Economic Policy Reports
Electoral Reform Referendum in the Fall
Attorney General David Eby, released recommendations on how the fall 2018 referendum on electoral reform will be structured.
The report, How We Vote 2018, recommends two questions to be on the referendum. The first asks British Columbians to choose between the current First Past the Post voting system and a Proportional Representation system. The second, asks to choose between Dual Member Proportional, Mixed Member Proportional, or Rural-Urban Proportional systems. Read the full report here, and look for further information to come from the Surrey Board of Trade.
Canadian Chamber released “Death by 130,000 Cuts” late May
As the US, our largest competitor and trading partner, has recently implemented significant corporate tax and regulatory reforms, Canada cannot afford to fall further behind. The Chamber’s report identifies opportunities to increase public and investor confidence in Canada’s regulatory systems and provides clear recommendations to government on how it should be done.
“While we don’t want to engage in a race to the bottom,” said CEO Anita Huberman, “we do need to ensure our businesses locally and those that engage in global trade are able to succeed. We have created a far too complicated system of rules and regulations. We need to address and consider removing old regulations and amalgamate those that are still relevant each and every time a government proposes a new measure.”
2018 BC Chamber Policy Book
Update: The Surrey Board of Trade was successful in garnering the support of BC Chamber members for all our policies that we submitted. The final policy book is posted here:
A Big Thank You to all who took the time to read a few to all of the draft policies and provide your feedback.
The Surrey Board of Trade is a member of the BC Chamber of Commerce. SBOT Delegates will be attending the BC Chamber AGM towards the end of May. As part of our policy work, we review the policies that member chambers submit in advance of the AGM and determine whether we will vote to support or not support them. If a policy garners 2/3 majority at the AGM policy sessions, then it is adopted as a formal position of the BC Chamber and its members.
2018 10 Ways to Build a Canada That Wins
The Surrey Board of Trade, in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce present 10 recommendations that, if adopted and implemented, will ensure a strong Canadian economy.
2018 Economic Forecast
On February 7, 2018, Helmut Pastrick, the Chief Economist of Central 1 Credit Union, presented his economic outlook for 2018 to members of Surrey Board of Trade, business and industry leaders. They heard what’s expected of our local, provincial, federal and international economies and what that means to their business or not-for-profit association. You can review his presentation here:
Government Policy Alerts
December 12, 2017
It has been quite the busy Fall Season for the Surrey Board of Trade. We continue to work for our members and Surrey’s business community to instigate change through consultations and policy statements to all levels of government.
We are expecting an exciting 2018! I hope you can attend the Surrey Board of Trade’s New Year’s Business Reception on January 17th from 5:00–8:00 p.m. at the Surrey Board of Trade office, featuring a special announcement. I hope you can attend as my guest. Let me know.
Government Policy Updates since my last update in October (with some other news) are:
2. Infrastructure News:
a) Site C Dam: The Surrey Board of Trade was very pleased with the BC Government’s decision on Site C. We understand and appreciate that as a new government all decisions by the previous government are under review.
b) Kinder Morgan Pipeline: The Surrey Board of Trade was also pleased with the National Energy Board’s decision to proceed with pipeline construction.
Both infrastructure projects will add jobs, and enhance our local economy and business competitiveness locally and globally.
and related news as of December 11:
Feds agree to 75/25 pot revenue split with provinces
The provinces and the Federal government will split marijuana revenue 75/25 when recreational sales become legal next year, with the provinces receiving the largest share. The deal, reached today, is for only the first two years. Ottawa initially wanted a 50/50 revenue split, but was met with significant push-back from provincial and territorial leaders.
Check out the Grade 6 Winner at South Surrey’s Crescent Park Elementary School announced on December 11: Emerson Krahn—Business Name: Cork It—he made and sold Phone holders made out of wine corks
This Fall the Surrey Board of Trade continues to advance our advocacy for all 27 kilometres of light rail to be built in Surrey, and increasing our outreach to business to explain the unique benefits of city-building innovation through light rail transit implementation. The Mayor’s Council decision came in 4 days ago on how to fund the 17% gap
Read the latest edition of our Surrey Business News for more information.
2017 Canadian Chamber Proposed Policies
Business Costs and Competitiveness – 5 Minutes for Business
The cost of doing business in Canada is rising. Check out this REPORT from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
The Surrey Board of Trade is a proud member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
2017 SBOT PROVINCIAL POLICIES – JUNE
Minimum Wage Report – 5 Minutes for Business
Big increases to minimum wage are becoming fashionable in Canada: first Alberta (from $12.20 currently to $15 in October 2018), then B.C. (from $10.35 to $11.35 in September 2017) and now Ontario (from $11.40 to $15.00 in January 2019, a 30% hike in 18 months). Are workers better off or does it mean fewer jobs?
Stuck in Traffic for 10,000 Years: Canadian Problems that Infrastructure Investment Can Solve
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Surrey Board of Trade are launching a new report titled Stuck in Traffic for 10,000 Years: Canadian Problems that Infrastructure Investment Can Solve that examines the effects of various deficiencies in infrastructure, ranging from access to broadband internet to improving the Ontario-Québec trade corridor with the U.S., lack of new pipelines and the unexplored potential of Canada’s North.
The full list of infrastructure challenges include:
Facilitating trade through the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor
Improved digital access and investment across Canada
Maximizing the potential of Northern communities and businesses
Enhancing the Quebec-Ontario trade corridor
Getting oil and gas to global markets
Green electrification and transmission
Surrey Board of Trade Outlines the Opportunities Canada Needs to Build the Next 150 Years of Business Success
Ten Ways to Build a Canada that Wins. Instead of focusing on barriers, we will outline 10 opportunities to improve our economic success, along with our specific recommendations to advocate throughout the year.
As Canada fights to regain its competitiveness, the role of chambers of commerce and boards of trade as advocates for public policies that foster economic growth, increased productivity, job creation and an innovative private sector has never been more important.
A report entitled Canadian Business Speaks Up: An Analysis of the Adoption of Internet-based Technology benchmarks Canadian businesses’ use of technology, compares technology adoption rates to other countries and makes policy recommendations to the government of Canada.
2017 Surrey Board of Trade Economic Forecast
What should the business community expect during the first 100 days under President Trump’s administration? Several key issues were up for debate in Congress and it was crucial for the business community to hear from a panel of experts on February 9, 2017. The Surrey Board of Trade’s annual Economic Forecast heard from a panel of expert speakers on what’s expected for our local, provincial, federal and international economies – and what that means to business or not-for-profit association. Kirk LaPointe of Business in Vancouver moderated the session.
PANEL & POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS
Chris Jacobs, Managing Partner, Opportunity Northwest
Mike Holden, Chief Economist, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
Robert Levy, Managing Director, Border Gold Corp. and Financial Commentator, CKNW
Stephen Murphy, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Western Bank
Surrey Board of Trade Policy Alert – December 2016
The Surrey Board of Trade adds value to your membership by instigating change through government advocacy. This helps build Surrey for businesses today and tomorrow.
- Local: Surrey City Budget 2017 Review
Why is the City Budget important to Surrey’s business organization?
- To ensure that investments for Surrey’s business community are created for our local economy for today and for the future.
- The Surrey Board of Trade, as an industry organization, is mandated to review and make recommendations on government budgets. The Surrey Board of Trade monitors public sector spending to maximize productivity in the economy and encourage growth in the private sector.
- The Surrey Board of Trade is a visible and effective organization for the views of our membership & business community. The Surrey Board of Trade is a partner in building Surrey.
- It is important for the Surrey Board of Trade to evaluate Surrey’s tax rates to ensure they are conducive for business growth/retention and infrastructure investments.
2. Local: Annual Surrey Road Survey
The Surrey Board of Trade (SBOT) has released the 2016 Surrey Road Survey results. Widening roads such as 64 Avenue, the Fraser Highway and 100 Avenue were some of many suggestions given to SBOT through a survey developed by the SBOT with the help of the City of Surrey.
Find out what the SBOT said.
3. Regional & Provincial: Organic Matter Recycling
The Ministry of Environment is revising the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR) made under the Environmental Management Act and the Public Health Act. Enacted in 2002, the OMRR governs the construction and operation of composting facilities and the production, distribution, sale, storage, use, and land application of biosolids and compost. Examples of organic matter include: food scraps, grass clippings, and animal and human waste. A feature of organic matter is that it is biodegradable. Organic matter can be recycled to create products for beneficial uses.
See the SBOT Recommendations.
4. Regional: Water
See the Surrey Board of Trade’s water policy.
Metro Vancouver is considering changes to its Water Shortage Response Plan (WSRP), which contains restrictions for lawn watering, landscape irrigation, and other water uses. We are currently consulting on proposed updates to the plan, a list of which can be found here (Item 5.3 “Water Shortage Response Plan Review – Update”, pages 29 to 34). In January 2017, Metro Vancouver is hosting workshops for businesses and organizations, specifically those that rely on using municipal drinking water for their core business. Staff will present the proposed changes and hear your feedback. Please email Simon Cumming at Simon.Cumming@metrovancouver.org by January 4, 2017 confirming your attendance and noting your preferred workshop date.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 from 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Friday, January 13, 2017 from 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Representatives from the following business sectors are invited:
Car washing, Golf courses, Turf grass, Irrigation, Landscape and nursery, Public and private school districts, Pressure washing and window cleaning, Pool and hot tub
5. Provincial: MSP
In May, the Surrey Board of Trade advocated for a simplification of the MSP. A good step forward has been announced by the BC Government yesterday.
What we asked.
What was announced yesterday.
6. Federal: Bill-C227
Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) — are agreements between developers and coalitions of community organizations, addressing a broad range of community needs designed to ensure that affected residents share in the benefits of major developments. They allow community groups to have a voice in shaping a project, to press for community benefits that are tailored to their particular needs, and to enforce developer’s promises. CBAs are only one aspect of a growing new movement towards community benefits in land-use planning, taking shape through labour-community partnerships around the country.
The Surrey Board of Trade does not support Bill C227.
The details are here.
7. Federal: Indigenous Peoples
The Surrey Board of Trade Policy on Indigenous Peoples and Reconciliation Policy
8. Federal: Pipeline
Surrey Board of Trade pleased with pipeline announcement
9. International: Trump and Economy
The new USA Economy in 2017 is going to have an impact on your business. Attend the 2017 Economic Forecast Lunch on February 9 – The First 100 Days of Trump.
Are you a developer or builder needing support with your development in Surrey. Make a presentation to the Surrey Board of Trade’s Development and Land Use Team. Recent developments that we’ve supported include developments from the Tien Shere Group, Fraser Grain Export Terminal, Weststone Group. See how the business community’s support can help your development as we build Surrey.
11. Other Policies Coming Soon
Include Marijuana, Bill S-233 Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act, Syrian Refugees Housing, Supervised Consumption Sites, Health Care, Youth, and Manufacturing.
BC Chamber of Commerce Reports
2016 BC Chamber Proposed Resolutions
Members of the BC Chamber of Commerce meet annually to vote on the advocacy resolutions businesses would like the government of the Province of BC to consider. If you have comments on any of the 2016 resolutions, contact Anne Peterson, Policy and Research Manager.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Reports
This section highlights reports from our Canadian Chamber of Commerce on different economic issues.
2016 Barriers to Competitiveness
The Top 10 issues aim to focus the government’s attention on the key impediments preventing Canadian businesses from reaching their full potential.
Crystal Ball Economics: What Does 2015 Have in Store for Businesses?
Oil has dropped precipitously, as has the Canadian dollar. The drop of the Russian ruble is raising the spectre of deflation rolling westward through Europe. Yet analysts are giving mixed predictions for 2015 as some see silver in the North American cloud.
Surrey Board of Trade and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, bring you Looking into the Crystal Ball: Economic, Political and Technology Outlook 2015, a compilation of a Canadian Chamber panel discussion held December 2014.
To summarize, the experts predict huge changes for the global economy as emerging markets have slowed and become more vulnerable. Even China is lowering its interest rates to support the housing market and cushion its business losses. The economic power houses are not faring well either with the European Union at 0.8% growth in 2014 and minimal increase for 2015 while Japan struggles to escape its recession.
However, the United States is growing, at nearly 4% and unemployment is down to 5.8%, the lowest in a long while. With pressure to raise interest rates, the possibility exist that investment will move from the vulnerable markets back to North America. The end of 2014 saw emerging markets retreat, commodity prices in free fall, and sluggish growth of around 3%. The economists and analysts ask whether the US economic resurgence can draw other markets along for the ride and, in fact, accelerate global growth to 4% for 2015. They also ask: “Is Canada ready?”
Measuring up: Resource Extraction’s Impact on the Environment
In the report Measures that Matter: How Canada’s Natural Resource Sector is Working to Protect the Environment, recently released by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and brought to you by the Surrey Board of Trade, the Canadian resource extraction industries and government policies are examined to provide an overview of the approaches, technologies and tools being developed to mitigate environmental impacts.
Natural resource production is needed to support local and global economic prosperity. However, there is no question that extraction activities are a major and growing concern in communities across Canada. This puts resource industries at the front lines of environmentalism and are an important part to find solutions to minimize impact.
Focusing on extractive or harvesting in forestry, mining, and oil and gas production, three principal types of impacts are examined: impacts on land (land use and biodiversity); greenhouse gas emissions; and water (water use and quality). Three key questions are asked of each strategy examined: How is industry doing? What is on the horizon? And, What is government’s role? Read the report and find out how Canada compares to the global extraction practices.
Doing More Business with China
Over the past decade, China has become Canada’s second largest and fastest growing trading partner, with exports quadrupling from $5 billion to $20 billion and imports nearly tripling from $18.6 billion to $52 billion. In fact, in 2013, China surpassed the United States to become the world’s biggest trading nation, with imports and exports
totaling $4 trillion. China’s currency, the renminbi, is also the world’s fastest growing currency, and the Chinese government is keen to liberalize the renminbi and ensure an increasing share of trade flows is denominated in the currency. With these factors in play, now is a prime opportunity for Canada to cement its commercial and diplomatic relations with the country that will one day become the world’s largest economy. It is time to establish a renminbi trading hub in Canada.
A renminbi trading hub is a centre that is authorized by China’s central bank to complete renminbi transactions, with the financial infrastructure for settlement and clearing and with sufficient liquidity to handle large transactions at a stable and predictable exchange rate.
In our report, we examine the benefits a renminbi trading hub would have on the Canadian economy. We estimate the benefits could be enormous: more than $30 billion in direct trade benefits, a more competitive financial sector, more investment in Canada and solidified commercial and diplomatic relations with the country that will soon be the world’s largest economy.
Turning it Around – How to Restore Canada’s Trade Success
The global economy and the rise of new markets hold a lot of potential for Canadian business, especially as domestic growth prospects remain limited. But companies face significant barriers to internationalization, both at home and abroad.
To address these barriers, Canada needs to take measures to improve its productivity and transportation infrastructure and open new markets with free trade agreements.
Upskilling the Workforce
This report should be seen as a step toward understanding and potentially leveraging the role of business to work with individuals, educators and governments to achieve better skills and better outcomes in Canada’s economy. With a focus on the employer’s role in the training of employees, this report raises several of the issues and gaps in the skills picture in Canada.
The training and development eco-system is complex, spanning everything from the supply side to the demand side with many actors and various actions on both sides. Consider the impact
on a learner, and potential future employee, from the players along the skills road, starting with high school guidance counsellors and teachers, to professors and instructors at the post-secondary level, co-op and internship-sponsoring employers, professional accreditation bodies and unions and, ultimately, employers of all sizes. Each and every one of these people can influence the range and quality of learning and training choices for the potential or existing employee.
Six Cold Hard Facts about Canadian Oil and Gas
Oil and gas, its transportation and its environmental and social impacts, have become one of the most pressing policy debates of the last few years. This report lays out six facts every Canadian needs to understand about the issue:
- Oil and gas power the Canadian economy.
- Canada’s only international energy market, the United States, is on a path of declining imports.
- New opportunities lie in Asia, but Canada lacks the infrastructure to get there.
- Canada loses billions each year from its lack of energy transport infrastructure.
- Energy can be, and is, transported safely.
- The world is not running out of oil. Today’s energy companies must be the catalysts to move to a lower carbon energy future.
The US Economy – Poised to Shift into High Gear
American consumers are more upbeat,1 and not without reason. Thanks to improving labour market conditions, recovering real estate values and this year’s impressive rally in U.S. equity markets, many are feeling wealthier and more confident about making big purchases. New home sales vaulted to a five-year high in June and existing home sales rose to a three-and-a half- year high. Auto sales are on track for the best year since 2007. Businesses also appear to have more confidence in the economy. In the second quarter of 2013 they accelerated spending on both equipment and structures. Forward-looking indicators have also turned up. New orders for core capital goods—a closely watched proxy for business investment plans—are at their highest level on record. Additionally, the manufacturing ISM New Orders Index has registered its highest reading since April 2011,5 pointing to acceleration in manufacturing activity in the second half of 2013.
A Competitive Tax Regime: A Building Block of a Vibrant and Productive Economy
In a highly integrated global economy, skilled workers, businesses and capital move easily across national borders, seeking the best economic opportunities. In response, many countries have overhauled their tax systems to maximize their attractiveness as a destination for talent, capital and innovation. In this report, learn from our Canadian Chamber of Commerce on how our tax system can be a tool for innovation.
Re-evaluating Canada’s International Trade: The Impact of Global Supply Chains
This report looks at the true nature of trade relationships and makes the argument that we need to look beyond traditional trade policies, important as these are, and think more broadly at all of the policies that have a major impact on the efficiency of the entire supply chain.
Canada’s Labour Market
This report examines Canada’s labour market performance in 2012 by demographic group, sector and region and forecasts job prospects for 2013.
Economic Outlook 2013-2014
The global recovery has suffered new setbacks. “A key reason is that policies in the major advanced economies have not rebuilt confidence in medium-term prospects.” Europe is in recession, other advanced economies are growing only modestly, and China and other large emerging-market economies have slowed from their blistering pace of growth of recent years. This report will tell you more about the Economic Forecast for 2013-2014.
Smart Cities of the Future
This report examines the importance of cities to Canada’s competitiveness and focuses on the evolving role of cities in the global economy, how cities are transforming themselves to attain a competitive advantage and why being “smart” is key to sustained economic growth and prosperity.
Canada’s Rare Earth Deposits offer a competitive advantage
This report sheds light on the opportunity for Canada to start punching above its weight in leveraging what is often referred to as the “oil of the 21st century.”
Preparing Canada’s Youth for the Jobs of Tomorrow
This report calls on key stakeholders to work together to ensure Canada’s youth have the skills and knowledge needed to successfully transition and integrate into the labour market.
The U.S. Economy Faces Tough Challenges
This report examines the state of the U.S. economy.
Is Canada Suffering from Dutch Disease?
This report questions whether Canada’s resource boom, rising Canadian dollar and shrinking manufacturing sector is evidence of Dutch disease.
The Impact of Oil Prices on the Canadian Economy
This report examines how large and persistent increases in the price of oil can have a significant impact on Canada’s economy through a variety of channels, including household spending, production and trade.
The Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program
This report examines Canada’s business-sector R&D performance, draws attention to global trends in R&D spending, outlines the concerns raised by Canadian businesses regarding the design and administration of the SR&ED program, and offers suggestions on how to improve the program so it stimulates more private-sector investment in R&D.
Business Tax Relief is Crucial to Canada’s Economic Success
This report examines how low business taxes promote better economic performance and lead to more tax revenue of all types in the long-run.