Annual Forum

Economic Outlook Forum 2024 Presented by Scotiabank

Friday, January 26, 2024
7:30 AM
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Schedule:Registration & Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:00 a.m.
Program: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Full Agenda(PDF)

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At Scotiabank, we understand that every business is unique and requires tailored solutions to achieve success. That's why we have a team of experienced and dedicated business bankers who immerse themselves in the intricacies of your business and industry to provide the best advice and solutions possible. We believe that our work is most successful when we get to know yours.

A Leading North American Transportation and Logistics Company
Essential to the economy, the CN team of approximately 23,000 railroaders transports more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and mid-America. About CN |

Invest Vancouver is the economic development leadership service for the Metro Vancouver region. By working to secure strategic investment, promote the region to a global audience, and advise decision-makers through forward-thinking economic research and policy analysis, Invest Vancouver is amplifying opportunity and advancing shared prosperity for residents of the region.

For 60 years, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has taught and trained the experts, professionals, and innovators who shape our economy—across BC and around the world. We deliver practical career credentials designed for the workplace, from diplomas and certificates, to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Serving nearly 45,000 students across 5 campuses, BCIT offers programs in applied and natural sciences, business and media, computing and IT, engineering, health sciences, and trades. We connect education, industry, and government as we continue to deliver on our vision of empowering people, shaping BC, and inspiring global progress.

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Amidst the backdrop of rapid population growth, businesses and families in Canada are grappling with the dual challenges of high costs and slowing growth. Escalating costs are impacting day-to-day operations, hindering growth opportunities and straining household budgets. These challenges are especially pronounced in the Greater Vancouver region, where housing and land prices continue to rise.

In our recent member survey, the rising expense of inputs and inflation were identified as the primary obstacles by businesses. Adding to the burden, our Counting the Costs report estimates that B.C. businesses are poised to shoulder an additional $6.5 billion in government expenses. There is a pressing need to chart a path forward for a longer-term economic strategy for the province.

The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s 35th annual Economic Outlook Forum, presented by Scotiabank, aims to provide some answers on what businesses in the Greater Vancouver region can expect from the local and national economy in the year ahead.

Join us to gain perspectives from economists, industry experts and political commentators. Discover practical approaches to address inflation and pave the way forward for sustainable and inclusive prosperity.


Jean-Francois Perrault

Jean-Francois Perrault
Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist


Lori Mathison

Lori Mathison
President and CEO
Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia


The Honourable Brenda Bailey  The Honourable Ravi Kahlon  Bridgitte Anderson    

The Honourable Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, Province of British Columbia
The Honourable Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing and Government House Leader, Province of British Columbia
Moderator: Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

Panel 1:

Executive Perspective

Navigating the current economic landscape in the Greater Vancouver region has its complexities, but we stand by our belief that our community possesses the tools to foster business development and expansion. Hear from industry leaders representing major organizations in the region about how their organizations are working through this uncertainty. Panellists will also share their perspectives on a roadmap towards enhancing the business environment in the Greater Vancouver region, and how industry and government can work together to transform our region into an even more attractive destination for businesses.


Christine Bergeron  Allen Eaves  Susannah Pierce   Carole Taylor  

Christine Bergeron, President & CEO, Concert Properties
Allen Eaves, President & CEO, STEMCELL Technologies Inc.
Susannah Pierce, President and Country Chair, Shell Canada
Moderator: Carole Taylor, Former BC Finance Minister

Panel 2:

The Political Economy

All levels of government have an important role to play in creating a competitive business environment and helping families navigate household cost pressures. This panel has become a tradition at this annual forum, bringing together local journalists and political commentors to discuss the current political landscape and their predictions for what’s ahead. Panellists will share their insights on what to expect from governments in the year ahead, as inflation is likely to be a top issue for the next elections for all levels of government.


Kareem Allam  Nikki Hill  Richard Zussman  Simi Sara

Kareem Allam, Partner, Fairview Strategy Inc.
Nikki Hill, Principal and Partner, Earnscliffe Strategies
Richard Zussman, Reporter, Global BC
Moderator: Simi Sara, Host, Mornings with Simi on 980 CKNW

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