Behind the dramatic drop in the budget of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts

Feb 27, 2009
Budget commentators across the province (including Marc Lee on this blog) noted the lack of drastic spending cuts to government programs. While there were some cuts to the budgets of particular ministries, such as Aboriginals Relations and Reconciliation, Community Development and Finance, most of those did not seem debilitating (see Table 1.4 on p. 11… View Article

Axing the Forest Service: The Cuts Continue

Feb 27, 2009
Well it looks like they’re getting ready to wield the axe yet again at the Ministry of Forests, and that the latest victims will join a long list of their sisters and brothers whose jobs were to protect the public interest and ensure that our publicly owned forests were responsibly managed. In its latest annual… View Article

P3s? Fairly ridiculous

Feb 27, 2009
They keep moving the goal posts for using public private partnerships (P3s) in BC to procure large projects. Government officials have argued in the past that the magic bullet for P3s was the combination of risk transfer and private investment. The government transferred risk to the private sector and private companies risked losing their investment… View Article

“The (not so) slow de-industrialization of the province”

Feb 26, 2009
Yesterday, Catalyst Paper announced the closure of the Crofton kraft pulp mill, a week after shutting the doors at its 350-employee mill in Campbell River and “restructuring” (laying off 127 workers) at its Powell River facility. That’s 850 job losses in basically one shot. It is not the first shot, either, and it definitely won’t… View Article

Partisan claims and the BC economy

Feb 23, 2009
BC’s recession and election together mean things are going to get nasty in the political realm. Already we seeing plenty of sneering commentary from our esteemed cabinet ministers. Consider this jibe from Colin Hansen, the Minister of Finance, in his annual address to the brethren of Sigma Chi: “I want you to think about one… View Article

Where’s Our Danny Boy?

Feb 23, 2009
Give Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams credit for leading by example and doing what no BC politician in recent years had the guts to do: force the issue on what, exactly, the public deserves by way of public returns from publicly owned resources. Williams’ well publicized decision in December to yank back AbitibiBowater’s public timber and… View Article