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Canada Starts Here: BC Jobs Plan
For Immediate Release
June 4, 2014
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business
Competitiveness: How B.C. businesses can deal with it

VICTORIA – With the global marketplace expanding, attracting business and improving productivity means being competitive. What are some of challenges B.C. businesses face? How can a business compete? Those are a couple of questions that will be asked as part of regional forums taking place throughout the province in June.

The government has provided $67,000 towards funding the Competitiveness BC Forums which will be presented in collaboration with the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce. The forums are taking place in the following locations:

  • June 5: Kelowna
  • June 18: Vancouver
  • June 19: Terrace
  • June 25: Prince George
  • June 26: Fort St. John
  • Fall: Additional forums will be announced that will include events in the Kootenays, Vancouver Island and Thompson Regions.

The half day sessions are being led by a local business leader and will include a roundtable dialogue on best practices and ideas to enhance competitiveness. Participants will be surveyed for feedback on the sessions and to offer their input on improving competitiveness. As many as 30 business owners and senior managers from companies in each region are expected to attend. They will represent key industry sectors including manufacturing, forestry, mining, energy, high tech, and ship building.

In addition, the B.C. Chamber of Commerce will research competitiveness in other regions in Canada and internationally. The results will form a report with recommendations for action. The chamber will also meet with the provincial and federal governments to share findings and to develop a framework to improve B.C’s productivity and global competitiveness.


Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour –

“We are anticipating a time of incredible opportunity in the province and want to make sure that BC businesses are ready to take advantage of markets that are expanding in Asia and elsewhere around the world. A growing economy means economic stability and jobs for British Columbians, both are the foundation of the BC Jobs Plan. The forums will allow us to work with the business community to ensure that we understand the challenges BC businesses face in the need to compete globally.”

Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business –

“It’s great to be teaming up with the BC Chamber of Commerce to help give small businesses some of the tools they need to be competitive. Our growing economy means lots of business prospects in the coming years and this program is one way to help local businesses be at the forefront of seizing those opportunities.”

John Winter, president and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce –

“The BC Chamber of Commerce is pleased to be spearheading the Competitiveness BC Initiative. Our focus is to engage business leaders from across the province in looking for ways that businesses can continuously introduce innovative practices in their operations and, by doing so, improve our ability to compete in a global market.”

Quick Facts:

  • Productivity/competitiveness is a major cost to business growth potential.
  • Other regions within Canada and abroad are already addressing productivity and competitiveness issues.
  • B.C.’s productivity has only increased by 2.8% over the last five years.
  • B.C. ranks fifth among Canadian provinces for in business productivity growth.
  • Ways to improve productivity and competitiveness:
    • Technology adoption, streamlining regulations, fostering innovation, hiring top talent and supporting growth in high productivity industries.

Learn More:

Media Contact:
Media Relations
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
250 387-2799

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