CCPA Policy Note

Apples and oranges: Comparing BC and Ontario debt ratios

March 4th, 2015 · · Economy, Provincial budget & finance

The February 18, 2015 edition of the Globe and Mail featured an article by the paper’s B.C. correspondent Gary Mason, which in part drew favourable attention to BC’s debt-to-GDP ratio in comparison with that of Ontario. On face value, B.C.’s reported debt-to-GDP ratio calculated from its most recent audited statements of 18.2% looks pretty good […]

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Why we’re voting YES to new transit and transportation funding

March 2nd, 2015 · · Taxes

By Seth Klein, Marc Lee and Iglika Ivanova In the upcoming transit and transportation referendum, we think the benefits of a YES outcome outweigh the negatives for the following reasons: Referenda are a terrible way to make tax policy. But a referendum is nevertheless before Metro Vancouver residents, and we can’t afford to ignore it. […]

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BC Budget 2015: Missed opportunity for climate change action

February 27th, 2015 · · Ecology, Environment, resources & sustainability, Provincial budget & finance

Global warming and the other ecological impacts of climate change threaten our health—our very survival. As the impacts of climate change unfold, society will face increasing economic costs. Even the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy,  which some have criticized as being unduly influenced by the Conservative government, estimates these costs, which include […]

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BC Budget 2015 confirms it: we can afford the $10aDay Child Care Plan

February 26th, 2015 · · Children & youth, Provincial budget & finance

Budget 2015 clearly shows that BC can afford to start implementing the $10aDay Child Care Plan now – and it can choose to do so without raising taxes, without cutting vital programs and services, and without going into deficit. A short and simple analysis, summarized below, provides one example of how investment in child care […]

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The early and fatal undermining of TransLink

February 25th, 2015 · · Environment, resources & sustainability, Municipalities, Provincial budget & finance

Pete McMartin wrote an excellent column in the Vancouver Sun documenting the many ways that the provincial government has undermined TransLink. The upcoming referendum isn’t the first but rather the culmination of a two decade, tragically effective, bipartisan effort to prevent TransLink from doing what it was originally set up to do and what the region […]

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BC Budget 2015 snapshot: More revenue from MSP, tuition, but less money for public services

February 25th, 2015 · · Provincial budget & finance

One way to measure a government’s commitment to public services is to see what percentage of the province’s wealth (GDP) the government spends on these services. According to government plans outlined in the Budget Documents: Health care spending will fall from 7.9% of GDP in 2012/13 to 7.5% in 2017/18. Education spending falls from 5.6% […]

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Low-carbon urban infrastructure: a view from Vancouver

February 18th, 2015 · · Climate change, Energy, Environment, resources & sustainability

I have a new case study (full pdf; summary article from the publishers) out as part of the Economists for Equity and Environment‘s Future Economy Initiative. I look at the City of Vancouver’s Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU), a low-carbon district energy system that hits a sweet spot of clean energy, local control, and stable prices at competitive rates. […]

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11 things you need to know about BC Budget 2015

February 17th, 2015 · · Climate change, Economy, Employment & labour, Environment, resources & sustainability, Health care, Poverty, inequality & welfare, Provincial budget & finance, Taxes

1. Budget 2015 ends the claw-back on child support payments for single parents on welfare. This is estimated to put $13 million in the hands of some of the poorest British Columbians. It’s a good step forward, but it is very very small. $13 million is three hundredths of one percent of the provincial budget. […]

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3 worrisome facts about BC’s job market on the eve of Budget 2015

February 16th, 2015 · · Economy, Employment & labour, Poverty, inequality & welfare

2015 marks the sixth year of BC’s recovery from the recession. But it’s been a slow and largely jobless recovery in BC. 1. BC needs 93,000 more jobs to return to our pre-recession employment rate (the proportion of working age British Columbians who have jobs). Only 71.2% of working age British Columbians have jobs today. […]

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Rethinking social protections in the age of contractors

February 14th, 2015 · · Economy, Employment & labour, Poverty, inequality & welfare

The job market is changing rapidly. While most workers of our parents’ generation could have reasonably expected to spend their entire working careers in permanent full-time jobs with one or two employers, today many rely on contract work or freelancing, and even regular full-time employees change jobs frequently. There are pros and cons to this shift, […]

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