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Thursday
Nov272014

Surrey Board of Trade Wants Federal Government to Reinstate Mandatory Long-Form Census 

The Surrey Board of Trade wants the federal government to reinstate the mandatory Long-Form Census Questionnaire in the 2016 census.

In a policy resolution to the federal government, the Surrey Board of Trade indicates that in April 2014, Statistics Canada announced that it is gearing up for the 2016 Canadian Census. As in 2011, there will be a short, mandatory census questionnaire for all Canadians, and a voluntary household survey for 1 in 3 households.

In 2010, over the objections of a very broad sector of society, the federal government abolished the mandatory long-form census questionnaire, in favour of a voluntary National Household Survey.  The impetus for the change was reported to be over concerns for the privacy of individuals that submit the questionnaire.  It has been reported that security of the data, particularly concerning personal privacy, is very high.

“However, there are no indications that any census information gathered had been compromised nor individuals’ privacy put at risk,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

Over the past year, Statistics Canada has been releasing information based on the census conducted without this tool. This has resulted in a storm of questions about the reliability of the data collected especially when compared with previous census data. According to a Canadian Press report, the agency (Statistics Canada) viewed the results as good for its first voluntary survey, but noted that the numbers were less reliable when focusing on areas with fewer than 25,000 people. In fact while Statistics Canada did increase the number of households that received the survey (1 in 3 from 1 in 5) the response rate was only 68% as opposed to the 94% rate when submitting data was mandatory.

At the annual Convention and AGM of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in September 2014, this Surrey Board of Trade policy resolution was approved by the Canadian Chamber’s member chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 Canadian businesses. This resolution is now a policy position of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and its members and will be pursued with the federal government over the coming months by both the Surrey Board of Trade as well as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. 

Reasons for implementation of Canada’s Mandatory Long-Form Census:

1. Long-form data are used by businesses, provinces and municipalities, economists, urban and community researchers, policy analysts, sociologists and other scholars in the humanities and social sciences (including geographers and historians). They all rely on the mandatory long-form census for solidly representative and accurate data.

2. The loss of comparable, longitudinal, long-form data seriously impairs our ability to monitor change in the social indicators that inform policies and programs related to immigrants, visible minorities, the poor, ethnic groups, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, or women (i.e. the value of unpaid work in the home).

3. Municipalities (including large cities such as Surrey) and even provinces can't gather such high quality, comprehensive, and reliable, or truly representative data themselves. Not only would their costs be prohibitive but, unlike the federal government, they can't make their surveys mandatory.

4. When we are still climbing out of a recession and relying heavily on immigration for population and labour force growth, we can't afford to jeapordize our ability to gather high quality, accurately representative data on a range of social and economic indicators that measure adaptation by immigrant groups.

5. The federal government's decision to cancel the mandatory long-form census (2b) and to replace it with the voluntary National Household Survey, effectively undermines their commitment to research excellence and innovation.

For the full position paper, click HERE

Wednesday
Nov262014

New Staff Joins Surrey Board of Trade Team

The Surrey Board of Trade is pleased to welcome 3 new staff members to their team. Craig Amundsen and Anne Peterson have been hired as the Surrey Board of Trade’s Government Advocacy Manager’s. Dave McGrath has been hired as the Business Innovation and International Trade Centre Manager.

“As the organization grows, more staff resources are needed to support Surrey Board of Trade members, promote economic development and government advocacy. I anticipate even more exciting announcements in 2015. I am pleased to welcome Anne Peterson, Craig Amundsen and Dave McGrath to my Surrey Board of Trade team,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

 

Anne Peterson is a former City of Delta Councillor from 2008-2011. In this position, she was Chair, Community Planning Advisory Committee and the Heritage Advisory Committee, and Vice-Chair, Housing Task Force. She was a Constituency Assistant to the Province of BC and most recently has been the Managing Director, Lead Research Consultant for Compass West Ventures where her expertise was applied research and policy analysis, program planning and evaluation for both business and not for profit organizations. She has also been a member of the Surrey Board of Trade’s Social Policy Team. Anne’s connection, work and relationships in the South Fraser economic region will be an asset to the Surrey Board of Trade.

Craig Amundsen is a registered lobbyist in BC, Alberta, Ontario, federally and in the U.S. His experience in government relations, advocacy, public relations, work with Local, First Nations, Provincial and Federal governments will be an asset to the Surrey Board of Trade.  Craig was the Executive Assistant to the following Mayors: Dianne Watts of Surrey and Darrell Mussatto and Barb Sharp of North Vancouver. In these positions, his work related to many of the issues that the Surrey Board of Trade focuses on including housing, development, rapid growth communities, sustainable cities and taxation. Craig has also worked for BCAA as an Advocacy and Government Relations Specialist where he achieved legislative changes related to hand-held cell phone usage by drivers.

Dave McGrath has worked with the Pitt Meadows Economic Development Corporation in a business attraction strategy and has served in the following positions: Director of Marketing for Heli-One Incorporated; Director of Marketing & Communications for the Vector Aerospace Services-North America; Director-Service Administration for Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association; Communications Manager for Nova Scotia’s Arthritis Society; and Public Affairs Coordinator for the Department of Defense in Nova Scotia. He also owns his own marketing-communications and business development consulting business, Absolute Marketing & Communications. His skills around diversified strategic marketing and business development will be an asset as the Surrey Board of Trade enhances its Business, Innovation and International Trade portfolios.

The Surrey Board of Trade, in Surrey since 1918, provides businesses and organizations with economic opportunity, workplace development and education, international trade, government advocacy and business connections. The Surrey Board of Trade has 2,100 business members, representing 6,000 business contacts and over 60,000 employees. We support business, attract business and improve economic efficiencies for business through government lobbying. The Surrey Board of Trade is the go-to place for business resources and information. We believe that transportation and education are the two economic foundations of building a city. 

Monday
Nov172014

Surrey’s City Centre One Building Takes Top Award in 2014 Fraser Valley Commercial Building Awards

SURREY – The City Centre One Building of Surrey was named the Judges’ Choice Best Overall Entry in the 4th annual Fraser Valley Commercial Building Awards Thursday night (November 13) at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Surrey. City Centre One also won the Excellence Award in the Office Category.

The annual celebration of the best of the best commercial and industrial buildings in the Fraser Valley from White Rock, North Delta, Surrey, the Langley’s, Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack was sponsored by the Surrey Board of Trade, Re/MAX Commercial, Fortis BC, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board Commercial Division and the Business Examiner Fraser Valley Newspaper.

The Offices at Newton in Surrey was named winner of the Fortis BC Green Award.

Other category winners at the event were:

  1. Community – Church: Christ Covenant Church of the Township of Langley
  2. Community – School: Chilliwack Senior Secondary of Chilliwack
  3. Community Institutional: Surrey City Hall & Civic Centre of Surrey
  4. Community Recreational: South Surrey Recreation Centre
  5. Senior’s Housing: The Residence in Mission
  6. Retail: Langley Mercedes of City of Langley
  7. Renovation: Langley Obstetrics & Gynecology of the Township of Langley
  8. Multi Family: Breeze of South Surrey
  9. Hospitality: Cactus Club Café of City of Langley

Merit Awards (Runners-up) went to:

  1. Multi-Family – Brownstones on the Boulevard of Chilliwack
  2. Office – The Offices at Newton in Surrey
  3. Community Institutional – Canuck Place Children’s Hospice of Abbotsford
  4. Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower of Surrey
  5. Community – School: Yorkson Creek Middle School of the Township of Langley

The full official program for the event, listing all nominations, is available for viewing at:

http://issuu.com/markmacdonald7/docs/2014_fvcba_program/0

Thursday
Nov132014

Anita Huberman to provide keynote address at DIVERSEcity’s Employer Appreciation & Networking event 

DIVERScity Community Resources Society is hosting an Employer Appreciation & Networking Luncheon.  This event will acknowledge local small and medium enterprises that have provided work experience placements to new Canadians who are eager to enter the Canadian job market.

“That first Canadian work experience is invaluable to an immigrant new to the country,” Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

The Employer Appreciation & Networking event will be held at the Surrey Central Library on Thursday November 20, 2014. Successful stories & immigrant profiles will be featured, along with delicious food provided by Nahm Thai Bistro.

“DIVERSEcity’s Employment Service has been connecting local businesses that are looking for skilled workers with newcomers who are eager to gain Canadian work experiences,” said Susan Liu Woronko, manager of Employment Services at DIVERSEcity. “We want to thank our community employers who have supported new immigrants with work placement opportunities.”

If you are a small business operator new to DIVERSEcity, please join us as we wish to show you what we can offer you!

For more information, please contact DIVERSEcity at es@dcrs.ca or call 604-547-2032.