British Columbia

Emerson to chair B.C. economic advisory council

Former federal cabinet minister David Emerson will head a provincial economic advisory council tasked with finding ways to stimulate the B.C. economy.

Former federal cabinet minister David Emerson will head a B.C. economic advisory council tasked with finding ways to stimulate the provincial economy.

Premier Gordon Campbell made the announcement Wednesday, saying the nine-member council will begin work immediately and report directly to cabinet.

The council will focus on economic issues related to energy, natural resources, forestry, the environment and the Asia-Pacific market area.

"British Columbia is well positioned to get through these difficult times, but we have to take action now to be stronger when the economy turns around," Campbell said in a news release Wednesday.

The premier also announced that two economic summits will be held, one in Prince George on Jan. 22-23, the other in Vancouver on Feb. 3-4.

Last month, the B.C. government appointed Emerson as CEO and board chair of the BC Transmission Corporation, a Crown company that works with BC Hydro to supply electricity across the province.

Emerson was once B.C.'s deputy finance minister. He has also headed forestry giant Canfor Corp. and natural gas distributor Terasen, and has served on numerous corporate boards.

He was twice elected as a Liberal MP before crossing the floor to join the Conservatives just after the 2006 election.