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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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The Province: Energy firms urged to win over BC public

Oil, gas and other natural-resource companies must help "shoulder the burden" of addressing British Columbians' concerns around controversial projects like pipelines, says the federal minister responsible for natural resources. Joe Oliver pressed the Business Council of B.C. in Vancouver on Wednesday to recognize their companies must play a key role in convincing the public the projects will benefit not just them, but everyone

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Vancouver Sun/Times Colonist: Revenue shortfall blamed for BC's budget deficit ballooning to $1.5 billion

Provincial coffers are in worse shape than expected. A shortfall in projected revenue means the provincial government is forecasting a budget deficit of $1.5 billion for the 2012-13 fiscal year, $328 million more than projected in its first quarterly report released in September. Finance Minister Mike de Jong said the government is working to control government spending to mitigate the effects of reduced revenue, delays in the sale of some assets and reduced revenue from natural resources. Deterioration of the province’s real estate market has also had a significant effect.

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Vancouver Sun: Economic growth won't put environment at risk: Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver

OTTAWA — The Harper government has and will continue to put environmental protection first when it comes to developing resource projects in British Columbia, a federal cabinet minister will tell a West Coast business audience Wednesday.

But Conservative Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, in his first appearance in B.C. since the International Energy Agency warned earlier this month of pending U.S. energy self-sufficiency, will also stress Canada’s need for infrastructure to access export markets for bitumen crude in Asia.

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Vancouver Sun Editorial: Liberals win by a nose on the economy

As the political parties crank up the rhetoric in advance of the May provincial election, the B.C. Business Council has weighed in with a useful reality check on the most important issue, the management of the economy. Their comparison of the 1980s, '90s and the decade since the NDP was ousted in 2001 shows that on balance, British Columbia performed better under the Liberals.

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Kelowna Daily Courier: Changing times mean changing attitudes

Things are pretty good in British Columbia. We have a relatively high standard of living and our quality of life is right up there. However, it’s those very advantages that has led to some complacency and left our productivity wanting. “British Columbians work hard, but their productivity is 10 per cent below the Canadian average and Canada is 25 per cent below the U.S. average,” said Vancouver based Greg D’Avignon of the Business Council of British Columbia during the Kelowna stop of the B.C. Agenda for Shared Prosperity forum.

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Canadian Business Magazine: BC's carbon tax is here to stay

[Excerpt] The Clark government’s finance ministry is in the midst of a previously announced review of the carbon tax, but few now believe it will be scrapped or seriously altered. “The most likely option for the government review is essentially the status quo,” says Jock Finlayson, vice-president of the Business Council of B.C. His organization itself is urging the government to cap the tax at the current $30 per tonne and consider reducing it for energy-intensive industries within the province, which, it argues, have been placed at a competitive disadvantage. But the council is pleased with the $721 million in corporate tax reductions stemming from the revenue shift. Bringing in new taxes to make up for the loss of carbon tax revenue would be “quite messy,” Finlayson says.

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Vancouver Sun: McInnes - Numbers undermine notion of NDP's dismal decade

The idea that the 1990s were a lost decade for B.C., 10 years of economic rack and ruin under the NDP, has been a constant theme in Liberal attacks. As the campaigning intensifies in advance of the May 2013 general election, the pitch now is that British Columbians can’t afford to let a new NDP government take us back to that dismal decade....

Link to full McInnes article here

Link to BCBC Letter to the Editor in response to McInnes article here

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Vancouver Sun: BC business eye 'fiscal cliff' even as they enjoy mascent US economic recovery

U.S. President Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday but the political result B.C. business leaders will be watching for is still in the future. Officials in sectors such as forestry and tourism — which have benefited from the halting recovery of the U.S. economy — are hoping the American government can avoid falling over the so-called “fiscal cliff” of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that could take effect on Jan. 1. Failure to avoid the cliff could send America back into recession, taking Canada and B.C. with it.

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Business in Vancouver: Stronger US manufacturing sector good for British Columbia

BC manufacturers and exporters should benefit from a key U.S. presidential election campaign pitch that would return overseas manufacturing jobs to the continental U.S.

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Edmonton Journal: Real GDP down 0.1 percent in August: Statscan

Canada's economic expansion came to a surprising halt in August, posting the first decline since February and setting the stage for the worst quarter of economic activity in more than a year. Real gross domestic product shrank by 0.1 per cent over the month, with both temporary and fundamental factors taking the steam out of what economists had expected to be a relatively healthy 0.2 per cent advance.

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Daniel Veniez, Globe and Mail: Treaty settlement the only way to end pipeline deadlock

The broken treaty process is a conspicuous illustration of a major impediment to the expansion of British Columbia’s economy. The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline debacle is its latest casualty. In 1992, the federal and provincial governments created the BC Treaty Commission (BCTC) to facilitate the negotiation and settlement of treaties in British Columbia. Twenty years and an estimated $900-million later, a grand total of three treaties have been signed. Sophie Pierre, the Chief Commissioner, told me that the commission could be around for another 20 years.

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Edmonton Sun: It's a good time to be Canadian - Monte Solberg

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