Public Affairs Update Header
January 13, 2014
In This Issue
Legislative calendar for spring session
B.C. gains jobs in December as national unemployment rises
Independent panel to review Roberts Bank port expansion
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 B.C.

Legislative calendar for spring session

The B.C. legislature will convene next month for the first time since July, 2013. The legislative session will begin on February 11 and is scheduled to run until May 29, 2014.

Key milestones for the upcoming session include:

  • Speech from the Throne: Tuesday, February 11
  • Budget 2014/15: Tuesday, February 18
  • Break weeks: March 17, April 14, April 21, May 19

B.C. gains jobs in December as national unemployment rises

According to Statistics Canada, 45,900 jobs were lost nationally last month, which caused the unemployment rate to rise to 7.2 per cent (from 6.9 per cent). The decrease was led by a decline in full-time jobs, which fell by roughly 60,000 for the month. The loss was offset in part by a gain of 14,200 part-time jobs.

In B.C., 13,000 part-time jobs were added to B.C.’s economy in December, though 10,000 full-time positions were eliminated. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.6 per cent.

Nationally, by industry, there were 19,000 fewer jobs in educational services, while the ‘other services’ category, which includes personal care services as well as civic and social organizations, lost 15,000 jobs. The agriculture sector lost 9,800 jobs and natural resources lost 8,000.

Health care and social assistance was the only industry to see gains in December as the sector added 22,000 jobs.

Independent panel to review Roberts Bank port expansion
Federal Minister of Environment Leona Aglukkaq announced that an environmental review for the proposed Roberts Bank port expansion will be conducted by an independent panel.

The expansion is part of Port Metro Vancouver’s plan to build a major shipping container facility in Delta. The port wants to build a three-berth, marine container facility alongside the existing Deltaport and Westshore terminals, designed to accommodate an additional 2.4 million units annually.

The panel will have 14 months to submit a report, after which time the minister will have five months to make a decision.

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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.