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BC PNP Program – Letter to Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation

 

UPDATE:

February 17, 2021

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) has resumed invitations to 31 occupations that were under a temporary suspension. This is a big win for Whistler as survey results indicated that 68% of Whistler businesses with 50 or more employees reported they did not have enough staff in summer 2020.  These business owners also did not think they would have adequate staffing for winter 2020/21.

The Whistler Chamber has been a firm advocate in fighting for the program. The BC PNP acts as a critical tool to meet Whistler’s labour market and economic development, helping businesses that rely on workers that come from all around the world. Sectors such as tourism, hospitality and recreation will benefit from this policy update by the provincial government. To read more about BC PNP eligibility and application process, please click here.

 

February 10, 2021

During these unprecedented times, the Whistler Chamber continues to work hard to advocate for YOU, our Members.

In December 2020, the Whistler Chamber sent a letter to the Honourable Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, regarding the halt of invitations under the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).  In March 2020, the BC PNP announced that it would cease to invite applicants in the tourism, hospitality and retail-related occupations.  We communicated to Minister Kahlon the extreme importance of having the program up and running for these sectors, as a critical tool to meet Whistler’s labour market and economic development needs and priorities.

The letter outlined important data, such as survey results indicating that 68% of Whistler businesses with 50 or more employees reported they did not have enough staff in summer 2020.  These business owners also did not think they would have adequate staffing for winter 2020/21. This data shows how instrumental the continuation of this program is for our business community.  The survey also showed that 73% of businesses felt that foreign worker programs were important or very important to their ability to be successful.

The Whistler Chamber’s letter suggested action to support Whistler businesses, including the resumption of issuing invitations to applicants in Whistler’s key sectors of tourism, hospitality and retail.

READ OUR LETTER

 

On January 29, we received a response from the Honourable Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs.  In the letter Minister Osborne advises that her ministry is currently reviewing the program, while taking into consideration all the information, data and advice the Whistler Chamber provided her.  Minister Osborne also wrote that she will consider our request for higher allocation to be given to the BC PNP, so that our province has the level of labour required.

READ MINISTER OSBORNE’S RESPONSE

 

We will continue to keep our Members updated, and report back with any new developments. In the meantime, keep checking in on our COVID-19 Resources & Guidance for Whistler Businesses page, where you can find our recent advocacy work, recordings of our Advocacy in Action webinars, and Community of Practice blog posts, alongside our carefully collated resources.

Help us to help you by attending our upcoming Advocacy in Action: Member Input Session on February 18. Member Input Sessions show us where we should be focussing our efforts to make business better for YOU, our Members. As always please reach out with any questions or concerns to chamber@whistlerchamber.com.

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