One of the greatest challenges facing government and business leaders today is ensuring that our economic development is environmentally sustainable. There is a strong demand for public policies on a host of issues, such as water use, air quality, carbon emissions, environmental assessments, bio-diversity and at-risk species. The Council is committed to providing decision makers with responsible, evidence-based advice on how to promote economic development that meets the needs of environmental stewardship.
Finlayson & Peacock Column: LNG Canada atop lists of stories affecting B.C. 2018 economy (Business in Vancouver)
In an environment of rapid economic and political change, further compounded by activist governments at both the federal and provincial levels, identifying 2018’s most significant stories affecting the provincial economy is challenging. Below we take a stab at the task, focusing on developments that we judge to be of particular relevance to B.C.
Comments on the NDP government’s “CleanBC” plan
The challenges of energy transformation envisaged by CleanBC are significant.
BCBC Statement on CleanBC
Tools within the CleanBC plan support the Low-Carbon Industrial Strategy and begin to position B.C. businesses and the province to be a supplier of choice for international markets seeking lower-carbon intensive energy, commodities and other inputs for their expanding economies.
Global electric renewables
The data is clear: transitioning to a less carbon-intensive global energy system is necessary if the world is to have any prospect of addressing climate change. The process is underway, and although renewables still make up a relatively small percentage of total global energy production and consumption, their contribution is growing.
Energy production, consumption and trade: How Canada and B.C. stack up
If British Columbia or Canada ceased to exist tomorrow, the greenhouse gas emissions eliminated from energy production and consumption relative to the global total would be equivalent to a rounding error.
SUBMISSION: Climate change intentions papers
The Business Council's comments on three Climate Change Intentions Papers: Clean Growth Program for Industry; Clean, Efficient Buildings; and Clean Transportation
SUBMISSION: B.C. environmental assessment revitalization discussion paper
Business Council comments on the Discussion Paper based on engagement to date in the province’s review of B.C.’s environmental assessment (EA) process.
For Better or Worse? Changes to Environmental (Impact) Assessment
It feels like back to the future – or like being on an endless treadmill – as governments in Canada take steps yet again to “reform” environmental assessment legislation while also pursuing a myriad of other changes to other environmental and energy regulatory processes. The pretext is political messaging about a lack of public confidence in “the system” for managing environmental issues. In our view, this is largely a manufactured crisis of words over substance. Neither Canada nor BC is on the verge of environmental Armageddon or decay, no matter how loudly some groups argue otherwise. Yet both in both Canada and BC, policy-makers seem to be intent on “fixing” a system that is not broken. Canada initiated a review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 in June 2016, along with reviews of the Fisheries Act and Navigation Protection Act. These reviews are ending after 24 months of significant effort on the part of many stakeholders. But British Columbia has now decided to add to the uncertainty and rising costs facing industry by launching several environment-related reviews within its own jurisdiction. This includes a planned “revitalization” of the province’s environmental assessment (EA) process. From the business community’s perspective, the changes proposed in the federal government’s environmental/impact assessment processes are not improvements. Time will tell if the outcomes of the BC review are positive or negative.
RELEASE: Professional Reliance Review Report Provides Solutions Looking for a Problem
The Business Council of British Columbia has significant concerns with the recently released Professional Reliance Review Report which has offered a series of recommendations related to the province’s professional reliance model.
SUBMISSION: Bill C-69 Impact Assessment Act and related discussion papers
The Business Council has significant concerns with Bill C-69 and with some parts of the related discussion papers.
SUBMISSION: Bill C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act
Business Council of British Columbia submission on the Government of Canada's proposed updates to the Fisheries Act.
RELEASE: BCBC welcomes important step in advancing LNG in B.C.
The Business Council of British Columbia today welcomes news of a Fiscal Framework Agreement between the Province of B.C. and LNG Canada. The completion of this agreement signals an important step towards the realization of a major LNG project in the province and the largest infrastructure project in Canada’s history – a project that promises to generate lasting economic benefits for all British Columbians.
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: New age of activist governments driving up cost of doing business (Business in Vancouver)
Welcome to a new era of activist government.
In the last two years, both the federal and provincial governments have outlined more ambitious policy agendas. Each has ramped up spending on social services and income support programs, laying the foundations for a larger public sector. The drumbeat of regulatory change has become deafening as governments initiate multiple policy reviews and move to reshape environmental assessment and permitting rules, energy regulations and standards, the legal frameworks governing employment and labour relations, minimum wages, housing market policies, apprenticeships and much else besides.
SUBMISSION: Clean Fuel Standard Regulatory Framework
Business Council comments on the proposed Clean Fuel Standard Regulatory Framework released by Environment and Climate Change Canada in December 2017.
2015 Paris Agreement - About, Achievements, and Accounting
The 2015 Paris accord is the latest installment of multilateral agreements aimed at addressing the rising concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in the earth’s atmosphere. Paris flows from the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Statement from BCBC on Increasing Risks to BC's Investment Climate
In response to the Provincial Government’s announcement that it intends to restrict the movement of diluted bitumen through the province, Greg D’Avignon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of British Columbia, has released the following statement:
SUBMISSION: Professional Reliance Review
Business Council comments on the Professional Reliance Review being undertaken by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
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.
BCBC Statement on Provincial Government Decision to Complete Site C
We wish to recognize Premier Horgan and his cabinet colleagues for their decision today to proceed with the completion of the Site C dam. Once operational, this generational asset will provide clean, firm power within a basket of renewable assets that will support our province’s growing low-carbon commodity and energy exports in a world hungry for what BC produces. This is the right decision for British Columbia and Canada’s energy and climate future.
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.