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Debate Over the Minimum Wage Heats Up

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Proposals to increase the minimum wage have been gathering speed on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. In January, President Obama called on Congress to lift the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, an idea quickly rejected by Republican Party leaders. But America’s national government doesn’t hold a monopoly on labour standards in that country; state and local governments also play a role. Since 2011, more than a dozen U.S. states and several cities have increased the minimum wages in their jurisdictions. Earlier this year, Seattle adopted a $15.00 an hour minimum wage, the highest among all big American cities.

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Finlayson: US may be poised for economic housing boost (Troy Media)

Posted Jul 28, 2014

Is it possible that America’s economy might surprise us with a sustained growth surge? The question came to mind as I recently slogged through a series of blog entries and reports on the web site of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The Center’s researchers keep close tabs on U.S. housing markets and have a particular interest in the factors believed to influence the demand for housing.

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The LNG Opportunity in BC: Separating Rhetoric from Reality -- Part II

Posted Jul 16, 2014

In Part I of this two-part series, we reviewed the main economic critiques of LNG development in British Columbia, concluding that while there are risks and economic uncertainties with respect to LNG in the province, the critics are largely off base with their professed economic concerns. Here in Part II, we address the more analytically challenging environmental issues that have been identified by various commentators who doubt the benefits of LNG.

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Waiting for Better Days

Posted Jul 15, 2014

Some of the optimism about the global economy evident in early 2014 has diminished in recent months, causing forecasters (including the Business Council) to revise down their growth projections. The change is not dramatic, but the tone has shifted in a more cautious direction.

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Finlayson: BC must up its productivity game (Troy Media)

Posted Jun 27, 2014

A fundamental long-term challenge facing British Columbia is to improve upon the province’s lackluster productivity record.   B.C. trails the national benchmark on overall business sector productivity by around 10%.  In 2012, BC ranked sixth among the ten provinces in the level of productivity.  Moreover, the province has had very limited success in boosting productivity since the 1980s.  This is a worrisome trend, since higher productivity will be essential to raising real incomes and living standards as the growth of the workforce slows due to the effects of an aging population.  In the end there are really only two ways to expand the “economic pie”: i) higher productivity, and/or ii) greater “labour input” – i.e., more people working.  The size of the workforce is limited by underlying demographic patterns, whereas in theory there is no limit to future productivity growth.

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The Data Effect: Our Next Edge - Health Care

Dec 1, 2014

The data age presents us with a new approach to build the economy and the country.  Data, and the systems around it, are revolutionizing key sectors of the economy.

The Data Effect will look at how data stands to be a key tool to build BC and Canada's competitive advantage in the global economy.  The event will lay out the practical steps required to ensure BC's global strengths in health care research and delivery can improve outcomes, create jobs and build the economy. 

The select audience will be drawn from government, business, research and the investment community and will map out the partnerships, policies and ideas that can make Canada a leader in the data age. 

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