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  • Small Scale Renewable Energy

    News Release

    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce asks the Government of Alberta to support Small-scale Renewable Electricity Projects.

    For Immediate Release: Lethbridge, Alberta October 18, 2017

    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is asking the Provincial government to create a program to support small-scale renewable electricity generators. In 2016, the Government of Alberta announced its approval of the AESO’s (Alberta’s Electricity System Operator) recommendation to move the provincial electrical system from an Energy Only Market (EOM) to a Capacity Market (CM). A capacity market guarantees an adequate supply of electricity to meet the province’s demand while developing an energy grid that is more reliable and diverse.

    The largest barrier to achieving this is the low price of electricity, which is great for consumers, but deters investment - especially for innovative small-scale projects. Investing in a small-scale energy system will not only open doors for small-scale producers to grow and branch out, but also enable the creation of new local jobs and a diversified economy with less environmental impact than the old energy system, while contributing to the realization of a diverse and reliable Capacity Market.

    “There are real economic opportunities for Lethbridge to expand its involvement in the clean-energy sector, and this small-scale electricity program could encourage new and existing business growth, new jobs, innovations, and collaborative projects in our region.”- Ryan Miller, President of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce.

    “A Small-scale electricity program that invests in new projects would grow business and contribute to diversifying Alberta’s energy market. It’s a smart investment that is likely to yield very positive long-term returns.” - Karla Pyrch, Executive Director of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce

    An example of one such producer is our own Lethbridge BioGas. The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce recommends that the Government of Alberta fund this initiative through the Climate Leadership Plan.

    For more information, please call Karla Pyrch at the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and refer to the enclosed Policy: Small Scale Renewable Energy

    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce

    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is The Voice of Business, promoting and enhancing a healthy economic and social environment in our region by serving the interests of business. We represent over 760 businesses and over 10,000 employees in the Lethbridge area. 

    Bill 17 - June 27th Bill 17 - June 27th

    More Consultation Needed on Bill 17: The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act


    For Immediate Release: Lethbridge, Alberta, June 26, 2017


    Alberta Chambers of Commerce President and CEO Ken Kobly voiced the concerns of chambers and business with Bill 17 last Tuesday in an opinion-piece published in the Edmonton Journal. More consultation was needed before passing legislation that will add further layers of costs on business and remove working Albertans' right to a secret-ballot vote in choosing union representation.


    On behalf of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce, we encourage our Media Partners to consider reprinting/posting the opinion piece in their own publications or networks.


    Get the opinion in document form


    Employers and chambers should also know the specifics about how Bill 17 will impact the workplace. Neuman Thompson is holding a free webinar on this issue on June 28 and chambers and their members are encouraged to participate.


    See details and register for Alberta's Changing Legislation: What Does It Mean For Employers?


    WEDNESDAY, JUNE 28, 2017
    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM MDT


    The Alberta Chambers of Commerce will continue to inform community chambers on this and related policy issues, including the Workers Compensation Board Review. Stay tuned.


    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce


    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is The Voice of Business, promoting and enhancing a healthy economic and social environment in our region by serving the interests of business. We represent over 750 businesses and over 10,000 employees in the Lethbridge area.


    For more information on this release, please contact Peter Casurella at 403-327-1586 or by emailing policy@lethbridgechamber.com

    Local Priorities to be Championed by Provincial Business Network - June 6

    Local Priorities to be Championed by Provincial Business Network


    For Immediate Release: Lethbridge, Alberta, June 6, 2017


    Last week representatives from the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce descended on Leduc to attend the annual Alberta Chambers of Commerce Policy Convention. At this convention, chambers from across the province work together to develop a slate of priorities for the provincial office to champion in Edmonton. The staff and board of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce then takes these marching orders and advocates for them to decision makers in the government.


    This year the Lethbridge Chamber took three policies to the convention that focus on building a more competitive environment for our local businesses. Our policy on Investing in Market Access for Southern Alberta Businesses recommends that the Government of Alberta invest in local rail, road, and air networks to help local businesses get their goods to new and existing markets more effectively. Our second policy Grown in Canada Label: Marketing Alberta’s Agri-food, recommends that the Province work with Federal policy makers to promote a voluntary grown-in-Canada label to help promote our agri-food products overseas. Finally, our policy titled Measuring the Effects of Increased Minimum Wages in Alberta calls on the Government to halt minimum wage increases until as system of metrics can be implemented to measure the impact of previous increases.


    We also supported a policy brought forward by Medicine Hat to advocate for the twinning of Highway 3, from Medicine Hat to the B.C. border.


    All of these policies were adopted by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce, meaning that they will now be championed by the united voice of thousands of business owners across the province.


    “One of the growing challenges our businesses face is remaining competitive in the face of accumulating costs. We need the Provincial Government to understand that costs need to come down for businesses. The Alberta Chambers of Commerce is an important partner in getting that message heard by the decision makers.” – Harry Gross, President of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce


    “We need to persuade the province to pursue a regulatory environment that enables local businesses to remain competitive, and to prioritize the kind of infrastructure and trade policies that give our local businesses new and better opportunities. That’s what these policies are about, and now they are being endorsed by over 120 Albertan Chambers, and tens of thousands of Albertan businesses.” – Karla Pyrch, Executive Director of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce.


    You can review the full Policy Book for the Alberta Chambers of Commerce Here.


    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce
    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is The Voice of Business, promoting and enhancing a healthy economic and social environment in our region by serving the interests of business. We represent over 750 businesses and over 10,000 employees in the Lethbridge area.


    For more information on this release, please contact Peter Casurella at 403-327-1586 or by emailing policy@lethbridgechamber.com

    Policy Win - June 1st

    Policy Win for the Chamber as Government Expands Dual Credit Program for Students

    For Immediate Release - Lethbridge, Alberta, June 3, 2017


    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce was all smiles when the Provincial Government announced expanded funding for the Dual Credit program for students this month. Alberta’s Duel Credit program allows students to earn credits towards a post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree while they are still in high school. This allows students to discover their career passions through a variety of learning opportunities such as trade apprenticeships, power engineering certificates, health-care programs, and criminal justice studies.


    The Dual Credit Strategy Fund was rolled out as a three year pilot project in 2014 with contracts being awarded to both the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College who then established educational partnerships with Lethbridge School District #51, Holy Spirit School Division, Horizon School Division, Palliser School Division, Westwind School Division, and the Kainai High School on the Blood Reserve. Feedback from participants has been consistently and resoundingly positive, with more young people finding pathways into post-secondary education in programs that will provide them with meaningful and rewarding career options.


    In 2016 the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce released a policy asking the Provincial Government to renew their commitment to this program by providing sustainable funding beyond the three-year trial period. This policy was adopted by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce and was presented in Edmonton with the backing of thousands of business owners from across the province.


    “The Chamber works hard behind the scenes to advocate on behalf of member businesses to create a thriving economic environment for our community. Getting better educational outcomes for our young people, engaging them sooner, and helping them discover meaningful career options, is good for the entire community, and certainly good for local businesses looking for talented young people.” – Karla Pyrch, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce


    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce
    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is The Voice of Business, promoting and enhancing a healthy economic and social environment in our region by serving the interests of business. We represent over 760 businesses and over 10,000 employees in the Lethbridge area.


    For more information on this initiative, please contact Karla Pyrch at 403-327-1586 or by emailing karla@lethbridgechamber.com

    Board of Directors of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce Elections - May 31st

    Local Business owner and Former Chamber President elected to Board of Directors of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce

    For Immediate Release

    Lethbridge, Alberta, June 1, 2017 – The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that our former president, and long-time volunteer, Bruce Galts of Galko Homes, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce.
     

    The Alberta Chambers of Commerce is the Provincial branch of the nation-wide Chambers network and they work to represent the needs and priorities of thousands of businesses across the province to the government in Edmonton. As a Board member, Bruce will participate in the oversight and governance of this organization and will be a part of advocacy efforts on behalf of the business community province-wide.


    Bruce has a long history of serving the community in governance roles, as a Senator at the University of Lethbridge, on the board of the Canadian Home Builder’s Association, with Economic Development Lethbridge, the Urban Development Institute, Built Green Alberta, Enervision Ltd., and of course the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce where he served as our President and Board Chair in 2014.


    We know that Bruce will bring a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing business owners in Lethbridge, and we can count on having an effective advocate for our region working with the Alberta Chambers of Commerce to effect positive change.


    “We’re really proud to have one of our own representing all Albertan business owners in this way. Bruce has been a great asset to our Chamber over the many years that he’s served on our board and committees and he is the right man for the job.”


    – Karla Pyrch, Executive Director of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce

    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce
    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is The Voice of Business, promoting and enhancing a healthy economic and social environment in our region by serving the interests of business. We represent over 750 businesses and over 10,000 employees in the Lethbridge area.


    For more information on this release, please contact Peter Casurella at 403-327-1586 or by emailing policy@lethbridgechamber.com

    Bids for Recycling Contracts - May 2

    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce urges City to commit to soliciting bids from Private Industry for Recycling Contracts

     
    For Immediate Release - Lethbridge, Alberta, May 2, 2017


    It has been the long-standing position of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce that government should not compete with private industry, unless very special circumstances dictate that only government can effectively fill the need. However, City Council, acting on the advice of the City Administration, seems to be ready to approve a residential curbside recycling service, funded by taxpayers, without first issuing a call for proposals to private businesses to fully explore all possible options for the residents of our city.


    In December, the Chamber issued a letter to City Council, reminding them that the business community does not support government services moving into competition with private industry and asking them to explore private options. In March, the Chamber went before a session of Council and called on Councilors to explore private options first before deciding to deliver residential waste diversion as a public option. Now, with the date of final decisions fast approaching, there is no indication that City Council will act on these requests.


    In response we have issued the attached position titled: Solicit Bids from Private Industry on Recycling Contracts. The Chamber of Commerce firmly believes that calling for bids from private industry before making a final decision on recycling services is necessary, and that private industry could provide better recycling services than a city-run service, for the following reasons.

     

    1. The City should not be in competition with private enterprise
    2. The City has a responsibility to taxpayers to explore all options
    3. Most Lethbridge residents want the City to put out a request for proposals (70%)
    4. Private industry has a natural need to innovate to remain efficient and competitive
    5. Moving ahead with the public option, without considering private industry, would violate the City of Lethbridge’s 2014 – 2017 Strategic Plan

     

    All five of these points are explored thoroughly in our released position. (attached)
    “We want to be clear that the Chamber is supportive of curbside recycling, and we know that most citizens in Lethbridge are too. But how can we be confident that we are getting the best deal for our tax-dollars when the City has not even fully explored private options? Red Deer has a great relationship with their private recyclers and they have a successful and progressive waste diversion program. If the city can show us that the public option truly is the best one, then we’re happy to support them, but they have not done so, and they are pushing good businesses out of the market.” – Harry Gross, President of the Chamber of Commerce.


    “If the City moves ahead with a publicly run and publicly funded service without issuing a call for proposals from private businesses, that sends a very negative message to local businesses,” says Karla Pyrch, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce.


    Voting on CIP projects, including the 14 million dollar Materials Recovery Facility, goes before Council in May.


    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce


    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is The Voice of Business, promoting and enhancing a healthy economic and social environment in our region by serving the interests of business. We represent over 760 businesses and over 10,000 employees in the Lethbridge area.


    For more information on this initiative, please contact Karla Pyrch at 403-327-1586 or by emailing karla@lethbridgechamber.com

    Major CIP Decision - April 28

    Chamber of Commerce asks Council for Carefully Studied Decisions regarding Major Facility Projects

    For Immediate Release - Lethbridge, Alberta, April 28, 2017


    With City Council poised to make important decisions on CIP projects which have the potential to shape the direction our community for the next generation, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is once again calling on City Council to carefully evaluate all potential large-scale facility projects and study how these projects could be best combined to minimize expenses and maximize long-term economic returns for our region. In March, the Chamber released a policy calling for Council to consider a Multi-use Convention and Arts Centre, with the possibility of a world-class art gallery featuring the University of Lethbridge’s immense art collection (second largest in Canada) as a priority.


    “Our Board of Directors had a growing realization that, although the various parties who have presented large capital projects have conducted studies that have shown the benefits of their projects, we weren’t aware that anyone had yet asked the question: ‘given that there is limited CIP funding, what combination or prioritization of projects would provide the most long-term economic benefit to our region?” – Karla Pyrch, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce


    In the attached letter issued to City Council, the Chamber emphasizes that it believes there are four projects which should be priorities for the City because of both the economic and social benefits that they would provide.


    “We are supportive of a new Trades and Exhibition space in this city,” says Harry Gross, President of the Chamber of Commerce, “but we also see the need for a new Performing Arts Centre and a Convention Centre. The possibility that the City could partner with the University of Lethbridge to showcase the second largest art collection in Canada, is also an opportunity that could put Lethbridge on the map and make a combined Convention space truly competitive on a national and international scale. We’re asking the city to study what the best combination and prioritization of projects would be that would generate the most economic benefits and private business investment, as well as job-growth, in our region. Now’s the time to make strategic decisions which will drive the maximum return.”


    When you combine these sorts of community facilities together, you improve their cost-efficiency, get more use out of them, and they become far more competitive. The Chamber’s request to City Council is all about taking that hard look now at what combination of projects will make best use of taxpayers’ dollars and will set up our entire region for success over the next 50 years.


    “The Chamber feels like our community is at a crossroads and we need to make carefully studied decisions. Where you build facilities and how you combine them will have huge long-term effects on the future of our city and will affect the options that we have in the future. There’s an opportunity here to build a legacy project, and to plan carefully for the future, in a way that could make an immense difference for our entire region.” – Karla Pyrch, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce
    CIP decisions go before City Council over the month of May.


    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce


    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is The Voice of Business, promoting and enhancing a healthy economic and social environment in our region by serving the interests of business. We represent over 760 businesses and over 10,000 employees in the Lethbridge area.


    For more information on this initiative, please contact Karla Pyrch at 403-327-1586 or by emailing karla@lethbridgechamber.com

    Enclosed:


    Letter to City Council
    Policy: Development of a Multi-use Convention and Arts Centre

    Big Win for Business - April 28

    Chamber of Commerce’s advocacy efforts pay off as Province invests in Airport Planning

     
    For Immediate Release - Lethbridge, Alberta, April 28, 2017
     
    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is feeling encouraged following this weeks’ announcement of a $90,000 dollar commitment from the Provincial government to fund an airport master plan. This funding will allow the County of Lethbridge to study what would be the best management framework for the airport which would allow the facility to grow, attract new carriers and business, and contribute to the future growth of our region.

    In February of 2017, the Lethbridge Chamber released and advocated for a policy titled: Investing in Market Access for Southern Alberta Businesses, calling on the Provincial government to “aide in creating a plan for sustainable growth at local airports as a portion of local economic progression, with an eye to growing international and inter-regional opportunities.” The Chamber advocated for this policy in meetings with our local MLA’s, members of the provincial opposition, and in meetings and discussions with stakeholders, our Member of Parliament, and through the media.
    “We’re very pleased that the voice of business has been heard on this important issue,” said Harry Gross, President of the Chamber of Commerce. “Lethbridge has incredible potential for economic growth, and we need better transportation infrastructure to support that growth. The airport is a key part of that picture, and this investment signals that we are headed in the right direction.”


    “The Chamber works really hard behind the scenes to advocate on behalf of member businesses to create a thriving economic environment for our community. This investment is a win for our entire region.” – Karla Pyrch, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce


    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce

    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is The Voice of Business, promoting and enhancing a healthy economic and social environment in our region by serving the interests of business.

  • Past Media Releases Past Media Releases

     


    The Opportunities Canada Needs to Build the Next 150 Years of Business Success

    Lethbridge, Alberta, February 16, 2017—In a year of political and economic

     

    uncertainty, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, has identified Ten Ways to Build a Canada That Wins, a list of key opportunities Canada can seize right now to regain its competitiveness, improve its productivity, and grow its economy.

    “Our list outlines specific recommendations on what Canada can do better, and the opportunities to improve our economic success. Canada can’t sit still while our competitors run laps around us. We need every advantage, and the Canadian Chamber will work with government to put these new measures in place,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “If we take advantage of these opportunities, we’ll give our businesses new tools to ensure their growth and success.”

    In this fiercely competitive world, business needs more than its own skills to win—it also needs supportive environmental and public policies to encourage competitiveness. This new version of an annual Canadian Chamber report moves away from identifying self-inflicted wounds that have prevented Canada’s economy from achieving its full potential and instead describes the opportunities for us to do better.

    “The world is shrinking and Southern Albertan businesses need to be competitive internationally. All of the measures identified in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s document would help drive this competitiveness,” said Harry Gross, President of the Board of Directors for the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve emphasized opportunities that touch Canada’s internal economy, from reducing the cost of doing business to dismantling internal barriers to trade. What we need now is a commitment to get the job done.”

    “As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, we can look back at the essential role business played in shaping our country. But as we look forward, it’s clear we’ll need every advantage to continue building a more prosperous country. These ten opportunities can provide a foundation for the next 150 years of Canadian business success,” said Mr. Beatty.

     

    Consult the Ten Ways to Build a Canada That Wins document.

    http://www.chamber.ca/advocacy/ten-ways/

    Watch a short video on the Ten Ways to Build a Canada That Wins.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8jN34mkK0s

     

    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce

    The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is The Voice of Business, promoting and enhancing a healthy economic and social environment in our region by serving the interests of business.

    The Canadian Chamber of Commerce

    The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are available at Chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom

    For more information on this network initiative, please contact Kevin Farrell at 403-327-1586 or by emailing kevin@lethbridgechamber.com