Retooling NAFTA: Canada faces harsh economic truths

Canada holds a weak hand as NAFTA re-negotiations begin. More attention needs to be paid to the challenges weighing down the Canadian export economy

Retooling NAFTA: Canada faces harsh economic truthsCanada enters NAFTA renegotiations with a rather weak hand. Canada is a mid-sized economy, responsible for less than two per cent of global production of goods and services – a proportion that has fallen gently over the last decade or so. And we represent about eight per cent of all economic activity across the United…

B.C. must develop a stronger corporate head office presence

Success on growing more locally-based companies and attracting firms from elsewhere would produce sizable economic dividends for the province

B.C. must develop a stronger corporate head office presenceBusiness analysts and economic development agencies understand that the presence of corporate head offices brings many benefits to cities and regions. The Metro Vancouver region needs to improve in this area. Not only do large companies and fast-growing mid-sized firms directly support high-paying jobs, they also help to sustain employment in other local industries that…

Why NAFTA and Canada are important to the U.S. economy

An open letter to President Trump from the Business Council of British Columbia as the U.S. prepares to renegotiate NAFTA

Why NAFTA and Canada are important to the U.S. economyDear President Trump: The Senate’s recent confirmation of Robert Lighthizer as the new United States trade representative signals that the work to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will get under way soon. Against that backdrop, we hope you and your cabinet will keep in mind a number of important facts regarding the…

Canada’s investment recession drags on

The collapse of global oil prices, coupled with weak prices in other commodity markets, a key factor behind Canada’s investment slump

Canada’s investment recession drags onWhile Canada’s economy continues to grind out positive if unspectacular gains in employment and gross domestic product (GDP), below the surface the picture is less encouraging. For several years, our economy has basically been kept afloat by free-spending consumers and overheated real estate markets. Throughout this period, export growth has been meagre and investment outside…

Canada’s over-hyped clean-tech revolution

Elected officials are wrong to think that "clean tech" is about to reshape the Canadian economy

Canada’s over-hyped clean-tech revolutionThere’s no evidence that “clean-tech” innovation is about to reshape Canada's economy, no matter how desirable that would be. 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 focus…

Growing more large companies should be key policy goal for B.C.

Fast-growing firms, in particular, play a disproportionate role in driving job creation and economic dynamism

Growing more large companies should be key policy goal for B.C.The B.C. government recently published its annual Small Business Profile, highlighting 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, according to the profile. Breakdown of all B.C. businesses, 2015 Businesses with no paid employees: 204,000 Other micro businesses (one to…

Freelance job market booming, but there are real risks

The spread of gig work affects the economic and social well-being of households, from issues with earnings to labour standards concerns

Freelance job market booming, but there are real risksThe rise of the gig or sharing economy is one of the most visible trends shaping the contemporary labour market. Gig jobs are an example of what economists describe as non-standard work. Such work can be contrasted with a traditional job, in which a person has a durable and structured relationship with a specific employer…

Trump’s energy, environmental policies threat to Canadian business

If Canada introduces national carbon pricing and the United States doesn't, how are our businesses expected to compete?

Trump’s energy, environmental policies threat to Canadian businessAs president-elect Donald Trump prepares to assume office, it's clear that major changes are in store for American climate and energy policy. And those changes will impact Canada. Trump’s cabinet appointments, in conjunction with the Republican Party’s platform in the 2016 election, leave little doubt that the United States will adopt an approach to environmental…

Without pipelines, Canada’s prosperity is on the line

Will lead to a loss of well-paying jobs, shrunken energy industry supply chains, and diminished revenues for governments

Without pipelines, Canada’s prosperity is on the lineBy Jock Finlayson and Denise Mullen Business Council of B.C. When it comes to reaching new energy markets, Canada lags dangerously behind the Americans, who have aggressively expanded their oil and gas industry and built the infrastructure necessary to support it. There are approximately 840,000 km of pipelines in Canada – 25,000 km of feeder lines,…

Economic silver linings for Canada in the Trump cloud

Buck up Canadians. Trump’s pledge to lift the U.S.’s anemic economic growth rate can only be good news for Canada

Economic silver linings for Canada in the Trump cloudDonald Trump’s surprise victory in the presidential election, coupled with continued Republican control of both branches of the U.S. Congress, heralds significant changes in the United States' policy in trade, immigration, foreign affairs, energy and taxation. Many Canadians are understandably uneasy about the direction the U.S. may take under new leadership. At a minimum, Trump’s political…