BCBC In The News
Seattle Times: Cascadia Innovation Corridor: From vision to reality
From revolutionizing our region’s transportation connections, making sure it remains an attractive place to live, expanding and diversifying the STEM pipeline here and identifying groundbreaking treatments for cancer, the newly formed steering committee has a lot on their plate, but they don’t see all these changes being easy, or even happening soon. And, they say, the payoff will benefit more than just our region.
“We have a vision for the Cascadia Innovation Corridor that stretches beyond the next few years,” says D’Avignon. “We’re building a sustainable innovation zone that equips the corridor for long-term economic opportunity that will also help create solutions for some of the world’s toughest challenges."
Globe and Mail: LNG Canada project forces B.C. to find new ways to meet climate targets
Greg D’Avignon, president of the Business Council of B.C., said Tuesday that the decision by LNG Canada’s partners to move ahead with the project is a positive signal for the investment climate in the province, and provides a guideline for a low-carbon economy that can thrive with the right fiscal policies from government and strong support from Indigenous communities.
Mr. D’Avignon said B.C.'s large supply of renewable energy – mostly hydroelectricity – needs to be harnessed to help other energy-intensive sectors such as forestry and mining reduce their carbon footprint. “We’ve got the opportunity, as with LNG Canada, to be a global climate solution provider,” he said.
Business in Vancouver Editorial: Canadian capital investment alert
Capital investment is critical to business competitiveness; it is also fundamental to improving labour productivity, another area in which Canada, as the Business Council of British Columbia has noted, is lagging behind its global marketplace competitors.
Globe and Mail: B.C.’s climate targets will be impossible to reach if LNG Canada project goes ahead, critics say
Jock Finlayson, chief policy officer at the Business Council of British Columbia, said his group’s members support the province’s fledgling LNG sector, and the NDP government needs to tread carefully in supporting LNG Canada while addressing climate goals. “We are keen on seeing LNG move ahead, but we’re also very sensitive to the costs of doing business for all the other industries here,” he said in an interview. “The province will have to decide how to balance competing objectives.”
BIV: Bull or Bear? Downturn not far off, warns B.C. expert
Q&A | Jock Finlayson, Business Council of BC executive vice-president and chief policy officer, says Canadian policies helping turn boom to bust
Business in Vancouver: Trans Mountain decision threatens to spook investors
But Greg D’Avignon, CEO of the Business Council of BC, said the courts’ involvement in the process has been a flashpoint for frustration for businesses and investors.
“It’s unfair to ask businesses to enter into a process and to invest capital and time and their reputation, knowing full well that today that process is unclear. You don’t know how much it’s going to cost, how long it’s going to take or whether or not when you follow the rules you’ll actually get a decision,” D’Avignon said.
“We’re seeing, in real time, capital decide not to place itself in Canada and British Columbia, and go elsewhere because there’s more clarity and more certainty [in other jurisdictions].”
Globe and Mail, Margaret Wente: The Trans Mountain ruling was a fiasco
As Greg D’Avignon, president of the Business Council of British Columbia said the other day in a tweet, “We cannot govern a country, meaningfully reconcile with First Nations or build the economy through the courts. ”
PODCAST: BIV Today
Ken Peacock joins podcast BIV Today to discuss B.C.’s tax competitiveness problem.
Vancouver Sun: Housing revenues help balance B.C. budget again, but downturn looms
“Obviously we’re coming off the boil from the housing real estate boom,” said Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president for the Business Council of B.C.
“That’s clearly an area where the slowdown is very much in evidence in the Lower Mainland, and to some extent in the province, in sales activity. It’s going to pinch the government’s revenues for sure. Some of that I think they factored in their budget in February. The question is whether what’s happening now is a bigger downtown than what was predicted in the budget.”
The Star Vancouver: Economic slowdown expected for the next four years in B.C.
In the past, the Business Council of British Columbia has found that B.C.’s economy is heavily reliant on the selling and building of real estate, which has driven more than a third of all economic growth in B.C. over the past four years.
Business in Vancouver Editorial: Canada’s counterproductivity problem
Add this atop Canada’s to-do list: improve productivity.
It’s fundamental to the country’s ability to raise its wages and standard of living. However, a recent Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) Policy Perspectives delves deep into the arithmetic of productivity, and the math is not adding up in Canada’s favour.
Realities of productivity slippage and its subsequent impact on economic growth and standards of living need to be aired now because current and future generations are becoming increasingly disconnected from the realities of where and how wealth is generated. The BCBC notes that, after its sustained labour productivity gains in the 1947-73 postwar era, Canada has been mired in an extended subpar productivity slump, and its standard of living has consequently stagnated.
Victoria News: B.C. NDP prepares to move on labour, employment standards
B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains says he’s proceeding carefully with changes to labour and employment standards legislation, as businesses raise concerns that employers are burdened enough by NDP government actions.
Bains is awaiting a report from a panel he appointed to review the Labour Code, expected by the end of August. Unions advised the panel they want certifications done by signing up a majority of members, ending secret ballot votes brought in by the previous government.
“It’s a sensitive area for most contractors as well as employers, because contractors often want to be contractors and don’t want to get classified as employees for tax purposes,” said Ken Peacock, chief economist at Business Council of B.C.
Langley Times: B.C. mineral exploration permits taking longer: survey
Business Council of B.C. president Greg D’Avignon called the report “a solution looking for a problem that confuses regulatory capacity in government with the role of qualified professionals who design projects and conduct environmental surveys.”
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Vancouver Courier: Film industry worth $3.4b to provincial economy, says Creative BC
Meanwhile, Ken Peacock, chief economist for the Business Council of B.C., told BIV Today last week he expects the B.C. film industry to be one of the most consistent performers for the provincial economy for the next few years.
Creative BC’s data showed that foreign productions nearly doubled the output from B.C.-based creators: 289 vs. 163.
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The Squamish Chief: Province wraps up review of natural resource project regulation system
But the Business Council of British Columbia has significant concerns with the report’s recommendations.
“This report suggests the provincial government does not trust qualified professionals to do their job at the appropriate standard. As such, it may place a chill on BC’s ability to attract and retain these professionals in the future,” Greg D’Avignon, president, and CEO of the Business Council, said in the statement.
“At this point, the most sensible thing the government can do is shelve the report.”
Business in Vancouver: What are we reading? July 12, 2018
Hayley Woodin, reporter:
B.C.’s economy is getting bested by a real estate slowdown, rising interest rates and a pressing labour shortage. The Business Council of BC’s latest economic report examines the second quarter of this year. Growth was fairly strong, until things started to come undone - Business Council of British Columbia
Globe and Mail: High housing costs could make Vancouver a self-service city
But housing isn’t only impacting the restaurant sector. It’s increasingly difficult to find teachers and doctors willing to move to the city. In fact, it’s hard to find an area of the economy in which hiring hasn’t been compromised by the region’s housing costs.
“Over time this is likely to inhibit business growth,” says Jock Finlayson, [Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer] with the Business Council of B.C. “The city [of Vancouver] itself is on its way to becoming uninhabitable for middle-income working families due to sky-high housing costs.”
Surrey Now Leader: Industry groups pan B.C.’s ‘professional reliance’ review
Business Council of B.C. president Greg D’Avignon called Haddock’s report “a solution looking for a problem,” which confuses regulatory capacity in government with the role of qualified professionals who design projects and conduct environmental surveys.
“Unfortunately, this report fails to recognize that whether professionals work in the private or public sector, they are all bound by the same legal and ethical standards,” D’Avignon said.
Business in Vancouver: Overhaul of professional reliance model slammed
“The Business Council recognizes and supports continual improvement in the environmental regulatory framework,” said BCBC CEO Greg D’Avignon. “However, this report on professional reliance is a solution looking for a problem, with the resulting recommendations going beyond an assessment of how professionals actually work in British Columbia.”
...“At this point, the most sensible thing the government can do is shelve this report,” D’Avignon said. “Overall, the professional reliance system is working well. No convincing evidence has been brought forward in this report that the province ought to abandon or fundamentally change it.”
Times Colonist: Provincial government changing way it buys things
Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the B.C. Business Council, said the strategy appears “sensible” at first glance.
“The announcement appears to be in alignment with our own previous recommendations to open up public sector procurement markets in B.C. to local companies — particularly innovative businesses in the technology and service sectors.”