Burnaby business group talks climate change, tax with B.C. minister

A provincial employment program, property taxes and climate change were all on the table during a recent meeting between the Burnaby Board of Trade and a B.C. cabinet minister.

Bruce Ralston, minister of jobs, trade and technology, met with BBoT president Paul Holden, board chair Andrew Scott, director Vivian Yuen and director of policy Cory Redekop on Aug. 1, and the group talked about a variety of issues important to the business community.

That included the B.C. PNP Tech Pilot, a special immigration program to help the tech, digital and film industries attract more international talent to help fill B.C.’s labour shortages.

The program was set to expire in June, but it was extended for another year, after a lobbying effort by the BBoT.

“The BBoT applauded the extension and pressed for a longer-term commitment to the program,” reads a write-up on the meeting.

The board also raised “soaring” property tax bills, which BBoT officials say are “threatening the bottom lines” of business around the region.

They pressed for the B.C. government to make changes to B.C. Assessment that would assess not only the potential value of the property but also the current value to offer relief on property tax bills.

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