BC well positioned for economic recovery, say experts

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Like all jurisdictions impacted by COVID-19, British Columbia’s economic recovery will take time. But as B.C. enters Phase 3 of its restart plan, experts are saying the province is well positioned compared to other parts of Canada:

“In the larger provinces, B.C.’s progress in tackling the pandemic positions it well to perform better than the others this year… this success in tackling the pandemic has manifested in comparatively better indicators.” – TD Canada

“B.C.’s fiscal position remains the envy of other provinces. B.C.’s government has responded to the crisis by earmarking about $5 billion, with dedicated funding to the post-COVID recovery ($1.5 billion). This package comes on top of a hefty 2020/21 capital spending plan. Coffers are taking a substantial hit, but its net debt/GDP ratio is expected to be among the lowest in the country as it exits the crisis.” – TD Canada.

Our forecast says that the impact is going to be less in British Columbia than it is on average in Canada. And the growth next year in British Columbia is going to be solid.” – Pierre Cléroux, chief economist for the Business Development Bank of Canada.

“This reflects the underlying strength and diversity of the province’s economy and disciplined fiscal policy and management practices.” – DBRS Morningside Credit Agency

I believe that the B.C. government understands that you have to have physical distancing to flatten the pandemic curve using B.C.’s modelling. They are cautiously opening the economy, which is the very tough part. I believe they fully understand the impact of the reopening phase as well, and the economic impact. I believe they are doing their best.” – Chulwoo Hong, senior economist with IHS Markit

“I think B.C. managed the crisis much better. We’ve had better outcomes, and some of that is attributable to how we’ve managed it compared to other provinces. We are global leading in terms of management and containment of the virus, so on that front, very, very good.” – Ken Peacock, chief economist with the Business Council of British Columbia.

“Keeping construction operating is a big deal; it keeps a lot of people working and a lot of economic activity going. It appears that decision was the right decision; it was successful. We don’t have big case loads in the province. And we have some of the best results or outcomes in the world. So that turned out to be a good decision.” – Ken Peacock

“We’re not going overboard with restrictions, and so the B.C. economy is reopening step by step. I think it’s prudent, it’s responsible and it’s working. We haven’t had to go back and forth, two steps forward and three steps backward. You try to avoid that as you try to restart the economy.” – Martin Thibodeau, regional president, British Columbia, of RBC Royal Bank.

“The four phases of the province’s plan are quite clear. They’re working.” – Martin Thibodeau