BCBC In The News
The Province: Energy firms urged to win over BC public
Oil, gas and other natural-resource companies must help "shoulder the burden" of addressing British Columbians' concerns around controversial projects like pipelines, says the federal minister responsible for natural resources. Joe Oliver pressed the Business Council of B.C. in Vancouver on Wednesday to recognize their companies must play a key role in convincing the public the projects will benefit not just them, but everyone
Vancouver Sun/Times Colonist: Revenue shortfall blamed for BC's budget deficit ballooning to $1.5 billion
Provincial coffers are in worse shape than expected. A shortfall in projected revenue means the provincial government is forecasting a budget deficit of $1.5 billion for the 2012-13 fiscal year, $328 million more than projected in its first quarterly report released in September. Finance Minister Mike de Jong said the government is working to control government spending to mitigate the effects of reduced revenue, delays in the sale of some assets and reduced revenue from natural resources. Deterioration of the province’s real estate market has also had a significant effect.
Vancouver Sun: Economic growth won't put environment at risk: Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver
OTTAWA — The Harper government has and will continue to put environmental protection first when it comes to developing resource projects in British Columbia, a federal cabinet minister will tell a West Coast business audience Wednesday.
But Conservative Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, in his first appearance in B.C. since the International Energy Agency warned earlier this month of pending U.S. energy self-sufficiency, will also stress Canada’s need for infrastructure to access export markets for bitumen crude in Asia.
Vancouver Sun Editorial: Liberals win by a nose on the economy
As the political parties crank up the rhetoric in advance of the May provincial election, the B.C. Business Council has weighed in with a useful reality check on the most important issue, the management of the economy. Their comparison of the 1980s, '90s and the decade since the NDP was ousted in 2001 shows that on balance, British Columbia performed better under the Liberals.
Kelowna Daily Courier: Changing times mean changing attitudes
Things are pretty good in British Columbia. We have a relatively high standard of living and our quality of life is right up there. However, it’s those very advantages that has led to some complacency and left our productivity wanting. “British Columbians work hard, but their productivity is 10 per cent below the Canadian average and Canada is 25 per cent below the U.S. average,” said Vancouver based Greg D’Avignon of the Business Council of British Columbia during the Kelowna stop of the B.C. Agenda for Shared Prosperity forum.
Canadian Business Magazine: BC's carbon tax is here to stay
[Excerpt] The Clark government’s finance ministry is in the midst of a previously announced review of the carbon tax, but few now believe it will be scrapped or seriously altered. “The most likely option for the government review is essentially the status quo,” says Jock Finlayson, vice-president of the Business Council of B.C. His organization itself is urging the government to cap the tax at the current $30 per tonne and consider reducing it for energy-intensive industries within the province, which, it argues, have been placed at a competitive disadvantage. But the council is pleased with the $721 million in corporate tax reductions stemming from the revenue shift. Bringing in new taxes to make up for the loss of carbon tax revenue would be “quite messy,” Finlayson says.
Vancouver Sun: McInnes - Numbers undermine notion of NDP's dismal decade
The idea that the 1990s were a lost decade for B.C., 10 years of economic rack and ruin under the NDP, has been a constant theme in Liberal attacks. As the campaigning intensifies in advance of the May 2013 general election, the pitch now is that British Columbians can’t afford to let a new NDP government take us back to that dismal decade....
Link to full McInnes article here
Link to BCBC Letter to the Editor in response to McInnes article here
Vancouver Sun: BC business eye 'fiscal cliff' even as they enjoy mascent US economic recovery
U.S. President Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday but the political result B.C. business leaders will be watching for is still in the future. Officials in sectors such as forestry and tourism — which have benefited from the halting recovery of the U.S. economy — are hoping the American government can avoid falling over the so-called “fiscal cliff” of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that could take effect on Jan. 1. Failure to avoid the cliff could send America back into recession, taking Canada and B.C. with it.
Business in Vancouver: Stronger US manufacturing sector good for British Columbia
BC manufacturers and exporters should benefit from a key U.S. presidential election campaign pitch that would return overseas manufacturing jobs to the continental U.S.
Edmonton Journal: Real GDP down 0.1 percent in August: Statscan
Canada's economic expansion came to a surprising halt in August, posting the first decline since February and setting the stage for the worst quarter of economic activity in more than a year. Real gross domestic product shrank by 0.1 per cent over the month, with both temporary and fundamental factors taking the steam out of what economists had expected to be a relatively healthy 0.2 per cent advance.
Daniel Veniez, Globe and Mail: Treaty settlement the only way to end pipeline deadlock
The broken treaty process is a conspicuous illustration of a major impediment to the expansion of British Columbia’s economy. The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline debacle is its latest casualty. In 1992, the federal and provincial governments created the BC Treaty Commission (BCTC) to facilitate the negotiation and settlement of treaties in British Columbia. Twenty years and an estimated $900-million later, a grand total of three treaties have been signed. Sophie Pierre, the Chief Commissioner, told me that the commission could be around for another 20 years.
Vancouver Sun Editorial: Resources dominate B.C. exports — and that’s not a bad thing
Like the inhabitants of ancient Gibeon, British Columbians seem destined, cursed if you will, to remain hewers of wood and drawers of water given their dependence on natural resources as the digital revolution passes them by. More often than not, the province’s legacy industries are disparaged as the “old” economy and, worse, as a despoiler of the environment.
Don Cayo: Resources still drive BC's economy
If the rest of the world continues to see British Columbians as hewers of wood and drawers of water, perhaps it's because they know something that many of us - especially those who too rarely stray from the Lower Mainland - don't always acknowledge. It's because, in our dealings with the rest of the world, that's precisely what we are, as a new report from the B.C. Business Council makes clear. And the council thinks we're likely to stay that way for a long time to come.
Vancouver Sun Editorial: Time in B.C. to put ideology aside and work for the common good
Perhaps the word most often used to describe the political culture in British Columbia is polarized. Endless ideological warfare between the capitalist carpetbaggers and the socialist hordes has silenced the civil conversation B.C. needs to have. Rather than exchanging ideas, we hurl insults; instead of dialogue, we spout slogans; in place of empathy, we harbour suspicion. But most British Columbians want the same things: a safe place to live, nutritious food, natural beauty with clean air and water, good health, quality education, efficient transportation systems, reliable utilities and sufficient income to enjoy the present and save for the future.
Global BC/CP: Heavy Lifting required to fill looming BC labour shortage
Shipbuilding contracts, new liquefied natural gas plants and a booming mining sector are being hailed for keeping British Columbia afloat as worldwide economies falter, but they bring along a topsy-turvy problem.
Jobs are expected to abound here in the next decade, but there won't be enough trained workers to fill them.
Recognizing a looming labour shortage in industries from construction to natural resources, the provincial government has embarked on a mission to make blue-collar work more attractive.
Globe and Mail: Mayors call for more revenue sources
When B.C.’s local government leaders gather in the provincial capital next week, they’ll tackle the heady issues of oil-tanker traffic, cannabis laws and shark-fin soup. But the core debate will be on a pragmatic topic – taxes.
The mayors want to pry new sources of revenue from the province, saying they need to deal with growing costs from provincial and federal offloading.
But the province says municipal spending needs to be reined in before the door is opened for new taxation powers.
Vancouver Sun: Despite some hard knocks, Japan remains an important economy for B.C. businesses
Poor Japan. Just three years ago it was the world’s second-largest economy. Now that China has taken over the No. 2 spot it seems like the world has forgotten it. And given that Japan is still the world’s third-largest economy, with gross domestic product of $5.689 trillion US, and more than 125 million people, forgetting it would be a mistake. “It has been supplanted by China in recent years (but) I would not dismiss Japan,” said Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president with the Business Council of British Columbia. “It’s still a very wealthy economy and it has a high level of consumption and that’s obviously important to us as a resource and industrial raw material producer.”
Vancouver Sun: City has potential to attract Asian HQs, executive says
Vancouver has the potential to attract head offices for Asian companies seeking a stronger North American presence, according to an executive with a U.S.-based company that fosters corporate moves.