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Economy

As trusted economists and policy advisors to business and government leaders, the Council relies on sound, evidence-based analysis to inform its policy recommendations. Through diligent tracking of BC’s economic performance, we help identify the opportunities and challenges the province must navigate in order to reach its full potential.

 

Statement from BCBC on Increasing Risks to BC's Investment Climate

In response to the Provincial Government’s announcement that it intends to restrict the movement of diluted bitumen through the province, Greg D’Avignon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of British Columbia, has released the following statement:

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BC's Expansion Set to Continue Through 2019

Amid an improving external backdrop, BC’s economic expansion remains on a healthy course with little on the horizon to suggest this will change over the next couple of years.

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Presentation: Competitive Landscape of BC's Natural Resource Sectors

Check out Jock Finlayson's presentation to the 2018 BC Natural Resources Forum on the economic contributions of resources to BC's economy - and the risks to the sectors' competitiveness.

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Finlayson & Peacock Op Ed: U.S. tax reforms set to remake competitive landscape for Canada (Business in Vancouver)

As finance ministers across Canada start putting the finishing touches on their 2018 budgets, they are sure to be casting a nervous glance to the south. In late December, the U.S. Congress approved – and President Donald Trump signed – a package of tax reforms and rate reductions that amounts to the biggest overhaul of America’s tax system in four decades. The changes are numerous and complex. For policy-makers and business leaders in Canada, the new reality of U.S. taxation heralds a significant shift in the competitive landscape.

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Three economic predictions for 2018

What does 2018 have in store on the economic front? We offer these three predictions.

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BCBC in 2017: Advancing Ideas and Actions....

In the final days of 2017, we’ve taken a moment to review the 119 publications, submissions to government, opinion editorials and blogs produced by the team at the Business Council of British Columbia. In addition to highlighting our major works, we’ve put together a compilation which revisits the most popular pieces and provides an overview of the range of issues that have garnered attention this year. 

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Finlayson Op-Ed: Cloud of NAFTA uncertainty looms over B.C. horizon (Business in Vancouver)

The coming year promises to be an eventful one for the B.C. business community. While our economy continues to grow at a decent pace, business leaders need to brace themselves for the bumpy road that lies ahead. 

Perhaps the biggest unknown concerns the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – and what happens in Canada’s relationship with our principal ally and trading partner, now under the erratic stewardship of President Donald Trump.

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D'Avignon & Finlayson Op-Ed: The CPTPP represents significant opportunity for the Canadian economy (Vancouver Sun)

BCBC reminds the Prime Minister to not lose sight of a more imminent opportunity: completion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), previously known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Participating in the CPTPP would expand Canada’s existing network of trade and investment agreements, support efforts to diversify our trade, and allow Canadian businesses and workers to secure improved access to growing foreign markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: As good as it gets for B.C. business: looking back at a buoyant 2017 (Business in Vancouver)

The arrival of the holiday season and approach of a new calendar year provides an opportunity to look back and evaluate economic conditions and developments over the past 12 months.

For B.C., 2017 was another year of strong economic growth, with the durability and strength of the expansion surprising most pundits. Below we touch upon a few of the most salient economic developments of the past year.

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What To Expect When You're Expecting [Disruption]: The Digital Economy and British Columbia

You are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. So, what is it — and in what ways may it transform life as we know it?

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Corporate Sustainability: The New Normal

Though not a new concept, sustainability has recently become a mainstay in corporate governance, and the question has shifted from whether to seek sustainability to how to achieve, implement, and harness its potential.

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Home Is Where The Heart Is...If You Can Afford It

The latest census data release highlights significant shifts in some key housing indicators over the last decade and the implications these trends may have on the Canadian economy, such as the rise of renters versus home owners, the move to living in apartments versus single-detached homes, more young adults living with parents, and the growing share of households living in shelter that’s considered unaffordable.

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Finlayson & Mullen Op-Ed: Fossil fuels remain key to energy future, according to report (Troy Media)

The International Energy Agency’s Annual World Energy Outlook 2017 was released in early November.  It provides a useful update on the shift to a lower carbon global energy system. The stepped-up deployment of clean energy technologies and moves towards electrification continue in many nations.  At the same time, rising investment in energy efficiency is lessening the need for supply additions.  However, fossil fuels still represent the bulk of global energy production and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

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D'Avignon: Site C will be a strategic asset for a growing economy in the fight against climate change (Globe and Mail)

Is walking away from Site C really in the best interest of British Columbia’s future?

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: How government can help build bigger businesses in B.C. (Business in Vancouver)

To build a more prosperous economy, new businesses have to be created and some existing firms must grow. The business world is characterized by a high degree of “churn,” with many new entrants together with lots of exits and diverse patterns of expansion and contraction among the pool of surviving companies. Many new firms don’t have a long shelf life. About half close their doors within five years. Of those that hit the five-year mark, most never reach the 50-employee level.

But those that do grow swiftly tend to make disproportionate contributions to our economy. This is partly because as businesses expand, they become more productive – and therefore, on average, pay higher wages. In addition, as firms grow, they are more likely to export and to take advantage of the economies of scale that come from doing business beyond local markets.

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Dear Premier Horgan: Let's Build Site C

Having considered the evidence, including the BC Utilities Commission’s (BCUC) recent report, our reputational risk and the anticipated significant electricity demand as we accelerate into the digital age and low carbon economy, we offer our support for completing the project, for several reasons – some of which are also referenced in a recent submission from the BC Building Trades unions.

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Dear Prime Minister:

The TPP is more important than ever

A letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging his government to conclude the negotiations on the TPP and implement the agreement as quickly as possible.

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BC Economy Still Strong...But Downshifts in 2018

The British Columbia economy remains on a healthy growth track, supported by rising exports, substantial increases in consumer spending, and high levels of activity in the housing sector.

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Finlayson & Mullen Op-Ed: True or False: Canada is Falling Behind on Greenhouse Gas Emissions? (Vancouver Sun)

The latest international climate change meeting is underway in Bonn, Germany. There is the usual concern about insufficient progress in tackling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and finger pointing at countries seen as not doing their part. Some of this criticism is warranted. In certain quarters, Canada is once again chastised for being a laggard: not doing enough, fast enough, while the United States, which has withdrawn from the Paris Accord, is taking credit for big reductions in emissions.   

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Finlayson & St-Laurent Op-Ed: Education as the Great Divide (People Talk)

Where do workers envision themselves five years from now? Who has the skills to succeed in the fast-changing job market? The answer—and the level of optimism—may very well depend on the amount and type of education attained.

How workers view their careers and whether they believe they can “make it” in a digital world whittles down to one main factor: education. A recent US survey reveals that education, not household income or geography, represents the “great divide” between w

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