Hello my friends, my neighbours, and colleagues,

April has just flown by and here we are facing the beginning of May!  Thanks to some absolutely beautiful warm days, we have spring flowers and trees and greenery bursting forth everywhere! We at the Chamber Advocacy Committee have also burst forth with a busy month!

While continuing our work on transit and transportation improvements in our community, homelessness and housing issues, public safety and community involvement, we also worked hard to bring our members access to our elected representatives in Ottawa, Victoria and municipally.

Our Coffee and Conversation series – which aims to bring our community and membership together with elected representatives as well as stakeholders and  service providers in an informal setting to ask questions, exchange ideas and interact on important matters was held on April 23rd at noon. This month we had a conversation with Erin O’Toole, the leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament and the leader of the Conservative party of Canada.

In a zoom session moderated by Kirk LaPointe – publisher and editor- in-chief at Business in Vancouver (BIV), Mr O’Toole was given the opportunity to introduce himself to our members and then to answer questions submitted by the community and members. I am sure those in attendance found value in the conversation.

As a non-partisan organization, dedicated to delivering unbiased information to our members we will of course be offering this same opportunity to the leaders of the other federally elected parties in Canada as well as provincial elected representatives too. Please stay tuned to our Chamber reports here and on our website for dates of future events in this series.

Of course, as it is the overriding issue in all of our lives, it behooves me to mention the current state of pandemic measures in British Columbia. Though the vaccine is being rolled-out, we are currently being faced with even higher numbers of transmission. Specifically, the new variants have been spreading faster and apparently easier than the original strain which is not only of grave concern (as it overwhelms our healthcare system)  but it is also a very scary reality that we need to face. Transmission is not always easy to track as there are asymptomatic carriers who transmit the virus but do not come down with evidence of being sick themselves. Just yesterday, a valued member of my organization lost her life to complications of COVID – which she contracted from someone who did not know he was sick. He isn’t sick himself – but now he has to live with knowing he spread the virus to her and that she ultimately died from it. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!    Be neither the carrier, nor the victim. BE VIGILANT about your safety as well as the safety of everyone around you. Be aware that immunization does not offer immediate immunity – nor will the immunization of our community be completed before the end of summer. We need to keep protecting each other. We need to remember to put the rights and needs of our neighbours in our foremost consciousness. Everyone of us plays a role in beating this virus. We can only do this together. We MUST do this together!

Remember, the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce is here to work for and with you! I am here to stand with you!  Together – we will build a better, healthier future for us all! As always, it is my pleasure to live in, work for and serve my hometown – Cloverdale.Adc

Submitted by Rebecca Smith, Past President, Advocacy Committee Chair