British Columbia’s economy is bouncing back more quickly than expected from COVID-19, though pandemic uncertainty lingers.
In its first quarterly update of 2021-22, the province on Monday projected a $4.8-billion deficit, or roughly half of what was predicted in Budget 2021.
The province’s April budget forecasted a $9.7-billion deficit for the fiscal year.
B.C. Government unveils 2021 budget
The better-than-expected recovery includes increases to personal and corporate income-tax revenues, natural resource revenues, and federal funding largely related to B.C.’s pandemic response and recovery measures, as well as child care.
The province’s expenses went up by $1.4 billion — half of these due to costs fighting wildfires.
B.C. Budget 2021: Supporting tourism recovery
The tourism sector is still struggling, seeing a jump in revenue due to domestic tourism through the summer, but still well behind pre-pandemic levels.
There also continues to be uncertainty due to a pandemic that still has no end in sight. The forecast allowance will remain unchanged in the provincial budget.
“We’ve seen significant shifts in projections for B.C., Canada and around the world as the pandemic evolves, and we know we will see more changes as we move through recovery,” Finance Minister Selena Robinson said.
The province has allocated $3.25 billion in pandemic and recovery contingencies to address health and safety measures, targeted supports for businesses and people most affected by the pandemic, and additional funding to continued economic recovery efforts.
The government is still planning to detail a path and timeline of how it intends to return to balance as part of Budget 2022.
B.C.’s real gross domestic product is forecast to grow by 6.0 per cent in 2021 and 4.0 per cent in 2022.
The labour market has shown signs of continued improvement, and total employment has surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
B.C.’s unemployment rate for August was 6.2 per cent, compared to the national average of 7.1 per cent.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Province Invests in Wellington County Businesses to Boost Local Economy – Government of Ontario News
Powell meets a changed economy: Fewer workers, higher prices – 95.7 News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Restaurant and hotel owners struggling to fill jobs. Supply-chain delays forcing up prices for small businesses. Unemployed Americans unable to find work even with job openings at a record high.
Those and other disruptions to the U.S. economy — consequences of the viral pandemic that erupted 18 months ago — appear likely to endure, a group of business owners and nonprofit executives told Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday.
The business challenges, described during a “Fed Listens” virtual roundtable, underscore the ways that the COVID-19 outbreak and its delta variant are continuing to transform the U.S. economy. Some participants in the event said their business plans were still evolving. Others complained of sluggish sales and fluctuating fortunes after the pandemic eased this summer and then intensified in the past two months.
“We are really living in unique times,” Powell said at the end of the discussion. “I’ve never seen these kinds of supply-chain issues, never seen an economy that combines drastic labor shortages with lots of unemployed people. … So, it’s a very fast changing economy. It’s going to be quite different from the one (before).”
The Fed chair asked Cheetie Kumar, a restaurant owner in Raleigh, North Carolina, why she has had such trouble finding workers. Powell’s question goes to the heart of the Fed’s mandate of maximizing employment, because many people who were working before the pandemic lost jobs and are no longer looking for one. When — or whether — these people resume their job hunts will help determine when the Fed can conclude that the economy has achieved maximum employment.
Kumar told Powell that many of her former employees have decided to permanently leave the restaurant industry.
“I think a lot of people wanted to make life changes, and we lost a lot of people to different industries,” she said. “I think half of our folks decided to go back to school.”
Kumar said her restaurant now pays a minimum of $18 an hour, and she added that higher wages are likely a long-term change for the restaurant industry.
“We cannot get by and pay people $13 an hour and expect them to stay with us for years and years,” Kumar said. “It’s just not going to happen.”
Loren Nalewanski, a vice president at Marriott Select Brands, said his company is losing housekeepers to other jobs that have recently raised pay. Even the recent cutoff of a $300-a-week federal unemployment supplement, he said, hasn’t led to an increase in job applicants.
“People have left the industry and unfortunately they’re finding other things to do,” Nalewanski said. “Other industries that didn’t pay as much perhaps … are (now) paying a lot more.”
Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press
Dialogue NB Seeks To Rebuild An Inclusive Economy Through Conversation – Huddle – Huddle Today
MONCTON – Dialogue NB CEO Nadine Duguay-Lemay says the business community has an integral place in a conversation about building a more equal and just New Brunswick.
That very conversation will take place on September 27 in Moncton with Dialogue Day 2021.
“When we talk about anti-racism, notions of equality, diversity, acceptance and inclusion and all those notions we celebrate, it’s not something we can do on our own,” said Duguay-Lemay.
“The business community actively needs to participate, if anything, because those topics concern them. That’s why you see so many business support the event.”
The volunteer-led non-profit organization plans to host an inclusive conversation on Monday at Moncton’s Crowne Plaza and virtually, online.
Dedicated to building social cohesion in New Brunswick, the sold-out event will feature discussions about racial justice in the workplace, rethinking the economy as it recovers from the pandemic and how to be a better ally to Indigenous people.
The event, which has sold out of in-person seats, will feature Jeremy Dutcher, a Wolastoq singer, songwriter, composer, musicologist and activist from Tobique First Nation, as its keynote speaker.
The mandate of the discussions is to ensure everyone feels heard, valued and that they belong, making diversity an asset – something Duguay-Lemay considers imperative to a functional economy.
“What I’ve found is that people don’t like to go into uncomfortable discussions. Some people want to embrace social cohesion but don’t know where to start, or are afraid of saying the wrong thing. This is our expertise – we’re good at the art of dialogue and multiple viewpoints at one table,” she said.
“We need a lot of different voices and perspectives at the table to rethink the system for the wellbeing of all. These discussions shouldn’t be happening in isolation.”
Duguay-Lemay said New Brunswick faces many economic challenges, noting a diverse workforce will help recover from those challenges.
She stressed that the business community needs to work toward a goal of truth and reconciliation, and in a call with Huddle, rebutted the metaphor of everyone being on the same boat during the pandemic.
“I’d argue we’re all facing the same storm, but not in the same boat. Some people are in yachts and some are in little boats about to capsize,” she said.
Other voices are emerging – female and Indigenous, for example – looking to address poverty and wage inequality and unfairness, employment access, systemic racism and environmental degradation, noted Duguay-Lemay, adding that the province’s 4,418 non-profits need more recognition as an economic partner.
“Inclusion is embedded in our DNA as Canadians. We’re already a country and province that abides by those laws, so it’s important to look at inclusion,” she said.
The conversations will also focus on racial justice in the workplace, how the pandemic hurt Indigenous and black Canadian employment, versus non-minorities, access to employment – and the social barriers that exist for racialized workers.
“I invite all organizations, employers, public and non-profits to look at their practices in place and ask if they walk the talk for truth and reconciliation. We’re all treaty people – how do we uphold this?” said Duguay-Lemay.
“We want to at least demonstrate to Indigenous people in New Brunswick that we hear their plight and are serious about truth and reconciliation.”
Greater social cohesion is the best step forward, Duguay-Lemay noted, adding that real dialogue can build an economy that works for everyone.
She said matters of racial justice in the workplace – and specific matters, such as owners objecting to the declaration of September 30 as a statutory holiday, contending that they can’t afford it – will be among the economic issues for which solutions will be sought.
The conversation will also focus on how the province’s recovery from the pandemic has exposed inequalities in the economy.
Duguay-Lemay stressed the need to learn from the way the pandemic exposed inequalities, and rethink a system that works for everyone.
“We need to think differently and it really shouldn’t be based on the interests of the privileged,” said Duguay-Lemay.
“As employers are looking to attract and retain talent, we hear about skill shortages all the time. This becomes a matter of attracting talent, whether from newcomers or tapping into Indigenous communities, how can we make our workplaces more equitable and inclusive?
The event will feature an “eclectic” round table of specialists, artists, activists and experts from numerous sectors, and identities in New Brunswick, with opportunities for networking, inspiration for change with concrete examples and skills to help become a social leader.
Ontario supports investment of $31.5M in Wellington, Perth county businesses – CTV News London
NBA denies Canadian Andrew Wiggins of religious exemption to skip COVID-19 vaccine – CBC.ca
EU Commission proposes removing chargers from all smartphone boxes – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Business9 hours ago
5 Ways to be Productive at Work
Politics24 hours ago
Politics Podcast: FiveThirtyEight Goes To Canada And Germany – FiveThirtyEight
Health10 hours ago
Rodents on the rise: How to avoid an infestation this fall
Economy24 hours ago
CANADA STOCKS – TSX rises 0.3% to 20,461.93
News24 hours ago
Taiwan blasts China for Pacific trade pact threats
Politics23 hours ago
Japan’s ruling party puts legacy of Abenomics in focus.
News9 hours ago
BENANTHONY LAVOZ AND DELON OM GET RAW WITH “The Gentleman and Scholar”
Health16 hours ago
Sudbury businesses adapting to COVID-19 vaccine passport system – Toronto Star