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

BCBC In The News

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.

View Story

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.

View Story

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.

View Story

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.”

View Story

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

View Story

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.

View Story

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.

View Story

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.

View Story

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.

View Story

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.

View Story

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.  

View Story

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.

View Story

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.

View Story

Business in Vancouver: Province to see at least one LNG project in 2014: BCBC

The LNG sector will have at least one final investment decision by a private company in 2014, predicts the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC).

View Story

Vancouver Sun: Business groups herald recommendation to build pipeline

To B.C. and Canada's business community, the National Energy Board's recommendation that government approve Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline proposal put the project over a major hurdle toward realizing its economic benefits.

View Story

Vancouver Sun: Lobbyist/think-tank chief Jock Finlayson prefers to keep spotlight on the issues

Jock Finlayson never fails to make himself available to reporters writing about business and economics in B.C., and he invariably has something quotable to say.

View Story

CBC News: BC minister, business groups rally for New Prosperity mine

Some of B.C.'s biggest business leaders are urging the federal government to approve a controversial gold and copper mine, despite ongoing environmental concerns and a judicial review.

View Story

Vancouver Sun: Economic council that advises government expects slower BC growth

The Economic Forecast Council has lowered its growth projections for British Columbia this year and next. The slower growth projection comes as a result of year-to-date slowing in domestic indicators such as consumer spending and ongoing uncertainty in the global economy.

View Story

National Post: Whistler's hydrogen bus boondoggle

British Columbia is unlikely to meet its ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets for 2020, says the Business Council of BC.

View Story

Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: Lagging productivity is problematic

Punishing property taxes. Distracting red tape. An uncompetitive tive PST.
These three items top a list of small business complaints strongly tied to B.C.'s troubling productivity gap with the rest of Canada.
The Business Council cil of B.C. lamented recently that "B.C.'s productivity performance over the last five years is underwhelming." The report, by council executive VP Jock Ferguson and chief economist Ken Peacock, noted the all-important measure of output-per-worker in the province. Not only is it 10 per cent below the Canadian average, but it's also "well behind" that of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.

View Story