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Renowned Toronto physician to deliver a prescription to end poverty in British Columbia

Toronto physician Dr. Gary Bloch has a simple cure for the health problems ailing low-income British Columbian's: increase their income. “Poverty is a disease and treating poverty works like medicine.” That’s the message that Dr. Bloch, a family physician with St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and chair of the Ontario College of Family Physicians’ Committee on Poverty and Health, will bring to health practitioners, community advocates, and the general public on September 22nd and 23rd for a two-day series of events in Vancouver organized by the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition and co-sponsors listed below.

Featured on CBC’s The Current and in the Globe and Mail, Dr. Bloch advocates that physicians also help low-income patients apply for social assistance and housing and fill out tax forms in order to improve their health.

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Surrey Board of Trade takes leadership during Teacher Strike

The start of the school year is a critical time for students. We know that with the continuing teacher strike, you may be looking at options for your children. To help you, the Surrey Board of Trade’s strategic plan includes a strong focus on education for our youth, which will benefit our workplaces today and tomorrow. They are our future entrepreneurs and workers. The Surrey Board of Trade offers the following options for your children through innovative and generous partnership arrangements. Consider participating in one of them. Any questions, please contact me at 604-634-0342 or at

1. Free Math Classes – Students: Grades 1 to 9
Free, Spirit of Math Schools, will offer daytime classes in Surrey during the BC teacher strike. Spirit of Math is wanting to help students and provide them with a meaningful learning experience. Please like their facebook page,, to find out how to register. Schedules and registration will be opened weekly and released on their facebook page. Grades 1-8, Crystal Lai, 604-304-4032,

2. Free Online courses – Students: Grades 10-12
Beyond DL School runs a program, offering students in Grades 10-12 online courses for graduation credits.  All of the courses are worth 4 credits towards high school graduation and are tuition-free.  The students will develop a learning plan that best suits their needs. For More information, please contact Avneet Gill-Dhaliwal at 778-565-1124 or at

3. Entrepreneur and Leadership Program – High School Students aged 16-18
TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE), with the Surrey Board of Trade, are looking for highly motivated and energetic young participants to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs. TYE provides an opportunity to understand and build contacts in the world of business and entrepreneurship, learning directly from entrepreneurs and professionals who are actively involved in building and growing successful businesses. The program runs on Saturday mornings from October until June, preparing them for a global entrepreneurial competition. Applications are now open at


Waste Management Solutions Panel & Environment Award Winners

On Thursday, September 11th, the Surrey Board of Trade hosted the 8th Annual Surrey Environment and Business Awards Lunch, featuring a Waste Management Solutions Panel. The panelists spoke to topics such as Multi Material BC (MMBC), Organics Waste, and Bylaw 280 – Regulation of Solid Waste and Recyclable Materials. The five panelists were:

  • Mayor Derek Corrigan, Vice Chair of the Zero Waste Committee, Metro Vancouver
  • Neil Hastie, Global Product Stewardship Council
  • Candace Le Roy, Director, SFU Sustainability Office
  • Genevieve Blondin, Growing City
  • Nicole Stefenelli, Urban Impact 

The event also featured a presentation by Surrey Councillor Bruce Hayne on the Green Surrey Program, as well as the presentation of the Environment and Business Awards. The awards were presented to Surrey Board of Trade members or Surrey-based businesses that have demonstrated exceptional dedication to environmental leadership and/or issues. The award recipients are guided by a sense of respect for the environment and demonstrate this initiative consistently. 

This year’s winners are:
Small Business – TBF Environmental Technology Inc.

Medium Business – Novex Delivery Solutions

Large Business – Guildford Town Centre

For further information, please contact Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade, at or at 604.634.0342.


Surrey Board of Trade met with Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

On Friday, September 5, at the Surrey Public Library, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander spoke with an invitation-only roundtable. Given Surrey’s large multicultural community and its direct line to Surrey’s economy, the Surrey Board of Trade focused on Canada’s immigration system as it evolves starting January 2015. The federal government will introduce a new application management system for selecting and processing economic immigrants: The Expression of Interest (EOI) system. 
The Surrey Board of Trade’s CEO, Anita Huberman, said that “this system represents a huge opportunity for B.C. and its employers but only if designed properly. In order to be successful the system must meet two key criteria: it must reflect the needs of employers, large and small, an accommodate BC’s complex labour market realities.”
The following points were highlighted to Minister Alexander:
1. Benchmark processing times (from selection to arrival) against comparable systems; be the fastest immigration system in the world. 
2. Accelerate Labour Market Opinions for ‘trusted employers’ and specific occupations where skill shortages exist.
3. Let employers access the pool of candidates directly.
4. Enable immigration consultants to help employers navigate and use the EOI system.
5. Treat employers and prospective immigrants as customers.
6. Strike a balance between integrity and usability.
7. Provide a clear pathway for newcomers seeking the recognition of their foreign credentials; newcomers should be connected to professional regulatory bodies prior to arriving in Canada.
8. Enable employers to use the tools they normally employ when selecting and screening candidates.
9. Allow employers to provide pre-selected candidates a pathway to permanent residence, with the ability to track them through the system and prevent ‘poaching’.
10. Allow immigrants to self-select where they want to live and for whom they want to work; to the extent that they exist, assign provincial immigrant quotas based on labour market needs.
11. Market the EOI system internationally to prospective immigrants and domestically to employers – a ‘if you build it, they will come’ strategy will not work. 
12. Publish the aggregate data from employers’ searches and the skills profiles of newcomers entering Canada through the EOI system. 
13. Enable the EOI system to accommodate employers with lower and semi-skilled labour needs. 
The Surrey Board of Trade’s workplace development strategy and the respective advocacy teams that support this will coordinate activity to complement and monitor the implementation of the new EOI system.