Business

Buying local boosts B.C. bee industry in 2015

Bees were busy and so was the public, purchasing almost $16.5 million in retail honey sales.

The year 2015 was successful for the beekeeping industry in British Columbia, with more and more people buying honey direct from beekeepers, bringing the estimated total farm receipts of the year to more than $25 million.

British Columbians preferred to buy their honey straight from beekeepers in 2015, with estimated farm receipts for the retail sales of honey in B.C. almost doubling from 2014, to almost $16.5 million.

CBT Committee seeks applications for economic development funding

CBT Committee seeks applications for economic development funding

A local group has spent more than half of $600,000 allocated to meet community needs in the Lower Columbia, but is still looking for more economic development projects to support.

Economic and tourism development were identified as the top community priorities during extensive public consultations last year by the Community Directed Funds committee, which is distributing funds allocated by the Columbia Basin Trust.

BC government increases home owner grant threshold in 2016

Happy days, well almost, are here again after the Liberals said homes valued up to $1.2 million may be eligible to receive a full home owner grant this year. —Submitted photo

British Columbians are getting a bit of a reprieve a few days after the 2016 assessment notices were sent out to homeowners.

The Liberal government has said in a media release homes valued up to $1.2 million may be eligible to receive a full home owner grant this year, while a partial grant may be available if the home is valued above this threshold.

The home owner grant provides modest property tax relief to those who need it most. Last year, this program returned nearly $800 million to B.C. residents. For 2016, more than 91% of homes are below the threshold.

Interest payments exceed $60 billion as Canadian governments continue racking up debt

All forms of Canadian government spent $60.8 billion on debt interest payments in 2014/15.

Interest payments on government debt in Canada consume substantial shares of taxpayer dollars and come at the expense of other budget priorities, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, The Cost of Government Debt in Canada, finds that Canadian governments (federal, provincial and local) spent $60.8 billion on debt interest payments in 2014/15—virtually equivalent to total public spending on K-12 education in Canada ($62.2 billion) in the latest year of available data.

COLUMN: Canada is Back? Not Until Taxation is Truly Fair

COLUMN: Canada is Back?  Not Until  Taxation is Truly  Fair

Justin Trudeau is fond of saying "Canada is back," and in some genuinely gratifying ways it seems to be the case.  But by far the most important and substantive evidence for this claim is still missing: an indication that the new government is willing to seriously address the issue that a genuine return to normal rests upon.  That issue is how do we recover from nearly 20 years of systematic looting of the national treasury through reckless tax cuts for high-income earners and large corporations?

B.C.'s economy: up, down and sideways

In 2010, B.C. was in ninth place among the provinces for international exports as a percentage of GDP with 24.9 per cent.

'Tis the season of lists and stocking stuffers of economic forecasts.

But instead of soothsaying over what could happen in 2016, a look back at B.C.'s economic performance over the past few years might be more illuminating.

Deciphering economic forecasts is a murky task anyways, not that interpreting statistics is any less risky.

Plan Ahead: Two Shows at the Flying Steamshovel -- in February

Old Man Leudecke at Guelph, 2011.  Photo Credit: Tabercil.

The Flying Steamshovel will be hosting two notable shows in February:  Juno Award-winnning "Old Man Luedecke" performs there on February 2nd, and Juno-Award nominee "Yukon Blonde" performs on February 10th.

Old Man Luedecke won Juno Awards in 2009 and 2011, both for "Traditonal Folk Album of the Year," and was nominated again in 2012.   Chris Luedecke hails from Chester, Nova Scotia.  

Manitobans give the most in Canada as donations on the decrease

Manitobans give the most in Canada as donations on the decrease

The holiday season is a time to reflect on the value of charity, yet fewer Canadians are donating to registered charities—and those who give are giving less in every province, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2015 Generosity Index, measures donations to registered charities claimed on personal income tax returns in Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories, the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.

Fortis to ring in New Year with hike in electricity rates

Fortis to ring in New Year with hike in electricity rates

Ed. note: The following is a press release issued by FortisBC.

FortisBC has received regulatory approval for a 2.96 per cent increase for electricity rates to take effect January 1, 2016.

“We recognize the importance of electricity to daily lives and we are dedicated to meeting customers’ expectations for safe, reliable service at the lowest reasonable rate,” said Roger Dall’Antonia, executive vice president customer service and regulatory affairs. “Keeping electricity rates among the lowest in North America is important to us, which is why we make prudent investments in the system and purchase the necessary capacity so our customers have power when they need it most now and into the future.”

Economic Freedom of North America 2015

Economic Freedom of North America 2015

Economic Freedom of North America 2015 is the 11th edition of our annual report, in which we measure the extent to which policies of individual provinces and states are supportive of economic freedom — the ability of individuals to act in the economic sphere free of undue restrictions.

For researchers, this report has become the most widely used of the North American indexes.

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