BC chamber network brand to be protected

AFTER meeting with representatives from the Richmond and BC Chambers of Commerce, Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services, acted swiftly to bolster the Chamber brand across British Columbia, the BCCC announced on Monday.

Sims has introduced a protocol effective immediately wherein any organization which wishes to register in BC under either the name “Chamber of Commerce” or “Board of Trade” will first require consent from the BC Chamber of Commerce, a practice common in many other provinces.

“We’re pleased to announce this advocacy win for our Chamber network, which was championed by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce,” said Val Litwin, President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce. “As the gatekeeper of the Chamber and Board of Trade brand, we can protect the integrity of our network and focus on our purpose: to know what’s on BC’s mind.”

At issue was the ability for organizations to register as a “Chamber of Commerce” or “Board of Trade” provincially under the Societies Act, rather than registering under the Federal Board of Trade Act. Across Canada, only one federally recognized Chamber of Commerce is permitted per district.

Over the years, organizations that don’t engage in traditional chamber activities have still incorporated as chambers proper. Many of these groups do not adhere to the non-partisan nature of the Chamber movement and are causing brand confusion in communities.

“We’ve been serving this community for over 100 years, and we plan on continuing to serve for 100 more. I must commend Minister Sims for her swift and direct action to create some checks and balances to support the Chamber of Commerce network and brand,” said Matt Pitcairn, President and CEO of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.