Return to all BCBC in the News
Published opinion pieces by BCBC staff are available here

BCBC In The News

Vancouver Sun, Barbara Yaffe: BC retailers squeezed from all sides

Nadia Toto is a Montreal designer whose clothing is featured at a fashionable shop on South Granville — which is where I spotted and tried on the perfect little-black-dress sporting a price tag that said Ouch!

Later, with a Google search, the identical dress showed up on the website of a Quebec online boutique offering free shipping. The cost: one third less, for a saving of $158. How could I resist?

This phenomenon, whereby a consumer sees something in a store, touches it, tries it on, checks it out, but subsequently opts to make the purchase online, has grown so common it has a label: “Showrooming.”

And those selling exclusively online, like the Quebec online boutique, are known as “e-tailers.”

The world has changed, and traditional B.C. retailers are feeling squeezed.

View Story

Vancouver Sun: British Columbia boasts job opportunity bright spots


How good or bad employment prospects are around the province depends on how much the various regions are exposed to B.C.’s better-performing resource industries, or if they are suffering the general post-recession malaise.

Prince George’s low unemployment rate has a big influence on the region’s overall unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent.

“That’s consistent with what we’ve been hearing for quite some time,” economist Ken Peacock said of recruiting difficulties in Prince George. “Population growth hasn’t been strong in the northern parts of the province and seems to be the lure of attraction of the Lower Mainland and other larger urban centres, that’ll be part of the story as well.”

Generally, however, said Peacock, chief economist for the Business Council of B.C., job growth in the province has averaged out at a sluggish 0.1 per cent since the start of the year compared with a national average of 1.5 per cent, which isn’t strong in itself.

View Story

Troy Media: BC Retailers hit hard by cross border shopping

Troy media published the Business Council of British Columbia's recent Policy Perspectives, Surge in Cross-Border Shopping Weighs on Retail Sales in BC. 

View Story

Bellingham Herald: Crossborder shopping craze hampering BC retail growth

A new report indicates the increased number of British Columbians shopping in Northwest Washington is dampening retail growth in the province. The Business Council of British Columbia estimates that B.C. residents spent $1 billion to $1.6 billion in retail while on short-term cross-border shopping trips to the U.S. in 2012.

View Story

BC CTV: British Colubians spending billions at US stores: report

British Columbian businesses say they’re losing out on billions of dollars to stores south of the border as the number of U.S.-bound shoppers continues its sharp growth – more than doubling in the last few years. The Business Council of British Columbia estimates that B.C. residents spent between $1 billion and $1.6-billion on short-term cross-border shopping trips to the United States last year, while increasing their annual trips to the U.S. over the past few years from 2.3 million to nearly 5.7 million.

View Story

Vancouver Sun: Cross-border shoppers cost BC economy billions each year: study

Cross-border shopping cost British Columbia’s retail sector as much as $2.6 billion in the last year, according to a new report from the Business Council of British Columbia.

View Story

Burnaby News Leader/Surrey North Delta Leader: Cross-border shopping a drain on retailers: study

B.C. residents spent an estimated $2.6 billion cross-border shopping in the U.S. last year, according to estimates from the Business Council of B.C.

View Story

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:

View Story

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

View Story

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.

View Story

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

View Story

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.

View Story

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.

View Story

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.

View Story

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.

View Story

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).

View Story

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.

View Story

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.”

View Story

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.

View Story

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.

View Story