November 26, 2012 BC Chamber Public Affairs Update

Public Affairs Update Header
Issue 41 November 26, 2012
In This Issue
Premiers Meet at Council of the Federation in Halifax
New Poll Shows BC Liberals Gain Among British Columbians
BC Government Seeks Input on Mines Act Permit Exemption
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.
Premiers Meet at Council of the Federation in Halifax
Provincial Premiers met in Halifax last week at the Council of the Federation economic forum to discuss global economic trends, in the hopes of developing a common economic plan in the face of slow growth and increasing debt. Provincial and territorial leaders also spoke on their ambition to collaborate on energy issues, supporting an ‘integrated energy economy’.Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney gave  a presentation on the bank’s outlook for the global and Canadian economies, as well as national inflation.

Premiers agreed to collaborate primarily on issues of trade, immigration, education and training and infrastructure. They called on the federal government to renew its funding for federal-provincial labour market agreements on workforce training, as well as its investments in infrastructure programs, which are both set to expire in 2014.

BC Premier Christy Clark said the meeting between Premiers recognizes the fact that in large part, provincial governments drive the national economy. Premier Clark also emphasized that provincial Premiers should assert greater control of their own economies, specifically with respect to immigration.

New Poll Shows BC Liberals Gain Among British Columbians
A new Angus Reid poll reveals that 47 percent of British Columbians would vote for the BC NDP if a provincial election were held tomorrow, while 29 percent of would vote for the BC Liberals. The BC Conservative Party has 12 percent support, while the BC Green Party has 9 percent.On the question of who would be the best Premier, BC NDP leader Adrian Dix remains in first place (28 percent), followed by Premier Christy Clark (16 percent). Mr. Cummins has fallen to 5 percent. 48 percent of respondents did not select any of the four party leaders as the best Premier of British Columbia.
BC Government Seeks Input on Mines Act Permit Exemption
The BC Government is seeking public input on recent amendments to the Mines Act, changed in November 2011 to streamline the regulatory process by allowing for certain mineral exploration activities classified as low risk to be exempted from the permitting process. Several of these low risk activities are now being proposed for possible class exemption. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas has released a public discussion paper and feedback form for communities to comment on suggested low-risk permit exemptions with the aim of developing regulations to exempt them from Mines Act permitting.All feedback submitted before December 25, 2012 will be considered in future decisions on this initiative.
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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.

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