July 14th, 2024

Policies adopted by ACC in lead up to busy summer for local Chamber

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman on June 17, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce hosted the Alberta Chambers of Commerce recently and participants had the opportunity to tour the city and adopt four policies.
LCC CEO Cyndi Bester said there was 47 members of the chamber of commerce from across the province in attendance and at some point they had 137.
“It was an amazing experience just to reconnect with our fellow chamberites. It was a three day conference and on the Saturday we had the opportunity to tour them around and showcase the city,” said Bester.
One of the stops in their tour was the University of Lethbridge where they had the opportunity to see some of the iGem high school students in action at one of the labs in the Science Commons building.
“One of our policies is Dual Credit Opportunities in Alberta. So, we got to showcase the importance of why we need dual credit opportunities for high school students,” said Bester.
She said that was the very first policy presented during the conference and when she did, she said, “in yesterday’s tour you saw our young students in action, do I need to say more?” and everybody voted in favour.
Bester said their next stop was Lethbridge College, where they explored their VR program.
“We start to see some of their VR programming and how you can integrate that into HR orientation, or all sorts of really neat avenues, even to meet and greet and hold meetings virtually,” said Bester.
The other policy presented during the conference was The Importance of Building Local to Keep the Economic Footprint of Postsecondary Education Strong.
“Taking all of our chamber colleagues to these two institutes showcased the significance of postsecondary in our community. They educate people and then those students are who we hire in a lot of our small, medium and large businesses to keep them running,” said Bester.
She said that policy was not hard to sell after visiting both postsecondary institutions.
The other policy presented was a renewal to create a new pharmaceutical industry in Canada.
“During the pandemic we saw how hard it was to get the supply of COVID-19 immunizations. We’re the only G7 country that does not create or manufacture our own opioids,” said Bester.
She said the idea behind this policy is to explore the possibility of increasing farming, manufacturing and a different type of economy that Alberta can support.
“Alberta is a prime region for this type of agriculture (poppies) and we are the agriculture hub,” said Bester.
She said those discussions have to take place being respectful of the opioid crisis that we are currently facing, but also while keeping in mind that it would eliminate some stress in our system if we could manufacture our own instead of relying on other markets.
That policy was also adopted by the ACC.
Bester said the last policy she presented was another renewal, for which she used a t-shirt to “sell the idea”. The Policy is called Ensuring the Future of Canadian Oil.
“Right now we’re seeing so many issues with supply chain management, access to fuel, cost of fuel. The need for us to take that economy seriously when it’s a huge part of the Canadian economy, the seriousness needs to be amped a little bit while being respectful to the environment and all those other things,” said Bester.
She said that in 2019 during a Canadian Chamber of Commerce meeting they were all given a “Support Canadian Energy” t-shirt which is what she used to sell the policy.
“I put my support Canadian energy t-shirt on, I stood up and I said, ‘again do I need to say more?’ And everyone supported it,” said Bester.
She explained that after the policies are adopted by the ACC and formalized, they can lobby the provincial government.
“We can ask the Alberta government to lobby the Canadian government,” said Bester.
When talking about what is next for the chamber in the coming months, Bester said they will have a busy summer.
“We will be announcing the new board that takes over July 1,” said Bester.
She said they will also start planning for the AGM at the end of September and planning for next year.
“We will be announcing the new board that takes over July 1,” said Bester.
She said they have their golf tournament in August as well as Meet the Ministers events in July and August.
“We have quite a few provincial ministers that are going to be touring, so we’ll be doing a lot of meet the minister events,” said Bester.
She said they also have an appreciation night with the Lethbridge Bulls, on July 28, which will be fun.
“We want to keep that whole spend local, explore local, invest local, build local theme going that we ran through last year,” said Bester.
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