Return to all BCBC in the News
Published opinion pieces by BCBC staff are available here

BCBC In The News

Vancouver Sun: Glut of baby boomers a big economic issue for BC, summit told

Canada would experience more robust economic and social growth if it rewarded risk-takers and reconsidered entitlement programs that are disproportionately benefiting baby boomers at the expense of children and young workers, a summit on British Columbia’s economy heard Friday.

The event, co-produced by the Business Council of B.C. and the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, attracted an international roster of speakers including former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former Obama government economic adviser Christina Romer and former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge. It was part of a “shared prosperity” dialogue series the two B.C. groups launched last September.

View Story

GlobalBC Video: Return of PST will have a serious impact on BC business

The Business Council of B.C. says our return to the PST is the biggest single tax increase on business in the province’s history, and says it will have a serious impact on our ability to compete.

Add to that the strong prospect of an NDP government in the spring, and the business sector is calling on whoever wins in May to make sure B.C. remains open for business.

Jas Johal reports.

View Story

Tax-News.com: BC must refocus on Competitiveness in Wake of PST Switch

British Columbia's return to the provincial sales tax (PST) "represents the single biggest tax increase on business in the province’s history," and will impact heavily on competitiveness, industry representatives have warned.

A Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) system was introduced in the Canadian province in 2010. It blended the 7% PST and the 5% federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) to create an overall HST rate of 12%. However, taxpayers voted to restore the PST/GST regime in a 2011 referendum, and it was duly reinstated on April 1. The Government will have to repay a CAD1.6bn (USD1.58bn) transition payment provided by the federal administration when the HST was first implemented.

View Story

Business in Vancouver: Global business leaders to gather for BC prosperity summit

Business leaders are set to converge on Vancouver later this week at the Circle of Prosperity Summit at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will give the keynote address at the event, which is being hosted by the Business Council of B.C. and BC Chamber of Commerce.

View Story

iPolitics: BC business leaders split over return to PST

The harmonized sales tax has been wiped out in British Columbia, and the provincial sales tax is back in force, but business leaders remain at odds over whether the change is good or bad for the province’s economy.

View Story

Canoe News: BC bids adieu to HST

British Columbia’s harmonized sales tax was officially phased out Monday, sending final prices down 5% for restaurant food, haircuts and cinema tickets, among many other items.

Most retailers and small-business owners are now transitioning from collecting a flat rate of 12% HST to ringing up both 5% GST and 7% PST at the cash register.

Business Council of B.C. president Greg D’Avignon said the return of PST represents the biggest tax increase on business the province as ever experienced.

View Story

CTV News: Restaurants, business leaders in BC split over return to PST

The harmonized sales tax has been wiped out in British Columbia, and the provincial sales tax is back in force, but business leaders remain at odds over whether the change is good or bad for the province's economy.

The restaurant sector said Monday it was delighted to return to the lower tax, an announcement that was quickly followed by concerns from the Business Council of British Columbia saying the switch will hurt the province's competitiveness.

View Story

Globe and Mail: Official end of HST divides British Columbians

Fresh from a spell outside to check his beloved lilac bushes, the long-time Delta businessman said he was all set for British Columbia’s unprecedented switch back to its old sales-tax regime.

View Story

Beacon News: BC LNG sector conference concludes with big budget announcements

A 25-year export licence to Shell, $32 million in non-equity investments to First Nations and $120 million in provincial royalty credits to fund pipeline infrastructure in the province are the highlights of a recently concluded two-day international conference about the B.C. liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector.

Academics, provincial and federal government officials, First Nations leaders, representatives from 25 communities in B.C. and 192 companies from eight countries landed in Vancouver to attend the first international conference – Fuelling the Future – demonstrating potential of the BC LNG sector.

View Story

BIV: Government plan to lure Asian corporate offices lands support

BC’s scheme to lure more Asian corporate offices to Vancouver could help offset the city’s loss of head offices – and the related high-paying jobs, according to local experts.

Premier Christy Clark’s recent throne speech promised a new organization geared at making “Vancouver and Canada’s West Coast the hub for Asian and South Asian corporate offices and investment activity.”

As of press time, no details had been released about the organization. But local business experts are optimistic that, if designed right, the plan could help Vancouver compensate for head offices lost to Toronto and elsewhere.

And the need is clear, says Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO of the Business Council of BC.

View Story

BIV: On the road to election 2013: What have the Liberals done for BC globally?

With B.C.'s provincial election rapidly approaching, the province's political parties will need to sell their record – and fresh ideas – on their business game plan for B.C. As Business in Vancouver explored last week, that will involve assessing which party can best steward the province's economy and create crucial high-paying jobs. But in an increasingly global economy, B.C. voters will also need to assess which party can secure the province a prominent place on the world stage and help its businesses capitalize on the hottest international markets.

View Story

Vancouver Sun: Balanced budget but Liberals take flak

Premier Christy Clark's government tabled a balanced budget Tuesday, announcing plans to co-opt tax increases proposed by NDP leader Adrian Dix, bank a massive windfall from the sell-off of government assets, and impose extraordinary spending controls across the entire government.

View Story

Globe and Mail: Energy revenues alter BC budget

Just a week before sending the budget he will unveil on Tuesday to the printing presses, B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong was confronted with a report that showed his revenue assumptions were too optimistic.

That left him scrambling to recalculate the numbers on his precarious surplus budget, trimming roughly $65-million from the expected income from the important natural gas sector.

View Story

Vancouver Sun: Growing disconnect between gas-focused BC, rest of Canada on pipeline, business leader says

A fundamental misunderstanding is developing between British Columbia and the rest of Canada over the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, a senior B.C. business leader said Tuesday.

Jock Finlayson, chief policy officer at the Business Council of B.C., said although there is a strong national interest in developing pipelines through this province to connect the country’s energy resources with Asian markets, it is unrealistic for the rest of Canada to assume B.C. is as absorbed with the oil issue as are national business and government leaders, and should simply step aside.

View Story

Business in Vancouver: Mixed economic outlook for BC: Business Council

BC’s economy will continue to muddle along for at least 2013’s first half and well into the lunar Year of the Snake.

At the Surrey Board of Trade’s annual forecast luncheon, Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the Business Council of BC, said he expected economic growth to remain sluggish after a slowdown experienced in the latter half of 2012 that he said has spilled into 2013.

View Story

Business in Vancouver: Mixed economic outlook for BC: Business Council

BC’s economy will continue to muddle along for at least 2013’s first half and well into the lunar Year of the Snake.

At the Surrey Board of Trade’s annual forecast luncheon, Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the Business Council of BC, said he expected economic growth to remain sluggish after a slowdown experienced in the latter half of 2012 that he said has spilled into 2013.

View Story

BIV: Coal expansion debate embroils local politicians

Municipal politicians are overstepping their jurisdictional boundaries in pushing for more public consultation on proposed coal terminal expansions at Port Metro Vancouver(PMV), according to local business groups.

View Story

Beacon News: Premier unveils investmet in skills training program for Aboriginal entrepreneurs

Premier Christy Clark said the government plans to invest $517,000 in a program that will support skills training for aboriginal persons aspiring to start or grow their own businesses. Clark made the announcement during her keynote address at the Success Through Sharing Symposium to discuss greater aboriginal participation in the B.C. economy.

View Story

Globe and Mail: Crackdown to keep markets free: Harper's national energy program

[Excerpt] But prominent business leaders, even in western Canada, say it’s time for governments to develop a more coherent plan to ensure Canadians get the most from their resource endowment. The industry is simply too important for the country not have a clear plan, argued Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the Business Council of British Columbia. “I’m a believer in the need to develop a more national approach to energy policy and developing energy resources,” Mr. Finlayson said. “It’s not about the federal government coming to seize jurisdiction. It has to be much more collaborative than that.”

View Story

Vancouver Sun: Business, First Nations seek ways to share in prosperity

If companies want to know the secret of doing business with First Nations, the first thing to learn is that it’s not all about money. That’s the message Haisla chief councillor Ellis Ross will be taking to a business-First Nations symposium in Vancouver Tuesday. The daylong session is a joint venture between the B.C. Business Council and the B.C. Aboriginal and Investment Council. The goal is to present case studies of success stories that will be the foundation for a handbook that is expected to be completed by March 2013.

View Story