CCPA Policy Note

Seniors have major stake in transit referendum: Access to transportation a key factor for health, wellbeing

March 17th, 2015 · · Seniors, Taxes

By Shannon Daub, Co-Director of the CCPA-BC’s Seniors Project, and Sandra (Sandy) James LEED AP MCIP CCPI, Director, Walk Metro Vancouver Society Between now and May, residents of Metro Vancouver will receive a mail-in ballot asking if they are in favour of a .5 percentage point increase on sales tax to fund transportation improvements in […]

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BC minimum wage increase leaves workers in poverty

March 12th, 2015 · · Economy, Employment & labour, Poverty, inequality & welfare

After close to three years of no change, the BC minimum wage was overdue for an increase. But the measly raise announced today falls far short of what is necessary. The 20c per hour increase, scheduled to come into effect on Sept 15, 2015,  amounts to a raise of just under 2% over more than 3 years. […]

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Don’t pit generations against each other in transit referendum

March 10th, 2015 · · Poverty, inequality & welfare, Seniors, Taxes

The Georgia Straight published a column yesterday by Charlie Smith claiming that “selfish old people” will vote “no” in the upcoming transit referendum, depriving younger generations of a decent quality of life and an opportunity to act on climate change. We were shocked by the inflammatory tone of the article, and the very inaccurate picture […]

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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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