CCPA Policy Note

The diminishing of access to government information – and some things to do about it

September 1st, 2015 · · Democracy and participation, Federal election 2015, Law & legal issues

Freedom of Information legislation (FOI), or Access to Information (ATI) as it is known at the federal level in Canada, was a pretty important addition to government accountability when it became law in jurisdictions across Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada described freedom of information legislation as a pillar of our democracy that provides citizens […]

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Beyond speed: Who is talking about access to e-government this election?

August 28th, 2015 · · Democracy and participation, Education, Federal election 2015, Media, Poverty, inequality & welfare, Transparency & accountability, Uncategorized

The problem of equitable access to high speed Internet in Canada entered the election campaign on Wednesday, August 26, when Stephen Harper promised that a re-elected Conservative government would spend an additional $200 million to promote high speed access in rural and remote communities. Although the promise is short on detail (what counts as high […]

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The problem with the Fraser Institute’s consumer tax index

August 27th, 2015 · · Privatization, P3s & public services, Provincial budget & finance, Taxes

Every summer, the Fraser Institute releases a report pointing out the average family now spends more on taxes than food, clothing and shelter. But is it really a bad thing that as our economy grows we spend less of our income on basic survival and more on better education, better health, parks, environmental protection and […]

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Raising RRSP withdrawal limit no solution to unaffordable housing

August 13th, 2015 · · Federal election 2015, Housing & homelessness, Taxes

Far be it from me to school the Prime Minister on the laws of supply and demand. He is, after all, the one who has extensively studied neo-liberal economics. But the Conservatives’ plan to increase what first-time homebuyers can pull from their RRSPs for a down payment – from a maximum of $25K to $35K […]

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BC Muni’s issue verdict on local government Auditor: They are polite but stupid

August 12th, 2015 · · Municipalities

After more than three years of existence, chronic controversy and underperformance from British Columbia’s Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG), the Union of BC Municipalities has issued its own verdict on the office. The office of the AGLG was created in 2012 following up on a promise by Christy Clark to the business community when […]

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When telling the truth gets you in trouble: Getting serious about serious issues

August 12th, 2015 · · Climate change, Energy, Environment, resources & sustainability, Federal election 2015, Poverty, inequality & welfare

“As leaders we have a responsibility to fully articulate the risks our people face. If the politics are not favorable to speaking truthfully, then clearly we must devote more energy to changing the politics.” – Marlene Moses, Ambassador to the United Nations for the South Pacific island nation of Nauru, 2012 “The ecologically necessary is […]

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TransLink boss salary of $319,244+? Peanuts

August 5th, 2015 · · Municipalities

Lately, there has been quite a fuss about how much the top people at TransLink get paid to provide road and transit services in BC’s lower mainland. The Huffington Post describes the salary for a potential new Chief Executive Officer as “eye popping.” The job advertisement describes “a salary of $319,244 plus an annual bonus […]

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Where is Canada’s digital inclusion strategy?

July 23rd, 2015 · · Democracy and participation, Education, Federal election 2015, Poverty, inequality & welfare

When Alex first arrives at the drop-in computer class at his local neighbourhood house he’s never used a keyboard or surfed the Internet before. But he’s determined to learn so he can apply for government services he needs as a recently unemployed person with disabilities. Alex attends the weekly drop-in classes faithfully, working with a […]

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Inconsistency in BC’s GHG Regulations

July 22nd, 2015 · · Energy, Environment, resources & sustainability

It is no doubt quite naive to think that the BC government (or any government for that matter) would transparently ensure that it imposed the same price on carbon emissions from different industrial sources. Still, carbon is carbon and GHG emissions raise the same concerns regardless of the source. So at least from a naive […]

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Best and worst cities to be a woman in Canada: how is BC doing?

July 15th, 2015 · · Economy, Education, Employment & labour, Human rights, Women

The Best and Worst Places to be a Woman In Canada 2015 ranks Canada’s 25 biggest cities based on the gaps in how men and women are faring in five key areas: economic security (as measured by gender gaps in employment, pay and the likelihood of living in poverty); education; health; representation in municipal governments and […]

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