CCPA Policy Note

The Farmers’ Food Donation Tax Credit misses the mark in food security

March 3rd, 2016 · · Economy, Poverty, inequality & welfare

On February 25 BC joined Ontario and Quebec in offering farmers a tax incentive for donating to food assistance programs, such as food banks or school meal programs. Promised in last month’s budget, the Farmers’ Food Donation Tax Credit provides individuals or businesses registered as farms a 25% credit on any donated animal or plant product grown, raised or […]

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Don’t believe the hype on BC’s carbon tax

March 2nd, 2016 · · Climate change & energy policy, Environment, resources & sustainability

The other day, I saw two new examples of breathless praise for BC’s carbon tax, and how it has been wonderful for the province economically and environmentally. Here’s the New York Times: [T]he most important takeaway for American skeptics is that the policy basically worked as advertised. British Columbia’s economy did not collapse. In fact, […]

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BC’s irresponsible budget

March 1st, 2016 · · Children & youth, Provincial budget & finance

As noted in many recent newspaper articles and editorials, posts on this blog, and social media posts, BC’s 2016 budget reflected the short-sighted and unnecessary priority of the current government to pay down debt and “balance” the budget over meeting the pressing needs of British Columbians, particularly those with developmental, financial and social vulnerabilities. This […]

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Reducing poverty and carbon emissions: lessons from Manitoba

February 26th, 2016 · · Climate change & energy policy, Employment & labour, Environment, resources & sustainability, First Nations & Aboriginal

I often get asked about alternatives to our fossil-fuelled status quo. In recent years, there have been many new projects that point to the way forward, that get beyond vague statements about reducing carbon emissions and boosting clean energy. Our CCPA-BC office held a conference last year to examine new approaches to good and green jobs. […]

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Methane emissions from fracking: clean LNG’s dirty secret

February 25th, 2016 · · Climate change & energy policy, Environment, resources & sustainability

The proposed Woodfibre LNG plant near Squamish is an example of what has been called “clean LNG” – that is, the plant will use grid electricity from BC Hydro to power the energy-intensive liquefaction process, instead of gas. This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly for this one part of the supply chain. The Woodfibre […]

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Petronas’ Pacific NorthWest LNG: Profile of a Carbon Bomb

February 23rd, 2016 · · Climate change & energy policy, Environment, resources & sustainability

I submitted the following in response to a call by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency for public comments on the February 2016 draft environmental assessment of the Pacific NorthWest LNG, also commonly known as the Petronas LNG project given the lead corporate proponent. (You can make a submission too). This submission is in regards to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions […]

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Why not put some Metro Vancouver property transfer tax into infrastructure?

February 19th, 2016 · · Municipalities, Taxes

When it comes to revenue for the provincial government from property taxes in British Columbia, Metro Vancouver is such a cash cow we should be able to hear it say “moo.” The province gets revenue from property from two sources: the BC school tax and the property transfer tax. On Saturday, February 13 the Vancouver Sun […]

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Five surreal moments in BC Finance Minister’s Q & A with journalists

February 17th, 2016 · · Provincial budget & finance

OK, so we know what some of the problems are with the 2016 BC Budget. Economists have analyzed how empty it is of real measures to help British Columbians. But I’d also like to share a little bit about what it was like to sit and listen to the Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s Q […]

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Budget 2016: less money collected as taxes and spent on health and education

February 17th, 2016 · · Economy, Taxes

For me, the most interesting part of British Columbia’s Budgets are always at the back of the 134 page Budget and Fiscal Plan document. Buried back there in tables A9 to A13 is information about how much of the province’s treasure is being collected from various sources and spent in various program areas going back […]

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Housing Budget? Not so much.

February 17th, 2016 · · Housing & homelessness, Provincial budget & finance, Taxes

It was supposed to be the housing budget, with action to address a top issue facing the province. Today’s banner headline from The Globe and Mail (“Balanced BC budget aims to cool hot real estate market”) implies that they did take concrete measures. But if you read the budget, there is not much there relative […]

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