Public Affairs Update Header
Issue No. 26 August 13, 2012
In This Issue
BC Could Receive $4.7B from Northern Gateway Project
Chief Electoral Officer to Consider Internet Voting
BC Job Numbers Decline in July
The Public Affairs Update is your weekly insight, perspective and analysis on politics in British Columbia and Canada.  This newsletter is brought to you by the largest, and most broadly-based business organization in the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce – the Voice of Business in BC.
BC Could Receive  $4.7B from Northern Gateway Project
Calgary-based Canadian Energy Research Institute has released a study indicating that BC will receive key construction and operational benefits from the proposed Northern Gateway project and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion.

The study concluded that the construction and operation of the Northern Gateway pipeline would add $8.9 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product over 25 years; $4.7 billion of which would go to BC, compared with $2.9 billion going to Alberta and $608 million going to Ontario. Similarly, twinning the Trans Mountain pipeline would add $8 billion to Canada’s wealth over 25 years, of which BC would receive approximately $4.4 billion, Alberta $2.4 billion and Ontario $253 million. Further, Northern Gateway would deliver BC 70,000 person-years of employment, where Alberta would get 37,000. The Kinder Morgan project would generate 66,000 person-years for BC and 30,000 for Alberta.

These results differ from those released last month, which indicated that Alberta would receive the largest share of the benefits generated from the expansion of the oilsands industry facilitated by new pipelines.

Recently, the BC government outlined the five requirements for proposed heavy oil pipelines in the province. BC Premier Christy Clark has indicated that the financial benefits of the proposed Northern Gateway project must be enough to offset the environmental risks facing the province if there’s a major spill on land or at sea.

Chief Electoral Officer to Consider Internet Voting
Minister of Justice and Attorney General Hon. Shirley Bond has requested that the chief electoral officer, Keith Archer, appoint an independent panel to review the potential for internet voting in BC.

This panel is set to identify the best practices for internet voting from other jurisdictions, both local and provincial as well as any possible technological or logistical barriers.

BC Job Numbers Decline in July
After gains in June, employment numbers in BC decreased this July.

Nationally, Canada’s economy added more than 21,300 full-time positions, however these were offset by a loss of 51,6000 part-time jobs. Thus, more than 30,000 jobs were lost throughout the country in July, and the unemployment rate increased to 7.3 per cent.

In BC, although full-time positions throughout the province increased by 9,6000, part-time losses still led to an overall loss of 14,500 jobs.

BC’s 7.0 per cent unemployment rate remains below the national average. With 33,400 jobs gained since July 11, BC ranks third nationally, behind Ontario with upwards of 47,200 and Alberta 45,700.

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This weekly report produced for the BC Chamber of Commerce by Fleishman-Hillard.  While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information included in this publication as of the date of issue, events and government policies are subject to frequent change.  Therefore, the BC Chamber of Commerce and Fleishman-Hillard cannot assume any responsibility for actions taken solely or principally on the basis on the information contained herein.