BCB Roundup: Soccer, political pursuits and legal letdowns

Each week, BCBusiness gives you an update on some of the stories turning heads across the province.

Credit: Charlesdclee

The Trinity Western University campus in Langley

Each week, BCBusiness gives you an update on some of the stories turning heads across the province.

Like a compellingly written legal decision, here’s what had our attention this week.

Trinity turned down

Finally, the B.C. Supreme Court upheld a decision by the Law Society of B.C. to refuse Trinity Western University’s proposed law school.

The case has been debated since a vote of lawyers across the province in 2014, when they objected to Trinity Western University’s code of conduct, which bans “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

The B.C. Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Trinity Western’s judicial review that it violated a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms section, which protects freedom of conscience and religion.

But today, the Supreme Court settled the matter, deciding against the Court of Appeal, and ruled that “it was reasonable for the LSBC to conclude that promoting equality by ensuring equal access to the legal profession, supporting diversity within the bar, and preventing harm to LGBTQ law students were valid means to pursue the public interest.”

Two of the judges (both appointed by former prime minister Stephen Harper) dissented from the other seven, arguing that the law society’s rules did not give it authority to regulate law schools.

It’s a major win for the rights of LGBTQ law students in the province.

Credit: US Soccer MNT on Twitter

B.C. stands by decision not to host World Cup 2026

Right at the start of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, British Columbians were reminded of the B.C. NDP’s decision not to be part of the North American 2026 World Cup bid.

That’s because the joint effort between the United States, Canada and Mexico, also called the United bid, won the right to host the tournament in eight years’ time, beating out Morocco. 

Earlier this year, premier John Horgan and the NDP government pulled Vancouver out of the bid, leaving Canada down to three hosting cities in Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton.

Fallout from the decision has been split, as many residents have applauded Horgan for refusing to hand over a “blank cheque” to FIFA, while others—soccer fans and those in the business community alike—have lamented the fact that Vancouver will be sitting out.

While Vancouver would likely be hosting just two games and would have to renovate BC Place for the contests to be played on grass instead of turf, it likely would have been a massive boon to local businesses and for the economy. 

The fact that Canada will likely be playing in the World Cup for the first time since 1986 would almost certainly drive interest in the event as well, imploring Canadians of all kinds to travel to the host cities.

It remains to be seen whether bowing out of hosting duties was a savvy move by Horgan and his government or if, in 2026, BCers will be lamenting the decision by a long forgotten government.

UBC launches Robson Square innovation hub

On Thursday, UBC announced the launch of its innovation hub at Robson Square. The university is hoping that its expansion of the secondary campus will make it more accessible to the general public. 

In particular, Robson Square is poised to highlight the innovation wing of UBC, showcasing the school’s advancements under programs like Hatch, an on-campus incubator for technology ventures.

The addition to the downtown campus was given approval in April of 2017, when the then-Liberal government announced a 250-graduate increase to UBC’s technology education capacity and a “planned public consultation process to chart a course for a more vibrant, innovative and connected Robson Square district.”

Credit: Leonard Krog on Twitter

Harbouring ambitions

A mayoral race threatens to turn political tides at the provincial level. 

Nanaimo’s council, widely held to be in ruins at the moment (keep your eyes peeled for a Nanaimo feature in the July/August issue of BCB) could benefit from MLA Leonard Krog taking over as mayor.

However, if Krog wins the mayoral race, a byelection will be held in Nanaimo. That means that a precious NDP seat will be up for grabs in the provincial legislature.

If a Liberal candidate wins the byelection (granted, the NDP has held the seat in Nanaimo since 2005), the party could hold a majority in government, toppling the NDP, who currently govern with support from the Green Party.

Looking in all the wrong places

Finally, Hays Canada, a subsidiary of Hays PLC with offices in Vancouver as well as across the country, has found that there’s a disconnect between how employers approach recruitment and what Canadian employees are expecting. 

The Hays study asserts that employers don’t have enough time to find the best applicants and aren’t using the latest technology in their searches.

Indeed, while 76 percent of those surveyed found that the best candidates come from proactive searching, 50 percent said they don’t have the time to do so, while 81 percent of employers surveyed said that they don’t use the latest technology in recruiting workers.

The Hays survey found that 67 percent of employers attempt to hire through the use of digital job boards. Conversely, 84 percent of employee respondents said they wanted to be contacted directly by an employer, preferring networking, existing relationships or referrals to find their next job.

Just 17 percent of respondents said they use job boards to find work.