MANAGER’S DESK: Alberni chamber predicts more visitor traffic for spring.

Canada's groundhogs are predicting an early spring, and the news couldn't be better for the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce.

I’m not totally convinced, but I assume we should all be pleased that the groundhog is predicting an early spring in Canada.

At the Alberni Valley Visitor Centre we are already experiencing more visitor traffic. Some are heading out to storm and whale watch on the west coast and many are looking for directions to sporting events such as the 29th annual Alberni Invitational Wrestling Tournament, which wrapped up at the AV Multiplex on the weekend.

Next month we expect a real spike in numbers as the BC All-Native Junior Basketball Tournament hits town with 50 teams taking part, March 18-23. That computes to more than 1,000 participants, officials, friends and family in town: a real economic generator. We hope the local community throws its support behind this huge event.

It’s also the time of year when city council looks at budgets and conducts strategic planning sessions to identify short- and long-term priorities. The chamber is lobbying for up-town revitalization and the much-needed industrial road to move up the priority list along with water and sewage upgrades. We are also working to maintain the zero increase in the business tax which Port Alberni has maintained for some 10 years now.

Coming to a mail slot near you will be our chamber of commerce invoice for membership dues. There is no increase for 2012. We hope you and your colleagues continue to support the chamber in its lobbying efforts, the ambassador program, visitor centre operation, Community Excellence Awards dinner and the growing list of services offered through membership.

A detailed list of membership benefits is available on our website, avcoc.com. Our effectiveness on behalf of the business community is directly proportional to our membership numbers. If you have any questions regarding Chamber membership, just give the office a call at 250-724-6535.

Nominations are now open for the Community Excellence Awards dinner, taking place April 12. Nomination guidelines and forms are available on our website or drop by the office to pick the forms up.

Congrats to Sharie Marie Francoeur, mortgage broker, for her Vancouver Island Business award!

Thought for the Week:

“Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.” Nakita Khrushchev

Just Posted

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘optimistic’ about Bamfield road upgrades

Premier John Horgan travelled Bamfield Main to Anacla

Premier John Horgan stops in Port Alberni

Horgan headed to Bamfield to discuss road improvements

CMHA Port Alberni to launch community clean-up crew

CMHA received a $51,500 grant from city

Hotel California tribute band stops in Port Alberni

Eagles tribute band brings rock and roll classics to ADSS Theatre

Alberni Golf Club to host Iron Person tournament

Course will be slightly tougher; open to all ages of golfers including non-members

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

Use of force deemed justifiable in arrest of suspect after snowy chase near Nanaimo

Independent Investigation Office of B.C. reports on incident from late last winter

Most Read