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Vancouver Sun, Don Cayo: BC's Asia trade appointment is overdue and may be too tepid

A stiff whiff of patronage and questions about the first office-holder’s qualifications notwithstanding, Monday’s appointment of a B.C. investment and trade commissioner to Asia is a small step in the right direction.

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Business in Vancouver: BC Business Council pushes Clean Energy Act overhaul

While a new Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) policy paper supports two of B.C.'s most high-profile economic opportunities – natural gas industry expansion and new crude oil pipeline construction – it says both need help to ensure "continued energy prosperity" for the province.

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Surrey North Delta Leader: Satellite aboriginal reserves a 'huge concern'

The province is asking the federal government to tread cautiously with its proposal to let First Nations set up satellite reserves within cities that may circumvent local planning and taxes.

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Vancouver Sun: BC businesses give about $315 million to charity each year: study

Businesses in B.C. give an estimated $315 million a year to charitable causes, according to a study commissioned by the Business Council of B.C.

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Vancouver Sun: B.C. offers lower LNG investor tax rates

The B.C. government will soon find a "sweet spot" tax rate to be applied to energy firms that go ahead with plans to invest billions of dollars in liquefied natural gas production in the province, Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman said Monday. There are more than 10 proposed LNG projects in B.C., including a plan by Malaysian state energy company Petronas to invest $36 billion in a pipeline and an LNG plant near Prince Rupert.

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24 Hours, Bill Tieleman: Collaboration key to a better B.C.

If there's just one thing everyone in British Columbia politics could agree on, it's that we can't be friends. From business and labour, to environmentalists and natural resource companies, to First Nations and anti-poverty groups, it's clear this province is definitely not home to sweet harmony. Confrontation always seems to beat co-operation. That's why it's so shocking when something astonishing happens here, and I was fortunate enough to witness it.

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Vancouver Sun, Don Cayo: Civility in public discourse is worth pursuing

The concept that the angriest voice wins is a perversion of democracy. The idea that self-serving, selfappointed loudmouths have a greater claim to speak for the majority than duly elected representatives is, when you think about it, absurd and repugnant. But so is smarmy backroom wheeling and dealing by those with money and/or influence.

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Vancouver Sun: First Nations need to share in B.C.'s future resource boom

Last Wednesday, the BC Business Council produced a report called BC Agenda for Shared Prosperity. In it, they argue that new levels of collaboration and more equitable sharing of the benefits of resource development are necessary if B.C. is to prosper. While they do not single out First Nations, they certainly mention them as one of the groups of people who are failing to get their fair share of the benefit of economic activity.

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Global BC, Keith Baldrey: Discord among British Columbians is harming province’s economy

British Columbia has long been known as a polarized province, where public debate and discourse is characterized by everyone seemingly having opposite views on many things. But a new study by two major business groups suggests that continued approach will spell disaster for the provincial economy, and that the two solitudes had better start listening to each other if we want the province to prosper. The report, entitled “The B.C. Agenda for Shared Prosperity,” was completed after a year of study by the Business Council of B.C. and the B.C. Chamber of Commerce. It contains 60 recommendations on how to improve the economy, but its central theme is that groups that are normally locked in combat have to start working together.

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Vancouver Sun: Moving beyond resource exports

Emerging economies, especially those on B.C.'s doorstep in the Asia-Pacific, represent potentially the most earth-shaking development in capitalism's history, say analysts. But can Canada be a player or will we sit on the sidelines? Can Vancouver, as one prominent analyst suggests, be the natural location-of-choice for many of the emerging Chinese, Indian and southeast Asian corporate giants looking for North American headquarters?

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Vancouver Sun, Editorial: Collaboration will help BC prosper

It is time for diverse groups within B.C. society to kiss and make up and work to find common ground on economic development. Too often public debate in B.C. is polarized, pitting environmentalists, labour and the corporate community against one another.

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: Business appeals for efforts to close gap between rich and poor

B.C.'s business community is appealing to government and the community to start collaborating to address the province's biggest economic challenges. "If we don't start collaborating, we're going to fail as an economy," declares Greg D'Avignon, president and CEO of the Business Council of B.C. The unusual outreach follows a $471,000 year-long study by the council and the B.C. Chamber of Commerce.

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News 1130: Business groups calling for minimum wage increases: They want the wage tied to inflation

Support is growing in the business sector for those of you earning minimum wage to start getting regular pay hikes. The concept has been endorsed by a couple of business groups in our province.

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: Chamber of Commerce seeks new alternative to PST

B.C.' s chamber of commerce is calling for broadbased public discussion on adopting a value-added tax to replace the provincial sales tax. The Clark government reinstated the PST/GST system last April, after public opposition forced it to scrap the HST.

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Vancouver Sun: Construction sector: Good jobs, but vulnerable to demand shifts

Construction and other development-related jobs are an important part of the Lower Mainland economy, but they rely on other businesses and industries to drive demand for residential and business space. Construction jobs alone doubled from 53,000 jobs in the year 2000 to more than 100,000 jobs by 2008, when the recession hit, said Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president and chief policy officer at the Business Council of British Columbia.

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: 'B.C. needs to up its export game'

British Columbians need to get a lot more enthusiastic about their province's trade relationship with Asia. A recent survey showing British Columbians and other Canadians are less than gung-ho about developing closer economic ties with Asia is generating a reaction from the business community.

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: BC needs to up its export game

British Columbians need to get a lot more enthusiastic about their province’s trade relationship with Asia.

A recent survey showing British Columbians and other Canadians are less than gung-ho about developing closer economic ties with Asia is generating reaction from the business community.

The Business Council of B.C. notes more than 40 per cent of the province’s merchandise exports last year were Asia-bound — up from 23 per cent just a decade ago. And, within the next five years, the tally could grow to 50 per cent.

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Globe and Mail: State of the unions: can the labour movement make a comeback?

Forty-five years ago, Jack Munro led a strike for the ages. More than 3,000 lumber workers went without pay for 224 days in the heart of the B.C. Interior, walking picket lines through the winter to win wage parity with union members on the coast.

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Vancouver Sun, Don Cayo: BC wages drop further behind the rest of Canada

Average wages in B.C. have trailed the rest of Canada for a year or more, and now they’re falling even further behind.

This is the bad news emerging from Tuesday’s superficially upbeat release from Statistics Canada on the latest national and provincial average wage figures. 

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Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yafffe: Transport, BC's business, a top generator of greenhouse gases

B.C.’s status as a transportation hub is making the task of achieving legislated provincial targets for greenhouse gas reductions problematic.

That message was delivered by the Business Council of B.C. in its latest environment and energy bulletin.

Transportation, notes the council, generates one quarter of all GHG emissions in Canada. But in this province, it generates nearly 40 per cent of emissions.

While it would be easy to blame all nasty greenhouse gases on big industrial enterprises with belching smokestacks, in fact much of B.C.’s GHG generation comes from plain old transportation.

To be sure, transportation, in all its forms, makes the world go around. But it’s a focus of particular concern in an age of climate change.

B.C.’s government introduced a revenue-neutral carbon tax back in 2008, the same year it optimistically legislated targeted GHG reductions of 33 per cent of 2007 levels by 2020, and 80 per cent by 2050.

But the options for reducing all those transport-linked emissions are “challenging and limited,” according to Denise Dalmer, environment and sustainability director at the business council who, with Jonathan Arnold, co-wrote the recent bulletin.

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