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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: Business Council sees bleak year for BC economy

The business community is surprised and disappointed by results of a new report projecting a dismal level of capital investment for B.C.

“We were surprised at the weak overall investment outlook for B.C.” reports Business Council of B.C. executive Vice-president Jock Finlayson, in a March blog post.

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Vancouver Sun, Don Cayo: Exports expected to grow, but maybe not for long

Canadian exports, which faltered in 2012 and 2013, should pick up this year thanks mainly to strengthening demand for our products in the United States. But Canada continues to do worrisomely little to equip itself for ever-stronger global competition.

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Surrey Leader: Divided workers, politicians complicate port truckers strike

The union representing some Lower Mainland container truckers says finger pointing between the federal and provincial governments underscores how difficult it will be to end a strike crippling Port Metro Vancouver shipments.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Christy Clark on Wednesday called the shutdown of most container shipments by truck unacceptable, but then both called on the other level of government to act, saying it's not their primary jurisdiction.

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: Career tips for today's youth

Become a doctor, my parents urged my brother. Thinking traditionally, they wanted me to enrol in nursing.

Of course, in the way of young adults, my brother and I ignored their counsel.

Turns out, nearly a half-century later, this still would be good advice for any B.C. student choosing a course of study to give them the best employment odds.

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Vancouver Sun: Vancouverites not opposed to coal exports, industry poll shows

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is adamantly opposed to expanding coal exports from Port Metro Vancouver, but many Vancouverites disagree with him, according to one market-research poll.

In a Mustel Group survey of Vancouver residents, 92 per cent of respondents agreed the port is important to British Columbia’s economy and showed a high level of support for expanding exports from it, including of coal — although to varying degrees.

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Vancouver Sun: BC unveils "boring and balanced" budget with details on LNG tax plan

Finance Minister Mike de Jong tabled a second year of balanced books Tuesday that he says proves his government can follow through on its promises to wrestle down health care and labour costs.
De Jong’s new budget projected a provincial surplus of $184 million in 2014/15, which he acknowledged teeters on the same “razor-thin” margin as last budget’s $175-million surplus.

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Calgary Herald, Barbara Yaffe: Don't bank on housing bubble bursting

Is it a bubble? Is it a balloon? No, it is Canada's real estate market, and it finally looks as though it may be losing some of its zip.

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Vancouver Sun: Sinking dollar dents number of cross-border shoppers heading south, survey finds

The Canadian dollar’s drop to the 91-cent (US) range is prompting more than a third of Lower Mainland residents to think twice about shopping south of the border, according to a survey released Monday.
However, the Insights West poll also found that while Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley residents are less keen to head to the U.S. than last year, the percentage of people still driving south remains high.
Ken Peacock, chief economist for the Business Council of B.C., said that fewer residents heading south is consistent with what he’d expect.

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Vancouver Sun, Vaughn Palmer: Costing of teachers court decision looms over delicately balanced budget

British Columbians can expect three years of modest budget surpluses, backstopped by minimal tax changes and a continuation of the hold-the-line stance on program spending, Finance Minister Mike de Jong indicated Monday.

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Globe and Mail: Five things to watch for in Tuesday's BC Budget

B.C. Finance Minister Michael de Jong will take delivery of his repaired budget-day shoes in Victoria on Monday – a media stunt designed to deliver an austerity message on the eve of presenting his next provincial budget.
The annual ritual of the finance minister’s budget shoes has become a device to set the tone for the year’s fiscal plan, and Mr. de Jong is expected to present a balanced budget which will preach fiscal restraint rather than new goodies.

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Vancouver Sun Editorial: Little wiggle room for BC Budget

The B.C. government, expected to introduce its second consecutive balanced budget Tuesday, has been challenged by a period of withering growth.
B.C.’s economy expanded only 1.4 per cent this year and, by the province’s own reckoning, will grow by a modest 2.2 per cent in 2014-2015.
Still, Premier Christy Clark, three weeks ago, declared: “We have balanced our budget.”

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: Corporate Giving is Big Business

For companies developing attention-getting ways of giving — and the charities that benefit — it’s a win

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The Globe and Mail: B.C. delays release of fiscal framework for LNG industry

Just how the B.C. government intends to extract a trillion dollars in economic activity from a new liquefied natural gas industry won’t be set in legislation until the fall, Finance Minister Mike de Jong says.
That means that final investment decisions from any of the proponents are not expected now until late in 2014 – at the earliest.

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Vernon Morning Star, Tom Fletcher: Report predicts rebound

A lower Canadian dollar and a slow recovery in the U.S. and around the world bode well for the B.C. economy in the next two years, a new report from the Business Council of B.C. says.

“The U.S. economy is gaining ground, the Eurozone is out of recession, and Asia, particularly China, continues to expand at a robust clip,” said executive vice-president Jock Finlayson as he released the BCBC economic outlook report.

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: BC business appears bullish on 2014

British Columbians had good reason to feel downcast in 2013 about their province’s fiscal performance.

From a business perspective, it was a lacklustre year. GDP growth was 1.5 per cent with “essentially no overall job growth,” according to the Business Council of B.C.

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Vancouver Sun: Editorial - Economists agree things are looking up for BC's economy

Business leaders delivered a welcome message this week — betting on improved economic conditions for the coming year as Canada’s dollar declines and demand for B.C. exports grows.

Both the Business Council of B.C. and a Board of Trade Economic Outlook Summit are predicting provincial growth to climb to 2.4 per cent, up from 1.5 per cent in 2013. Improved growth is expected to lower B.C.’s jobless rate which stands at 6.6 per cent, the highest of any western province. The province lost nearly 19,000 jobs on a net basis last year.

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Vancouver Sun: Yaffe - Loonie's decline brings both joy and misery to BC Business

The Canadian dollar’s decline is a mixed blessing for B.C.’s business community.

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Global BC TV: Falling loonie winners and losers

The Canadian dollar has dropped to its lowest level in three years, with some analysts saying it’s likely to go even lower. Jas Johal reports on the winners and losers. Video features Ken Peacock, Vice President and Chief Economist, Business Council of British Columbia.  

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Vancouver Sun: Loonie's decline could boost BC tourism and dent the appeal of cross-border shopping

British Columbia’s tourism sector received two late gifts this week — fresh snow on local mountains and a Canadian dollar that has dropped in value, which makes local destinations more attractive to foreign travellers.

However, it will take longer for that latter factor to have an economic impact, the size of which will depend on how deeply the dollar drops versus the U.S. greenback.

The dollar edged down 0.27 of a cent to 92.56 cents US in currency trading Wednesday, its lowest close since late October 2009, after falling more than a cent Tuesday.

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Vancouver Sun: Resource development projects can aid First Nations: PM

Resource development projects offer First Nations “an unprecedented opportunity” to gain economic benefits and resolve social issues in their communities, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said during an informal discussion at the Vancouver Board of Trade Monday.
Harper, in response to questions from board of trade CEO Iain Black, vowed that his government would not approve pipeline projects “unless they meet the highest standards of environmental protection.” Ottawa will also live up to its constitutional obligation to consult with First Nations on resource development, he said.

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