BCBusiness Report Card: The plastic bag fights for its life

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

Victoria mayor Lisa Helps wants plastic bags out of her city 

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

“Do you want to see the most beautiful thing I’ve ever filmed?” one character asks another in the 1999 film American Beauty. 

He then shows her—and we’re not kidding—a video of a plastic bag floating around a bunch of leaves for three minutes. 

The film eventually won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and the scene has lived on in infamy among college-aged stoners who aren’t aware how awful it is in hindsight.

But as we’ve seen recently, the plastic bag will not go down without a fight. You thought it was flimsy and bad for the environment? Think again! (Well, actually, it still is both; it’s not like it reinvented itself or anything.)

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


Grade: A

Books will be written. Films will be made. Statues will be carved. All in memory of what Purolator has been able to accomplish this week with the launching of Canada’s first seven-day-a-week same-day e-commerce service.

Metro Vancouver sees an average of 14,000 shipments a week, says the company, which is majority-owned by Canada Post and based in Missisauga. And now those Vancouver residents don’t have to wait until tomorrow for their new yoga mats and bicycle lights.

The Canadian Plastic Bag Association

Grade: B+

Yes, there is such a thing as the Canadian Plastic Bag Association. And they (what we’re assuming is a shadowy cabal of bags that gathers in the parking garages of shopping centres and the like) are celebrating a big win this week.

Although the end is most certainly nigh for everyone’s least favourite (but most convenient) mode of transporting goods, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled against the City of Victoria’s ban of single-use plastic bags.

The City can still ban such items if it wins approval from the provincial government, but that’s to be determined.

And the Plastic Pals (working title) may have another fight around the corner: the City of Vancouver recently asked for public input on whether it should pursue a similar ban.

But for now, plastic bags live to twist in the wind another day.


Grade: C

It was a major victory for people who only read headlines this week, as the announcement that B.C. would allow ride-hailing services to operate in the province in September was (mostly) met with social media glee.

But beneath the headline was the restriction that Uber or Lyft (and other companies) would have to employ drivers with Class 4 licences. It’s something that the businesses have balked at in the past, and there’s no guarantee they come to Vancouver under those circumstances.

It’s fine, though, because no one has ever complained about taxis in this province.

Union of BC Municipalities

Grade: C–

Oooh, this is a tough look. Nothing says “we care about detained Canadians in China” than holding a paid-for-by-China reception for local politicians.

Still, here we are. It’s a safe bet that the UBCM will take heat for this until and during the event, which take place September 25. 

We hear the appies are totally worth it, though.

Dungeness crabs

Grade: F

It’s been a tough period for our favourite crustacean, with B.C. crab fishermen (not very gender-inclusive, but fishpeople doesn’t sound right) reporting record hauls in the Hecate Strait, off the coast of Haida Gwaii.

The, um, anglers (boom, did it!) say that single trips have been reaping six-figure profits this season.