The responsibility to consult with First Nations is an important part of doing business in BC. The Council is committed to working with businesses, governments and First Nations to bring greater clarity to the consultation processes on the land base, improve the capacity and understanding of partners to reach productive agreements and to enhance the shared economic opportunities for Aboriginal and non Aboriginal communities with BC businesses.
BCBC in 2017: Advancing Ideas and Actions....
In the final days of 2017, we’ve taken a moment to review the 119 publications, submissions to government, opinion editorials and blogs produced by the team at the Business Council of British Columbia. In addition to highlighting our major works, we’ve put together a compilation which revisits the most popular pieces and provides an overview of the range of issues that have garnered attention this year.
BC’s Aboriginal Population: Growing Opportunity
According to fresh census numbers, Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit population continues to increase at a pace that significantly exceeds the overall population growth rate.
BCBC Statement on Election of BCAFN Regional Chief Teegee
On behalf of the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC), our board and our membership, Greg D'Avignon congratulates Regional Chief Teegee on his election to lead the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN).
Punching Above their Weight:
Looking to increase innovation and productivity? Take a leaf from Aboriginal-owned firms, suggests a new study by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB).
Statement from BCBC regarding the Federal Government's Principles respecting Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples
On Friday, July 14, the Business Council of British Columbia released the following statement on behalf of Greg D'Avignon, President and Chief Executive Officer, in response to the federal government's announced principles respecting Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples:
BCBC Welcomes Leadership That Accelerates Reconciliation and Creates Business Certainty in Landmark 30-Year Agreement Between YVR And Musqueam First Nation
The Business Council of British Columbia congratulates the Musqueam First Nation and the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) for achieving a landmark 30-year agreement, and recognizes their leadership in creating a new, long term partnership for transportation, jobs and meaningful inclusion in BC’s economy.
An innovative ‘meeting place’ between the BC business community and First Nations leadership launches to support economic reconciliation in BC
The Champions Table, an initiative resulting from the commitments made between the B.C Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) and the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) in their Memorandum of Understanding signed on September 6, 2016, held their inaugural meeting on March 8th, 2017. The Champions Table establishes a formal ongoing dialogue where leaders can come together to explore opportunities, discuss barriers and work jointly to develop and advance a more effective approach to economic development based on reconciliation with First Nations.
BC2035 is about creating a shared vision of BC’s future and laying down a pathway to realize that vision. It is about initiating conversations, fostering greater collaboration and getting politicians, policy makers, First Nations leaders, and business leaders to think about, prepare for and act on the future.
RELEASE: Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and Enbridge Line 3 replacement approval
The Business Council of British Columbia supports the federal government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project as announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this afternoon.
“This decision recognizes that the Trans Mountain project and Enbridge Line 3 replacement are in the national interest and that there is a place for Canadian oil in global markets, even as the world shifts toward renewable and lower carbon energy forms and cleaner technology,” said Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia. “Global demand for energy continues to grow and fossil fuels will be a major source of energy for decades to come. Canada’s responsibly sourced and well-regulated energy resources can play an important role in fulfilling this global demand.”
PRESENTATION: Aboriginal Economic Development & Prosperity Forum
Our Economic Prospects in a Slow-Growth World as presented by Jock Finlayson and Ken Peacock at the Aboriginal Economic Development and Prosperity Forum.
Business Council of BC and the BC Assembly of First Nations sign historic Memorandum of Understanding
British Columbia’s business and First Nations leadership have signed a landmark agreement to ensure all BC residents share in the prosperity generated by sustainable economic development. The Memorandum of Understanding between the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) and the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) will bring greater certainty for business to invest and operate and, of utmost importance, opportunity for First Nations to be full participants in the economic future of the province. It is believed to be the first agreement of its kind between a broad business organization and a provincial First Nations organization.
D'Avignon Op-Ed: Trade deals, infrastructure, national climate framework key for B.C. business (The Hill Times)
Today, some 40 business, First Nations, and community leaders from British Columbia are in Ottawa. Here’s how we can work together with the federal government.
An Overview of Canada’s Environmental Assessment Regime
As the Liberal government takes up the reins in Ottawa, it has signalled a shift in its approach to energy, environment and natural resource development, particularly in the context of resetting relations with Aboriginal peoples. As it sets out to review Canada’s EA processes, several key principles should be top of mind:
- The integrity of the regulatory process and institutions are best maintained when they are at arms-length from the political realm.
- A core purpose of a regulatory body is to evaluate technical matters in an impartial way, free from undue political or stakeholder influence.
- Regulatory reviews that set (and adhere to) timelines promote certainty for proponents and contribute to a favourable setting for investors.
The State of Industry-First Nations Relations in B.C. – Part II: RECOMMENDATIONS
Through our series on the state of industry-First Nation relations in B.C., the Business Council has sought to document and take stock of the economic reconciliation process in the province. The results of this work have highlighted a number of important and mainly positive trends: 1) increased aboriginal business formations; 2) a proliferation of economic agreements between industry, government and First Nations; 3) growing own-source revenues and capacity improvements at the community level; and 4) a generally positive outlook for the future of economic reconciliation. However, the research has also identified some areas of concern that have the potential to constrain the ability of all parties to move further down a reconciliation path that maximizes collective economic opportunities.
D'Avignon and Ross: 'Green shoots' of First Nations business development (Vancouver Sun)
A critical cornerstone of reconciliation is building economic opportunities for First Nations at the community level. There is a strong, positive correlation between economic empowerment — generating investment, business ownership and jobs — and improving social conditions.
As The Vancouver Sun series First Nations Inc. has shown, we are rapidly moving down this path from a business formation and economic development perspective.
To measure these advancements, the Aboriginal Business Investment Council, with the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, have funded and developed a database which provides B.C.’s first comprehensive accounting of First Nations business development and economic benefit agreement activities.
The data, which will be publicly available later this fall, highlight the sea change occurring in many First Nations communities as rights and title interests combine with higher educational attainment and economic development agreements to spur increased First Nation business formation, jobs and growth.
Finlayson & Syer: Building on Success: Assessment of First Nations – Industry Relations in BC (Vancouver Sun)
Increasingly over the past decade industry and First Nations in B.C. have engaged with each other with an overarching objective in mind - to advance resource development by ensuring better outcomes for all parties from economic, environmental and social perspectives. The business case for this kind of industry-First Nations engagement is clear: First Nations have rights and title interests (to a degree unknown) that have to be addressed in order to pursue new development. And while governments (federal, provincial and aboriginal) have crucial responsibilities in the process of reconciliation and in creating certainty for all parties, businesses also have a critical role to play as partners that can provide some of the vital ingredients – investment, expertise and jobs.
The State of Industry-First Nations Relations in BC – Part I
Over the past thirty years, and accelerating over the last decade or so, industry in British Columbia has increasingly engaged directly with First Nations to build the conditions for investment certainty in resource project development. The business case for doing so is clear – Section 35 aboriginal rights and title have proven challenging to define, and the Crown, for a variety of reasons, has been unable to comprehensively meet all of its consultation and accommodation obligations to First Nations. Nor should government necessarily have to shoulder all of the work related to post-colonial economic engagement with First Nations.
D'Avignon op-ed: Economic reconciliation with First Nations looks promising (Vancouver Sun)
British Columbia is a diverse and relatively wealthy province. This diversity comes in many forms, including environmental, economic and cultural. Reconciling and harnessing this diversity is what has enabled B.C. to build and sustain a high standard of living and of livability.
However, we are still performing below our collective potential in significant ways.
Within this broad canvas, the province has only recently begun a new relationship between government, First Nations and industry. This relationship has its legal foundations in constitutionally protected aboriginal rights and title and, more directly, in a new era of economic partnerships that both governments and industry have entered into with many of B.C.’s First Nations.
The Tsilhqot’in Decision – 10 Suggestions for What's Next
There can be little debate that the Tsilhqot’in decision is a landmark case in aboriginal law - creating greater clarity around the nature of aboriginal title under Canada’s Constitution; largely confirming past jurisprudence, and thereby providing important clarity with respect to the Crown’s (limited) ability to ‘justifiably infringe’ on aboriginal title rights; and resolving in the affirmative the application of provincial laws on the land base relative to aboriginal rights and title interests, subject to certain conditions.
The Tsilhqot'in (William) Decision - a Diversity of Views on Implications
For the past three decades determining the extent and nature of aboriginal rights and title in Canada has been an increasingly important component of natural resource development. British Columbia, with its abundance of natural resources, diversity of First Nations and limited treaties, has been at the forefront of not only important legal decisions (Calder, Sparrow, Gladstone, van der Peet, Delgamuukw, Haida and now Tsilhqot’in) but also a rapidly growing number of collaborative economic initiatives between First Nations, government and industry that are designed to ‘reconcile’ economic activity with aboriginal rights and title interests.