The hard facts on B.C.’s softwood lumber dilemma

It's time B.C. pushed hard to diversify its economy, improved its infrastructure, and looked for new and stable markets for its lumber products

The hard facts on B.C.’s softwood lumber dilemmaWhat can be done about the softwood lumber disagreement that hangs like an axe over British Columbia’s forest industry? Dealing with the United States on issues like this is like nailing jelly to the wall. There’s far too much inconsistency and backtracking. For example, U.S. President Donald Trump has put all of the North American…

It’s time the oil industry got smart about its messaging

Smart agriculture movement offers the perfect template: it's about building trust with consumers by telling stories about good – and improving – practices

First there was precision agriculture. Then came decision ag. Now there’s smart ag. These terms describe fundamental changes in agriculture to better produce crops or livestock. It’s all about maximizing yield while minimizing costs and environmental impact. They include everything from predictive analytics and digital technologies to soil management and crop protection strategies. Autonomous tractors. Bio-fertilizers. Variable rate inputs for applying…

Uncertainty discouraging mining investment in Canada

Spending on exploration – the lifeblood of the industry – dropped for the fourth consecutive year and is at its lowest point since 2005

Uncertainty discouraging mining investment in CanadaBy Kenneth P. Green and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute In recent years, depressed commodity prices have plagued Canada’s mining industry. One recent report showed that spending on exploration – the lifeblood of the industry – dropped for the fourth consecutive year and is at its lowest point since 2005. Amid conditions like these, when…

Banning log exports would harm B.C. economy

Streamlining the log export process and reforming the PST better options to ensure a prosperous province

Banning log exports would harm B.C. economyWith the B.C. provincial election a few months away, the contentious issue of log exports has emerged once again. Some politicians, policy analysts and unions have argued for a ban on log exports. While the current government has allowed limited exports of logs, it has imposed an overly complex export approval process. Banning log exports…

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…

Energy sector needs its own Elon Musk

The sector needs someone who, like Musk, is driven by a passion for what he does and can capture the public's imagination

Energy sector needs its own Elon MuskYou can't go far on an energy journey these days without tripping over Elon Musk. And with good reason: he's something of a next-generation energy messiah. Personable and charismatic. Visionary and creative. Energetic and entrepreneurial. His very persona exudes the essence of sustainability, coupled with an upbeat hope for a future in which energy and earth…

Tax relief in B.C. budget misses ‘pro-growth’ mark

The government could have gotten a greater economic bang by cutting other taxes instead

Tax relief in B.C. budget misses ‘pro-growth’ markBy Charles Lammam Hugh MacIntyre and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute When touting the tax cuts in B.C.’s 2017 budget this week, Finance Minister Michael de Jong said the cuts will leave money “in the pockets of British Columbians to let them make the choices that are important to them.” That’s true, but the government…

Let’s make room for skilled workers in Metro Vancouver

If housing costs remain high, and rental vacancy rates stay razor-thin, the region may soon be out of reach to locals and newcomers alike

Let’s make room for skilled workers in Metro VancouverBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Many tech companies and employees are scrambling to adjust to the recent executive order issued by U.S. President Donald Trump restricting entry from seven countries, and rumours of an impending crackdown on visas for foreign workers. Giants like Google, Facebook and Apple have denounced the move,…

B.C.’s carbon tax not the ‘gold standard’ it’s made out to be

B.C.’s "revenue neutral" carbon tax will result in a cumulative $865 million tax increase on British Columbians between 2013/14 and 2018/19

B.C.’s carbon tax not the ‘gold standard’ it’s made out to beBy Charles Lammam and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute In a major announcement last year, the Trudeau government imposed a policy that will require all provinces to put a price on carbon emissions by 2018. As governments in Canada and elsewhere pursue carbon pricing, British Columbia’s carbon tax has received global praise as the gold…

The post-truth world of the U.S. lumber industry

American duties on Canadian softwood may increase the profits of U.S. lumber producers, but they also increase housing prices and reduce construction jobs

The post-truth world of the U.S. lumber industryConstructing an industry without all the necessary supplies can lead to fiscal imbalance. Welcome to the post-truth world of economics. Facts are hard and certain, true and real – as opposed to opinions, beliefs or stories. Alternative facts, contradicting old-fashioned facts, are what we used to call lies. And in the midst of this new post-truth reality,…