The Council relies on its committees to deliver effective, issue-based insights and advocacy on BC’s most important economic issues. These working groups are made up of Council members, representing the majority of BC’s top employers. The input of members ensures that committees are focused on relevant business issues and are informed by on-the-ground experience and practical policy matters.
The Caucus is a ‘virtual’ cross-sectoral business organization that meets and shares information and common issues in a regular and efficient manner. The mandate is as follows:
- Track and inform members of significant prospective and actual provincial policy and legislative issues, developments and consultative processes that impact business and the economy.
- Establish efficient and effective approaches for business participation and advocacy on non- sector specific economic and public policy matters at the federal, provincial and (selectively) local government levels.
- Develop and share communications strategies and media commentary related to cross sectoral issues.
- Share regular economic data among members on the BC economy and business climate.
- Maintain a watching brief on issues and, where a sufficient consensus exists, pool resources to strengthen the business community’s ability to engage in policy development and advocacy.
- Determine joint or concurrent submissions and collective participation where required on relevant economic and policy issues.
- Develop strategies to improve the quality and effectiveness of business community communications on matters of shared interest.
We have reconstituted our Communications Committee and added experts to advise our staff on shifting media markets so BCBC can more effectively leverage our voice and policy advocacy to target audiences. Specifically, the Committee is advising on new social media platforms and approaches to traditional media as well as on ways to better engage and inform our members.
The Committee is comprised of subject matter specialists drawn from member organizations spanning many economic sectors as well as the legal, accounting and environmental consulting communities. It tracks and considers provincial and federal environmental policy and regulatory issues in multiple areas, including air and water quality, environmental assessment processes, water sustainability, waste management, contaminated sites, and species at risk, among others. The mandate of the Committee encompasses broad policy and regulatory frameworks that affect industries in the natural resource, manufacturing, construction, utility, infrastructure and transportation sectors. Technical issues are referred, where appropriate, to ad hoc technical sub-committees.
The Committee’s agenda is set by members and informed by our knowledge and previous engagement with government on relevant issues. Meetings provide an opportunity for member discussion and intelligence sharing as well as direct dialogue with policy-makers, government Ministers and subject matter experts. Business Council staff provide research and administrative support.
Energy and Climate Committee
In 2017, the Energy Committee was reconstituted to address the intersection of energy and climate matters, which increasingly are linked in policy and process discussions at all levels of government. Energy development in Canada and BC now involves the consideration of climate impacts and related policy responses. In 2018-19, the Committee will focus on influencing the re-calibration of BC government climate policies and emissions reduction targets, including advising on the development of measures to offset the impact of the rising carbon tax on energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries.
Employee Relations Committee
This Committee addresses policy and regulatory issues in the areas of labour law and collective bargaining, employment standards, occupational health and safety, and the operation and funding of WorkSafeBC. It meets every second month. Meetings sometimes feature an update from a senior government representative. The Committee also provides input on BCBC’s Collective Bargaining Bulletin and data base.
Federal Government Engagement Taskforce
Every year, BCBC takes a delegation of BC business leaders to meet with Ministers, political staff and senior public servants in Ottawa. In preparation for this two-day visit, we work with a small Taskforce of interested members to identify priorities and ensure that a coordinated set of messages is delivered to federal government representatives.
Human Capital Committee
Against the backdrop of an increasingly complex and competitive marketplace for talent and growing concerns around the supply of qualified workers, BCBC has established a Human Capital Committee. Its mandate is to inform governments on the priorities and needs of employers and ensure that BC employers have the right people, in the right numbers, at the right place and time with the appropriate skill sets. The Committee will look at strategic policy issues related to immigration, education, work-integrated learning and credentialing. A major background paper on trends in the BC job market and skills gaps was completed in 2017.
Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation
In 2018-19, this Committee will primarily focus on two topics. The first is policy areas related to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Persons (UNDRIP), and specifically the meaning of ‘free, prior and informed consent’ and its implications for capital markets, investment, and First Nations in the face of Canadian law, precedent and expectations.
The second focus will be on ongoing execution of the Business Council’s 2016 MOU with the Assembly of First Nations through the Champions’ Table of Chiefs and senior business executives. This will require the Committee to support, through working tables, the priorities of sustainable economic development, capacity-building, and the development of policies and processes to enable reconciliation and achieve greater certainty for investors and industries operating on the land base. One initiative that members are helping to advance is the First Nations’ Intern Leadership program, in which firms will hire a First Nations graduate to build their knowledge and experience in business and within an economic sector. This program is managed by Vancouver Island University along with the Business Council and BCAFN.
Innovation and Productivity
Canada is at an inflection point driven by demographic change, sluggish productivity growth and market uncertainty that is being compounded by accelerating technological innovation, the explosion of data and the disruption of many existing business models.
The Innovation and Productivity Committee has been created to help the Business Council advise governments on ways to leverage fast-developing technologies to improve and incent higher productivity within the private and public sectors alike. As well, the Committee will explore policy options to enable governments to move quickly to accommodate new business models and technologies and utilize technology, data and information-sharing platforms to build public confidence and foster greater efficiency. The Business Council plans to develop a significant paper on productivity trends and challenges in the BC context as part of our work leading up to the November 2018 Business Summit.
NEXT Leaders Council
NEXT is a forum for emerging business leaders to engage in constructive, fact-based dialogue, debate, and advocacy around economic and public policy issues that are key to investment, growth, and a sustainable, competitive economy in British Columbia and Western Canada. More information: www.nextleaders.ca
For information on our committees, please contact info[at]bcbc.com or 604-684-3384.