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Chamber formation hits small bump in the road

Posted on February 16, 2017 by Vauxhall Advance

By Nikki Jamieson
Vauxhall Advance

The process of creating a local chamber of commerce has hit a snag.

But don’t worry, all that is needed is a few more signatures to smooth it out.

Originally believing all they needed was a list of at least 30 names to indicate support for joining a Vauxhall and District Chamber of Commerce (VDCC), the Vauxhall Business Society collected 38 signatures pledging their interest in the VDCC in December 2016.

The organization believed they were on the right path to move forward in getting the chamber up and running by March.

However, they received a new set of instructions late last month, indicating there were a few other items needed before they could incorporate as a chamber.

“It’s a misinterpretation of documents, requirements, and since I’m not a lawyer, I did not understand how this whole process works. It’s just a delay, nothing else,” said Joerg Klempnauer, VBS president.

“It must have been a new (set of) instructions how to do it, assisted plan on how to incorporate as a chamber, that was not available for us before. We got some older papers that probably were not proper anymore.”

Each signature collected must belong to a supporting person — not a business — and they must declare that they agree with the draft bylaws for the chamber, already e-mailed out to interested parties. Each signature must be witnessed by the VBS secretary, who, in turn, must have their signature on the application be certified by a notary or like equivalent.

Additionally, before they collect the signatures, the VBS must put forth and pass a resolution to create the chamber.

“The problem is you don’t have many chambers installed anymore, incorporated. Like for instance, Lethbridge (Chamber of Commerce) is over 100 years old, Taber (and District Chamber of Commerce) is probably 50, 60 or 80 years old,” said Klempnauer. “The few new ones that come on board once in a while, nobody has updated the papers. And we noticed that provincially, and also, it must have been the same thing federally. Maybe we kicked something loose here that nobody was aware of.”

Once the resolution is passed and the signatures collected again, it will be sent to the appropriate bodies in Ottawa to register under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. It regulates federal not-for-profit corporations, including chamber of commerces who register at the federal level. Should they decide any changes need to be made to the bylaws, it will be sent back for changes to be approved and the process repeats.

The VBS will be holding a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 4:30 p.m. at the Vauxhall Public Library to pass the resolution and collect signatures. Once that it done, they should be back on track to  becoming a chamber.

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