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.
Vancouver’s Plan Will Hurt Residents and Local Businesses
Affordability is a key challenge for people residing in the City of Vancouver (COV). Yet, earlier this week, the COV’s Green Buildings Policy for Rezoning came into effect. Once implemented, it is sure to exacerbate this problem, not just for citizens of COV but for the province as a whole as well as for the surrounding municipalities of Metro Vancouver. The policy effectively bans the use of natural gas in new buildings. It also sets the stage for Vancouver to squeeze out natural gas as an energy source for existing buildings and facilities over time.
BC Election Series: Housing Affordability, Supply and Related Tax Policy Issues
Real estate, home prices, rental units and affordability figure prominently in all three party platforms. Each party has developed a substantial narrative around housing/housing affordability, with each platform proposing several housing-related policy measures or new/revised programs.
Finlayson Op-Ed: The election and B.C.'s export economy (Vancouver Sun)
So far, the provincial election campaign has focused on issues such as housing, jobs, health care, education, social services and transportation. These all matter to voters, of course, but several other topics that have received little attention to date are also important in shaping B.C.’s long-term economic prosperity. One is export competitiveness.
In a small jurisdiction like B.C., the ability to raise real incomes over time depends in large part on whether we can increase exports and stimulate the growth of export-capable industries. Successful export industries produce many benefits, including furnishing the income that allows us to pay for imports. Most export industries also offer above-average wages and salaries.
BC Election Series: MSP Premium Commitments and the potential for 55% Personal Income Tax Rates
All three parties contesting the May 9 election have made significant promises in respect of Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums.
Summary of 2017 BC Political Party Platforms
A summary and comparison of the 2017 platform proposals of the BC Liberal Party, the BC New Democratic Party and the BC Green Party in advance of the upcoming election.
BC Election Series: Fiscal Planning and the Economic Cycle
Today, we comment on the overall fiscal context and constraints facing the government that will take office following the election, drawing on the 2017 BC budget and our assessment of the economic cycle.
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Income tax rates: Canada’s growing competitive disadvantage (Business in Vancouver)
Among all advanced economies, Canada imposes one of the heaviest income tax burdens on highly skilled people
The federal budget presented last month offered a timely reminder of something that many Canadians might not realize: a huge slice of Ottawa’s revenue comes from a single source, the personal income tax (PIT). Federal PIT revenue is projected to reach $152 billion in 2017-18, which is half of all of the money hoovered up by the national government. PIT is also the No. 1 revenue source for the provinces, although it makes up a significantly smaller portion of their tax base than of Ottawa’s.
Finlayson Op-Ed: Canada's over-hyped clean-tech revolution (Troy Media)
Across Canada, politicians have become bedazzled by the potential of the “clean tech” sector to drive economic growth. The 2017 federal budget earmarks more than $2.2 billion in new spending to boost the industry, with a particular focus on accelerating the commercialization of products and technologies that promise to lessen the environmental impact of energy and water use, transportation, and other industrial activities.
Slideshare: Turbulent Times: Our economic prospects in an uncertain world
In his April 6, 2017 presentation to the Annual Council of Forest Industries Conference, BCBC Chief Policy Officer Jock Finlayson described the state of the global, American and Canadian economies and their potential impact on BC's forest sector.
Slideshare: BC Economy Still Healthy...But Growth Will Downshift in 2017
This slideshare presentation walks through the lastest BCBC BC Economic Review and Outlook Report.
The Investment Conundrum
Business non-residential capital spending has been on a declining trend for three years. The slump is particularly evident in the energy sector, but the weakness has spread well beyond the oil and gas industry.
BC Exports in 2016: Five Points of Interest
BC is a small, open, trade dependent economy. As such, exports play a big role in underpinning prosperity and stimulating growth. When exports rise, BC’s economy generally strengthens. Given the dominant role that natural resources have in BC’s overall export profile, exports are also the backbone of many smaller communities around the province.
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: B.C. needs to do a better job of attracting high-skill immigrants (Business in Vancouver)
Immigration continues to reshape the demographic landscape in British Columbia.
Every year, between 35,000 and 40,000 new immigrants arrive in the province. Currently, more than one-quarter of the province’s population is foreign-born. Most immigrants settle in urban centres, so 41% of Metro Vancouver’s residents were born in another country. Given relatively low birth rates and the aging of the population, these proportions are expected to rise over the coming decades.
2017 Federal Budget: Lots of Words, Few New Measures
A principal theme of this Budget is the need to improve Canada’s lagging performance on private sector innovation, with the federal government directing funds to stimulate growth in six key innovation-based industry sectors and pledging to develop a handful of “super clusters” across Canada.
RELEASE: Budget 2017 Offers Opportunities for Innovation, But BCBC Cautious on Canada's Overall Competitiveness
Today's federal budget, delivered at a time of significant global uncertainty, abrupt shifts in markets, and accelerating technological change, offers new opportunities for innovation and emerging sectors. However, the Business Council of British Columbia remains cautious on the implications of the continued federal deficit and questions whether enough is being done to strengthen Canada's competitiveness.
BC Economy Still Healthy...But Growth Will Downshift in 2017
Following three years in which BC topped the provincial growth charts, in 2017 our economy will lose a bit of momentum.
BC Jobs Part II: A Visual Summary of BC's 2016 Regional Job Performance
In this second part of this series, we take a deeper dive into the labour market and shed some light on the regional dimensions.
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.
Finlayson Op-Ed: Growing more large companies should be a key policy goal for B.C. (Troy Media, Exchange Magazine & Castanet)
The B.C. government recently published its annual “small business profile,” a document that highlights the role and impact of the small business sector in our economy. The table below summarizes the distribution of B.C. businesses by size category. Of 396,000 enterprises, more than half are one-person operations with no paid employees. Another 109,500 have between 1-4 staff. Just 7,700 have 50 or more employees. And perhaps 1,500-1,750 of these have surpassed the 100 employee threshold.