Cross-border shopping is way down in B.C.: report

Plus, our own prosperity fund and more trouble for Teck

Common cents
Fewer B.C.ers are heading south for deals, although that’s no surprise. “The fall in the value of the Canadian dollar, unsurprisingly, has led to a decline in the number of British Columbians making short-duration visits to the United States,” says a new report from the Business Council of B.C., which cites a whopping 28 per cent drop in same-day trips to the U.S. among British Columbians since early 2013, when the dollar was high. Longer overnight trips are down substantially too: 23 per cent. But, as the report notes, there are at least two winners here: local retailers, which now have less competition from the states, and gas stations.

Prosperity, at last
The B.C. Liberals will table legislation to introduce an LNG prosperity fund by spring 2017—or just before the next provincial election—from which future gas revenues would help pay down B.C.’s debt and finance new projects. The details were revealed in mandate letters sent by Premier Christy Clark to Finance Minister Mike de Jong, according to a report in the Vancouver Sun. An LNG-backed prosperity fund has always been part of Clark’s natural-gas pitch, but with recently downgraded expectations in terms of revenues, the “$100-billion” prosperity fund floated earlier may prove to have been a somewhat rosy projection.

Can’t catch a break
It’s been a bad year for Teck Resources, B.C.’s biggest mining firm, which in recent months has slashed its dividend and temporarily shut down six Canadian mines. Now it may have to shut down another—but not of its own volition. One of its copper mines in Chile could have its permit revoked by the country’s environmental assessment arm. Improper storage of ore was just one of the cited infractions. Teck has 10 days to reply with a plan. (via Business in Vancouver)