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CBC: Full Blown BC and Alberta trade war unlikely despite pipeline dispute, says economist

"Our two provinces are very, very dependent economically, and the notion of a sort of rupture ... on a major scale is obviously concerning," said Jock Finlayson

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NEWS 1130: BC organizations band together in push to bring in ridesharing


A number of different interest groups have banded together in an new push to bring ridesharing to BC.

Ian Tostenson with the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association speaks for “Ridesharing Now BC,” which includes the Vancouver Board of Trade, BC Business Council, The Canadian National Institute for the Blind, among others.

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Canadian Business: BC based coalition launches campaign to bring ride hailing to the province


Eight organizations in British Columbia are joining forces to advocate for ride-hailing services in the province as soon as possible.

The Ridesharing Now BC coalition has been formed by groups including the Vancouver Board of Trade, BC Business Council and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

Read online at Canadian Business

Also featured in:

Times Colonist


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CBC: B.C. organizations join forces to push ride-hailing in the province

Nine organizations in British Columbia are joining forces to advocate for ride-hailing services in the province as soon as possible.

Ridesharing Now B.C. has been formed by groups including the Vancouver Board of Trade, B.C. Business Council, Canadian National Institute for the Blind and the San Francisco-based on-demand transportation company Lyft.

A news release from the coalition says it has launched a letter-writing campaign to B.C. politicians calling for a competitive ride-hailing industry "that can deliver much-needed choice to B.C. passengers.''

Supporters are directed to the website, where they can sign and email a letter to their representative in the legislature calling for speedy introduction of ride-hailing services.

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BIV: NDP in Alberta, B.C. square off over Trans Mountain

[Excerpt] While B.C.’s new restrictions might not be the “nail in the coffin” for Trans Mountain that environmental groups are hoping it will be, it telegraphs another negative signal from B.C. to the international investment community, according to the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC).

“This announcement will have a detrimental effect on B.C.’s reputation as a place to deploy capital and create private-sector jobs,” said BCBC president Greg D’Avignon.

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Express Newsline: Alberta's Notley says BC will face consequences over oil shipment plan


Business Council of B.C. CEO Greg D'Avignon questioned whether B.C. has jurisdiction to limit shipments of "a federally regulated product through a federally approved piece of infrastructure", which adds uncertainty that damages the province's reputation as a place to do business.

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Vancouver Sun: B.C. proposes spill regulations, could impact Trans Mountain Expansion

[Excerpt] Business Council of B.C. CEO Greg D’Avignon questioned whether B.C. has jurisdiction to limit shipments of “a federally regulated product through a federally approved piece of infrastructure,” which adds uncertainty that damages the province’s reputation as a place to do business.

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BIV on Roundhouse January 23

Chief Economist of the Business Council of B.C., Ken Peacock, breaks down his latest economic forecast and explains why the province is still primed for economic growth despite global uncertainties. [16:15]

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Vancouver Sun: Real estate 'headwinds' could slow retail, construction sales: BCBC

The province’s economy, which enjoyed a robust year in 2017, is expected to downshift in 2018, according to the Business Council of B.C.

The residential real estate industry has driven so much growth across the B.C. economy in recent years. Now, with so-called “policy headwinds” in sight, there will also likely be an accompanying impact on retail sales and construction, says BCBC chief economist Ken Peacock, whose group analyzes economic prosperity and competitiveness.

Total retail spending in B.C. was up nearly 10 per cent in 2017. In particular, sales at building material stores were up nearly 30 per cent in the second and third quarters of 2017. Automobile retailers posted an annualized gain of more than 25 per cent in the third quarter.

“The steady inflow of foreign money and wealthy immigrants are factors, but so is the broader wealth effect from soaring real estate values as more B.C. homeowners tap into their home equity to help finance renovations and other large purchases,” wrote Peacock.

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Radio NL: The Business Council of B.C. wants the NDP Government to tread carefully when raising the minimum wage

The BC Business council is recommending the NDP government go it slow on hiking the minimum wage.

Executive Vice President Jock Finlayson is recommending a measured incremental approach.

Finlayson says, BCBC wants a hike in the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour in five years, but doesn’t offer any specifics.

“We are at $11.35 an hour at the moment in B.C. We said moving to $15.00 should be done over the sort over the 2021-2022 period, in a series of modest steps. One thing we don’t want to see is a replication in British Columbia of what Ontario is doing. Ontario is taking a very dramatic jump from $11.35 an hour to $14.00 an hour in just one year”

Finlayson told the Fair Wage Commission a few years of modest and predictable step by step increases will give employers and the labour market time to adjust and limit harmful consequences.

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BIV: New year starts with tax breaks for B.C. businesses

[Excerpt] Jock Finlayson, chief policy officer for the Business Council of British Columbia, has calculated the total costs to business of various taxes and fees, as well as the breaks they will get, for fiscal 2018-19.

He thinks that, overall, businesses will be in a slightly better position in 2018, with respect to fees and taxes, although that advantage is likely to be short-lived.

In 2018, bigger businesses will pay a 1% increase in corporate taxes – $306 million in total. On the other hand, small business in B.C. will pay $81 million less from a 0.5% reduction in the small-business tax rate.

Finlayson calculates the carbon tax increase will cost British Columbians $212 million, about half of which will be paid by business. On the other hand, a 50% reduction in PST on electricity sales will save business $82 million.

The biggest item, however, is MSP premium cuts. The 50% reduction will cost the government $1.24 billion.

“It’s clear that a substantial chunk of this $1.24 billion of MSP premium reduction will, in the first instance, accrue to employers – I would think at least half of it,” Finlayson said. “In net terms, there’s going to be, for employers in general, a cost saving in 2018-19, as a result of the combination of measures that were announced in the September 2017 budget update. How it plays out will vary by industry and by company. It’s a bit hard to generalize, but for business in aggregate, I would estimate some sort of net cost saving in 2018-19.”

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BIV on Roundhouse December 20: 2017's biggest stories in VR, finance and the economy

Ken Peacock from the Business Council of B.C. recaps the biggest events that shaped the B.C. and Canadian economies in 2017. [13:43]

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Business in Vancouver: Outlook 2018: Tempered expectations for B.C. in 2018

Amid heightened global uncertainty, a severe commodities slump and acute affordability challenges in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia’s economy hasn’t just made it through the last several years – it has thrived.

“The last three or four years from a macroeconomic point of view really have been the best of times,” explained Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC).

Commodity markets improved “dramatically” in 2017, B.C.’s population grew and employment is poised to expand by 3.5%. Even with two interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada, the cost of money remains highly attractive, and historically low. The BCBC’s latest economic review and outlook also cites a booming tourism sector, “robust” consumer spending and rising incomes as contributing factors to B.C.’s impressive economic growth.

“We know there’s been well over $100 billion of gains and net worth for households in the Lower Mainland, for example, in the last four years,” Finlayson said. “And some of that is being spent in the consumer retail marketplace.” 


In 2018, the BCBC, RBC and other institutions are tempering their expectations.

“It’s an economy coming off the boil a bit,” Finlayson said. “We’ve been growing above potential.”

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Maclean's: The 91 most important economic charts to watch in 2018

"Trends in interprovincial migration reflect differences in economic growth rates and job opportunities across the country, as well as the locational choices made by post-secondary students and retirees. The accompanying chart, spanning the years 2012-2016, shows cumulative two-way migration flows between various provincial pairs.

 - Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice President & Chief Policy Officer, Business Council of British Columbia

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Vancouver Sun, Vaughn Palmer: Budget surplus shrinking as NDP makes good on spending promises

[Except] Overall James professes optimism regarding the coming provincial budget.

“The private sector is expecting that B.C. is going to be among the top performers in economic growth this year and next year,” she said, quoting the favourable forecast from the B.C. Business Council among others.

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Globe and Mail: B.C. Finance Minister Carole James upbeat on province’s budget

[Excerpt] Economist Jock Finlayson of the Business Council of B.C. said the Finance Minister is keeping appropriate levels of prudence in this budget. But he is hoping she will reconsider plans that call for smaller revenue cushions in the coming years.

"The real question is around the following two years – and the extent to which the provincial economy experiences slower growth," he said.

The Finance Ministry expects the economy to grow by roughly 2 per cent in each of the following years, a forecast Mr. Finlayson described as conservative.

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Comox Valley Record: Jock Finlayson named 2018 Comox Valley Walk of Achievement recipient

The Comox Valley Walk of Achievement has named Jock A. Finlayson as its latest inductee.

Each year, the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement honours a worthy past or present Comox Valley citizen who has achieved distinction in their field of endeavour. The induction includes a recognition ceremony, followed by the unveiling of a personal plaque located on a sidewalk location in downtown Courtenay.

Jock Finlayson will be officially inducted as the 2018 Walk of Achievement on Saturday, Nov. 25 at noon, in the Sid Williams Theatre foyer.

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Comox Valley Now: Latest Walk of Achievement Inductee Announced

A Comox native is being honoured this weekend.

Jock A. Finlayson is being inducted into the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement.

The Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer of the Business Council of British Columbia was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital and grew up in the region, attending Courtenay Elementary, Lake Trail Junior High and G.P. Vanier.

As a young man, he worked at the Elk Falls Pulp Mill in Campbell River. Over the years, he’s written two books and has done important work in the world of economics.

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BIV on Roundhouse November 22: Economist Jock Finlayson discusses B.C.'s economic performance

Economist Jock Finlayson from the Business Council of B.C. explains why we should expect the province’s strong economy to downshift next next year. [18:12]

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Vancouver Sun: Washington state governor calls for high-speed rail to Vancouver

[Excerpt] B.C.’s business community reacted positively to the news. Greg D’Avignon, president of the B.C. Business Council, said that although more work has to be done on studying the project, it could help alleviate congestion and barriers to growth between the two neighbours.

“While the council waits to see the results of the Washington state study to understand the economic and financial impact, we believe high-speed rail between Vancouver and Seattle has the potential to be a strategically significant infrastructure project connecting the Cascadia Innovation Corridor,”D’Avignon said in a statement.

“It would also allow for greater regional opportunities in tourism, and growth in the exports of services and goods. It would also provide a competitive advantage in attracting global talent who are looking to live and work in innovative, thriving economies with efficient transportation networks.”

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