British Columbia’s economy is in relatively good shape compared to other provinces as the NDP government prepares for a year of easing the COVID-19 pandemic, the BC Business Council said in an analysis pre-budget.
But the fiscal environment affects competitiveness, running counter to the provincial government’s efforts to transition British Columbia to a more high-tech economy with hundreds of millions of dollars in innovation, clean energy and capital spending. professional training.
Finance Minister Selina Robinson is preparing to release British Columbia’s 2022-23 budget on February 22. year on the massive reconstruction of flood-damaged highways and the recovery of Lytton, Merritt and the eastern Fraser Valley.
The skills shortage is significant, particularly in senior management positions where top executives face a personal income tax rate of more than 53%, the BCBC’s chief economist said Friday, Ken Peacock. And British Columbia competes with the US Pacific Northwest, where Washington has no income tax, as it hopes for more investment from tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft.
British Columbia already has the highest wages offered in Canada, but attracting young people to the province to replace retiring baby boomers and create a new industry is being held back by high income taxes and housing costs. , Peacock said on February 18. Despite salaries, British Columbia has the highest number of job vacancies among the provinces.
— Tom Fletcher (@tomfletcherbc) February 18, 2022
As Premier John Horgan and Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon said this week during the province’s economic plan update, resource industry exports continue to be key to growth. future of the province. British Columbia has the highest carbon tax in Canada, with no protection for export industries like other jurisdictions, and measured as a share of gross domestic product, BC and Canada’s exports are at the same level as in 1980.
“That has to change,” Peacock said of industrial carbon costs. “It becomes very expensive.
BC’s clean energy transition requires copper and other minerals. Last January, BC cabinet ministers were reminded that it takes an average of 13 years to approve a new mine in the province.
“The regulatory environment and permits definitely need to be addressed,” Peacock said.
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