The Sechelt and District Chamber of Commerce’s Annual General Meeting was hosted Feb. 21, at the Blue Ocean Golf Club Grill. About 35 members were in attendance.
Local MLA Nicholas Simons was the guest speaker. He delivered a brief overview of the 2020 provincial budget, which was tabled by the government earlier in the week. After providing examples of positive financial indicators related to employment and taxation in the province, he stated that over the next two years, the BC economy is predicted to be stable and resilient within a context of global financial uncertainty. “In other words, things are looking good, but we aren’t in control of everything,” said Simons.
On the subject of reconciliation with First Nations, Simons stated that despite the current disputes related to the Coastal GasLink project, he believes that progress continues to be made. “As long as there is one person on each side that believes in reconciliation and the ongoing efforts to create justice and a fair society, then reconciliation is alive and well. We are struggling right now in certain areas. A remarkable example of collaboration and agreement is the province’s Foundation Agreement with the shíshálh Nation. It’s a wide-ranging agreement that speaks to the relationship that we will have moving forward,” said Simons.
As part of the meeting, Sechelt Mayor Darnelda Siegers administered the oath of office to the chamber’s 2020 board of directors. These included John Henderson, Albert Trinh, Debbie Hendsbee, Aaron Joe, Sasha Gray, Nick Farrer, and Dan Fouillard. Directors Carolyn Minchin and Graham Moore, who have agreed to continue as members of the board, were not in attendance.
Following the meeting, the directors elected John Henderson as chair and Debbie Hendsbee as vice-chair of the board.
“In 2019, the chamber took a leadership role in advocating for matters of importance to our members,” said Henderson. “In collaboration with other local groups and residents, we provided recommendations to local governments on matters including specific options for solving our water supply issue and ways to improve our transportation system including the need for a real highway and for increased ferry service. In 2020, the chamber will continue to advocate on these topics as well as other important matters including affordable housing, seniors care and taxation.”