B.C. adopts new crowdsourcing regulations for startups

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Plus, B.C.’s billion-dollar underground economy and ALC chair fired

On the ground floor
Raising capital through crowdfunding websites is now possible for companies in six provinces including B.C. While quite different from Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, it still provides the ability for the general public to invest in up-and-coming startups and early-stage companies that are looking to grow. Companies, according to the new rules, will be able to raise up to $500,000 a year through specifically regulated and approved websites. Other provinces that will be adopting the latest regulations include Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. While Ontario has not signed up, it has suggested that it will be drafting its own set of rules and conditions.

No surprise here
B.C.’s underground economy
is the third largest in Canada according to a recent Statistics Canada report. While this $5.9-billion industry may seem substantial when compared to other provinces, these figures may in fact be low. “The underground economy (UE) is a complex subject,” writes Jock Finlayson of the Business Council of B.C. “Unsurprisingly, it is hard to measure transactions that are unreported, deliberately hidden, and/or undertaken in the ‘shadows.'” As for the latter, the report explains: “For the purpose of this study, some illegal activities, such as those related to drugs and prostitution, have been excluded.”

ALC chair fired
A 30-second call ended Agricultural Land Commission chair Richard Bullock’s five-year term early on Thursday. Many believe the quick change in direction was in response to disagreements between the B.C. government and Bullock on policy issues that include his standing in the way of the appointment of commissioners to regional panels across the province. His replacement, the former Saanich mayor Frank Leonard, was announced in a press release that describes the commission’s focus on policies supporting farming in rural and urban areas as well as the region’s agricultural development.