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.
Corporate Sustainability: The New Normal
Though not a new concept, sustainability has recently become a mainstay in corporate governance, and the question has shifted from whether to seek sustainability to how to achieve, implement, and harness its potential.
Home Is Where The Heart Is...If You Can Afford It
The latest census data release highlights significant shifts in some key housing indicators over the last decade and the implications these trends may have on the Canadian economy, such as the rise of renters versus home owners, the move to living in apartments versus single-detached homes, more young adults living with parents, and the growing share of households living in shelter that’s considered unaffordable.
Finlayson & Mullen Op-Ed: Fossil fuels remain key to energy future, according to report (Troy Media)
The International Energy Agency’s Annual World Energy Outlook 2017 was released in early November. It provides a useful update on the shift to a lower carbon global energy system. The stepped-up deployment of clean energy technologies and moves towards electrification continue in many nations. At the same time, rising investment in energy efficiency is lessening the need for supply additions. However, fossil fuels still represent the bulk of global energy production and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
D'Avignon: Site C will be a strategic asset for a growing economy in the fight against climate change (Globe and Mail)
Is walking away from Site C really in the best interest of British Columbia’s future?
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: How government can help build bigger businesses in B.C. (Business in Vancouver)
To build a more prosperous economy, new businesses have to be created and some existing firms must grow. The business world is characterized by a high degree of “churn,” with many new entrants together with lots of exits and diverse patterns of expansion and contraction among the pool of surviving companies. Many new firms don’t have a long shelf life. About half close their doors within five years. Of those that hit the five-year mark, most never reach the 50-employee level.
But those that do grow swiftly tend to make disproportionate contributions to our economy. This is partly because as businesses expand, they become more productive – and therefore, on average, pay higher wages. In addition, as firms grow, they are more likely to export and to take advantage of the economies of scale that come from doing business beyond local markets.
Dear Premier Horgan: Let's Build Site C
Having considered the evidence, including the BC Utilities Commission’s (BCUC) recent report, our reputational risk and the anticipated significant electricity demand as we accelerate into the digital age and low carbon economy, we offer our support for completing the project, for several reasons – some of which are also referenced in a recent submission from the BC Building Trades unions.
Dear Prime Minister:
The TPP is more important than ever
A letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging his government to conclude the negotiations on the TPP and implement the agreement as quickly as possible.
BC Economy Still Strong...But Downshifts in 2018
The British Columbia economy remains on a healthy growth track, supported by rising exports, substantial increases in consumer spending, and high levels of activity in the housing sector.
Finlayson & Mullen Op-Ed: True or False: Canada is Falling Behind on Greenhouse Gas Emissions? (Vancouver Sun)
The latest international climate change meeting is underway in Bonn, Germany. There is the usual concern about insufficient progress in tackling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and finger pointing at countries seen as not doing their part. Some of this criticism is warranted. In certain quarters, Canada is once again chastised for being a laggard: not doing enough, fast enough, while the United States, which has withdrawn from the Paris Accord, is taking credit for big reductions in emissions.
Finlayson & St-Laurent Op-Ed: Education as the Great Divide (People Talk)
Where do workers envision themselves five years from now? Who has the skills to succeed in the fast-changing job market? The answer—and the level of optimism—may very well depend on the amount and type of education attained.
How workers view their careers and whether they believe they can “make it” in a digital world whittles down to one main factor: education. A recent US survey reveals that education, not household income or geography, represents the “great divide” between w
Presentation: The best of times?
Check out Jock Finlayson's latest presentation on the BC economy in the context of global economic trends.
From Good to Great: The Benefits of Scaling Up BC Business
To build a more prosperous and innovative economy, new businesses have to be created and some existing firms must grow.
BCBC STATEMENT on the Government of Canada's Fall Economic Update
Business Council of BC Urges Stronger Action to Tame the Federal Deficit and Improve Canada’s Competitiveness
The Business Council of British Columbia offered the following comments on today’s Economic and Fiscal Update presented in the House of Commons by Finance Minister William Morneau.
“We welcome news that the federal government’s budget deficit is shrinking more quickly than expected, mainly thanks to stronger economic growth so far in 2017,” stated Greg D’Avignon, the Business Council’s President and CEO. “Having said that, with the Canadian economy operating close to capacity, we believe the government should be aiming to achieve a balanced operating budget sooner than they are currently projecting.”
Growing Grey: Five Key Takeaways from the 2016 Census of Population
The 2016 Census revealed three major population trends in Canada: we are having fewer babies, more and more baby boomers are transitioning into retirement, and everyone is living longer.
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: B.C.-Alberta economic links tightest among Canadian provinces (Business in Vancouver)
Canada is a federation made up of provinces and territories with a significant amount of subnational autonomy. The provinces are responsible for delivering health care and education and have jurisdiction over employment standards and occupational regulations governing the labour market. Control of Crown land and regulating the operations of resource industries are also under provincial jurisdiction. Although independent, the provinces co-operate and are integrated and interdependent with each other in an economic sense. The two westernmost provinces, B.C. and Alberta, have especially strong economic connections and exhibit a high degree of economic interdependence.
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).
Human Capital Policy and Practice in British Columbia:
Growing the Province's Economy & Potential Through Talent
This report, prepared for the Business Council by Kerry Jothen, CEO of Human Capital Strategies, considers BC’s future – what its economic vision should be and what kind of human capital will be needed in the next two decades. It considers how public policy and other factors can support success and prosperity in this arena. This includes a high-level review of current relevant policies and programs – what needs to be changed, enhanced and expanded, and what new actions need to be considered.
Census Income Update (Pt 2)
A Snapshot of Median Incomes Across BC
While every metropolitan area in British Columbia experienced some growth in median household income over the last ten years, resource-rich communities saw bigger increases than other communities.
Census Income Update (Pt 1)
National Median Income: Resource-Rich Industries Lead the Pack
The more resource-rich provinces saw significant increases in median household income over the 2005-15 period. Over the decade, a boom in energy and some other resource markets drew investment and bolstered incomes in the prairies, the North and to a lesser extent Newfoundland.
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: High-wage aspirations demand better productivity fundamentals (Business in Vancouver)
A rising statutory minimum wage can be viewed as a policy intervention that seeks to nudge higher the share of total income that accrues to labour rather than to owners of capital, with a particular focus on lower-paid workers. But it comes at a cost.