Dropping oil prices and a low loonie will benefit B.C.: report

B.C. to grow, not enough snow and more money for D-Wave

On the upside
British Columbia is expected to be near the top of provincial economic growth rankings in 2015-16, according to a report issued Thursday by the Business Council of British Columbia. B.C.’s real GDP should increase by 2.6% in 2015, up slightly from 2014. Since B.C. produces little crude oil, and imports provide most of the refined petroleum consumed here, lower oil prices are an economic plus. Exports of goods and services should continue to rise thanks to growth in the U.S. and a low Canadian dollar, and the B.C. job market is gaining momentum. If any large LNG projects get started in 2016, the council predicts B.C.’s real GDP growth should accelerate to about 3%.

Low on snow
It’s not just the North Shore mountains that are short of snow. The Red Bull Cold Rush freeskiing competition scheduled for February 3 to February 6 in Revelstoke has been postponed until late March due to poor snow conditions. According to B.C.’s River Forecast Centre, early season snow pack has been slow to develop across the province and, in all regions of the province, snow basin indices are below normal for January 1, ranging from 28% of normal snow basin on the south coast to 96% in North Thompson. By early January, nearly half of the annual B.C. snowpack has typically accumulated.

Computer company in the chips
Burnaby-based supercomputer manufacturer D-Wave Systems Inc. announced Thursday morning that it had raised $29 million in funding, bringing its total venture capital up to a whopping $174 million. In the past year, the company boosted its patent portfolio, developed software applications of its chip technology, and formed more partnerships with high-profile laboratories and universities, among other developments. More on that here.