About

Our History Is Strong

We bring over two decades of effective leadership and proactive change. We make Tofino a stronger, better community through sustainability and diversification. We are a registered non-profit society and proud members of the BC Chamber Of Commerce.

History

The Tofino Business Association (TBA) was founded in the fall of 1994 by a group of local business people in order to provide a strong and balanced voice for the business sector in the decision making processes of all levels of government and to offer positive and reasoned input and advice on the issues that affect our community.

Two decades plus after its inception, the rationale for the existence of the TBA remains strong.

TBA policies may be described as inclusive, pro-business, pragmatic, community-focused and democratically crafted.

The TBA works closely with other groups, agencies and individuals that share a mutual interest and similar mindset on issues that affect our community.

The TBA recognizes the legitimacy of all business sectors to operate in the Tofino area as long as they satisfy all regulatory and environmental standards and statutes.

Community

The Tofino Business Association (TBA) is a major contributor to the betterment of our community through its philanthropy and hands-on support of worthwhile initiatives and causes.

From its inception the TBA and its member companies have felt a responsibility to return something tangible and meaningful to the community in which they operate.

Over the years the TBA has donated to many worthy causes including the Tofino General Hospital Fund, the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, the Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre Association, the Tonquin Foundation, the Tofino Mudflats Committee, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival and the Canadian Red Cross.

Each year, in cooperation with the Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce, the TBA co-organizes an annual Christmas Gala, the proceeds of which are donated to area charities and organizations, which have included the Tofino Hospital Fund, the Seaview Senior’s Housing Society, Tofino and Ucluelet’s Volunteer Fire Departments, the Ucluelet Aquarium Society and the Pacific Rim Maritime Heritage Centre.

The TBA has an ongoing commitment to promoting the heritage and culture of Tofino and to this end has funded and supported the establishment of a “heritage trail” through the community utilizing materials from our area’s rich, diverse and vibrant past. This initiative commenced with the installation at the Meares Island Lookout of an historic ship’s anchor and interpretive plaque and has continued with similar installations in Centennial Park and on the Village Green.

Another ongoing commitment of the TBA is to provide a yearly scholarship to a graduate of the Ucluelet Secondary School who exhibits the most entrepreneurial spirit and hopes in the future to establish a “for credit” work program for high school students who are interested in careers that local businesses may have to offer.

The TBA has and continues to work closely with the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, the District of Tofino and other stakeholders on a number of initiatives including; the formation of the destination marketing organization “Tourism Tofino”, the undertaking of a Business Needs & Economic Statistics Survey funded by the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust and the successful “Yes TO YAZ” (Tofino Airport Improvement) campaign. During Municipal elections the TBA is instrumental in organizing the All Candidates Meetings and TBA members are frequently appointed to serve on various committees including Downtown Vitalization, Traffic & Parking and Development Cost Charges Review.

As the TBA surpasses its 20th anniversary, its commitment to community service and enhancement remains a cornerstone of its mandate.

Policy

AQUACULTURE

Aquaculture for both traditional and new species is growing and flourishing throughout the world as a viable economic industry and is becoming a major contributor of food to an ever-growing world population. However, suspect and misleading information is being used by opponents and detractors to sway opinion on the industry. The TBA recommends that the Provincial and Federal governments fund legitimate and responsible scientific research into the impact of aquaculture on the environment and wild fish stocks. The TBA supports a sustainable and diversified local economy, of which fin fish aquaculture is a significant contributor through the generation of solid, year-round employment for local people. Our member aquaculture businesses, Creative Salmon and Cermaq Canada, are well-run, professional companies that continue to adapt innovatively to improve their operations and to minimize their effects on the environment.

FORESTRY

The Provincial Government has instigated a policy to revitalize the BC forest industry. As part of this revitalization government is creating opportunities for small business, First Nations and communities in general to obtain forest tenure. The TBA supports more of a competitive bid system in order that stumpage reflects a more “market-based” pricing system. The TBA also supports raw log exports from regions that have an economically depressed forest industry and is in favour of the initiation of a long-term, value added wood strategy that defines potential means of accelerating this industry sector. The TBA supports community forest applications such as the one put forward by the District of Ucluelet and the establishment of a Forestry Centre as proposed by the Central West Coast Forest Society.

TOURISM

Internationally renowned for warm hospitality, gorgeous scenery, and exceptional activities and attractions, the Vancouver Island region is acclaimed by travelers from around the world. So much so, in the 2011 Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s reader survey, Vancouver Island was named the #1 Island in Canada. Tourism is a major economic driver for Tofino, strategically situated as it is on the doorsteps of Pacific Rim National Park and the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve. All aspects of the tourism sector; accommodations, restaurants, transportation, charter operators and retail services, are represented in the TBA membership. The TBA was instrumental in the establishment of the destination marketing organization Tourism Tofino which is specifically geared towards the management of tourism marketing. A non-voting TBA member serves on this organization’s Board.

EDUCATION

BC is at a skills crossroads. The quality and creativity of the workforce has become the single most competitive factor in the industrialized nations. The degree to which stakeholders avert skill shortages will be a large determinant of BC’s prosperity and social health. The BC business community must choose to take proactive action on this issue or suffer the consequences. The TBA believes that business, government and community service groups should make it a top priority to work together to develop partnerships and strategies to recruit and develop human resources from non-traditional sources of workers. The TBA supports an increase in the use by post secondary institutions of flexible delivery methods (e.g. fibre optic communications) to communities such as Tofino. The TBA supports in principle the local initiative for the establishment of a higher learning centre in Tofino. The TBA will continue to support local high school students through its annual scholarship program.

ABORIGINAL TREATY NEGOTIATIONS

There is no doubt that BC and Canada must maintain a strong commitment to the treaty negotiation process. From a business perspective the continuation of lost investment due to the uncertainty associated with outstanding land claims is not acceptable. The need for fair settlements is just as urgent for First Nations. Both aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities need sound economic growth to maintain prosperous and healthy societies. The TBA recommends that the Provincial and Federal Governments: Develop a compensation policy to ensure that all those with leases, licenses or other agreements providing specific rights on Crown land are provided with fair and timely compensation if their interests are directly affected by treaty settlements or pre-treaty agreements. Include self-governance provisions in a separate agreement, outside the treaty agreement, to allow for change and flexibility where needed. Adhere to a negotiation mandate that provides for aboriginal self-government authority to be a delegated form of governance, consistent with Federal and Provincial laws. While the TBA looks forward to the resolution of treaty negotiations, the TBA also understands that this process may take some time. Pending a resolution we encourage cooperation and communication on economic and social issues between our communities and will endeavour to work with First Nations and individual business owners to improve the economic linkages between our communities.

MUNICIPAL WATER SUPPLY

The TBA supports viable, economical, long-term solutions to Tofino’s current water supply deficiencies. If this deficiency is not addressed then community growth and development will have to be curtailed in order that there be a sufficient water supply during peak summer months and in order to secure an adequate water supply for fire protection. It is the TBA’s opinion that the fire-protection issue is a supply/storage problem. The TBA supported the plan to increase the storage capacity at the Six Mile Pit. The TBA believes that the District of Tofino should explore the options that public/private may afford, as relating to water issues.The TBA believes that the District of Tofino should seek both short and medium-term solutions until such time as a viable, long-term plan is initiated. In this regard the TBA believes the prospect of combining a hydroelectric facility with a water source for the region at Boulson Creek should be investigated further, as should be an expansion of the Ahkmahksis Reservoir.

SHORT TERM RENTALS

The TBA recognizes that “Vacation” or “Short Term Rentals” (STR) are a key component to accommodations offered in Tofino and compliment other services provided to the travelling public such as resorts, motels and legal bed and breakfast operations. All room rental operations that offer nightly or weekly accommodations to the visiting public on residentially zoned lands, that are not legal bed and breakfast operations, should be identified as a direct industry group. This group should be legitimized, regulated and taxed accordingly, so that all business operations in Tofino offering room nights to the visiting public are on an even playing field, and contribute to community coffers on an equitable basis. The STR sector in Tofino represents an important and vibrant addition to the economy of Tofino. The TBA strongly opposes any proposed bylaws that curtails or causes STR’s to cease to operate in a practical and/or efficient manner.

Mission

To affect informed decision-making by all levels of government and to encourage sustainable economic and community development.

To provide leadership for committed local business people to create and support a dynamic, diversified and sustainable local economy.

To promote the free exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience within the membership and beyond.

To ensure fair and equitable opportunities to earn a living, reside and participate in our community.

To promote maximum social and economic benefits for the local community, while promoting the wise stewardship of our environment and natural resources.

The TBA is a registered non-profit society and is governed by the B.C. Societies Act, which includes strict guidelines in relation to conflict of interest and policies regarding access to internal information.

As a business oriented association the TBA is a member of the BC Chamber of Commerce and in many cases has adopted Chamber policies, while customizing them to our local area.

Our membership includes some of the largest and smallest of Tofino businesses and represents all sectors of our local economy; including tourism, aquaculture, forestry and the service sector.

Our member companies collectively employ more than 500 full and part-time staff and contribute a significant amount to the local tax base and economy.

Our fee structure allows for the employment of a paid administrator, whose duties include attendance at relevant public meetings on behalf of the TBA, reporting to the membership, general administration and the undertaking of special projects.

The TBA is a major contributor to the betterment of our community through its philanthropy and support of worthwhile causes and initiatives.

The TBA represents its membership in such a manner as to provide a positive business voice in relation to issues that affect us all.

Business owners who are interested in becoming members of the TBA must be in agreement with the general mandate of the TBA and be willing to conduct themselves accordingly under our charter.

Prospective member businesses must be nominated by an existing TBA member and voted in by at least two-thirds of the members present at a monthly membership meeting.

The TBA is constantly searching for the new energy, insight and outlook that new members can provide. If you are looking to network and communicate with other like-minded business owners then the TBA is for you.

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