CCPA Policy Note

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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13 years on, BC Finance Ministry finds big problems with its public private partnership program

January 7th, 2015 · · Privatization, P3s & public services

The BC Finance Ministry has produced a report much more critical of Partnerships BC and its activities around public private partnerships (P3s) than might have been expected by a province so committed to the practice. It raises issues of conflict of interest, dubious practices and questionable assumptions in the multi- billion dollar program. The story […]

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Ontario Auditor breaks new ground with review of public private partnerships methodology: BC Auditor says maybe, sometime

January 5th, 2015 · · Privatization, P3s & public services

Last month Ontario’s Auditor General issued her annual report. One of her targets was Ontario’s use of public private partnerships to build public infrastructure. As the Toronto Star put it, “Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk has taken a wrecking ball to the (Ontario) Liberals’ use of private money to bankroll new hospitals and transit…” Lysyk’s report […]

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Site C

December 18th, 2014 · · Economy, Energy, Environment, resources & sustainability

I was a bit surprised by Minister Bennett’s statement that I was 100% wrong when I suggested in a CBC radio interview that BC Hydro didn’t need to start on Site C right away.  He emphatically disputed the suggestion that the decision and start of construction on Site C  could be deferred three to five […]

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Latest poverty stats show BC still has one of the highest poverty rates in Canada

December 15th, 2014 · · Poverty, inequality & welfare

The latest poverty statistics were released by Statistics Canada last Wednesday, and the data once again shows that British Columbia has one of the highest poverty rates in Canada. Using the Low Income Cut-Off – After Tax (LICO-AT) as the poverty line, 1 in 10 British Columbians are living in poverty. That’s 469,000 people struggling […]

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