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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.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Punching Above their Weight:
Aboriginal-Owned Businesses

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).

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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