BCBusiness Report Card: Doug McCallum’s Groundhog Day and tears for Ricky Gervais

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

Credit: Robert Kenney

Doug McCallum was in the news once again

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

It’s fairly early into 2020, but so far, two stories have dominated the news cycle. Those would be, of course, COVID-19 and Wet’suwet’en.

But enough ink has been spilled out about those that we’re going to make the maybe irresponsible decision to completely ignore them this week.

Here at BCB Report Card, we like to have and poke fun, and both of those subjects carry with them a certain amount of baggage. 

(Sure, there are the idiots who have stopped buying Coronas, but dumb Americans don’t need any more press than they already get. Also, Corona is overrated.)

Here’s what made the grade (and what didn’t) this week.  

The BC Tech Summit

Grade: A

The first round of speakers at June’s BCTech Summit was announced, and as usual, the event delivered with some interesting names.

Among those recently announced were Kijiji founder Janet Bannister (also the first female managing partner of Canadian investment firm Real Ventures) and Markus Frind, founder of Vancouver-based dating site Plenty of Fish.

Gotta swipe right on that! (OK, yes, we know that’s a different app, whatever.)

Dapper Labs

Grade: A

The Vancouver-based blockchain company announced a partnership with the UFC that will see the firm “develop a new digital experience that will provide UFC fans around the world with opportunities to purchase, trade, and own UFC-branded digital collectibles,” according to a release.

Given that it’s already partnered with the NBA, we aren’t surprised to see another pro sports organization getting in the ring with Dapper. (We know you saw what we did there.)

Parallel 49

Grade: A–

The East Vancouver brewery got a recent shout-out from none other than controversial Golden Globes host and roaster extraordinaire Ricky Gervais on Twitter. 

Now the two have paired up somewhat, with the brewery offering 25 cents per pint of Ruby Tears (the beer Gervais said was the best he’d ever tasted) and $1 from the sale of each six-pack provincewide to an animal charity of his choosing.

Gervais selected Esther the Wonder Pig from Ontario, and it’s made for a great story.

We can’t help but imagine what Vancouver craft beers other Hollywood celebrities fancy. Can’t wait to propose a post about that to our editors and get looked at like we’re insane.

Doug McCallum

Grade: B+

Hey, you have to give the mayor of Surrey credit for living out his own personal celebratory Groundhog Day every several months.

B.C. approved McCallum’s request for Surrey to transition from RCMP-based policing to having its own police force six months ago, but the official approval was given this week.

Expect McCallum to excitedly announce every step of the transition with a bullhorn.

The property relief tax plan

Grade: C

The provincial government’s new initiative is a step in the right direction, but might be a drop in the bucket of sorts.  

The interim program will allow local governments to provide property tax relief to small businesses and non-profit groups in the 2020 tax year, but some small-business owners have reportedly complained that it’s too little too late.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart even told the CBC that “there is a chance this could make things worse.” Seems like maybe that’s a pretty massive issue?