BC Chamber of Commerce corporate directory link disabled – but I have corporate members list for you here!
There has been much discussion among British Columbians of boycotting members of the business associations who are behind the legal challenge to the FIGHT HST petition .
Within hours of Elections BC refusing to pass the petition on, the links and websites to many of these business associations were posted all over the internet, so people could see the members of these associations and contact them, or perhaps, boycott them.
One of these associations is the BC Chamber of Commerce. It still begs to reason that this challenge may have been, and likely was, enacted without extensive consultation of their respective members. My personal belief is that it is likely the large corporate members who are behind this challenge, since small businesses have not benefitted from the HST – and in fact, most are hurting. Since the HST was enacted, I have made a point of asking every small business owner I encounter if the HST has helped business, or hurt it.
So just who are the corporate members of the BC Chamber of Commerce? You might try to go to their site and find out, but interestingly enough all links to the corporate member directory have been disabled and no longer appear in cached versions found on most search engines. Perhaps an internet glitch, perhaps not, but a damn convenient one if you ask me, with talk of boycott in the air.
Luckily enough, I have obtained a list of those corporate members for you- in no particular order – from a chamber member who is less than impressed with the actions taken by the Chamber itself – and I quote : ” It was never mentioned when I joined, that my fees might be used towards any kind of action like this. I had no say in this whatsoever and I certainly do not support this action! ”
I guess democracy isn’t the only thing under threat in all of this. I’m not one to take actions like boycott and strike lightly, but desperate times call for desperate measures. When the guns with money push, those without must push back the most powerful way we can, and that is buying power. No one wants to alienate customers, nor do they want to lose the money they bring to the table.
This list was previously available online on the Chambers site, and I do apologise for the horrific format and colour, but the manner in which it was transmitted to me made it difficult to post to the blog. As soon as I can PDF it, I will post the file link. Some companies have links embedded, some do not, but feel free to let these members know how you feel about the Chambers participation in this action.
***UPDATE : Tuesday August 17th
The Chambers site was updated sometime yesterday with this bit yesterday, which states that their members have endorsed the Chamber to lobby the provincial goverment FOR the HST since 2002 and that at their general meeting in 2008, the members voted for this to become a policy priority for ALL CHAMBERS IN BC. ( Needless to say, those businesses did not anticipate this would become such a heated and contentious issue that would incite corporate boycotts)
Position on the Judicial Review
On June 29, 2010, the BC Chamber of Commerce together with five BC business associations filed for a Judicial Review of the HST Extinguishment Act, the proposed Bill attached to the “Stop the HST” petition. This legal submission in no way challenges anyone’s democratic rights, or the petition itself. The BC Chamber is attempting to establish clarity in regards to BC’s tax policy, the absence of which may impact potential investment.
The BC Chamber’s focus is on the constitutional validity of the HST Extinguishment Act. The Judicial Review questions whether a Federal law already in place can be debated in the Provincial Legislature. A definitive legal position from the Supreme Court of BC will ensure that considerable time and money will not be spent on a draft bill that is constitutionally unsound and therefore incapable of becoming law. It will also remove any uncertainty on this issue which could otherwise potentially harm BC businesses and the economy at large.
Through filing for this Judicial Review, the BC Chamber is not making any recommendation to either the Anti-HST group or the BC Government. Once the result of the Judicial Review is in, it will be up to the Anti-HST group and Government to decide how to proceed.
Our membership has endorsed the BC Chamber of Commerce to lobby the Province for the HST since 2002. At our Annual Meeting in Whistler in 2008, the members voted for this to become a policy priority for all Chambers in BC.
The BC Chamber will continue to support its local chambers and their efforts to promote a vibrant business environment
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