BCBC In The News
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.”
Nelson Daily: B.C.'s housing crisis rants
In a recent Business in Vancouver column, Jock Finlayson and Ken Peacock of the B.C. Business Council noted that in the last six months of 2017, “the net inflow of people moving to B.C. from other provinces fell sharply.”
Their hunch? “High housing costs are discouraging some from relocating to B.C.”
The duo worry that if they're correct, “employers in B.C. are likely to face more widespread hiring challenges in the years ahead.”
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Vancouver Sun: B.C. government widely criticized for four-year delay on fish farm tenures
The fish farm policy destabilizes investment in B.C. because it creates uncertainty over whether the NDP government might change approval rules for some of the other 60,000 tenure holders on Crown land in sectors such as forestry, mining, oil and gas, and recreational tourism, said B.C. Business Council president Greg D’Avignon.
“Effectively, it’s a death knell for the industry,” D’Avignon said of fish farming. That will in turn have an economic impact on thousands of direct and indirect jobs, from processing plants, to truckers, restaurants, post-secondary trades programs, hotels, and other local businesses, he said.
TruckNews.com: B.C. trucking industry thriving, but desperately needs workers
B.C.’s trucking industry is facing a dire employment picture, with 10% of industry positions needing to be filled immediately.
That’s according to Ken Peacock, chief economist and vice-president of the Business Council of B.C., who admitted to attendees of the B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) annual AGM and Management Conference, “I don’t know what you’re going to do.”
With one out of every 10 positions in the industry in the province sitting vacant and companies struggling to find qualified workers, B.C.’s thriving trucking sector is in need of approximately 4,000 people to fill the empty spaces.
And the province’s industry is indeed thriving, Peacock confirmed, who said the economic outlook for trucking is a “surprisingly good story.”
Business in Vancouver: You now own a pipeline – here’s what you need to know about it
Greg D’Avignon, president of the Business Council of British Columbia, agreed, saying controversy over the pipeline “has shone a light on what companies have known for years: Canada is too costly, too complex and takes too long to come to a decision and get things done.
“The system has broken down to the point where taxpayer dollars are required to complete major infrastructure projects that support our collective prosperity when there have been willing private-sector, taxpaying investors.”
Bloomberg: Trudeau’s Pipeline Takeover Is a Bittersweet Win for Oil Sands
The fact that Trans Mountain needed tax payers to purchase the project has exposed “fundamental flaws” in Canada’s regulatory system, the Business Council of British Columbia said in a release.
BNN Bloomberg: Canada’s pipeline purchase won't quell foes but may disable them
That said, if it takes federal ownership to construct a project that Kinder Morgan was unable to do, that may be sign of a broader failure in Canada -- not a win.
“Our regulatory processes are fundamentally broken,” the Business Council of British Columbia said in a statement. “The need for federal tax payers to purchase this project have exposed fundamental flaws in the regulatory systems at all levels of government.”
Business in Vanvouver: Business, government, First Nations and environment leaders react to feds buying Trans Mountain pipeline
Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia:
“This whole exercise has shone a light on what companies have known for years: Canada is too costly, too complex and takes too long to come to a decision and get things done. The system has broken down to the point where taxpayer dollars are required to complete major infrastructure projects that support our collective prosperity when there have been willing private sector, tax-paying investors. This is no way to operate in a globally competitive world and expect to maintain our quality of life.”
Seattle Times: Businesses see opportunities in new Seattle to Vancouver seaplane service
“The movement of people, ideas and capital between Seattle and Vancouver happens every day,” says Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia. A new daily seaplane service between Lake Union and Vancouver’s Coal Harbour operated by Kenmore Air and Canada’s Harbour Air can iron out some of the potential travel hazards, D’Avignon says. “The service will be a more efficient means of linking our economies.”