BCBusiness Report Card: Aluminum shines, electoral turnout declines

We assess how different people/things and, of course, businesses fared this week.

Credit: Courtesy of Mustang Survival

Mustang Survivals Mark Anderson works away. The company recently merged with a U.S. business known for paddleboarding gear

We assess how different people/things and, of course, businesses fared this week

In March, if you were setting an over/under on how long it would take British Columbians to have reckless parties at which mass numbers of people contracted COVID at four-and-a-half months, we personally probably would have pounded the under. So maybe it’s a win that we’ve been able to hold off this long. But also, it’s decidedly not.

Why can’t people just get drunk at home? During a Friday. At two o’clock. I mean, uh, that’s not what we’re doing or anything.

Anyhow, here’s what made the grade this week (and what didn’t).

Mustang Survival
Grade: A

The Burnaby-based outdoor equipment manufacturer is ensuring it lives up to its namesake with the announcement that it has merged with U.S. company MTI Adventurewear. The deal will allow Mustang to become a “key player in the paddlesports market,” according to a release.

You know what? There’s a lot of water in B.C. That just really seems like a shrewd business decision.

Jerry Jones’s yacht
Grade: A­–

As long as the Dallas Cowboys owner didn’t do a stopover here on his way back from Alaska (and why would he?), we have to admit that’s a pretty cool sight to see in the waters off Vancouver Island.

Apparently, the Bravo Eugenia can accommodate 14 guests, 30 crew members and one mediocre football team.

Grade: B

Forget gold or silver; it’s aluminum’s time to shine, baby! You may have seen the unheralded metal in the news this week as a certain political leader announced 10-percent tariffs on it for Canadian imports in a move that absolutely reeks of “an election is coming up and we need things to boast about.”

But hey, good for aluminum getting out there and showcasing its importance. Where would we be without staples, ladders, bike frames, pots and pans? I definitely knew all those off the top of my head and didn’t have to look them up, just FYI.

Grade: C

Good decisions, like the recent one by TransLink and BC Transit to make masks mandatory on its vehicles, often come with a question: Why did this take so long? Here, that seems unanswerable.

Many other districts and regions had long ago made the change, which seems like an obvious one, even given the reduced capacity rules. In this case, C means “casually late is better than never.”

Electoral turnout
Grade: C

B.C. saw the fifth-lowest voter turnout among the provinces and territories in last year’s federal election, according to new data from Elections Canada

It’s not exactly a huge surprise, and it should be noted that our province trailed Ontario by less than a percentage point. But still, somewhat disappointing that more than a third of eligible voters in B.C. failed to show up at the polls.

Maybe the opposite of Trudeaumania will encourage more of us to vote next time around. But probably not.

Hunger strikes
Grade: D

If you had “hotel workers doing their best Gandhi impression” on your 2020 bingo card, congrats.

As certain parts of B.C. open up with abandon, the recent surge in COVID cases is an obvious sign that perhaps things have been moving too quickly. Not sure we see a happy ending to this one anytime soon.

BC Chamber
Grade: V 

And finally, it was tough to see the BC Chamber of Commerce lose a leader like Val Litwin.

The youngest-ever president and CEO of the organization announced this week that he’s stepping down in late August after almost four years at the helm.

We wish Val the best of luck in his future endeavours.