Toward Higher Costs and Less Competition in Public Sector Procurement
The provincial government is establishing a new framework for developing and sourcing labour to build public-sector infrastructure projects. We see at least two big problems with the government's plan.
Where Does the Money Come From? The B.C. Government’s Top Revenue Sources
Where exactly does the province get the vast sums required to pay for the services and programs it provides or supports?
An Update on Government Finances
With the national economy having reached potential, now is not a propitious time for governments to be running fiscal deficits. Yet, collectively, they are doing just that.
Long-Term Downward Trend in Unionization Rates
The unionization rate – sometimes called “union density” – is the share of employees in the workforce who belong to a union. Statistics Canada tracks and reports on “union coverage,” which is a similar concept but also includes workers who are not union members but are covered by a collective agreement.
Pros and Cons of the NDP's Housing Plan
In Budget 2018, the NDP government unveiled a 30-point housing plan intended to address concerns about housing affordability. We believe that housing policy should be driven by the needs of the local population but there are problems with the government's overall approach.
Five Little Noted Data Points…From the 2018 Federal Budget
Notes on the demographic crunch, slower growth in federal health transfers, Canada benefitting less from higher world oil prices, weak business investment and Indigenous communities continuing to face persistent socio-economic gaps.
Three Observations on BC's Rising Minimum Wage
How is a higher minimum wage policy likely to play out in the context of BC’s economy and labour market?
Income Inequality in Canada: Another Kick at the Can
Recent years have seen an outpouring of analysis, commentary and advocacy on economic inequality from academics, policy geeks and social activists. Some days it almost seems as if the issue has been studied to death. But then along comes a new piece of work that sheds fresh light on the topic.
Three economic predictions for 2018
What does 2018 have in store on the economic front? We offer these three predictions.
Global Oil Demand Continues to Grow
Those predicting a rapid and sustained world-wide move away from fossil fuel energy will be disappointed at the latest oil market update from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Advice to the New BC Government: Tread Carefully on Business Taxes
As appealing as it may be to advocate higher taxes on companies and entrepreneurs, there are some risks in following this path.
Three Hard Truths About Canada’s Trade
Canada is an “open” economy, meaning that we depend heavily on cross-border flows of trade, investment and knowledge to underpin our high standard of living. To pay our way in the world, Canada must sell commodities, manufactured goods and services to other markets. Identifying the industry sectors where we can strengthen and expand the country’s export capacity requires that we begin by examining what Canada sells to other countries today.
Developing a Stronger Corporate Head Office Cluster:
An Important Challenge for BC
There are many reasons why policy-makers and community leaders should be keen to develop a robust head office cluster.
Another Look at Labour Market Mismatches
There is a cost to the economy when workers are unable to find employment that makes effective use of their particular skills, experience and credentials
Dear Mr. President...
With the Renegotiation of NAFTA Looming, the Business Council Pens a Letter to President Trump
BC Election Series: Post-Secondary Education and Innovation in the Party Platforms
Providing the next generation with opportunities to acquire the right skills contributes to stronger economic and productivity growth and should be a top-of-mind goal for incoming decision-makers. All three parties contesting the May 9 election have made promises regarding post-secondary education and innovation.
Vancouver’s Plan Will Hurt Residents and Local Businesses
Affordability is a key challenge for people residing in the City of Vancouver (COV). Yet, earlier this week, the COV’s Green Buildings Policy for Rezoning came into effect. Once implemented, it is sure to exacerbate this problem, not just for citizens of COV but for the province as a whole as well as for the surrounding municipalities of Metro Vancouver. The policy effectively bans the use of natural gas in new buildings. It also sets the stage for Vancouver to squeeze out natural gas as an energy source for existing buildings and facilities over time.
BC Election Series: Housing Affordability, Supply and Related Tax Policy Issues
Real estate, home prices, rental units and affordability figure prominently in all three party platforms. Each party has developed a substantial narrative around housing/housing affordability, with each platform proposing several housing-related policy measures or new/revised programs.
BC Election Series: MSP Premium Commitments and the potential for 55% Personal Income Tax Rates
All three parties contesting the May 9 election have made significant promises in respect of Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums.
BC Election Series: Fiscal Planning and the Economic Cycle
Today, we comment on the overall fiscal context and constraints facing the government that will take office following the election, drawing on the 2017 BC budget and our assessment of the economic cycle.