(PORT MOODY) July 10, 2023 — Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce representatives met with BC Minister of Children and Family Development Mitzi Dean today to discuss changes to the ministry's policies, funding, and supports. Fin Donnelly, MLA for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, was also in attendance.
"Our Chamber prides itself on advocating for public policy and resources that foster strong communities," said Leslie Courchesne, CEO of the Tri-Cities Chamber. "When families, children, and youth get the coordinated care and supports they need, businesses and communities flourish. My sincere thanks to Chamber members Becca Yu and Vivien Symington and the many members in attendance for their leadership and expertise on this crucial advocacy work with the Ministry of Children and Family Development."
Minister Dean listened to concerns and fielded questions on a wide range of topics, including the complexities of care, coordination of services, community consultations, resources and funding models, improvement to procurement practices, underserved communities, labour market shortages, cooperation between provincial ministries in the 'care economy', policy and program changes, and more. A key focus of the discussions were several suggestions for quick wins for the Minister's consideration.
"Thank you to the Tri-Cities Chamber for organizing a fantastic meeting with local service providers, business owners, professionals, and parents today," said Minister Dean. "[It was] so good to hear about positive changes we've made, and what work we need to do together to support kids with support needs and youth from care."
Related to this topic, as part of the BC Chamber of Commerce AGM and Conference in June, the Tri-Cities Chamber voted in favour of the policy resolution, Developing a Path Forward to Support Neurodiverse Children and their Families is Good for Business.
The meeting with Minister Dean, MLA Donnelly, and the Minister's Chief of Staff Paula Gunn was facilitated by Chamber CEO Courchesne at the MCFD Port Moody office. Attendees were Chamber Board Directors Vivien Symington and Ryan Jamieson, and Chamber members Becca Yu, Lisa Beecroft, Karen Greenland, Tanya Valois, Kelley Lloyd-Jones, Christine Scott, Joshua Hardwick, Ed Hall, Claire Maclean, Heather Branscombe, Jennifer Blatherwick, Dr. Pat Mirenda, and Fran McDougall.
Since 1971, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has been the largest business association serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra, now representing 1,000+ organizations from every sector. The Chamber works to foster economic development, provide connections and benefits, and influence public policy at all levels of government to ensure strong business and strong communities. The Tri-Cities Chamber is an active member of the BC and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.