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Vancouver Sun: Cross-border shopping is a way of life for many lower mainlanders

Once a week, Mike Hallatt makes the trip across the border to stock up on products from the popular U.S. grocery chain Trader Joe’s. Read more:

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Vancouver Sun, Pete McMartin: What's commerce got to do with patriotism?

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BC Business: Jock Finlayson on BC's Economic Outlook

While the economic outlook for B.C. may be up in the air, Jock Finlayson sees positive signs on the horizon In May Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of British Columbia, presented a report: The Economic Outlook in Uncertain Times. Looking at the world's economy, housing market, banking systems and employment rates, Finlayson laid out his findings on how B.C., and the world, will fare in 2013 and beyond.

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Globe and Mail, Jeff Simpson: When politicians campaign against public-sector unions

Article sources recent BCBC Human Capital Policy and Law publication, A Review in Trends in Union Density

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Vancouver Sun, Don Cayo: BC can capitalize on Asia's boom

Businesses are far too prone to forget about building long-term strengths in favour of chasing short-term advantage, and governments are worse, says Dominic Barton, the global managing director of McKinsey & Company, one of the world's pre-eminent management consulting firms.

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Vancouver Sun: BC leaders discuss the election result

Business Council of B.C., president At this point it's pretty clear that the economy is important both across the province and at people's kitchen tables. The premier's message of creating certainty and taking advantage of opportunities like LNG and our resource opportunities in Asia resonated with the public.

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Vancouver Sun: The Real Issue: Election to decide which party sets B.C.’s economic course for decades

Politicians often call elections era-defining events.

Usually, the issues don’t loom as large as such hyperbole from campaigners would suggest. But at other times, such as B.C.’s May 14 provincial election, they do.

This election is more than just a decision about which political party is best-equipped to run the province for the next four years. The next government will be setting a course for B.C.’s economic development for at least 20 years.

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Vancouver Sun: Process, not politics, should determine fate of pipeline expansion, Kinder Morgan president says

The president of Kinder Morgan Canada said Tuesday that the review process for its proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, not the political debate in B.C., should determine whether or not the twinning of the Edmonton-to-Burnaby pipeline goes ahead.

Ian Anderson was responding to NDP leader Adrian Dix’s statement Monday that an NDP government would not support a major increase in oil tanker traffic in and out of Vancouver harbour.

“We understand that the associated public policy discussions about our project will occur. However, we believe that the process, including full applications and supporting evidence, should determine the outcome,” Anderson said in an email to The Sun.

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Vancouver Sun Staff Blog: Hug a BC miner today and every day

The gold medal for job creation in British Columbia over the past decade goes to the mining sector. It saw a 228 per cent growth in jobs between 2002-2012. The silver medal goes to the sector supporting mining, oil and gas. It saw a rate of growth of 187 per cent. The bronze medal goes to both security services and warehousing and storage for seeing job growth of 110 and 108 per cent respectively. (Source: Ken Peacock at the BC Business Council).

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Vancouver Sun: BC business warns on possible cross-border fee

A new proposed U.S. fee for every vehicle and pedestrian crossing the border could help keep British Columbia shoppers at home, but provincial business groups oppose the charge.

The new fee, in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s proposed 2014 budget, has already been criticized by politicians on both sides of the border, who say it will counteract recent efforts to open up the U.S.-Canada border.

Business Council of B.C. executive vice-president Jock Finlayson said a fee would likely reduce the scale of cross-border shopping to the benefit of the B.C. retail sector.

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Vancouver Sun: Oil and gas industry emerges as centrepiece issue in BC elections

(Excerpt) The Business Council of B.C., meanwhile, said any government aiming to fiddle with the natural gas sector has to recognize that multinational corporations planning to spend “tens of billions of dollars” on LNG projects will require a “competitive and stable” fiscal regime.

“British Columbia has a lot riding on the development of the LNG sector,” said executive vice-president Jock Finlayson.

“Not only can LNG provide an important new source of export earnings, government revenue and overall economic growth, but the hard reality is that the province needs to find new markets for its abundant natural gas as the United States inexorably moves toward self-sufficiency in the commodity.”

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Globe and Mail: HST: Gone but hardly forgotten in BC

For Lawrence Alder, it seemed only fitting that British Columbia reintroduced a provincial sales tax on April 1, the day of fools.

“It’s a nightmare, just like we anticipated,” Mr. Alder, controller for Delta-based International Marine Floatation Systems, says of switching back to a GST/PST regime from a harmonized sales tax that had been in place since July, 2010. “We’re going through all sorts of contortions.”

The tax flip-flop means more time and paperwork to process invoices at IMFS, which makes floating structures such as marinas for buyers in Canada and abroad.

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Vancouver Sun: Vancouver's Class A office now Canada's costliest

At an average of $34.31 per square foot for Class A space in the central business district, Vancouver is Canada’s most expensive city for renting office space, and 29th worldwide, according to the Cushman & Wakefield report Office Space across the World 2013.

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Vancouver Sun: Canada, BC economies to sputter in 2013 as growth forecast cut

The Bank of Canada cut its 2013 growth forecast Wednesday to 1.5 per cent and said it now thinks the economy won’t get back up to full speed until mid-2015 — about six months later than predicted earlier this year.

British Columbia could be facing a similar fate, according to Central 1 Credit Union, which also downgraded its provincial growth forecast for this year to 1.5 per cent.

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Business in Vancouver: Work with Australia to tap Asian market potential, former Aussie prime minister tells BC businesses

B.C. firms should be looking to partner with Australian counterparts rather than seeing them as competitors for Asian business.

That was one of the messages from Kevin Rudd, former prime minister of Australia, who was in Vancouver as the keynote speaker for the first Circle of Prosperity summit organized by the Business Council of BC (BCBC) and the BC Chamber of Commerce.

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The Tyee: Who Says BCs Election is a Bore?


Greg D'Avignon, president and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia

"The most important issue facing the province is our ability to be globally competitive and maximize the benefits of our human and natural resources. Unfortunately B.C. is increasingly uncompetitive.

"If this continues, we will be unable to improve healthcare, advance our education system or generate a stronger sense of shared prosperity. We need smarter tax systems, improved educational outcomes and modern regulatory processes that attract investment.

"By growing the economy, small businesses will get bigger, larger businesses will grow high-paying jobs, enabling our communities to reach their full potential. When we are competitive, we are more collaborative, we grow the economy and we see more British Columbians participating in the benefits."

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The Tyee: NDP Policy on liquified gas unclear to expert pansl

An expert panel of academics, environmentalists, First Nations and business representatives spent two hours Monday evening debating premier Christy Clark’s liquefied natural gas strategy.

But none of the participants had any strong opinions about the alternative vision offered by NDP opposition leader Adrian Dix. Broadly speaking, nobody was quite sure what an NDP government would do differently.

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Vancouver Sun Op-Ed: Shared Prosperity benefits us all (Tamara Vrooman)

British Columbia is blessed with an abundance of assets, from natural resources to a skilled workforce to cultural diversity.

We are a prosperous province in so many ways.

Sadly, not everyone is sharing in that prosperity right now. B.C. still grapples with serious problems such as the second worst child-poverty rate in Canada, the nation’s most expensive housing market (which, unfortunately, is not accompanied by the highest levels of household incomes) and a generation of young people facing employment prospects that could be described as shaky at best.

As participants recently discussed at the B.C. Agenda for Shared Prosperity — Circle of Prosperity (co-organized by the B.C. Business Council and the B.C. Chamber of Commerce), leaders in business, government, academia, not-for-profits, labour unions and First Nations must find innovative ways to use our plentiful assets for the benefit of all.

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iPolitics: Pushing past politics to prosperity in BC

An interesting experiment in underway in B.C. It hasn’t yet captured the attention of the national media, but that’s not surprising. It doesn’t have the snap or sizzle of a big political scandal or a business mega-deal.

However, if successful, it may be more important to the economic and social development of the province than any corporate merger. B.C. business is trying to chart a middle path for the province in partnership with a wide array of partners, some of whom have been its traditional opponents. Recently, led by the Business Council of B.C. and the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, the partners met in Vancouver at an event entitled: “The B.C. Agenda for Shared Prosperity”.

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Vancouver Sun Blog: Memo to "No Growth" crowd: We need growth

Professor Christina Romer of University of California at Berkeley and Zanny Minton-Beddoes of the Economist Magazine had one point of agreement that politicians in the western world, including British Columbia, should pay attention to: Economic growth is critical for many of the problems plaguing us. Those problems include: lack of early childhood education programs, affordable child care spaces, decent jobs and income and consequently less or no social and income mobility. This is not to mention threats to the financial viability of our pension plans as the yield on investments are way below the projected rates of returns.

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