B.C. economy rebound forecast

A lower Canadian dollar and a slow recovery in the U.S. and around the world bode well for the B.C. economy

Rick Parcher worked on gas drilling rigs in northern B.C. and Alberta for 15 years before returning to B.C. last fall to carry on a family tradition as a charge hand at Alternative Forest Operations in Chemainus.

A lower Canadian dollar and a slow recovery in the U.S. and around the world bode well for the B.C. economy in the next two years, a new report from the Business Council of B.C. says.

“The U.S. economy is gaining ground, the Eurozone is out of recession, and Asia, particularly China, continues to expand at a robust clip,” said executive vice president Jock Finlayson as he released the BCBC economic outlook report Tuesday. “The weakening of the Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar will also help lift B.C.’s export of goods and services to the U.S., prompt more U.S. travellers to come to B.C., and serve as a headwind to cross-border shopping.”

The report forecasts improvement in U.S. demand for lumber and other building materials, wood pulp and even natural gas, which has fallen to historic lows with a surge of shale gas production around North America.

Recovery of the struggling B.C. coastal forest industry was echoed at last week’s Truck Loggers’ Association convention.

“I’ve got a desk covered with resumes of people who work in the oil patch,” said Don Banasky, operations manager at CopCan Contracting Ltd. and FallTech Logging in Nanaimo and vice-president of the TLA.

Banasky said there are openings for road building, driller-blaster, grader and excavator operators in his operations, and some employees at remote oil and gas developments are anxious to work closer to home.

The BCBC report holds out hope for a B.C. government that has seen its much-advertised jobs plan fizzle in the past two years.

“Following essentially no net employment growth in 2013, we see the B.C. job market recovering in the coming year,” the report says. “Growing exports, higher non-residential construction outlays and some increase in consumer spending will translate into greater demand for working and more hiring by B.C. businesses.”

The report forecasts that two liquefied natural gas processing plants and pipelines to supply them will begin in 2015.

 

Just Posted

Everything you need to know before getting the flu shot

Local pharmacist shares concerns, recommendations before flu season hits

Victoria’s Ultimate Toy Fair bounces back into Pearkes

The family-friendly event runs Oct. 19-20 at Pearkes

Victoria feels the pinch at the pump as gas prices jump 18 cents

Gas up to 157.9 cents per litre at some stations

For Central Saanich couple, fight against MS is a matter of family

Altenkirks sell greeting cards and wooden bowls to raise money for MS Society

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Two Cowichan Tribes families devastated by duplex fire

Carla Sylvester sat in her vehicle, on Tuesday morning, with tears in… Continue reading

Most Read