B.C. economy and consumer spending see a boost, new reports say

MonerisMetrics Quarterly Report – Q1

Plus, oil spill worries and a steamy proposition

A better B.C.
B.C., along with Alberta, saw the most economic growth in 2014 according to a Statistics Canada report released Tuesday. Of course, that trend isn’t anticipated to continue for Alberta thanks to slumping oil prices. For B.C. and Ontario, however, things are expected to continue looking up. In fact, another report released Tuesday, the MonerisMetrics Quarterly Report, suggests as much: B.C. saw the biggest increase to consumer spending in the country for the first quarter of 2015 (8.9 per cent) followed by Manitoba (6.3 per cent) and Ontario (5.9 per cent). Alberta trailed at 3.9 per cent (more on Alberta’s troubles in our May issue, on stands now).

Oil awareness
The National Energy Board (NEB) said Monday that it has been “too conservative” when asking oil companies about their disaster response plans. “The amount of emergency response information that the companies or the NEB is sharing has got to increase,” NEB chair Peter Watson told the Vancouver Board of Trade. Meanwhile, a new Globe and Mail investigation revealed that the U.S. Coast Guard views Canada’s preparedness for an oil spill as, well, comparatively awful. Earlier this month, 2,700 litres of oil were spilled into English Bay.

Steampunk fans rejoice
Ian Gillespie, a Vancouver developer, says he plans to convert a natural gas steam plant into an energy system to heat downtown. Over the next five years, he’ll invest up to $5 million doing so, hoping to create a low-carbon model that could be copied around the world. More on that in the Vancouver Sun.

Procrastinators rejoice
You now have until May 5 to file your income tax, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced Tuesday. The reason? The CRA sent out a notification last week that (at the time mistakenly) said as much.