Posted Feb 19, 2015
The benefits of BC’s diverse and resilient economy were evident as Finance Minister Mike de Jong tabled a Budget on February 17 that calls for a modest surplus for 2015‐16, followed by slightly larger surpluses in the two subsequent years. This places BC in the position of being possibly the only province to balance its books in the coming year. Fiscal circumstances, however, remain tight, and the Budget featured few new spending or taxation initiatives. Spending increases that did make it into the Budget were concentrated in health care and to a lesser extent education, along with a few targeted measures aimed at lower income households. The government opted to advance capital spending over what it had planned last year, in line with the Business Council’s advice.
Posted Feb 19, 2015
Economists have long worried about Canada’s sluggish productivity growth and the seemingly ever-widening gap with the United States on this key indicator of economic well-being. It is widely recognized that the problem stems in large part from relatively low levels of investment in Canada, particularly in certain types of assets that are strongly associated with productivity improvements in modern economies – machinery, plant, equipment, software, and digital and other advanced and process technologies.
Posted Feb 17, 2015
The Business Council of British Columbia applauds today’s provincial budget, which features another three years of operating surpluses and a plan to reduce the province’s net debt measured relative to the size of the economy (GDP). Budget 2015 is built around prudent economic and revenue growth projections and includes a handful of modest, but well-targeted, spending increases.
“We support the government’s budget plan and acknowledge its steady stewardship of the province’s finances,” said Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO of the Business Council. “The government is focusing most of the proposed spending increases on health care and education while containing expenditure growth in most other areas.”
“We believe, however, that overtime it will be necessary to refocus efforts on strengthening BC’s competitive position through increased investments in infrastructure, further streamlining of regulatory processes, and the refinement of current tax policies to spur business investment and innovation,” added D’Avignon.
Posted Feb 16, 2015
As Finance Minister Mike de Jong gets ready to table his 2015 budget, the incoming economic data paint a mixed picture. Projections for global growth have been marked down by the International Monetary Fund and other leading forecasting agencies. The Eurozone hovers on the brink of recession, China’s once frenetic economy is slowing, and the prices of many internationally traded commodities remain in the doldrums.
Canada has also lost a step, with real gross domestic product (GDP) shrinking in November and the job market seeming to run out steam as 2014 progressed. Last month’s decision by the Bank of Canada to trim its trend-setting overnight lending rate by 25 basis points signalled policymakers’ worries about the state of the national economy.
Posted Feb 13, 2015
Today, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, joined by the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, the Honourable Teresa Wat, B.C. Minister of International Trade, as well as the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) announced a new project to attract Asian head offices to Vancouver. This project, entitled HQ Vancouver, will build on Canada’s competitive advantages in key sectors and attract major Asian firms to set up their North American head offices in British Columbia.
Apr 9, 2015
Join us on April 9 as the Business Council, in partnership with CKNW hosts EXPORTS: Putting BC to Work featuring an address from Benoit Daignault, President and Chief Executive Officer, Export Development Canada. This event will focus on the importance of British Columbia's trade and export activities for our economic prosperity and will also feature a panel discussion among key business leaders from various export sectors.
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- Trade, Productivity & Competitiveness