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What's New

Presentation:
Ken Peacock presentation to Construction Council of Vancouver Island
Building BC for the 21st Century

Posted May 14, 2015

On May 13, 2015, BCBC Chief Economist Ken Peacock presented to the Construction Council of Vancouver Island's first annual Capital Project Forum in Nanaimo. In his presentation, Ken makes the case for increased infrastructure investment due to its strong economic impact and the role infrastructure plays in enabling access to foreign markets and improving quality of life. With the current climate of low interest rates, now is an opportune time to borrow capital in order to finance essential infrastructure projects. The presentation also looks at a variety of financing options from both the private and public sector, and notes the need for a long term infrastructure development strategy to ensure we keep pace with the global economy and our shifting demographics here at home.

This presentation is based on the Business Council's November 2014 whitepaper on infrastructure policy and financing, Building BC for the 21st Century, authored by Ken Peacock and Jock Finlayson.

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Economic Growth and Tighter Labour Markets in BC: Some Implications of the Demographic Shift Ahead

Posted May 1, 2015

Most people are aware that the population in Canada and other western countries is aging, that longevity is increasing, and that the front‐end of the large baby boom generation has started to retire. Fertility rates have also fallen, which means the future supply of workers will be restricted.   But how quickly will the population grow, and age, in the coming decades? Will there be a dramatic shortfall of working‐age people?   

This issue of Policy Perspectives briefly reviews current population projections for BC, shining a spotlight on a few key demographic variables. The findings underscore the steady aging of the provincial as well as the national population.   It is also clear that immigration plays a significant role in the changing demographic landscape – within a decade, it will be the only source of population growth for both Canada and BC.  Immigration can also help temper the pace – but not reverse the reality of – population aging.

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Finlayson Op-Ed: Workers’ bargaining power to rise as labour shortages proliferate

Posted Apr 28, 2015

The critical role of skills in a modern economy and the fact that many employers continue to report difficulties in finding qualified personnel raise questions about the future supply of workers.  A number of business leaders have voiced alarm about current and/or potential labour shortfalls. Some worry that the overall economy could be de-railed by widespread shortages of workers.

In thinking about this topic, it is useful to begin by considering the larger economic picture and the lessons from past experience.  Concerns about labour shortages are not new, tending to wax and wane with the state of the economy.  Temporary labour supply-demand imbalances in particular occupations, regions, or industries are not uncommon.  But as an empirical matter, serious and persistent shortages of workers have been rare in Canada.  The reason is that the emergence of imbalances in parts of the labour market typically leads to institutional, behavioral and policy responses that, over time, serve to eliminate or mitigate the effects of shortfalls in the supply of workers.

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Amid an Oil Price Collapse…The Harper Government Delivers on its Balanced Budget Promise

Posted Apr 22, 2015

The steep drop in the price of oil and related impact on federal finances prompted the Conservative government to delay bringing down the Budget. But despite a $6 billion hit to Ottawa’s revenues, Finance Minister Joe Oliver was determined to meet the government’s commitment to balance the operating budget by fiscal 2015-16, after seven years of red ink. Doing so required adding some modest amounts from asset sales and shrinking the contingency reserve, but in the end the government managed to erase last year’s small deficit ($2 billion) and is forecasting a razor-thin $1.4 billion surplus for 2015-16.

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Resolving Strikes in Essential Services – The Supreme Court of Canada Weighs In

Posted Apr 16, 2015

This edition of Human Capital Law and Policy was guest authored by Delayne Sartison, Q.C., Partner, Roper Greyell.

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Events

Public & Political Affairs Media Panel & 2015 Annual General Meeting

Jun 11, 2015

 The  Business Council of British Columbia is pleased to present a public and political affairs media panel as part of our 49th Annual General Meeting. This panel discussion will focus on current political events and feature an impressive line up of BC media representatives, including Keith Baldrey, Wendy Cox, Les Leyne and Harold Munro. The panelists will share their insights and perspectives regarding the upcoming federal election; the results and implications of the recent Alberta provincial election; and the state of BC politics.

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