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Vancouver Sun: Whistler loses visitors as jobs go unfilled

[EXCERPT} Both Winter and Jock Finlayson, an economist and executive vice-president of the B.C. Business Council, said Whistler and other communities, especially remote boom towns, can make a compelling case to Ottawa.

“The evidence suggests that few Canadians are prepared to leave urban communities to re-locate to small northern towns to take entry-level service jobs, even if the pay for these jobs exceeds what’s on offer for similar positions in cities or larger towns,” Finlayson said.

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Business in Vancouver: Asian economy slowing down, but BC exports to China and other key trading partners still rising

[EXCERPT] But the pace of growth in B.C.'s exports to China is slowing, and that will have an impact on B.C., according to Ken Peacock, chief economist at the Business Council of BC. With monthly growth hovering around plus or minus 2% compared with the previous year, exports to China are essentially flat, Peacock said.

 “When you go from 10%, 15%, 20% year-over-year growth to essentially flat, that is a little bit of a different world.”

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Pique: Apply here: Whistler is booming, but businesses struggle to keep up

Help signs decorate business windows, online job boards are filled with posts and the back pages of the newspapers are stocked with ads for positions from servers to construction workers — and everything in between.

Whistler employers, across almost all sectors, are in the midst of what some say is the worst labour shortage they have seen in years.

... [Excerpt]

Chief economist and vice president of the Business Council of British Columbia, Ken Peacock, said the council is seeing some similar shortages to Whistler's, regionally.

"Our sense is province-wide, in the large urban areas, we don't have this crunch, but some of our big resorts around the province struggle with this in both the winter and the summer months, particularly with the tourism in the summer months," he said.

According to Peacock, part of the issue is tourism in B.C. seems to be up.

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: Olympic legacy paying off for BC

The 2010 Olympics, one of too few government initiatives aimed at bolstering B.C.’s crucial tourism sector, may be yielding some delayed benefit.

A new report by the B.C. Business Council points to a serious slump in the industry between 2002 and 2009, and gives considerable credit to the Games for the fact a tourism “upswing is now underway.”

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: Lagging labour stats put BC near bottom of pool

[EXCERPT] Jock Finlayson, chief policy officer at the Business Council of B.C., explains: “Relative to other provinces, I believe it is fair to say that B.C. has proportionately more working-age people who, when asked to make the classic work/leisure trade-off, opt at the margin for more leisure.

“This is a matter of personal preference and priorities.”

Surely a somewhat inconvenient decision, however, given that B.C.’s living costs tend to be higher than in other provinces.

Finlayson also notes B.C. has a relatively high number of pre-retirees — people who may be working less than full time as they ease into retirement.

And B.C. has more part-time workers, although this factor “shifts depending on the business cycle and underlying strength of the economy.”

Then too, “the job market in B.C. has been surprisingly soft for the past two years or so. We have had among the slowest rates of job growth in the country.”

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Vancouver Sun: Unique BC storehouse of data could save health dollars

B.C. has a vast repository of health and demographic data, collected over the past 40 years, that has yet to be fully exploited to improve patient outcomes, save money and create jobs.

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Business in Vancouver: Business council scales back growth outlook of B.C.’s ‘mediocre’ economy

A slightly weaker global economy, the province’s soft job market and delays in the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom are making the Business Council of B.C. (BCBC) to scale backs its economic forecasts in the coming year.

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Vancouver Sun, Vaughn Palmer: Premier's positive spin can't shake concerns about Tsilhqot'in title decision

As reaction spreads outward from the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark recognition of aboriginal title, the B.C. Liberals maintain the decision won’t have a chilling effect on the investment climate.

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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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