CCPA Policy Note

Where’s the fanfare for tackling poverty effectively? Connecting the dots between three political moments over three months

July 30th, 2014 · · Poverty, inequality & welfare

The following op-ed was originally published in The Georgia Straight. On June 16, I attended the B.C. government’s Disability Summit, the culmination of a three-month public consultation process on disability in B.C. I watched Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Don McRae lead the audience through the event. I felt the flurry of excitement […]

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Will offsets be the “indulgences” for our LNG sins?

July 18th, 2014 · · Climate change, Environment, resources & sustainability, Privatization, P3s & public services, Provincial budget & finance, Transparency & accountability

In June 2014, the BC government reported on its progress towards the 2007 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, which calls for a one-third reduction by 2020 in GHG emissions (relative to 2007 levels) and an 80% reduction by 2050. The BC government claimed to have met a key milestone: an interim target of a 6% […]

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BC’s controversial contract obligations dwarf its debt

July 18th, 2014 · · Economy, Energy, Privatization, P3s & public services, Provincial budget & finance

Most of the discussion around the delivery of British Columbia’s public accounts this week has centred on debt (Marvin Shaffer makes excellent points in the previous post on why debt is not always bad) and on how BC got the money to balance its books. Something else worth looking at, however, is British Columbia’s non-debt […]

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Debt Free BC

July 17th, 2014 · · Economy

One can only presume that the promise of a debt-free B.C. was never meant to be taken seriously. Christy Clark’s very cynical, albeit effective election slogan was based on two highly qualified guesstimates of the potential taxes that could be generated in the most optimistic possible circumstances from an industry that does not yet exist. Thus […]

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Temporary Foreign Worker Program changes – who do they help?

July 10th, 2014 · · Employment & labour, Immigrants & refugees

The Conservative Government’s Minister of Employment and Social Development, Jason Kenney, announced on June 20th 2014 a draft of changes to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The program has attracted controversy since at least 2006, most recently when the CBC reported that MacDonald’s outlets in Victoria were favouring temporary foreign workers over Canadians […]

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BC’s new 10 year plan for people with disabilities disappoints. We can do better.

June 19th, 2014 · · Housing & homelessness, Poverty, inequality & welfare

On June 16 the Premier announced BC’s new 10 year plan, “Accessibility 2014: Making BC the Most Progressive Province in Canada for People with Disabilities by 2024.” The plan is the result of the provincial government’s Disability White Paper Consultation earlier this year. While many participants had a healthy amount of skepticism before, during and […]

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The disconnect between economic growth and teachers’ wages

June 19th, 2014 · · Education, Poverty, inequality & welfare, Provincial budget & finance

A number of recent articles on the BC teachers’ strike have suggested that teachers could get the wage increases they want to see, as well as the needed investments in reducing class size and improving class composition, if only they supported resource development. Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation summed up the line of […]

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What are the Net Benefits of Northern Gateway?

June 18th, 2014 · · Economy, Energy

  One of the more disheartening features of the political and media commentary on the economic benefits offered by major resource projects is the general failure to properly assess what those benefits in fact are. We are inundated with reports on economic impacts — the amount of investment and jobs a project might generate — […]

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Will Enbridge’s pipeline ever get built?

June 18th, 2014 · · Climate change, Energy, Environment, resources & sustainability

You have to wonder why the Harper government bothered with process at all. It’s like there was never any doubt that Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline would get approved. But historians may look back on this moment as the beginning of the end of pipeline politics. Opposition to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline is BC’s largest social […]

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A lesbian walks into a Torts class…

June 12th, 2014 · · Education, Human rights, Law & legal issues

A lesbian walks into a Torts class at Trinity Western University in Langley.  Her name is Mary. Even before the discussion of Donoghue v. Stevenson begins, Mary is told to leave because she admits to having engaged in a “sexual expression of intimacy” with her same-sex partner at their home in Surrey. “But we’re married,” she […]

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