The Business Council of B.C. (BCBC) welcomed the fact the fact the budget is balanced, and also welcomed some of the social spending that addresses affordability issues. But it has failed to address a growing competitiveness gap.
“While government has prioritized a variety of worthwhile program areas, including childcare, housing affordability, education, and transit and transportation investments, paying for this requires a competitive and growing economy," said BCBC chief policy officer Jock Finlayson. "The budget does not pay sufficient attention to the storm clouds facing us due to slower global growth and escalating tax and regulatory costs at home."
The BCBC has been working with the B.C. government to address the "leakage" that results from B.C. industries, which pay the highest carbon taxes in North America, competing with jurisdictions that have lower carbon pricing or none at all.
"Regrettably, our collaboration with the province on this important policy file appears to have hit a wall," said BCBC president Greg D’Avignon.