Public Affairs Update Header
January 21, 2013
In This Issue
BC Government partners with Chambers to support business PST transition
BC Government to Propose Changes to Auditor General’s Term
BC Economic Forecast Council Updates Economic Outlook
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 Government partners with Chambers to support business PST transition
Seminars to help BC businesses prepare for the return to PST are being held by the BC Government in partnership with Chambers of Commerce. There will be 50 webinars held across the province, which will cover the general principles of the PST and the new eTaxBC online business registration service.

Seminars are scheduled for Kamloops today, Revelstoke on Tuesday, Jan. 22, Enderby on Wednesday, Jan. 23 and Penticton on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. An interactive google map has all 50 chamber locations and other details. Please check with your local chamber of commerce for more information.

Other resources include webinars, videos, on-site reviews and tax specialist assistance – a full listing of PST resources for businesses can be found on the BC Chamber website.

BC Government to Propose Changes to Auditor General’s Term

Premier Christy Clark has announced that the BC government will introduce legislation next month that will make the term of the Auditor General, an independent officer of the Legislature, a one-time, non-renewable appointment. The legislation will also propose to extend the term of the Auditor General from its current six year tenure to eight.

The proposed legislation, if passed, would align BC with the federal auditors’ system, as well as those in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, where the Auditor General is appointed to a single, non-renewable 10 year term.

Premier Clark said the all-party committee tasked with identifying the next auditor general should reconsider its recent decision to not re-appoint current Auditor General John Doyle, and offer him an extra two years, bringing his total time in office to eight years. The committee must make a decision by January 28, 2013. 

BC Economic Forecast Council Updates Economic Outlook
The BC Economic Forecast Council expects BC’s economy to post 2.1 per cent growth in 2013, down slightly from the 2.2 per cent it predicted two months ago at its annual meeting. The council also slightly reduced its 2014 forecast to 2.5 per cent, down from 2.6 per cent.

As required by the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act, the 14-member Economic Forecast Council presents forecasts for BC’s economic growth as part of the Province’s annual budget process. Council members are surveyed twice a year – once in the fall and again the following January – to advise the Finance Minister prior to each year’s budget. The BC government will release its own economic forecast with Budget 2013 next month.

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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.