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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
True or Not True: Canada is Falling Behind in Addressing GHG Emissions?
Measuring in absolutes does not do justice to the nuances of our country’s size, economic structure, and population density, all critical elements in understanding how we compare in energy production and use. Nor does it consider the consequences of starting with different base years when calibrating emissions or the age of the existing capital stock in the electricity sector and other parts of the economy.
SUBMISSION: Environmental and Regulatory Reviews Discussion Paper
The Business Council's comments on the Government of Canada's June 2017 Environmental and Regulatory Reviews Discussion Paper .
Progress Report on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Released
Recently, the Vancouver Sun reported on a July 5th report by the National Energy Board (NEB) comparing multi-year changes in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by province.