The hard facts on B.C.’s softwood lumber dilemma

It's time B.C. pushed hard to diversify its economy, improved its infrastructure, and looked for new and stable markets for its lumber products

The hard facts on B.C.’s softwood lumber dilemmaWhat can be done about the softwood lumber disagreement that hangs like an axe over British Columbia’s forest industry? Dealing with the United States on issues like this is like nailing jelly to the wall. There’s far too much inconsistency and backtracking. For example, U.S. President Donald Trump has put all of the North American…

When a degree isn’t enough to get you a job

An entry-level job teaches many things you don’t learn in school: getting to work on time; getting along; dealing with deadlines and customers

When a degree isn’t enough to get you a jobCareer prospects become so discouraging for many educated young people that the British weekly magazine The Economist writes about young people who have given up looking for work and live in their parents' basement playing video games. Similarly, Canadian newspapers are publishing articles telling parents how to kick their grown children out of the house. We’re not talking…

The post-truth world of the U.S. lumber industry

American duties on Canadian softwood may increase the profits of U.S. lumber producers, but they also increase housing prices and reduce construction jobs

The post-truth world of the U.S. lumber industryConstructing an industry without all the necessary supplies can lead to fiscal imbalance. Welcome to the post-truth world of economics. Facts are hard and certain, true and real – as opposed to opinions, beliefs or stories. Alternative facts, contradicting old-fashioned facts, are what we used to call lies. And in the midst of this new post-truth reality,…

Make your current employees your hiring allies

Your current workers can do a good job finding suitable workers for free or for a small cost

Make your current employees your hiring alliesIt is August. Fall clothes and back-to-school items appear in the stores. So do help wanted signs, as students leave their summer jobs hoping to enjoy the last bit of summer before heading back to their studies. Employers are faced with the task of filling those newly vacated positions. Staffing will be a major challenge,…

Canada can play hardball on softwood

Strong demand and reduced supply is pushing up the price of lumber

Canada can play hardball on softwoodFor the last half of the 20th century, one could easily and accurately predict conditions in the British Columbia economy using just one number. That number was U.S. housing starts. The dividing line was 1.6 million starts per year. At this level or higher, the softwood-lumber driven B.C. economy was doing very well, thank you.…
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