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News Releases and Op-Eds

Mullen & St-Laurent Op-Ed: Why the workforce gender gap matters to business (Troy Media, Times Colonist & The Hamilton Spectator)

In British Columbia and Canada more broadly, the proportion of females aged 15 and over who participate in the labour force remains nine percentage points below that of males. And it has stayed this way since the early 1990s.

Why does this matter?

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FInlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: B.C. job creation stalls, but province’s job vacancy rate still high (Business in Vancouver)

After several years of torrid job growth and a steadily falling unemployment rate, B.C.’s labour market looks to have cooled off.

In particular, job creation has come to a shuddering halt so far in 2018. In Statistics Canada’s June Labour Force Survey, for example, employment was down 0.3% from the month before. In fact, monthly job gains have been so lacklustre that the overall level of employment in the province is slightly below where it stood a year ago. Even Metro Vancouver – once Canada’s hottest job market – has experienced a dip in year-over-year employment. Moreover, the provincial unemployment rate has ticked higher, compared with both one month and one year ago.

Yet, oddly, there are also signs that the demand for workers remains robust.

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Finlayson & St-Laurent Op-Ed: Young, educated Indigenous talent is ready (Troy Media)

B.C.’s Indigenous population is relatively young, with an average age of 33 compared to 42 for the non-Indigenous population. Even better, a growing proportion of Indigenous have some form of post-secondary education: a degree, a college credential or a trades certificate.

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Finlayson & St-Laurent Op-Ed: International visitors drive B.C. tourism growth (Troy Media)

It turns out that 2017 marked a 14-year high for annual international tourism to B.C. Some 7.9 million international travellers entered the province last year, an increase of 3.5 per cent over 2016. And the data for the first quarter of 2018 look even better, setting the stage for another record-breaking year for the industry.

Who visits B.C.?

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Finlayson & St-Laurent: Jobs in Demand: B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook to 2027 (PeopleTalk)

If you’re on the lookout for the hottest job trends, WorkBC – an agency of the provincial government -- recently released an updated Labour Market Outlook through to 2027. Over the next decade, the government anticipates 917,000 job openings. Roughly 70 per cent will result from current workers transitioning into retirement. Many of these positions can be filled by younger cohorts of workers, but that won’t be enough to staff all of the vacancies expected to emerge. The other 30 per cent of job openings will arise due to ongoing economic and industrial growth. To fill these positions, the supply of workers will have to be expanded, through immigration, attracting people from other provinces, and tapping into underutilized labour pools.

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RELEASE: Professional Reliance Review Report Provides Solutions Looking for a Problem

The Business Council of British Columbia has significant concerns with the recently released Professional Reliance Review Report which has offered a series of recommendations related to the province’s professional reliance model.

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Housing costs put brakes on migration to B.C. from other provinces (Business in Vancouver & Western Investor)

Over the second half of last year, a surprising development occurred – the net inflow of people moving to B.C. from other provinces fell sharply. The drop showed up in the third quarter and persisted through the final months of 2017. Looking ahead, we suspect that B.C. may receive fewer interprovincial migrants than pundits and policy-makers have been counting on – particularly working-age migrants, as opposed to retirees. If our hunch is correct, employers in B.C. are likely to face more widespread hiring challenges in the years ahead.

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Release: BCBC Statement Following May 24 Court Decision on TMX

Greg D'Avignon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of British Columbia issued the following statement following today's BC Supreme Court rulings related to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project:
"Certainty of process is fundamental in any democracy. The Business Council continues to urge the federal and provincial governments to adhere to and support all regulatory processes they have established."

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Alarms ringing over B.C.’s lacklustre productivity performance (Business in Vancouver)

Productivity is the most critical determinant of any economy’s long-term growth potential. It represents the value of goods and services produced, divided by the number of hours needed to produce them.

Productivity increases when businesses invest in new machinery, equipment, technologies and structures, and when workers become better educated and acquire in-demand technical skills. Productivity gains are also realized when additional output is created by doing a better job of combining inputs through the application of fresh ideas, advanced technologies and improved business models. In more productive economies, employees typically receive higher compensation, and governments can obtain the resources needed to provide good public services without having to resort to ruinous levels of taxation.

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RELEASE: Sue Paish, Q.C. incoming Chair of BCBC

Recognized British Columbia business leader in health, technology and law, Sue Paish Q.C., was elected for a two-year term as Chair of the Business Council of British Columbia on May 1 at the organization’s 52nd Annual General Meeting.

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RELEASE: Business Council of BC Welcomes New Vice President of Policy

Former Bank of Canada Senior Economist, David Williams expands policy research capacity, expertise at BCBC

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: British Columbia’s labour code: it’s not broke, so don’t fix it (Business in Vancouver)

For those old enough to remember, there was a time when the evening news routinely covered major strikes in the province.

Labour disputes were common in the 1970s and 1980s. A few decades later, strikes and lockouts are relatively rare. Indeed, on any objective assessment, the overall state of labour-management relations in B.C. today is quite healthy.

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BCBC on Premier Horgan's "Crisis of Confidence"

"This is no longer about a pipeline project or whether one supports or opposes the legal movement of energy in Canada....this is a referendum on whether British Columbia is open to investment and whether a legal enterprise can, with any confidence, invest, build and operate a business within the province and the country."

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Op-Ed: Trade deal good for B.C. and province's forestry industry (Vancouver Sun)

For over 250 years, British Columbia’s entrepreneurs, skilled workers and communities have contributed to a growing and successful forestry industry. B.C.’s renewable timberland resource has generated economic wealth and improved our collective prosperity for generations, while setting the global benchmark for sustainable forestry practices. Only one per cent of B.C. forest land is harvested annually, with three trees planted for each one that is harvested. Today, the sector is also playing a significant role in reconciliation with Indigenous communities.

We often associate forestry with B.C.’s rural communities, supporting jobs, local businesses, and community facilities. That is entirely true, but it is also one of B.C.’s largest urban employers. People in the Lower Mainland pursue forestry-related careers within an array of small and large businesses working in professional services, transportation, equipment manufacturing and technology among others. Rural and urban, B.C. forestry is a vital contributor to our prosperity.

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RELEASE: BCBC welcomes important step in advancing LNG in B.C.

The Business Council of British Columbia today welcomes news of a Fiscal Framework Agreement between the Province of B.C. and LNG Canada. The completion of this agreement signals an important step towards the realization of a major LNG project in the province and the largest infrastructure project in Canada’s history – a project that promises to generate lasting economic benefits for all British Columbians.

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: New age of activist governments driving up cost of doing business (Business in Vancouver)

Welcome to a new era of activist government.

In the last two years, both the federal and provincial governments have outlined more ambitious policy agendas. Each has ramped up spending on social services and income support programs, laying the foundations for a larger public sector. The drumbeat of regulatory change has become deafening as governments initiate multiple policy reviews and move to reshape environmental assessment and permitting rules, energy regulations and standards, the legal frameworks governing employment and labour relations, minimum wages, housing market policies, apprenticeships and much else besides.

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Release: #IWD2018 Women and Work in BC Blog Series

In honour of International Women’s Day, the Business Council of B.C. (BCBC) is releasing a series of blogs examining the place of British Columbian women in the workplace. The series offers a preview of a BCBC report on women and work in BC over the last four decades, to be released later this spring. 

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BCBC Reaction to #Budget2018

Budget 2018 Supports Innovation and Gender Equity, But is Silent on Attracting Job-Enabling Investment

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Budget’s higher business costs dim B.C. investment prospects

The first full budget unveiled by the BC NDP government offers a mix of higher spending, tax hikes on business and significant commitments to expand child care and address concerns over housing affordability and real estate speculation.

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BCBC Offers Mixed Reviews on Budget 2018

Today’s budget presented by Finance Minister Carole James introduces a new payroll tax, takes significant steps towards addressing housing affordability, and commits to a significant expansion of child care in the province. However, the Business Council believes there is more work to do to strengthen the foundations of B.C.’s prosperity.

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