Business in Vancouver: Alberta: open for business and ready for war


A resumption of a trade war that erupted last year between B.C. and Alberta would not be good for either province.

In 2013, B.C. exported $9.4 billion worth of services and $7.2 billion worth of goods to Alberta, according to the Business Council of BC(BCBC). Annual B.C. wine exports to Alberta alone are estimated at $70 million.

BCBC CEO Greg D’Avignon said he hopes Horgan and Kenney can resolve their differences.

“Mr. Horgan knowingly made some decisions around the Trans Mountain pipeline, which has provoked the reaction that Mr. Kenney has suggested he’s going to take, and it’s for the two of them to sit down and figure out how they can resolve these issues between the most integrated economies in the country,” he said.

Even without a trade war, D’Avignon said, Kenney’s promise to cut taxes and red tape will put B.C. at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to its business investment climate. He said $5.2 billion in additional or new taxes have been added to business in B.C. over the past five years.

“It just means that there’s one more jurisdiction in Canada, and one more jurisdiction globally, that British Columbia has to compete with,” D’Avignon said.

“We have to compete for head offices, we have to compete for talent, and we have to compete for investment that pays the bills that provinces need to be able to support education, health care and social services.”

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