B.C.'s economy: up, down and sideways

In 2010, B.C. was in ninth place among the provinces for international exports as a percentage of GDP with 24.9 per cent.

'Tis the season of lists and stocking stuffers of economic forecasts.

But instead of soothsaying over what could happen in 2016, a look back at B.C.'s economic performance over the past few years might be more illuminating.

Deciphering economic forecasts is a murky task anyways, not that interpreting statistics is any less risky.

Plan Ahead: Two Shows at the Flying Steamshovel -- in February

Old Man Leudecke at Guelph, 2011.  Photo Credit: Tabercil.

The Flying Steamshovel will be hosting two notable shows in February:  Juno Award-winnning "Old Man Luedecke" performs there on February 2nd, and Juno-Award nominee "Yukon Blonde" performs on February 10th.

Old Man Luedecke won Juno Awards in 2009 and 2011, both for "Traditonal Folk Album of the Year," and was nominated again in 2012.   Chris Luedecke hails from Chester, Nova Scotia.  

Manitobans give the most in Canada as donations on the decrease

Manitobans give the most in Canada as donations on the decrease

The holiday season is a time to reflect on the value of charity, yet fewer Canadians are donating to registered charities—and those who give are giving less in every province, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2015 Generosity Index, measures donations to registered charities claimed on personal income tax returns in Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories, the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.

Fortis to ring in New Year with hike in electricity rates

Fortis to ring in New Year with hike in electricity rates

Ed. note: The following is a press release issued by FortisBC.

FortisBC has received regulatory approval for a 2.96 per cent increase for electricity rates to take effect January 1, 2016.

“We recognize the importance of electricity to daily lives and we are dedicated to meeting customers’ expectations for safe, reliable service at the lowest reasonable rate,” said Roger Dall’Antonia, executive vice president customer service and regulatory affairs. “Keeping electricity rates among the lowest in North America is important to us, which is why we make prudent investments in the system and purchase the necessary capacity so our customers have power when they need it most now and into the future.”

Economic Freedom of North America 2015

Economic Freedom of North America 2015

Economic Freedom of North America 2015 is the 11th edition of our annual report, in which we measure the extent to which policies of individual provinces and states are supportive of economic freedom — the ability of individuals to act in the economic sphere free of undue restrictions.

For researchers, this report has become the most widely used of the North American indexes.

Burning cleaner — Wood Stove Exchange Program benefits communities

Last year over 600 stoves were exchanged across the province. — The Nelson Daily photo

As winter’s cold embrace descends upon B.C., the Ministry of Environment is providing over $190,000 to 13 communities and regional districts as part of the Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program.

Since 2008, the B.C. government, in partnership with the BC Lung Association, has helped British Columbians replace their older model stoves with new cleaner burning models.

Last year over 600 stoves were exchanged across the province and the goal is to have another 600 stoves exchanged again this coming year. 

B.C. Contractor of the Year — Selkirk Paving

Crescent Valley's Selkirk Paving has earned high praise after winning the Deputy Minister’s Contractor of the Year Award.

Selkirk Paving of Crescent Valley has won this year’s Deputy Minister’s Contractor of the Year Award in the category of paving for the Highway 3 Bombi Junction to Nelway Junction resurfacing project.

“This award is well-deserved and highlights the excellent work performed by Selkirk Paving to improve the essential Highway 3 corridor and side-road network, along with the true community spirit shown when crews went above and beyond the job at hand,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone.

OPINIONS: Differing Views on the Paris Climate Agreement

OPINIONS: Differing Views on the Paris Climate Agreement

On the positive side, in a spirit of optimism, we have this report  from  "Tree Alerts":

New rules help B.C. residents get out of debt

Justice Minister Susan Anton said individuals need to be confident that when they are making tough money decisions.

Getting your finances back on track should not leave you penniless.

To help British Columbia residents crawl out from under those mountains of debt, the province is following through on a commitment to regulate the debt settlement industry, making sure individuals and families can pay what they owe, without being taken advantage of.

Oil and gas sector losing confidence in Alberta as a place to invest

Alberta ranks high, but the survey reveals that perceptions about Alberta are changing.

The Alberta government’s energy policy changes have contributed to a plunge in investor confidence, according to the annual global survey of petroleum sector executives released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan, Canadian public policy think-tank.

The 2015 Global Petroleum Survey rates 126 jurisdictions around the world based on their barriers to investment (ie: high taxes, costly regulatory obligations and uncertainty over environmental regulations) and on the volume of oil and gas reserves.

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