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Business in Vancouver Podcast: The B.C. real estate boom is unwinding. What’s next?

On BIV Today hosted by Tyler Orton:

Ken Peacock (1:19), chief economist at the Business Council of B.C., discusses how the province’s cooling real estate market is expected to impact the economy over the next few years.

 

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Global News/CKNW: D'Avignon: “Business needs the certainty of the rule of law."

“Business needs the certainty of the rule of law, and that’s what we’re counting on Canada and British Columbia to uphold.”

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BIV: Economic Outlook 2019 - LNG Canada offsets real estate slowdown

BCBC's Chief Economist Ken Peacock offers his insights into what's in store for the B.C. economy in 2019.

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Vancouver Sun: Report identifies three sectors vulnerable to automation

Excerpt: Based on the 2016 census, 42 per cent of workers in the B.C. economy are employed in jobs with "a high probability of being automated," within the next two decades, according to an analysis by the Business Council of B.C.

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CBC: B.C.'s new Employer Health Tax about to launch

Excerpt: The president and CEO of the Business Council of B.C. says the EHT is a double whammy to some businesses that are having to pay both it and MSP premiums in 2019. "Not only is there a new incremental tax, but we're also paying the old tax previously for a double taxation this year," said Greg D'Avignon.

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The Squamish Chief: Will automation solve the labour shortage in Squamish?

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According to a study released in October 2018 by the Business Council of British Columbia, about 42 per cent of jobs in B.C. have "high potential" of being automated in the next 10 to 20 years.

The positions most likely to be automated (sales, service, business, finance, administration, trades, transport and equipment operation) make up 54 per cent of B.C.'s total employment.

"Routine, repetitive and rules-based tasks, and tasks requiring simple social interactions" are most likely to be automated in the next 10 to 20 years, it states, such as retail salespersons, food counter attendants, kitchen helpers, cashiers, transport truck drivers, restaurant servers, and office support workers.

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Globe and Mail: While carbon tax foes bicker, B.C. goes in for the win

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B.C.'s success or failure in meeting its targets won’t make much of dent in combating global climate change. Greg D’Avignon, head of the Business Council of B.C., noted in an interview that the province’s carbon emissions are just a speck, in international terms: “If all of us in British Columbia walked out the door and locked it behind us, that would solve China’s GHG problem for two days.”

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Business in Vancouver: Keep union certification secret ballot, panel recommends

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Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president and chief policy officer for the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC), said most business groups are nervous about labour code changes by a government that has close ties to the union movement.

“If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it,” Finlayson said.

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National Observer: B.C. has solutions to carbon price backlash minister tells UN climate summit

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When the plan was announced, the Business Council of British Columbia’s president Greg D’Avignon said tools within the plan position to province to be a supplier of choice for lower-carbon intensive products and supplies.

“Acting on these strategies, B.C. can play an outsized role in reducing climate impacts in high-emission jurisdictions, while building a competitive and innovative economy for British Columbians and reducing emissions here at home,” D’Avignon said in a news release. 

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Business in Vancouver: B.C. aims to regain climate leader title

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“The opportunity is that, if we’re competitive in doing that, we get an economic benefit instead of economic leakage,” said BCBC president Greg D’Avignon.

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Globe and Mail: B.C.’s climate action plan requires a green solution to BC Hydro’s red ink

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Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO of the Business Council of B.C., is a key supporter of CleanBC, but he still has a lot of questions of how this will impact Hydro rates. “The briefing I got on the plan, a lot of the detail isn’t there," he said. He anticipates Hydro will have to grow, and his members won’t be happy if that drives up their electricity costs. “I don’t know where the capital comes from. Hydro is already heavily indebted.”

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Globe and Mail: Western newsletter: B.C.’s climate plan has lots of carrots and no sticks, but who’s paying for the carrots?

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The plan doesn’t impose penalties, something Greg D’Avignon of the BC Business Council said would be counterproductive. Instead of sticks, the plan offers carrots including potential loans and rebates.

Who will pay for the carrots is not yet defined and won’t be at least until February’s budget. But Mr. D’Avignon cautioned against an aggressive approach, noting that heavy taxes and penalties will simply prompt investment to flee to a myriad of other places in the world that aren’t taking climate change as seriously. British Columbia can and must do its part. But it’s a tiny piece of a huge whole, he told Justine.

“If all of us in British Columbia walked out the door and locked it behind us, that would solve China’s GHG problem for two days.”

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Vancouver Sun: How migration impacts Vancouver's housing prices

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The Urban Development Institute and the B.C. Business Council, meanwhile, encourage governments to bring in immigrants and foreign students and increase density by arguing it is beneficial for the economy.

McMullin stresses the real estate and development industry employs 200,000 people and contributes $17 billion to the province’s Gross Domestic Product. The Business Council’s Jock Finlayson wants to encourage foreign investment and various forms of immigration “because that’s important in what makes our society and economy successful.”

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Vancouver Courier: CleanBC’s deferred action, policy gaps worry critics

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CleanBC promises to return carbon tax revenues to industry as incentives to transition to more green operations. It echoes past federal and various provinces’ plans that such moves would position provinces as attractive to businesses looking to invest in forward-looking, low-carbon economies.

The Business Council of B.C. signed off on that in November, inking a memorandum of understanding supporting the plan’s goals for transforming the business environment.

“The low-carbon strategy will also contribute to a strong, competitive economy that can attract investment to B.C. and further reduce our own emissions intensity,” council president Greg D’Avignon said.

Also published in:

Prince George Citizen

North Shore News

 

 

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Globe and Mail: B.C. climate plan opts for incentives over strong-arming

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Greg D’Avignon, president and chief executive of the Business Council of B.C., said his organization approached Premier John Horgan, asking to work together to develop a climate strategy that would not drive industry out of the province.

“If you use too much stick, you might reach your [greenhouse gas] reductions because the capital will have fled. That’s not a threat, it’s a reality,” he said in an interview Thursday, pointing to the announced closure of General Motors’ auto plant in Oshawa, Ont., as an example of how industry can be mobile when it comes to investments. That process was starting in B.C., he said, with investment leaking out because of high taxes that put industry at a competitive disadvantage.

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Business in Vancouver: B.C. launches clean growth plan

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The clean growth plan includes "ringfencing" of carbon taxes for industry. Benchmarks will be set for industries like mines, LNG, pulp mills and cement plants, and those that meet or beat emissions intensity benchmarks will get some of the carbon taxes rebated.

Greg D'Avignon, president of the Business Council of BC, said the plan will be good for B.C.'s economy, as it allows B.C. producers of products to market their products as low-carbon.

"The opportunity is that, if we're competitive in doing that, we get an economic benefit instead of economic leakage," he said.

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National Post: B.C. climate change plan aims to build economy around renewable energy

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The B.C. Business Council said CleanBC begins to position the province and its businesses as a supplier of choice for international markets seeking lower-carbon intensive energy and commodities.

It also said there’s a need for greater understanding of the plan’s cost implications for both employers and individual British Columbians, but the council will work with the government to ensure policy solutions meet economic realities.

“By leveraging our low-carbon assets, including renewable hydro electricity, British Columbia can play an outsized role in reducing global climate impacts in high-emission jurisdictions, while building a competitive and innovative economy for British Columbians and reducing emissions here at home,” president and CEO Greg D’Avignon said.

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Vancouver Sun: B.C.'s clean climate plan targets natural gas and oil sector

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Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO of the Business Council of B.C., said the tools within the plan support a low-carbon industrial strategy and position B.C. businesses and the province to be a supplier of choice for international markets seeking lower-carbon intensive energy, commodities and other inputs for their expanding economies.

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Global News: B.C. climate plan targets cleaner industry and transportation to hit emission targets

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The plan has the support of some major players in the province’s business community. The Business Council of British Columbia says tools within the new plan helps to begin positioning B.C. businesses to be a supplier of choice for international markets seeking lower-carbon intensive energy.

“Climate change is a global challenge requiring global solutions,” council CEO Greg D’Avignon said. “By leveraging our low-carbon assets, including renewable hydro electricity, British Columbia can play an outsized role in reducing global climate impacts in high-emission jurisdictions, while building a competitive and innovative economy for British Columbians and reducing emissions here at home.”

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Globe and Mail: B.C.’s new climate action plan heavy on incentives to switch to electric power

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“By leveraging our low-carbon assets, including renewable hydroelectricity, British Columbia can play an out-sized role in reducing global climate impacts in high-emission jurisdictions, while building a competitive and innovative economy for British Columbians and reducing emissions here at home,” Greg D’Avignon, president of the Business Council of B.C., said in a statement.

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