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As trusted economists and policy advisors to business and government leaders, the Council relies on sound, evidence-based analysis to inform its policy recommendations. Through diligent tracking of BC’s economic performance, we help identify the opportunities and challenges the province must navigate in order to reach its full potential.


Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Changes to employment law would upset labour market balance (Business in Vancouver)

The BC NDP government’s activist policy agenda continues to keep the B.C. business community on its toes. The latest example is the government’s plan to overhaul the Employment Standards Act (ESA). While the ESA is a relatively low-profile statute, it has significant implications for employers. Among other things, it defines the basic rules governing hours of work, overtime, vacation entitlements and employee terminations for most non-union workplaces in the province.

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Finlayson & Mullen Op-Ed: The high-stakes international oil game that Canada’s losing (Troy Media)

Canada has long depended on a single market for its exports of energy. This over-reliance on one customer, the United States, carries significant risks.

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PRESENTATION: Post #Budget2019 presentation from Jock Finlayson

On March 19, 2010, Jock Finlayson, Chief Policy Officer at the Business Council of British Columbia shared his assessment of the 2019 Federal Budget.

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Federal Budget 2019: Lots more spending, nothing to improve competitiveness or productivity

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Release: Opportunities for all Canadians depend on sustained economic growth

While the Business Council of British Columbia applauds Minister Morneau and the federal government for a number of new initiatives announced in today’s budget, Canada continues to face fundamental challenges to its prosperity and competitiveness that require greater attention.

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Peterson & Finlayson Op-Ed: Innovation leading to productivity can dramatically improve our standard of living (The Province)

Worker wages depend in large part on the levels of productivity achieved by companies. Many factors determine how productive businesses are, including firm size — productivity generally increases as companies grow — management strategy, workforce skills and the tools, technologies and equipment available to employees.

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The gender gap 2018

The World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2018 points to the potential for a widening gender gap in some areas.

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Finlayson & St-Laurent Op-Ed: Metro Vancouver has too few head offices and related jobs (Troy Media)

Headquarters are powerful economic drivers and key factors in creating and sustaining high-wage employment

Statistics Canada’s latest survey of corporate headquarters provides updated counts of direct head office jobs for each province and the biggest metropolitan areas across the country. The data shows B.C., and Vancouver in particular, are falling behind.

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Statistics Canada’s Annual Head Office Survey

Statistics Canada’s latest survey of head offices provides updated counts of direct head office jobs for each province and the most important metropolitan areas across the country.

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Budget 2019 delivers some promising program spending but little to address B.C.'s deteriorating competitiveness

The Business Council is concerned that policy-makers are underplaying signs of softening growth globally and in North America. Increasing costs, an inability to advance major projects, and significant uncertainty for investors and firms looking to expand are eroding confidence and overall competitiveness in B.C.

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Release: Business leaders offer mixed views on 2019 B.C. Budget

Today’s Budget points to higher program spending amid a slowing economy and an increasingly challenging environment for many B.C. companies. Some of the new spending commitments hold promise but taken together will “bake in” a higher level of government costs on a going-forward basis. At the same time, the Budget contains little that will strengthen the province’s economic fundamentals or improve our competitive position over the medium-term.

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Canadian living standards are slipping relative to peer nations: Time for action on productivity

Canadian real GDP per person – a key measure of living standards for the average citizen – has been slipping compared to peer nations over time.

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Throne Speech heavy on costs but offers little to build the foundations for a strong, innovative B.C. economy

Following today’s Throne Speech, the Business Council of British Columbia is concerned about the lack of government attention being paid to the provincial economy. Maintaining and enhancing the government services upon which so many British Columbians rely is an essential role of government. However, the ability to provide high quality public services which enhance our collective quality of life depends on a competitive and thriving economy.

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Williams Op-Ed: If our economy's growing, why don't Canadians feel better off? (The Province)

We often hear that “our economy is growing” or “economic growth is strong.” Yet many hard‑working Canadians feel that their standard of living is going sideways. Their intuition is correct. Growth in Canadian gross domestic product (GDP) per person – a key measure of living standards – has been nearly stagnant for more than a decade.  

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Balance tops business wish list for B.C. Budget 2019 (Business in Vancouver)

As the NDP government prepares to table its 2019 budget, there is no reason to believe that Finance Minister Carol James is contemplating any major course corrections.  The province’s finances are in decent shape, with a small operating surplus and a stable net debt-to-GDP ratio.  The provincial economy is expected to grow at an annual pace of just over 2 per cent, even with the slowdowns in job creation and consumer spending that materialized in 2018.  Housing markets are adjusting to the mix of demand-dampening measures introduced in last year’s budget along with tighter mortgage lending rules and somewhat higher interest rates.  The NDP wanted to move the province away from a real-estate centric economic growth model, and this goal is now in sight.  Meanwhile, LNG Canada’s recent announcement that it intends to proceed with its massive $40 billion Kitimat project will deliver a multi-year lift to the B.C. economy.

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Williams Op-Ed: Career advice for B.C. workers in the age of automation (Times Colonist)

When applying for a job or a promotion, you probably like to know how many other applicants are applying for the same position. For some workers in British Columbia, a new applicant is about to join the field: Mr. Robot. 

In a new report, the Business Council of B.C. examines the potential impact of automation across all occupations in the provincial labour market.

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Finlayson Column: Four questions on the B.C. economy in 2019 (Black Press)

The arrival of the new year prompts forecasters to reflect on what may lie ahead for our economy.

For Canada and B.C., the picture is mixed. Several external risks and domestic headwinds are likely to weigh on economic activity. But some positive factors are also in place.

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Diversified industry dynamics to drive B.C.’s 2019 economic engine (Business in Vancouver)

As we enter 2019 and consider what lies ahead for the provincial economy, a review of industry dynamics provides comfort as well as a confirmation that the B.C. economy is now growing at a more moderate pace. The comfort comes from the fact that the province’s leading growth sectors span a wide array of industries, providing a degree of resiliency. Confirmation of the downshifting to a slower growth trajectory is supported by evidence that activity in some previously expanding industries has already turned down.

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A shifting provincial landscape

The Business Council's 2018 fourth quarter B.C. Economic Review and Outlook shows the economies in Canada and British Columbia are cooling from recent highs but remain reasonably positive.

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A closer look at U.S. corporate and government balance sheets

The U.S. Federal Reserve expressed concern about historically high levels of corporate debt.

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