May 2014 B.C. Economic Fundamentals

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#2
Business booms along Burnaby's transportation corridors





VANCOUVER ` In the first few months of this year the City of Burnaby has seen a 20-per-cent increase in new business licences compared to the same period in 2013, with a large portion of the new businesses emerging at town centres and transit hubs, according to the city`s licensing department.





Between 2012 and 2013, the number of new licences (including businesses with a change in ownership or a name change) increased by 12 per cent.






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#3
Province opens doors to Asian investment in LNG





VICTORIA - Today, Premier Christy Clark announced she will lead her fifth international trade mission. Along with Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman and industry delegates, she will travel to Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong to promote the development of British Columbia`s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry from May 2 to May 9.





`B.C. is on the right path to bring home the generational opportunity of LNG - an industry that will create 100,000 jobs and enough revenue to eliminate our debt,` said Premier Clark. `To take the last crucial steps towards final investment decisions, we`re meeting with key Asian investors and governments.`





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#4
Microsoft eyes bright future for Vancouver's tech sector





VANCOUVER ` Microsoft`s plans to hire 400 new staff in Vancouver and make the city home to its largest centre in Canada is evidence of an upward trend for B.C.`s tech sector, which has been through some rocky times.





Although the tech giant will be more than doubling its workforce here with the opening of its new training and development centre, it`s merely a blip compared to its headquarters south of the border, in Redmond, Wash., where 45,000 people work.









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#5
In Kitimat, no means no to Enbridge, but other options still on the table





KITIMAT, B.C. - Councillors in Kitimat, B.C., have voted to officially oppose the Enbridge (TSX:ENB) Northern Gateway pipeline project ` but they aren't rejecting further plans to move Alberta oil through the region.





A lengthy debate ended Tuesday with councillors voting 4 to 1 in favour of the motion to reject support for Enbridge's $6-billion pipeline proposal.





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#6
Hottest spots for BC homebuyers: Surrey, Abbotsford, Evergreen Line communities all in high demand





First-time homebuyers Kristine and Tom Rajkowski felt sheer joy last week as they moved into the Surrey community of Clayton Heights.





`We`re ecstatic,` says Kristine, surrounded by moving boxes. `This morning, we were jumping up and down. We`re homeowners, we couldn`t believe it.`





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#7
BC real estate: Best cities to invest in





Surrey tops a list of B.C.'s best cities for real estate investment for the fourth year in a row, but two new cities cracked the top 10 because of better commutes.





Surrey's No. 1 spot on the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) list was no shock with the city's continued population explosion, transportation network, "forward-thinking political leadership and its pockets of affordable housing," said the report. The city is expected to grow by 250,000 people over the next three years.





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#8
Housing starts in British Columbia





VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA`(Marketwired ` May 8, 2014) -
Housing starts in British Columbia`s urban areas[sup]1 were trending at 26,020 units in April compared to 25,883 in March, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)2[/sup] of housing starts.





`Housing starts stabilized in April with the trend edging slightly higher compared to March`s level,` said Carol Frketich, CMHC`s BC Regional Economist. `To date, the 2014 trend in single-detached starts has been rising, partly offsetting a slow, steady decline in the multiple-unit housing starts trend.`





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#9
Housing, rents worry Terrace and area residents





HOUSING and rental prices came up as the top negative about living here in an informal survey done by Skeena Diversity Society at the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce Business Expo held last month.





Out of the 94 people who responded, 66, which is 70 per cent, shared mostly negative comments with lack of housing as the major impact of current changes here.





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#10
Major decline in number of young licensed drivers in Metro Vancouver





Getting a driver`s license was often seen as a rite of passage into adulthood, but certain economic realities and increased transit accessibility are the leading reasons for the decline in car culture among Metro Vancouver`s younger populations.





New data compiled by ICBC and extrapolated by Metro Vancouver shows a signifiant decline among individuals that are 20 to 24-years-old and hold driver`s licenses. The number fell to 55 per cent from 70 per cent in 2004.





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#11
Drive for density transforms Vancouver housing





VANCOUVER ` A single house in Vancouver is no longer a single house in the age of eco-density.





With property prices in the stratosphere and the city under pressure to encourage more affordable forms of housing, most single family homes can potentially be three housing units ` a main house with a secondary suite, then a separate laneway suite.







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#12
BC unemployment rate on the rise





Unemployment in the Kootenays has risen to 7.9 per cent, just six months after it dipped to a B.C. low of 3 per cent.





According to the BC Stats Labour Force Statistics report for the month of April, released on May 9, the Kootenay region has unemployment significantly higher than the provincial average of 5.8 per cent.





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#13
Promising stats point to positive push for Kelowna





KELOWNA ` It appears to be good news on the unemployment and housing front for Kelowna.





According to Statistics Canada, Kelowna`s unemployment rate dropped 2.1 per cent from this time last year, from 7.2 per cent to 5.1 per cent for the month of April.





While the unemployment rate in the city is currently sixth lowest in Canada, it`s harder for people to find full-time permanent jobs according to a local employment agency.





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#14
BC lumber exports to grow due to U.S. housing market





VANCOUVER - The federal Crown corporation that provides financing to Canadian exporters is forecasting that an increase in lumber shipments overseas will drive the B.C. economy for the next two years.The forestry sector is predicted to grow by 15 per cent this year and another 10 per cent in 2015.





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#15
100,000 job openings by 2020, but who will fill those positions?





For those looking at career options in the next few years, the tourism industry deserves a close look, with 100,000 new job openings expected by 2020.





Arlene Keis, CEO at go2hr (go2hr.ca), which supplies BC`s tourism and hospitality industry with human-resources related programs and services, said there`s a misconception that tourism offers only seasonal, part-time, low-paying jobs.





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#16
Wealth transfer to Generation Y is key to understanding future real estate trends





Real estate demand from Generation Y, or those aged between 14 and 34 years old, is fueled primarily by loans from parents and grandparents and will combine with other societal changes to alter what real estate is in demand, say real estate analysts.











Some key trends to watch include increased demand for larger units in the future because of a need for home-offices and demand for higher-end small units in the short term, here.
 

Ally

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#17
Fraser Valley Economic Summit





Join us at the 2014 Fraser Valley Economic Summit on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at the Abbotsford Centre. We are excited about the level of interest and support already present in industry and associations, and believe that this year's event will be better than ever!





Hosted by the City of Abbotsford and in partnership with neighbouring municipalities, the purpose of the Summit is to provide an event that focuses on the economic challenges and opportunities unique to businesses in the Fraser Valley and will feature speakers and presentations on themes that are timely, current and valuable to participants.





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Ally

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#18
Microsoft to open new centre in Vancouver, 400 jobs





Microsoft announced Thursday plans to open a new training and development centre in Vancouver that will more than double its workforce here with 400 new jobs and make the city home to Microsoft`s largest centre in Canada.





The new Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre, which is projected to deliver a $90 million boost annually to BC`s economy, will open in late 2015 in a new state-of-the art facility in Vancouver`s Pacific Centre.





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Ally

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#19
Site C benefits are clear, but obstacles remain





VICTORIA - The B.C. Liberals took heart Thursday that the report of a joint review panel had some encouraging things to say about the proposal to build a giant dam and generating station at Site C on the Peace River.





`The benefits are clear,` wrote panel chair Harry Swain and his two colleagues in the summary of their 500-page report released Thursday. `The project would provide a large and long-term increment of firm energy and capacity at a price that would benefit future generations. It would do this in a way that would produce a vastly smaller burden of greenhouse gases than any alternative save nuclear power, which B.C. has prohibited.`






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Ally

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#20
Seven signs BC's forestry industry is on the upswing





The total number of people working in the forest sector in Canada has been declining for decades. So where`s the good news? The decline has moderated since the recession in 2009, which is - believe it or not - a sign of strength.





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