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.
A Snapshot of BC’s Fastest Growing Industries
We look at the 30 BC industries that have grown most rapidly over the past five years, based on average annual growth in economic output (real GDP) between 2011 and 2016.
Finlayson: Retooling NAFTA: Canada faces harsh economic truths (Troy Media & Canadian Investor Magazine)
Canada enters NAFTA renegotiations with a rather weak hand.
Canada is a mid-sized economy, responsible for less than 2% of global production of goods and services – a proportion that has fallen gently over the last decade or so. Closer to home, we represent about 8% of all economic activity across the United States, Canada and Mexico combined.
Finlayson: BC must develop a stronger corporate head office presence (Troy Media)
Success on growing more locally-based companies and attracting firms from elsewhere would produce sizable economic dividends for the province.
Tech-tonic Shifts: Supporting the Growth of a BC Tech “Supercluster”
BC is home to a rapidly growing tech sector supported by global anchor firms that, combined, are expanding new digitally-based and mixed reality technologies and firms. Of interest, Vancouver was named in the July edition of Forbes as the number one-start up region in the world, beating out the likes of San Francisco, Berlin, London and Singapore.
BCBC Statement on New BC Government
The Business Council of British Columbia congratulates Premier John Horgan and his cabinet colleagues on being sworn in as British Columbia's new Government.
Developing a Stronger Corporate Head Office Cluster:
An Important Challenge for BC
There are many reasons why policy-makers and community leaders should be keen to develop a robust head office cluster.
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Economic policy advice for B.C.’s new ‘GreeNDP’ government (Business in Vancouver)
As a new B.C. provincial government gets ready to assume office, there is an opportunity for a fresh agenda and new perspectives. The BC NDP government will inherit an economy that has been outpacing the rest of the country in the growth of overall output, employment and consumer spending. However, B.C. also faces several structural challenges that in some ways belie the happy picture of robust economic growth. These challenges include excessive reliance on a frothy housing market and outsized real estate sector; alarming levels of household debt; tepid productivity growth; sluggish business investment; waning competitiveness in some key segments of the province’s export economy; and a housing affordability crisis that is affecting many parts of the Lower Mainland.
In these circumstances, the new government will need to proceed carefully in defining and implementing its policy agenda.
Statement from BCBC regarding the Federal Government's Principles respecting Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples
On Friday, July 14, the Business Council of British Columbia released the following statement on behalf of Greg D'Avignon, President and Chief Executive Officer, in response to the federal government's announced principles respecting Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples:
BC Economic Momentum Carries On
The BC economy remains healthy, with nearly all sectors contributing to the ongoing expansion. The momentum from last year is carrying forward more so than previously anticipated, prompting us to adjust our 2017 forecast upwards.
BCBC Welcomes Leadership That Accelerates Reconciliation and Creates Business Certainty in Landmark 30-Year Agreement Between YVR And Musqueam First Nation
The Business Council of British Columbia congratulates the Musqueam First Nation and the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) for achieving a landmark 30-year agreement, and recognizes their leadership in creating a new, long term partnership for transportation, jobs and meaningful inclusion in BC’s economy.
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: B.C. still booming despite world's new slow-growth reality (Business in Vancouver)
In the wake of the 2008-09 Great Recession, global economic growth has downshifted. Indeed, for many economists, it has become increasingly clear that we have transitioned to a slower-growth world.
Hampered by aging workforces, persistently low levels of business investment and widespread policy and political uncertainty, the advanced economies in particular face diminished prospects. At the same time, business leaders and policy-makers are struggling with new risks amid a backlash against globalization and trade. Despite all of these challenges, with little fanfare British Columbia has been enjoying what can only be described as an economic boom.
A Closer Look at BC's Exports
As a small market jurisdiction, exports of both goods and services are the foundation of the BC economy. Selling goods and services to other markets provides income from external sources, which in turn enables BC households and businesses to purchase and pay for a vast array of imports. Growing BC export-capable industries is critical to raising real incomes and boosting prosperity in the long term.
Finlayson & St. Laurent Op-Ed: A Tale of Two Economies: Leveraging Regional Immigration to Enhance Growth (PeopleTalk Spring 2017)
Two factors will largely determine the future trajectory of economic growth in British Columbia: productivity performance, and the extent to which the labour force expands over time. The hurdles to achieving long-term economic growth include an aging population, a low natural birth rate, and intense global competition for talent and capital.
Urbanization Feeds Divergence
The outlook for economic growth across B.C. is not uniform. In fact, ongoing urbanization and regional gaps in economic opportunity are feeding into a story of two increasingly diverging economies in the province.
GUEST SPEAKER: Jeffrey Simpson's Keynote at the Fifth Annual Chair's Dinner
On June 7, 2017, Canadian thought leader and former Globe and Mail national affairs columnist, Jeffrey Simpson, provided the keynote address at our Fifth Annual Chair's Dinner. In his remarks, Mr. Simpson shared his views of Canada at 150 and provided his unique insight into British Columbia's position in the Canadian federation, our nation's partnerships with the United States, and new challenges and opportunities in a complex world He has generously agreed to share his speech below.
Check Against Delivery
Open letter to western premiers to attend the 2017 Western Governors’ Association meeting
Dear Premier Christy Clark, Premier Rachel Notley, Premier Brian Pallister and Premier Brad Wall:
The rules governing trade with, and access to, Canada’s first and third largest trading partners have come under attack – threatening two decades of growth and prosperity in western Canada.
For the citizens and businesses of western Canada, it is crucial that their governments, individually and collectively, take the lead to assure that unique western interests are represented in determining the future rules for trade in North America.
Finlayson Op-Ed: Canada's investment recession drags on (Troy Media and Times Colonist)
While Canada’s economy continues to grind out positive if unspectacular gains in employment and gross domestic product (GDP), below the surface the picture is less encouraging.
For several years, our economy has basically been kept afloat by freespending consumers and overheated real estate markets. Throughout this period, export growth has been meagre and investment outside of the housing sector has been missing in action.
Dear Mr. President...
With the Renegotiation of NAFTA Looming, the Business Council Pens a Letter to President Trump
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Metro Vancouver needs a cohesive economic development plan (Business in Vancouver)
In today’s global economy, the competition for talent, investment and high-value business activity increasingly is playing out at the metropolitan level. According to the Brookings Institution’s Global Metro Monitor, the 300 biggest cities account for almost half of world production and consumption, despite being home to only one-fifth of the population. Canada has six metro areas big enough to rank in Brookings’ top-300 list: Toronto, Montreal, Greater Vancouver, Ottawa-Gatineau, Calgary and Edmonton.
BC Election Series: Party Platforms Devote Little Attention to Making BC More Competitive
As a small, open and trade dependent economy, being competitive is vital to BC’s success and prosperity. Against that backdrop, we find it concerning that the party platforms give little attention to the shifting competitive landscape facing business in BC.
BC Election Series: Post-Secondary Education and Innovation in the Party Platforms
Providing the next generation with opportunities to acquire the right skills contributes to stronger economic and productivity growth and should be a top-of-mind goal for incoming decision-makers. All three parties contesting the May 9 election have made promises regarding post-secondary education and innovation.