Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, has released the following statement on the 2022 Chamber of Commerce Week:
“Feb. 14-18 is Chamber of Commerce Week in B.C., and I want to acknowledge the B.C. Chamber of Commerce and its network of more than 120 chambers and boards of trade for everything they do to help people and businesses in their communities.
“Through the extraordinary events of the past two years – floods, fires, heat domes and a global pandemic – chambers have been there to help B.C. businesses pull through.
“Chambers offer critical local support for businesses, providing key information, resources and referrals. They advocate for businesses and their communities. Thanks to their hard work, B.C. continues to lead Canada’s economic recovery.
“For the first time since the pandemic began, B.C.’s unemployment has returned to 5.1% – officially reaching the pre-pandemic level of February 2020 and now the lowest unemployment rate in the country.
“The strength of our province is the result of British Columbians coming together and supporting each other, businesses and communities. Since the onset of COVID-19, B.C. has provided more than $525 million in grants to help nearly 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses navigate the challenges of the pandemic.
“As we build on our recovery, we’re preparing to launch our economic plan later this week. Members of chambers of commerce and boards of trade have played a crucial role in developing this plan. We heard from business leaders in every corner of the province that we need to develop more skilled workers here in B.C., and this is what the plan is all about.
“Our plan sets to tackle a looming skills gap in our economy, working to fill more than one million jobs over the next 10 years as outlined by the recent Labour Market Outlook.
“By investing in the skills, talents and ambitions of the people in our communities, we can address the deep vulnerabilities that have been exposed in the past two years and build an economy that tackles inequality and climate change. This plan will drive innovation, adding value and jobs to our resource sector and helping businesses be world leaders in the transition to a low-carbon future.
"On behalf of Premier John Horgan and the Province of B.C., I thank the B.C. Chamber of Commerce for its important work and advocacy. I look forward to continuing to work with you to build an inclusive, sustainable and innovative future that works for all British Columbians.”
For more information on the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, visit: https://bcchamber.org/