For the first time in nearly a decade, Grande Prairie will play host to the Alberta Chambers of Commerce AGM and Policy Session this week. From May 24th to 26th, chamber members from across the province will tour the region, network, and debate policy suggestions.
Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Cris Seppola-Podsada says the policies approved by the group on Saturday will be compiled into a policy book. The 2015 to 2017 policy book included resolutions addressing a variety of issues, including the Trans Mountain expansion project, corporate income tax rates, and rail freight capacity.
“That book goes to the Alberta government, and it really allows us to have an official channel of our desires to give to the Alberta government for their consideration. Whatever the Alberta government does with those is up to them.”
The event will begin with a networking session Thursday night, followed by a policy showdown Friday. That’s a new feature, in which two policy experts have prepared for a live debate on whether or not Alberta should adopt a provincial sales tax.
“I think it’s going to be a really interesting exercise,” says Seppola-Podsada. “We can all form our own opinions after that. It’s obviously a polarizing question and I think that the ability for us to see a well researched debate like this allows us to have some information in order for us all to make a good decision.”
That will be followed by a tour of Seven Generations’ Kakwa River Project and an evening at the Philip J. Currie Museum. Seppola-Podsada says she’s looking forward to showcasing the region to the more than 100 delegates.
“I can say that just from being with the chamber for the years that I have and being able to go out and see other chambers as well, it’s a big eye opener because every part of the province is so different, but we all have something so important to contribute.”
The rest of the AGM will be held at the Holiday Inn & Suites. Grande Prairie last hosted in 2009.