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Vancouver Sun: Business Council reduces expectations for B.C. economic growth

After years of double-digit growth, the value of British Columbia’s exports to China declined slightly over the first five months of 2014, which is one of the factors taking momentum out of the provincial economy, according to the latest forecast of the Business Council of B.C.

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Vancouver Sun, Peter O'Neil: Ottawa hopes for new deal to pull down east-west trade barriers

The Harper government is poised to release a major policy paper aimed at seizing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to finally rid the country of internal trade barriers, some of them “extraordinarily stupid,” says Industry Minister James Moore.

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Huffington Post (Canadian Press): Supreme Court ruling grants land title to BC First Nation


The B.C. business community for decades has navigated the daunting landscape of the province's few treaties, many land claims and hundreds of one-off provincial benefits agreements.

Greg D'Avignon, president of the Business Council of B.C., said the ruling provides greater certainty about the land base but it immediately spurred comment about projects like the Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain


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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: Tax burden blunts competitive edge in BC

When it comes to ensuring businesses stay competitive, the provincial government has been acting as though the sector can get by on B.C.’s good looks alone.

Sure, B.C. is a gorgeous place to do business, endowed with good infrastructure, lots of natural resources, a skilled workforce and relatively healthy public finances. But in a recent policy paper, the Business Council of B.C. criticizes the Clark government for failing to address a problem dating back to the April 2013 reinstatement of the PST.


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Prince George Citizen: Time has come for William Case


Here's the B.C. Business Council on the economic implications if the court makes it easier to prove aboriginal ownership of land and resources in a province with 200 recognized First Nations, many asserting overlapping claims.

"Business and industry in B.C. requires certainty and predictability in order to invest, plan, operate and provide employment and prosper," wrote the council in arguing that the entire provincial economy could be held hostage by title cases.

"There must be certainty concerning the application of provincial law, particularly in respect of resource tenures granted by the Crown," it continued.

"If provincial law does not apply to any lands found by a court to be subject to aboriginal title, there will be a legislative vacuum that will hamper investment and the creation of jobs and will endanger the viability of existing operations and jobs in B.C."

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Vancouver Sun, Vaughn Palmer: Top court's First Nations land title decision looms large

Twenty-five years ago this summer, native people in a remote valley of the central Interior set in motion the most important court case to date involving First Nations ownership of land in B.C.

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Financial Post: BC businesses worry Northern Gateway clash could scare off investors


According to a recent report by the Business Council of British Columbia, B.C. has experienced a significant loss of working-age individuals to Alberta in the past two years. Some are continuing to reside in B.C. but work in Alberta.

“This flow of people is skewed heavily towards younger people, which suggests they are moving to secure better jobs and perhaps also to take advantage of lower housing costs in Alberta,” the April 2014 report says.


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Times Colonist: Northern Gateway: Business hails business potential


Business Council of B.C. president Greg D’Avignon said if Canada doesn’t send oil to fuel-hungry China, other countries, such as Kazakhstan or Iraq, will. Asia has three billion new middle-class consumers, he said.

“They are growing exponentially in Asia and South Asia. We’ve got the ability to apply Canadian innovation and sustainability practices and export those around the world in a way that really makes a difference.”

Russia recently concluded a long-term agreement to bring natural gas to China, now seeking more energy sources, D’Avignon said. “Canada has to be one of those countries to supply it."

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Vancouver Sun, Don Cayo: Municipal spending soard

The Fraser Institute analysis, released Wednesday, conforms generally with earlier studies done nationally by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and provincially by the B.C. Business Council. It looks at the growth and patterns of operating expenditures - protection, utilities, garbage, parks and the like - in the Metro region, as well as at all revenue sources, not just taxes.

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Vancouver Sun, Editorial: Teachers must consider other public-sector deals


A tally of contract settlements in the public and private sectors, compiled by the Business Council of B.C., demonstrates how significantly the province is restraining wage growth within its ranks.

Wage increases were modest in the 33 contracts settled over the February-March period. Private-sector contracts from 2014-16 offered average percentage increases of 2.1, 1.9 and 1.4.

Predictably public sector contracts were more modest, with percentage increases of 1.8 per cent, 1.4 and 0.5.

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Financial Post: Northern Gateway Pipeline decision could come in many shades of "yes"


Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president at the Business Council of British Columbia, said the province’s well-organized, well-funded, environmental movement opposes all kinds of development, from pipelines to hydro lines to port expansions, but doesn’t speak for the majority.

He noted Christy Clark’s Liberals won a sizable mandate last year on a platform of promoting resource development, and Mr. Harper’s Conservatives locked up most of the seats in the province by promoting responsible resource development.

“I would avoid the temptation to paint with a sweeping brush … that this is a place where you can’t get business done, even though it’s a challenging jurisdiction,” he said. “Oil pipelines are the issue du jour, but I have seen this surface many times … often things do get built.”

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Bloomberg Businessweek; BC said to seek lower LNG carbon emissions

The British Columbia government is considering a requirement to force liquefied natural gas terminals to have a carbon footprint at least one-third below global standards, said two people familiar with the talks.

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: BC no better than 'middle of the pack' economic player in Canada

The Conference Board of Canada’s rating of B.C. as no better than a “middle of the pack” economic player within Canada will surprise many.

The disappointing assessment came recently as part of the board’s annual economic report card. It probed eight key economic indicators and declared this province trails four other provinces.

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Asian and emerging markets: Top thinker foresees a responsible China atop world ordere

Professor Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, will speak at the second annual Business Council of B.C. Chair’s Dinner on Tuesday.

The international affairs expert has served as president of the UN Security Council and was listed by the Financial Times as one of the Top 50 individuals who would shape the debate on the future of capitalism.

The business publication also selected his latest book — The Great Convergence: Asia, The West and the Logic of One World — as one of the best books of 2013.

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Vancouver Sun: The marks are in, and BC's economy gets a B grade

A leading think-tank gives British Columbia a B grade, placing it in the middle of the pack among the world’s major economies, but analysts predict an improvement in the coming years as the United States continues to rebound from recession.

B.C. ranked 12th in a group comprised of the nine other provinces and 16 of the world’s richest countries in the Conference Board of Canada report.

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: BC can train workers, but can it keep them?

“British Columbians are now re-locating to Alberta in significant numbers,” laments Business Council of B.C. chief economist Ken Peacock and chief policy officer Jock Finlayson, who authored a report on the topic released earlier this week.

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Business in Vancouver: Alberta's allure for young workers equals trouble for BC employers

British Columbia has lost significant numbers of its young people to the booming Alberta economy, enough to affect B.C.'s labour market, according to the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC).

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The Province: BC's Day of Mourning recognizes the toll workplace deaths have on others

Linda Dorsett knows the heartache of losing a loved one in a workplace accident.

Her tragedy happened on Sept. 8, 2004, when her 40-year-old husband Sean, a commercial fisherman, became entangled in a rope while scuba diving near Langara Island to retrieve an anchor that was stuck more than 25 feet underwater.

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Business in Vancouver: Restaurants banned from using temporary foreign workers

The federal government has announced an immediate moratorium on food-services businesses’ access to the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program.

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: BC's tech sector - "We need to raise our game"

 B.C. has witnessed a surge in the export of high-tech services, but needs to become more aggressive in marketing the province as a home for techies.

According to a 2012 KPMG consulting report, B.C. lags behind other provinces with sizable high-tech industries: Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

A recent Business Council of B.C. policy paper states: “We believe B.C.’s advanced technology sector warrants greater attention from policy-makers.

“Its future growth would give the province a sturdier and more diversified economic base.”

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