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RELEASE: BCBC welcomes new Advisory Council on Economic Growth

Vancouver, BC – March 18, 2016 - The Business Council of British Columbia welcomes the Government of Canada’s new Advisory Council on Economic Growth and looks forward to the opportunity to contribute to a sustainable growth strategy for Canada’s economy. 

In today’s environment of sluggish global growth and a widespread and significant downturn in commodity markets, Canada is facing long-term economic and fiscal challenges stemming from an aging population, lagging productivity and declining private sector capital investment.  The Business Council remains focused on addressing the erosion of Canadian competitiveness and applauds today’s announcement by the government as a positive step to advance those efforts.   

“Canada is wealthy with a diversity of economic assets, including our proximity to the world’s fastest growing markets accessed by economies across North America through British Columbia’s Pacific Gateway, however we are not leveraging these assets to their full potential,” said Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia. “An effective strategy for Canada’s economy must consider strategic investments in trade enabling infrastructure, certain and timely decision making processes and opportunities for First Nations to meaningfully engage in today’s economy.

“Further, a productive, innovative and competitive economy is one which attracts global capital and talent to accelerate growth in high salaried sectors such as technology, resources and life sciences.”

The Business Council also notes that smart, broad based tax policy is foundational to supporting economic growth and encourages the government to reassess the design and effectiveness of the overall business tax system in Canada in the context of a sound economic development strategy. 

“Canada lags behind the United States in capital investment per worker; a tax policy framework which encourages firms to invest in technology and innovation would assist in narrowing this gap and contribute to a more productive and competitive economy,” states Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer at the Business Council of British Columbia. “Canada is also one of the few advanced countries that levies much higher tax rates on business income as companies expand beyond the small firm category, thus distorting business behaviour and penalizing entrepreneurial ambition and company growth.”

The Business Council looks forward to contributing to the development of this much needed national economic growth strategy and working alongside this esteemed group of national and international business leaders announced today as part of the government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth.

The Business Council of British Columbia, now in its 50th year as the premier business organization in British Columbia, is a non-partisan organization made up of 250 leading companies, post-secondary institutions and organizations from across BC’s diverse economy which support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the province. The Council provides timely and exceptional public-policy research and advice on issues to enhance BC’s competitiveness and prosperity.

Media Contact:

Cheryl Maitland Muir
cheryl.muir [at] bcbc.com
604-812-5965