Government Affairs Committee – 2015 in Review

PrintForward’s government affairs committee has been active at the provincial and municipal level.  Here’s a quick review and outlook:

Last year, eight attendees represented the printing industry at the CME Deputy Ministers’ Dinner on February 12th, 2015. The consensus amongst our attendees was that it was a great opportunity to network both with the government representatives and with industry leaders.

Neil Perry (Wayside) and I became members of the Industry Training Authority’s Sector Advisory (ITA) Group, representing the Print Industry.  This year, Doug Bourne (Thunderbird Press) will join this group as Neil leaves it.  During the course of the ITA meetings, it was discovered that commercial printing is missing from BC’s labour market data used for analysis, comparison and funding decisions – it was actually ‘delisted’ without consultation with the industry.  Regaining standing in BC’s labour market reporting is a key objective for 2016 and work has begun through the committee’s efforts and led by our Industry Advocate, Marilynn Knoch.

In 2015 PrintForward (aka BCPIA) participated in Manufacturing Month in October as part of its continuing participation in the BC Alliance for Manufacturing. Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) coordinated the Manufacturing Month activities on behalf of the Alliance.

  • Marilynn Knoch attended the BC Legislative Assembly on October 7, 2015 for the proclamation of Manufacturing Month and then attended a delegation meeting with key representatives, including the Honourable Shirley Bond, from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour and the Ministry of Finance.  Topics discussed included education and skills training, Multi Materials BC and the red tape reduction initiative.  Marilynn also attend the closing ceremonies and awards night for Manufacturing Month on behalf of PrintForward.
  • During October, Hemlock Printers and Pacific Bindery Services hosted Manufacturing Month Tours coordinated by the CME.

As our advocate, Marilynn met with Metro Vancouver representatives charged with implementing the Metro Vancouver Integrated Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Management Plan. Metro Vancouver hired Bronson Consulting, Ottawa to conduct a study of the printing industry. Marilynn raised serious concerns on our behalf about the size and make-up of the research group’s database.  This project, driven by Metro Vancouver, is still in process – with our industry input.

In November/December PrintForward’s Government Affairs Committee did another member government affairs survey using its 2013 survey as a benchmark for comparison. The results were printed in the most recent issue of our PressLines magazine.

Looking Forward – 2016:

Attendance at the CME Stakeholders’ Dinner on February 22 was strong – with 17 members of the Print Industry and more than 180 key government staff and industry leaders. We had a highly focused agenda for discussion and have begun the process of following up directly with contacts that were made at that event.

We have 5 primary objectives for Government Affairs’ efforts this year and they are:

  1. Ensuring that BC’s Labour Market reporting includes the print industry – we need and want that recognition for government funding and training opportunities.
  2. Following up on the BC Government-supported MMBC initiative with Tim McEwan, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. We have received confirmation that our information and request has been passed on to be reviewed by Small Business and Red Tape Reduction team and we will continue to work with this group.
  3. Providing input to Metro Vancouver representatives to ensure that the data that they use in their assessments of industry VOCs is accurate – or we may pay the price.
  4. Developing stronger relationships with the provincial government through our Industry advocacy efforts.
  5. Increase awareness and recognition of the Print Industry in BC and the role it plays in our economy.

If you have an industry-related issue that you would like raised or if you would like to participate on the Government Affairs Committee, please contact our Executive Director, Ian Cockburn or contact Kris Bovay, Chair of the Government Affairs Committee.

Kris Bovay, MBA, is General Manager of Pacific Bindery Services Ltd., a member of Board of PrintForward, chair of the BCIT Graphic Communications Technology Management Program Advisory Committee and has a background in marketing and communications both offline and online. Contact Kris at 604-873-2491 or k.bovay@pacificbindery.com