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Commission studying tax competitiveness

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Finance

Commission studying tax competitiveness

Updated July 14, 2016, for clarification

Media Contacts
Jamie Edwardson
Communications Director
Ministry of Finance
250 356-2821
Media Contacts
Jamie Edwardson
Communications Director
Ministry of Finance
250 356-2821

Backgrounders

B.C. Tax Competitiveness Commission terms of reference
Updated Sept. 23, 2016, for clarification

The commission’s work includes:

  • A review of the factors that are expected to impact British Columbia’s future economy, including changing demographics, changes to the global economy and the need for competitiveness, the economic shift from manufacturing to services, and technological change.
  • Identification and analysis of current PST and other business-tax issues related to business competitiveness and economic growth with respect to British Columbia’s future economy.
  • Public consultations that provide an opportunity for all B.C. citizens, businesses and interested parties to identify provincial issues related to business competiveness and economic growth and solutions for the commission’s consideration.
  • Identification of options that address business competitiveness and economic growth through changes to the PST and other business taxes.
  • Evaluation of the impacts of the identified options on business competitiveness, business investment, economic growth, tax policy principles, provincial revenues and British Columbians.
  • Recommendations on the best options for the PST and other business tax reform to drive business competitiveness and economic growth in B.C.
  • A strategy to implement recommended options including short-term and long-term measures and, where appropriate, ways of phasing-in any long-term changes.

The commission will not consider:

  • Changes that would result in a return to the harmonized sales tax.
  • Changes to PST and other business taxes that provide tax relief for a specific sector only.
  • Changes to tax administration, other provincial laws and programs, or provincial revenue and expenditure plans. 
  • How to fund the commission's recommendations that decrease PST and other business taxes;
  • How to mitigate the impact of the commission's recommendations that increase PST and other business taxes. 
  • Recommendations that increase PST and the B.C. Carbon Tax, as carbon pricing will be considered in recommendations from the Climate Leadership Team.
B.C. Tax Competitiveness Commission members

Bev Dahlby, chair

Bev Dahlby is a distinguished fellow in tax and economic growth and research director in the school of public policy at the University of Calgary. He has a PhD in economics from the London School of Economics and has published extensively on tax policy and fiscal federalism. Dahlby has served as a policy advisor to the federal and provincial governments in Canada on a range of fiscal policy issues including the reform of business taxation, the fiscal equalization program, infrastructure grants, tax credits for television and film industry, taxation of inbound foreign direct investment, and saving non-renewable resource revenues.

His international experience includes advisory work on tax reform for the IMF, the Thailand Development Research Institute and the World Bank. Dahlby served on Statistics Canada’s advisory council from 2005 to 2012. In 2010-11, he was a member of the Jenkins Panel on Federal Support to Research and Development. He is currently a member of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission.

Eric Patel

With a background in finance and business strategy, Eric Patel has 35 years of business experience in the United States, Canada and Europe. Patel currently serves on the board of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers and Mobify, Inc., and chairs the boards of ACL Services and Daiya Foods.

Additionally, Patel consults to companies across a variety of industries in the United States and Canada. His not-for-profit activities include serving on the board of the Vancouver Farmers Market Society and the Tides Canada Aquaculture Innovation Fund. Prior to his current roles, Patel was CFO of the software company Crystal Decisions, where he helped guide its turnaround and sale to Business Objects/SAP, and held positions ranging from strategy consultant to finance and operational roles in companies in the retail, industrial and consumer products industries.

Patel holds an MBA from Stanford University and BA from Brown University.

Michael Percy

Mike Percy has a PhD and MA in economics from Queen’s University and a BA from the University of Victoria. He has published extensively in the areas of economic policy, trade and regional economic development. He was a member of the economics department at the University of Alberta from 1979 to 1997. He was Liberal finance critic in the Alberta legislature from 1993 to 1997. From 1997 to 2011, he was dean of the Alberta school of business. He has served on a number of boards including EPCOR, ATB, Matrikon, Timber Investments, Sawridge and the Edmonton utility Waste Re-Management. Percy currently serves on the board of K-Bro Linen. He was chair of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee at both ATB and EPCOR.

He has served on a variety Alberta government panels on health-care funding and was a member of the Alberta Development Authority. He served on the Federal Expert Panel on Equalization and Territorial Funding Financing (2005), was chair of the Provincial Energy Strategy Committee (2009) and has consulted with a variety of businesses and governments. From September 2014 to May 2015, he served as chief of staff to premier Jim Prentice.

He is currently academic director of the Directors Education Program offered by the Institute of Corporate Directors at the University of Alberta and professor and dean emeritus in the Alberta school of business.

Ratana Stephens

Ratana Stephens co-founded Nature’s Path Foods in 1984 with her husband Arran, inspired by the success of their vegetarian retail, wholesale and restaurant businesses in Vancouver. Today, Nature’s Path is North America’s largest organic-breakfast and snack-food company with operations in both the United States and Canada.

Stephens began her career in India as a college lecturer. Once joining Arran in Canada, she helped to build a succession of successful companies, culminating with the establishment of Nature’s Path Foods in Delta.

As a role model for women in business, Stephens' contribution to the successful growth of Nature’s Path has been recognized by the business community through a variety of awards: as one of Canada’s Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs by Profit Magazine in 2016; one of B.C.’s 50 Most Influential Women in 2015; WXN Top 100 Award Winner in 2013 and the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in 2009. In addition, she has been honoured with several Indo-Canadian awards.

Stephens is committed to advancing the cause of people and planet by serving on a variety of boards, including the board of directors for the United Way BC Lower Mainland; the Advisory Council for the UBC Gender and Diversity in Leadership Initiative and the Advisory Council for the BC Children’s Hospital a Night of Miracles.

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