BCPB Home > 2009 Benchmark Report > Introduction
2009 Benchmarks: Introduction
Established in 2001, the BC Progress Board tracks changes in the economic performance and social wellbeing of British Columbia. The Board consists of up to 18 business executives and academic leaders from around the province. British Columbia has the natural and human capital to become a leader in Canada. Moreover, the province is well placed to become a global leader. The Board has two mandates:
Historical and Recent Results
BC's performance relative to the rest of the country has shown general improvement between the first annual benchmark report and this the ninth annual report. The Board's initial goal for the six core targets was to maintain first place in Canada in environmental quality and health outcomes, and to achieve a first or second-place rank in the other four core targets.
Since the Progress Board was established in 2001, BC has maintained its first-place rank in environmental quality and health outcomes. BC has maintained its third-place rank in personal income thanks to solid personal income gains. As well, BC has seen strong employment growth. The province earned a ninth-place rank for economic growth in 2008, down from seventh in 2007. Ranks on this indicator are highly variable, especially in recession years like 2008. The global economic outlook is improving but remains uncertain. Fortunately, BC is relatively well positioned to handle the challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities ahead. British Columbia continues to lag relative to other provinces in social condition in spite of absolute improvement on the most problematic performance indicators that make up this composite index: the crime rate, and the number of families and unattached individuals with income below the after-tax low income cut-off.
The BC Progress Board issues benchmark reports that compare BC to other jurisdictions, and, within BC, compare the province's major metropolitan areas to each other and to the non-metropolitan area of the province (Regional BC).
External Performance ReviewThe external performance review includes sections on "Economy, Innovation, and Education," and "Environment, Health and Society" and compares BC to Canada's other provinces, to other jurisdictions in North America, and to OECD countries. Six core targets and 26 performance indicators are used to assess the province's economic performance and social wellbeing.
Internal Performance Review
The internal performance review provides regional comparisons within BC. It has the same two categories as the external review: "Economy, Innovation, and Education" and "Environment, Health and Society." For the first category, the internal review tracks ten regional indicators, and for the second it tracks eight. The internal review compares the major metropolitan areas and Regional BC and provides detail on BC's development regions and health authorities.