QCI Chamber of Commerce revives

  • Aug. 8, 2003 12:00 p.m.

The Queen Charlotte Islands Chamber of Commerce has revived itself, Alex Rinfret writes, and now has a new president, vice-president and only one vacancy on its board of directors.
It’s a real turnaround for the organization, which only last month was struggling to survive. A special meeting July 31 in Tlell attracted nine people. Jean Traplin, owner of Gas Plus in Port Clements, was elected president, and Gloria O’Brien, also of Port Clements, was elected vice-president. (Ms O’Brien was not at the meeting, and the minutes note that the election was “subject to her consent”.)
“It’s exciting, I think we are finally starting to come together,” said secretary Maggie Bell Brown. “I’m feeling really optimistic right now.”
The Chamber executive also includes Winston Shave as treasurer, and Brion Bailey, Dutes Dutheil, Urs Thomas, Skye Cantin, Joy LaFortune and Bob Ells as directors.
The Chamber currently has $2,279 in the bank, including $2,053 in 2003 membership dues. Mr. Shave noted at the meeting that the Chamber could have refunded these dues if it had decided to fold; however, it now appears that it will be able to continue.
The people who attended the meeting agreed that the Chamber must concentrate on attracting more members, and decided to write a letter to all islands businesses outlining the benefits of belonging to the organization.
The most immediate benefit, Ms Bell Brown said, is various discount offers, including a reduction in merchant VISA and interac costs, a two percent discount at Esso and a long distance phone deal that charges just six-and-a-half cents a minute on calls anywhere in North America, any time of the day or night.
Membership also provides a way for business people to voice their concerns at the political level, as the BC Chamber is regularly consulted by government, Ms Bell Brown said.
Following the election of its new executive and a discussion of the local group’s vision, members talked about the possibility of taking over long-term management of the Queen Charlotte Visitor Information Centre. Urs Thomas will be arranging a meeting between Ernie Gladstone of Parks Canada and the Haida Gwaii Tourism Association (which previously managed the info centre) to get an idea of what would be involved.
The next Chamber meeting will be held Thursday at the Tlell fire hall starting at 7:30 pm. Everyone is welcome.