Workforce headed for crisis on Saanich Peninsula with potential 27 percent drop by 2036

VICTORIA, March 28, 2024: The Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce estimates the region will lose 27 percent of its workforce by 2036 unless immediate action is taken to stop the exodus.

“From 2016 to 2021, we lost 7 percent of our available workers and we are on track to lose another 20 percent in the next 10 years” says Executive Director, Al Smith.

“The number one issue is cost of living and the main contributing factor is cost of housing.”

The Saanich Peninsula Chamber surveyed more than 300 businesses and found the majority face a struggle to find employees and qualified employees.

“We call on all municipalities to reverse more than 20 years of discriminatory municipal housing policies that avoided density, drove up housing costs, and denied realistic options for median and entry level workers”, says Smith.

Today the Chamber and its members begin a housing need awareness and advocacy campaign to bring immediate action to increase housing.

“Our region alone needs 9,500 hundred homes in the next 10 years if we are to avoid a crisis that will stifle economic growth”, says Smith “We encourage all businesses on the Peninsula to join us in this vital campaign, because without employees our businesses are not sustainable.”

For more information on the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Right to Housing Campaign, visit

Al Smith is available for interviews.

Contact: AL Smith, Executive Director, Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce