BCBC In The News
Business in Vancouver: What are we reading? July 12, 2018
Hayley Woodin, reporter:
B.C.’s economy is getting bested by a real estate slowdown, rising interest rates and a pressing labour shortage. The Business Council of BC’s latest economic report examines the second quarter of this year. Growth was fairly strong, until things started to come undone - Business Council of British Columbia
Globe and Mail: High housing costs could make Vancouver a self-service city
But housing isn’t only impacting the restaurant sector. It’s increasingly difficult to find teachers and doctors willing to move to the city. In fact, it’s hard to find an area of the economy in which hiring hasn’t been compromised by the region’s housing costs.
“Over time this is likely to inhibit business growth,” says Jock Finlayson, [Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer] with the Business Council of B.C. “The city [of Vancouver] itself is on its way to becoming uninhabitable for middle-income working families due to sky-high housing costs.”
Surrey Now Leader: Industry groups pan B.C.’s ‘professional reliance’ review
Business Council of B.C. president Greg D’Avignon called Haddock’s report “a solution looking for a problem,” which confuses regulatory capacity in government with the role of qualified professionals who design projects and conduct environmental surveys.
“Unfortunately, this report fails to recognize that whether professionals work in the private or public sector, they are all bound by the same legal and ethical standards,” D’Avignon said.
Business in Vancouver: Overhaul of professional reliance model slammed
“The Business Council recognizes and supports continual improvement in the environmental regulatory framework,” said BCBC CEO Greg D’Avignon. “However, this report on professional reliance is a solution looking for a problem, with the resulting recommendations going beyond an assessment of how professionals actually work in British Columbia.”
...“At this point, the most sensible thing the government can do is shelve this report,” D’Avignon said. “Overall, the professional reliance system is working well. No convincing evidence has been brought forward in this report that the province ought to abandon or fundamentally change it.”
Times Colonist: Provincial government changing way it buys things
Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the B.C. Business Council, said the strategy appears “sensible” at first glance.
“The announcement appears to be in alignment with our own previous recommendations to open up public sector procurement markets in B.C. to local companies — particularly innovative businesses in the technology and service sectors.”
Nelson Daily: B.C.'s housing crisis rants
In a recent Business in Vancouver column, Jock Finlayson and Ken Peacock of the B.C. Business Council noted that in the last six months of 2017, “the net inflow of people moving to B.C. from other provinces fell sharply.”
Their hunch? “High housing costs are discouraging some from relocating to B.C.”
The duo worry that if they're correct, “employers in B.C. are likely to face more widespread hiring challenges in the years ahead.”
Also published in the:
Vancouver Sun: B.C. government widely criticized for four-year delay on fish farm tenures
The fish farm policy destabilizes investment in B.C. because it creates uncertainty over whether the NDP government might change approval rules for some of the other 60,000 tenure holders on Crown land in sectors such as forestry, mining, oil and gas, and recreational tourism, said B.C. Business Council president Greg D’Avignon.
“Effectively, it’s a death knell for the industry,” D’Avignon said of fish farming. That will in turn have an economic impact on thousands of direct and indirect jobs, from processing plants, to truckers, restaurants, post-secondary trades programs, hotels, and other local businesses, he said.
TruckNews.com: B.C. trucking industry thriving, but desperately needs workers
B.C.’s trucking industry is facing a dire employment picture, with 10% of industry positions needing to be filled immediately.
That’s according to Ken Peacock, chief economist and vice-president of the Business Council of B.C., who admitted to attendees of the B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) annual AGM and Management Conference, “I don’t know what you’re going to do.”
With one out of every 10 positions in the industry in the province sitting vacant and companies struggling to find qualified workers, B.C.’s thriving trucking sector is in need of approximately 4,000 people to fill the empty spaces.
And the province’s industry is indeed thriving, Peacock confirmed, who said the economic outlook for trucking is a “surprisingly good story.”
Business in Vancouver: You now own a pipeline – here’s what you need to know about it
Greg D’Avignon, president of the Business Council of British Columbia, agreed, saying controversy over the pipeline “has shone a light on what companies have known for years: Canada is too costly, too complex and takes too long to come to a decision and get things done.
“The system has broken down to the point where taxpayer dollars are required to complete major infrastructure projects that support our collective prosperity when there have been willing private-sector, taxpaying investors.”
Bloomberg: Trudeau’s Pipeline Takeover Is a Bittersweet Win for Oil Sands
The fact that Trans Mountain needed tax payers to purchase the project has exposed “fundamental flaws” in Canada’s regulatory system, the Business Council of British Columbia said in a release.
BNN Bloomberg: Canada’s pipeline purchase won't quell foes but may disable them
That said, if it takes federal ownership to construct a project that Kinder Morgan was unable to do, that may be sign of a broader failure in Canada -- not a win.
“Our regulatory processes are fundamentally broken,” the Business Council of British Columbia said in a statement. “The need for federal tax payers to purchase this project have exposed fundamental flaws in the regulatory systems at all levels of government.”
Business in Vanvouver: Business, government, First Nations and environment leaders react to feds buying Trans Mountain pipeline
Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia:
“This whole exercise has shone a light on what companies have known for years: Canada is too costly, too complex and takes too long to come to a decision and get things done. The system has broken down to the point where taxpayer dollars are required to complete major infrastructure projects that support our collective prosperity when there have been willing private sector, tax-paying investors. This is no way to operate in a globally competitive world and expect to maintain our quality of life.”
Seattle Times: Businesses see opportunities in new Seattle to Vancouver seaplane service
“The movement of people, ideas and capital between Seattle and Vancouver happens every day,” says Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia. A new daily seaplane service between Lake Union and Vancouver’s Coal Harbour operated by Kenmore Air and Canada’s Harbour Air can iron out some of the potential travel hazards, D’Avignon says. “The service will be a more efficient means of linking our economies.”
Business Examiner: The Word Of The Month is Coalition
Meanwhile Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia, said “This is no longer about a pipeline, it’s about stability, our faith in democracy, the rule of law and confidence in our country.” Is Canada one country or thirteen?
The Province: Ceremonies held across B.C. to mourn workers killed on the job
Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO of the Business Council of B.C., called for employers and workers to practise mindfulness and preparedness before the start of each shift; promote mental and physical wellness in the workplace; discourage bravado, shortcuts and risk-taking that increase the risk of injury or death; and ask themselves, “Is this the safest way to complete the task?”
Global News: Olympic cauldron lit for Day of Mourning for workers killed on the job
“They all have the right to a safe workplace and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that is provided each and every day,” added Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO, Business Council of B.C. (BCBC).
This year marks the 21st year WorkSafeBC, the BCBC and the BC Federation of Labour have come together to hold a ceremony for the Day of Mourning in Vancouver.
Business in Vancouver: Harbour Air partnership launches Vancouver-Seattle floatplane flights
British Columbia Business Council CEO Greg D’Avignon, who was waiting to welcome that flight at the dock in Vancouver, told BIV that he is excited about the opportunities that arise from non-stop floatplane flights that take less than one hour to shuttle passengers between the two Cascadia cities.
Not only has Harbour Air been shifting to provide more flights to the tourism sector, but D'Avignon said that the flights will appeal to a wide range of business passengers, and not just those from big-name technology companies, such as Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN).
“There are hundreds and hundreds of companies that do business right now in the corridor that nobody knows anything about,” he said.
“Boeing has 400 people here in their IofT [internet of things] business and jet aircraft engines. There are companies in technology, capital markets, infrastructure, transportation, environmental services, forestry and Asia trade.”
Globe and Mail: Running on empty: Foreign shipments of fuel to B.C. would ease pain of Alberta cuts to energy exports
Jock Finlayson, economist for the Business Council of British Columbia, said in an e-mail on Tuesday that a spike in gasoline prices would slightly dampen consumer spending and raise operating costs for many businesses, but this would not trigger a sharp economic downturn on its own.
“There’s always unintended consequences when you have a trade war,” Mr. D’Avignon said of the impact that could be felt in both B.C. and Alberta. “There’s the increased price of goods, everything from produce to clothing over the course of time.”
The GDP impact of higher prices is hard to exactly quantify, Mr. D’Avignon said, and the business council has not done the analysis yet. But Mr. D’Avignon said an array of negative factors could include a decline in the Canadian dollar as foreign investors sidestep Canada because of the political fights and perceived instability. “It just doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Mr. D’Avignon said of the escalating tensions between B.C. and Alberta.
CTV News: Move to cut energy shipments expected to hit more than B.C. fuel prices
Economic damage will extend far beyond the fuel budgets of B.C. residents if Alberta passes and enacts a bill allowing it to restrict exports of oil, natural gas and refined fuels to the province as part of its ongoing pipeline dispute, observers say.
The Bill 12 legislation and the trade war escalation it might spark would damage Alberta and Canadian businesses and citizens as well as those in British Columbia, warned Greg D'Avignon, CEO of the Business Council of B.C.
“By punishing British Columbia because of the actions of the government of the day - while it might feel good and I completely understand it - it actually has consequences people aren't thinking about for the citizens of Alberta and our country as a whole,” he said Tuesday.Also published by
Toronto City News.
Bloomberg: Oil Cutoff Threatened as Canadian Provinces Battle Over Pipeline
A halt to energy shipments would have ripple effects across both provinces. Drivers could face gasoline shortages and soaring prices in B.C., while Canada’s second-busiest airport in Vancouver would face higher jet fuel costs. Alberta’s energy producers would also suffer, losing a key market for their crude and refined products.
“The economies of B.C. and Alberta are arguably the most interdependent of any two provinces in Canada," said Ken Peacock, the chief economist at the Business Council of British Columbia, in a report last year.