B.C.’s land use and resource agenda puts economy on shaky ground

By Jock Finlayson & Ken Peacock
Business in Vancouver
June 20, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia is an unusual place for several reasons. One is the outsized role land-based industries play in our economy. …Second is that the government owns and controls more than 90% of all land, although the Crown’s jurisdiction is limited by the legal rights of First Nations. Against this backdrop, over the past several months the David Eby government has unveiled a host of initiatives affecting land use and the management of natural resources. The extent of the proposed changes to laws, policies and regulatory frameworks, if enacted, will be highly consequential for industry, workers and resource-dependent communities, and will dampen real income growth. …While often well-intentioned, the province’s actions risk creating widespread uncertainty about the investment and operating environment for all land-based industries. And this comes at an inopportune time as B.C.’s economy is visibly sputtering, and the government’s fiscal position is deteriorating at a breathtaking pace.

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