CCPA Policy Note

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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Ok, Let’s Talk.

January 29th, 2015 · · Health care, Human rights, Law & legal issues

Yesterday was Bell Let’s Talk Day 2015.  You might have heard about it.  According to Bell, a record 122,150,772 Bell Let’s Talk tweets, texts, calls, and shares on January 28, 2015 translated into a new donation of $6,107,538 to mental health initiatives. Let’s Talk is a multi-year campaign focused on four “action pillars” related to […]

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Charity is not the right way to tackle poverty in British Columbia

January 28th, 2015 · · Human rights, Poverty, inequality & welfare

The existence of poverty in British Columbia is a violation of human rights. There is not only a moral duty to eradicate poverty but also a legal obligation under international human rights law. Just before the holidays, December 10 was International Human Rights Day but we have little to celebrate here in BC. A human […]

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Who gets paid more?

January 20th, 2015 · · Employment & labour

The Fraser Institute is really concerned that public sector employees might be making more than private sector employees. What is notable about the recent Fraser Institute report on public and private sector wages in British Columbia is that it does not seem particularly concerned with the reasons why there are variations in public and private […]

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The case against a revenue-neutral carbon tax

January 15th, 2015 · · Climate change, Energy, Environment, resources & sustainability, Taxes

I’m a fan of carbon taxes, but increasingly I see the term “revenue-neutral” attached to it. Where I live, in BC, we have perhaps the most prominent example of a revenue-neutral carbon tax, and carbon tax advocates have come to promoting the BC model to other jurisdictions, such as Ontario, who are contemplating their own carbon tax. […]

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Yes Mr. Harper It Is A Sociological Phenomenon

January 14th, 2015 · · First Nations & Aboriginal, Human rights, Women

Inter‑American Commission on Human Rights Issues Breakthrough Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls This piece originally appeared on Blogging for Equality. The Inter‑American Commission on Human Rights has provided a direct answer to Prime Minister Harper: Yes, the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls are a ‘sociological phenomenon’. The Inter-American Human […]

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Denying inequality is a problem for Canada won’t make it go away

January 8th, 2015 · · Poverty, inequality & welfare, Provincial budget & finance, Taxes

Jock Finlayson’s article “Income inequality not a problem in Canada” misses the point. Just because inequality in Canada is somewhat lower than in the U.S. (the Western world’s most unequal country) doesn’t mean we don’t have a serious problem. The small decline in the share of income going to the top one per cent Finlayson […]

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