Your Enderby & District Chamber of Commerce is always hard at work in the community, listening to businesses’ and residents’ concerns, questions and needs. Earlier this year, The Chamber of Commerce through its representative, General Manager Clyde MacGregor, appeared before the BC Legislature’s Select Standing Committee on Finance & Government Services.
The Committee’s official report on Budget 2021 Consultation was released Friday, and Enderby & District Chamber of Commerce made its voice heard. Our Chamber’s concerns were mentioned several times throughout the report, and Enderby can proudly say that it has influenced 7 policy recommendations in the report – 3 of which were specifically tabled by the Enderby & District Chamber of Commerce.
These concerns, raised by local residents and businesses, have been heard by the BC Legislature, and will be given serious consideration as the Legislature plans out its budget for 2021.
Enderby’s specific recommendations were as follows: (quoted sections are taken directly from the report)
- “The Enderby & District Chamber of Commerce noted digital connectivity was critical for enabling businesses to survive and enabling British Columbians to work from home“- The Legislature will “work with telecommunications companies to strengthen and further develop digital infrastructure and ensure the provision of affordable, equitable access to the internet across the province”;
- “Inclusivity in public life keeps many with underlying health conditions or disabilities from participating fully in communities” – The Legislature will provide an “increase to meaningful programs and supports for equity-seeking groups who face systemic barriers will be developed”;
- ” The Chamber also recommended the expansion of online courses into other ticketed arenas to allow workers looking to upskill to work and learn at their own pace” – The Legislature will “Increase resources to adult education to provide a broader range of course offerings and ensure equity in the funding of adult students and school-age students”;
- The Legislature will “invest in upgrading existing post-secondary infrastructure, including encouraging
and leveraging opportunities to expand satellite campuses in rural, remote and
- The Legislature will “Support post-secondary institutions in advancing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by ensuring post-secondary education is accessible to Indigenous learners and honours and recognizes Indigenous
- The Legislature will “Provide sufficient support to post-secondary institutions for teaching and learning tools, infrastructure and technology, and training to facilitate professional development for the online delivery of courses. [see also: Recommendation 5 in Equity and Inclusion]”;
- “The Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce noted a need for increased access to post-secondary technology, trades and degree programs to address the existing and increasing worker shortage in technology services. They explained that as shifts to remote solutions continues, more workers must service these networks and provide support for online platforms and development.” The Legislature will “Provide flexible reskilling and upskilling opportunities in online and in-person formats with a lens to equity, reconciliation and accessibility, and recognize skills acquired through prior and experiential learning, to support workers displaced due to automation, shifts to digital technology and the pandemic, including promoting and expanding technology and trades-related training and careers”.
The Legislature has heard our voice – it’s up to us to ensure that they will do what they have laid out in their report! The Enderby & District Chamber of Commerce will continue to be an active advocate for these and other issues of importance to our community, ensuring that Budget 2021 will reflect the resolutions we have helped develop will be implemented.
You can read the whole report here, Volumes 1 & 2: