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.
Human Capital Policy and Practice in British Columbia:
Growing the Province's Economy & Potential Through Talent
This report, prepared for the Business Council by Kerry Jothen, CEO of Human Capital Strategies, considers BC’s future – what its economic vision should be and what kind of human capital will be needed in the next two decades. It considers how public policy and other factors can support success and prosperity in this arena. This includes a high-level review of current relevant policies and programs – what needs to be changed, enhanced and expanded, and what new actions need to be considered.
Census Income Update (Pt 2)
A Snapshot of Median Incomes Across BC
While every metropolitan area in British Columbia experienced some growth in median household income over the last ten years, resource-rich communities saw bigger increases than other communities.
Census Income Update (Pt 1)
National Median Income: Resource-Rich Industries Lead the Pack
The more resource-rich provinces saw significant increases in median household income over the 2005-15 period. Over the decade, a boom in energy and some other resource markets drew investment and bolstered incomes in the prairies, the North and to a lesser extent Newfoundland.
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: High-wage aspirations demand better productivity fundamentals (Business in Vancouver)
A rising statutory minimum wage can be viewed as a policy intervention that seeks to nudge higher the share of total income that accrues to labour rather than to owners of capital, with a particular focus on lower-paid workers. But it comes at a cost.
Finlayson Op-Ed: Financing NDP’s agenda will be a major challenge for taxpayers (Business in Vancouver)
p>The $52 billion “mini-budget” presented by Finance Minister Carole James on September 11 signals a shift in the priorities of the provincial government after 16 years of generally tight-fisted rule by the BC Liberals. For the finance minister and her BC NDP colleagues, it is time to boost expenditures on social services, education and affordable housing – while still keeping the operating budget in surplus. Skinny surpluses in the range of $250 million are projected for each of the next three years, on the heels of the $2.7 billion torrent of black ink posted in 2016-17.
Ties That Bind: Economic Ties Between BC and Alberta
BC and Alberta have especially strong economic connections and exhibit a high degree of economic interdependence.
BC Budget Update Signals Modest Tax Changes and Additional Spending Measures
After more than 16 years in opposition, the NDP government introduced its first budget earlier this week. More accurately, Finance Minister Carole James unveiled a Budget Update, with the more comprehensive budget and fleshed out fiscal plan to come next February.
New partnerships advance the Cascadia Innovation Corridor
New cross-border initiatives to connect Washington state and British Columbia
Leaders from Washington state and British Columbia today announced a suite of new initiatives focused on improving connectivity, strengthening innovation and generating economic opportunity.
RELEASE: BCBC Budget Commentary September 2017
The Business Council of British Columbia offered a mixed assessment to today’s provincial budget update presented by Finance Minister Carole James.
Advice to the New BC Government: Tread Carefully on Business Taxes
As appealing as it may be to advocate higher taxes on companies and entrepreneurs, there are some risks in following this path.
BC Retail Sales Surge in June…Capping off a Very Strong Q2
Recently released figures from Statistics Canada show BC consumers are out spending feverishly, helping fuel the solid pace of economic growth in the province.
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Digesting hard truths about Canada’s subpar trade performance (Business in Vancouver)
Canada is a mid-sized economy, responsible for less than 2% of global output. Closer to home, we represent about 8% of all economic activity across the United States, Canada and Mexico combined.
Canada is also an open economy that depends heavily on cross-border flows of trade, investment and knowledge to underpin our high standard of living. To pay our way in the world and generate the income necessary to buy imports, Canada must sell commodities, manufactured goods and services to customers in other markets.
Finlayson Op-Ed: The Prohibitive Cost of Living in Metro Vancouver (Troy Media, Canadian Investor Magazine & Business in Vancouver)
How can people afford to live in Vancouver? That question came to mind as I struggled to catch up with the latest torrent of media stories on the lower mainland’s seemingly inexhaustible housing boom. Of course, Metro Vancouver has long been the most expensive place in the country to purchase (or rent) a home. Indeed, relative to the incomes of area residents, it ranks among the priciest markets in the world.
Punching Above their Weight:
Looking to increase innovation and productivity? Take a leaf from Aboriginal-owned firms, suggests a new study by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB).
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.