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Newsmakers 2023: B.C. business stories that shaped the year

Some of the top stories that defined the B.C. economy in 2023
Among the top business stories of 2023 was Ottawa giving the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 expansion the green light

The B.C. economy kept prognosticators on their toes throughout 2023.

Everything from ongoing labour unrest to surging interest in artificial intelligence captivated the business community this year.

Here is a selection of top stories that helped shaped 2023:


Event: Ban on foreign buyers comes into effect 

Significance: The two-year ban on residential real estate purchases for non-Canadians comes into force with the purpose of cooling real estate markets across the country. 


Event: John Rustad acclaimed leader of BC Conservatives

Significance: The former BC Liberal MLA found himself ousted from caucus before joining the BC Conservatives. His party would soon be running neck and neck with his former party – the rebranded BC United – in the polls.


Event: Ritchie Bros. completes acquisition of IAA Inc.

Significance: The contention, multibillion-dollar acquisition sets the Burnaby-based auction giant to eventually rebrand and reincorporate its HQ in the U.S. by year’s end.


Event: Glencore makes unsolicited bid for Vancouver-based mining giant Teck Resources Ltd. for US$23 billion

Significance: Teck rejects the bid, setting off a monthslong back-and-forth among global mining players.


Event: Roberts Bank Terminal 2 gets green light from feds

Significance: The expansion is set to create more than 17,300 ongoing jobs and an estimated $3 billion in GDP annually once built. It expands on an existing terminal but received backlash due to environmental concerns.


Event: Homes for People plan announced 

Significance: Starting with a $4-billion investment over three years, the plan commits $12 billion over a decade to build housing in B.C. 


Event: Vancouver Canadians baseball team sold to U.S. holding company

Significance: Diamond Baseball Holdings, which owns and operates nearly 20 Minor League Baseball clubs, continues its recent "buying spree" by adding beloved local team to its portfolio.

May to September

Event: Hollywood writers go on strike

Significance: Spring job action south of the border sees activity in B.C.’s film industry – which depends significantly on Hollywood – begin to slow.


Event: BC Housing audit released 

Significance: A forensic investigation by Ernst and Young found mismanagement related to a conflict of interest between the former CEO, Shayne Ramsay, and his spouse, Janice Abbott, the CEO of Atira Women's Resource Society, BC Housing's largest housing operator.

Date: July 

What: B.C. port strike begins 

Significance: Workers at Canada’s largest port walk off the job. The two-week job action would go on to disrupt billions of dollars in trade and business activity.

July to November

Event: Screen Actors Guild strike

Significance: Striking Hollywood actors paralyze much of B.C.’s film industry amid the ongoing writers strike, limiting local work mostly to domestic productions, animation and some independent films.


Event: Municipal housing targets set 

Significance: The B.C. government announces the 10 municipalities, dubbed “the naughty list,” that have been chosen to build a combined target of 60,123 housing units under the Housing Supply Act. 


Event: B.C. regulates short-term rentals

Significance: New provincial regulations are introduced that aim to return short-term rental properties to the long-term rental market and create a framework that tracks properties on platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo. 


Event: B.C. Pay Transparency Act comes into effect

Significance: According to the act, B.C. employers must list in their job ads the pay range that exists for a particular position and cannot ask job candidates to disclose their pay history. 


Event: Province tables four housing bills 

Significance: The B.C. NDP government introduces four significant pieces of housing legislation in roughly a week that will significantly transform density and housing in the province.


Event: Teck Resources agrees to sell a 77-per-cent stake in its steelmaking coal operations to Swiss commodities giant Glencore for $6.9 billion, while a side-deal includes selling a 20-per-cent stake in Teck’s coal operations for US$1.7 million to Japan’s Nippon Steel Corp. 

Significance: Teck is one of B.C.’s largest companies and the transaction sets it on a new path as it tries to divest itself of assets most responsible for pollution.