EDITORIAL: B.C. faces many growth challenges

A province cannot thrive long-term without economic growth

Statistics Canada’s latest population projections do not bode well for B.C.’s future, on a number of counts.

The federal agency has B.C. falling to  fourth-largest province in the country, with Alberta moving ahead of it to third. This is projected to happen over the next 20 years or so.

B.C. will still be growing — but at a lesser rate than Alberta is projected to grow. Perhaps more dramatically though, B.C.’s population of seniors is expected to grow the most, to 27 per cent of the population by 2038. This is a higher-than-usual percentage of seniors, who for the most part will not be working and contributing to long-term economic growth. At the same time, they will put added pressure on the health care system.

This is not to say that seniors are bad for a province or an economy. It is simply that their needs bring new challenges to an economy which is already hobbled by minimal growth, and to a province where every resource-based proposal is met with a fury of opposition.

A province cannot thrive long-term without economic growth. Simple population growth is not enough.

B.C. is already a very expensive place to live. At the same time, few younger people have the opportunity to make really good incomes, and are thus handicapped from getting ahead.

Taxes in B.C. are already quite high, which is masked by the sleight-of-hand about low income tax rates. However, when the seven per cent PST, ICBC rates,  ferry fares, BC Hydro rates (all of which are tax increases), TransLink taxes and MSP premiums are taken into account, taxes are quite onerous on many people already. Low economic growth will inevitably lead to even higher taxes.

B.C. weather and scenery are great, but they don’t pay the bills.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langford Fire calm mother and daughter after being trapped in elevator

Three-year-old girl given stuffed animal to calm nerves

Capital Regional District prepares to reopen regional campgrounds

Camping will look different at Island View, Sooke Potholes, Jordan River sites

Victoria traffic stop yields drugs, case full of weapons

Police seize firearms, swords and flares

Suspect taken into custody after allegedly attempting to steal a dinghy in Sidney

The incident happened Wednesday morning near Beacon Wharf

Long wait to reopen is over for Sidney gym

Owner of Sidney’s Anytime Fitness expects safety measures to be in place for some time

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read