One of the core services we provide to members are policy and advocacy.
We find out which issues are most important to our members and we advocate for a solution that benefits chamber members and local business in general. When we surveyed our members earlier this year, we found that the issues that our members wanted us to focus on were “local” issues: taxation, bylaws and those kinds of things.
To that end, the Chamber is hosting two forums for this upcoming municipal election to ensure that business interests are represented. The first forum is an all-candidates debate on November 8th at the Lester Centre (7pm) open to the public and televised live on CityWest channel 10. We have invited Mayoral and council candidates to this forum. Some general questions will be asked up-front, and then we would take questions from the floor.
The second forum is a Mayoral candidate’s question period hosted at the Chamber luncheon on November 16th (noon at the Crest Hotel). Given the short time period over the lunch meeting we chose to focus on the Mayoral candidates rather than invite the councillors as well.
The Chamber luncheon (and all Chamber luncheons) are open to members and non-members alike. We will focus on questions submitted by our members at the Chamber luncheon and then open up for questions from the floor.
Local business is the lifeblood of our community, and we all see the growing number of empty stores downtown. The Chamber hopes to work with whoever is elected to Mayor and Council this year to improve the situation by making Prince Rupert a favourable place to do business. Our ability to attract tourists, cruise ships, new residents, and skilled professionals to our community is enhanced by our unique and boutique stores and restaurants.
If we can grow it, we all benefit; if we lose it, we all lose.