BC really hasn’t done so bad for itself by digging stuff up from the ground and selling it to other countries, but as prices change in that market it can leave our economy somewhat wanting.
This week, we discovered just how far the B.C. government was prepared to cave in order to assuage proponents like Petronas. It effectively cut the royalty tax it first talked about in half.
Now ‘free money’ is still free money, but anytime your income is cut in half its a bit of a downer.
So whats plan B to diversify the BC economy? Gary Mason says there is no plan B and Patriotz says ‘what about real estate‘? But isn’t the RE market a bit played out at this point?
Most middle class RE purchases in Vancouver have gained less than a GIC over the last four years, and there’s the risk that high home prices chase away more productive industries.
So how does BC grow its economy in the future? If resources take a dive, what our best hope as a province to compete on a national and global scale?
BC’s economy is tepid, with some pessimistic outlooks from business leaders.
So what’s holding us back? Why don’t we have a higher rate of innovation and a broader growth economy?
That’s the question asked by this BC Business article:
Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, said complacency about the allure of B.C.’s climate, geography, and lifestyle may be one of the greatest risks. “Snow and mountains do not a business strategy make,” she warned. “I see for the first time in a decade, young people between 25 and 34 moving en masse to Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, because that’s where the jobs are,” Vrooman said. “I’m quite concerned about our ability to grow our economy for the next generation if they can’t find gainful employment here.”
The numbers back her up. Statistics Canada figures show B.C. lost 18,900 full-time jobs in 2013. Yet even with fewer spots to fill, companies are finding themselves unable to find workers with the skills needed to grow their businesses. There aren’t enough graduates in high-demand fields, and B.C. wages for even those workers are often insufficient to offset the high cost of living.
Is this a chicken and the egg problem? Businesses can’t afford to pay enough to bring in the talent that would grow business? Or is there a complacency problem here, where the environment was always supposed to be enough to draw people in and they’d take a paycut to live here?