Premier visits Penticton to pledge support for small business

Christy Clark covers familiar territory with campaign-style speech that praises small business and hammers NDP

Premier Christy Clark delivers the keynote address Friday at the B.C. Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting in Penticton.

Premier Christy Clark delivers the keynote address Friday at the B.C. Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting in Penticton.

Small business was smothered in praise Friday, as Premier Christy Clark deliver a campaign-style keynote address at the B.C. Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting in Penticton.

Her 25-minute speech also included shots at the B.C. NDP and a funding commitment for a new micro-business training program.

Clark began her address by telling delegates that chambers of commerce are “a hugely important voice for my government,” and “unique in representing small businesses in every single region in every single sector, so what you say really makes a difference.”

“And it is small business, more than any other in the province, that remembers the value of community. The value of, not just of the town, but of the local neighbourhood in a town in helping knit us together,” she continued.

“And that’s why it’s so important to support small business, and when I say support small business, I mean support a thriving private-sector economy in every region of the province.”

Clark then cast herself as a champion of free enterprise, and took a jab at NDP and its public-sector ties.

“There are two recipes for going about managing an economy and managing a province. One of them is mine, and that’s to make sure we’re growing the economy, that we are getting out of your way.

“The other way is to invest in a government economy,“ she said. “I don’t believe that we should be growing the government economy. I believe that we should be growing the private-sector economy.”

BC Chamber of Commerce CEO John Winter, who hosted a brief question-and-answer session with the premier after her speech, used his closing remarks to criticize public-sector unions.

“These unions are lobbying hard to make sure that any government measures designed to help governments grow get defeated, which of course reduces government revenues,” Winter said, in reference to the HST.

“But that doesn’t seem to stop their demands for higher wages and benefits. I have no idea why they don’t get the bigger picture about the economy.”

Earlier in her remarks, Clark announced $3.1 million for a pilot project that will fund management training for micro-business owners with fewer than five employees.

The program will be administered through the BC Chamber of Commerce and be made available to up to 1,200 people who have no formal training after high school. Participants will be able to access up to $1,500 each. The program is expected to roll out in July.



Just Posted

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Rob and Anthony are the city’s new parking ambassadors who are sharing information with businesses and the public about the new pay parking. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Penticton hires team to inform people on city’s new pay parking system

The pair will spend at least a month helping businesses and residents navigate new pay parking system

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

Emergency crews responded to Highway 97 after a motorcycle incident. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Motorcyclist taken to hospital after collision on Highway 97

It is not known the extent of their injuries

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

Victoria area mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

Most Read