a community where people can live, work and play.

Support Business Growth

The Squamish Chamber supports attracting new businesses and growing existing businesses in Squamish to create a progressive and prosperous business environment, including a wide variety of thriving businesses which contribute to employment availability and diversity.

Develop the Workforce

The Squamish Chamber supports developing the local workforce for both existing Squamish-based businesses and for companies that are locating to Squamish. We support the development of talent needed to create wealth and to adapt to ever-changing economic realities in our community.


TOOLS & RESOURCES


POLICY  COMMUNICATION

Housing affordability is a priority for businesses. In 2018, three in four (76%) of businesses surveyed experienced challenges recruiting and/or retaining staff, with lack of affordable housing to rent cited as the main issue. The scarcity of housing is not limited to social housing, and impacts a cross section of businesses. The Squamish Chamber supports initiatives that improve access to affordable housing for employees (e.g. purpose built rental), stimulate housing inventory and reduce barriers to development and ownership.


GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Attract and Retain a Skilled Workforce

Attraction and retention of a skilled workforce is necessary across all business sectors to ensure we can continue to build a community where people can live, work and play.

Improve Access to Affordable Housing

To further facilitate business growth, the Squamish Chamber supports improved access to affordable housing through an increase  in a variety of housing options, including, but not limited to purpose-built rentals, secondary suites, and workforce housing. 

Reduce Barriers to Development and Ownership

The Squamish Chamber supports stimulating housing inventory by supporting policies at the local, provincial and federal levels of government that reduce barriers to development and ownership of housing. 


TOOLS & RESOURCES


POLICY COMMUNICATIONS

The Squamish Chamber does not have the resources to review individual developments. In line with our guiding principles, a number of factors for consideration have been identified. Read more.

As the Squamish community grows, the Chamber supports developments that are based on global best practices, rational, well planned and thought-out decisions. Growth management seeks to accommodate growth rationally, not prevent or limit it. Support for initiatives will consider the impact of future developments on the  need to sustain employment lands, protect the environment and contribute towards a strong and resilient community where residents have access to services, well-paying jobs and affordable homes.


GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Balancing Growth and the Environment

The Squamish Chamber supports growth management initiatives that consider the impact of future developments on the need to sustain employment lands and provide affordable housing options while protecting the environment. We support initiatives that aim to reduce overall Green House Gas (GHG).

Housing / Population Threshold

The Squamish Chamber supports the removal of a population cap and a set of criteria not specific to District Lot numbers, existing or future residential neighbourhoods. This is not intended to undermine growth management strategies but rather ensure the long-term sustainability of our community by alleviating pressure on employment lands, protecting wildlife habitat and creating a diverse range of accommodation which meets the needs of all our residents.

Preserving Employment Lands

The Squamish Chamber supports maintaining and growing a viable economy and has a strong interest in preserving the District’s remaining employment land acreage and building capacity for various business operations. Preserving and enhancing employment lands brings revenue to the District, jobs to residents and provides a variety of types and sizes of sites for employment opportunities, allowing the District to remain competitive domestically and internationally. 

Access to Well-Paying Job, Services and Infrastructure

Support for projects will consider contributions to the Squamish community, public infrastructure investments and transit. We will consider support for initiatives that contribute toward a strong and resilient community where residents have access to services, homes and jobs.


TOOLS & RESOURCES


COMMUNICATIONS

 

The Squamish Chamber supports initiatives that ensure access by all residents and visitors to a full range of transportation choices within the District of Squamish and through the Sea to Sky Corridor e.g. bus, vehicle, rail, sea, air, and their complimentary infrastructure, through the lenses of people, the economy and the environment; convenience, connectivity and environment being the initial priorities.

Initiatives require a comprehensive engagement process, market demand analysis and strong governance / operational models. The Chamber supports the undertaking of an updated corridor rail study and encourages the provincial government to prioritize regional business and economic benefits in transportation infrastructure investments.


GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Access To A Full Range of Transit Options

The Squamish Chamber supports initiatives that ensure access by all residents, visitors and businesses to a full range of transit choices within the District of Squamish and through the Sea to Sky Corridor e.g. bus, vehicle, rail, sea, air and their complimentary infrastructure.

We support the undertaking of a comprehensive Corridor Rail Study, which includes engagement, market demand analysis and review of governance / operational models.

Access To A Full Range of Transportation Options

The Squamish Chamber supports initiatives that ensure efficiency and access to a variety of transportation choices for goods. We support the movement of goods via road, air, and rail transportation, and through a thriving marine economy and working waterfront.

We believe the transportation of goods should be done in harmony with the community, social, cultural, environmental and economic aspirations. We support the creation of Marine and Air Transportation Plans, along with an Alternative Fuel Transportation Plan (e.g. electric, hydrogen).

Prioritize Investment in Transportation Infrastructure

The Squamish Chamber recognizes the regional business and economic benefits in transportation infrastructure investments.  The major transport infrastructure, which connects Squamish to the rest of the Sea to Sky Corridor and British Columbia are managed by the Provincial and Federal Governments of Canada.  The Squamish Chamber would be happy to assist in any transportation infrastructure studies by collecting data from the Squamish business community.


TOOLS & RESOURCES


COMMUNICATIONS

BC Chamber policy resolutions

Every year, Chambers from across the province gather at the Annual General Meeting to discuss issues, present policy resolutions and vote for the policies that the BC Chamber network should collectively advocate on.

The Squamish Chamber created a policy resolution to support the forestry sector, which was passed at the BC Chamber of Commerce AGM in May 2018. The policy identifies a need for balanced policies to address underharvest of coastal allowable annual cut. 

The Squamish Chamber supported many other resolutions around our key areas of concern, including housing affordability, transit and economic development.

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