CCPA Policy Note

Density, condos and housing affordability

October 16th, 2014 · · Housing & homelessness

How is it that we have seen a non-stop construction boom in Vancouver over the past decade-plus and yet we still have huge homelessness and affordable housing problems? In the Figure, based on data from the BC Economic Accounts, it’s pretty clear that as a society we spend a lot building new housing. It varies cyclically but over the […]

→ 3 CommentsTags:

Competitiveness vs public benefits: the LNG tax and regulatory regime

October 7th, 2014 · · Energy, Environment, resources & sustainability, Taxes

This Fall’s legislative sitting will be an important one for shaping the future of LNG in BC. Will one or more companies make final investment decisions? And if they do will there be any public benefits? One of the key questions is whether the BC government will cave on its proposed 7% LNG income tax rate. Industry has […]

→ 1 CommentTags:

How public services strengthen the economy

September 22nd, 2014 · · Uncategorized

With teachers and students now going back to school, much of the province seems to be breathing a sigh of relief. But I’m not convinced we’ve made any substantial ground when it comes to understanding the important role education and other public services play towards both social and economic wellbeing in this province. The Premier’s […]

→ 2 CommentsTags:

Feds and provinces push billions in costs down on to towns and cities

September 18th, 2014 · · Economy, Environment, resources & sustainability, Municipalities, Provincial budget & finance

It is all too easy to get lost in “today’s issue” when we look at things without realizing they are part of a larger pattern that affects our lives. Desperately needed public transit in the Lower Mainland becomes a political football with competing interests and imposed referendums. In the Capital Regional District plans for sewage […]

→ 3 CommentsTags: ·

If the political will is there, the money is too to settle teachers’ dispute

September 13th, 2014 · · Children & youth, Education, Provincial budget & finance

I’ve submitted the following Letter to the Editor to the Vancouver Sun. Hoping they publish it in the next couple days: Enough with the pleas of a bare cupboard from the Premier, Finance Minister and Education Minister. If the political will is there, there is plenty of money to settle the teachers’ dispute, hire more […]

→ 1 CommentTags: ···

Why teachers are still striking

September 12th, 2014 · · Education, Employment & labour, Provincial budget & finance, Taxes

Speech to the Langley Teachers Association’s Public Forum on Education Delivered July 16, 2014. Check against delivery. I have a slightly different take because I don’t come from the labour movement or from the education sector – I come as an economist, so I’m going to talk a little bit about numbers. But before I […]

→ 2 CommentsTags:

BC’s Awkward Surplus

September 11th, 2014 · · Children & youth, Education, Provincial budget & finance, Taxes

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance reported results from the first quarter of 2014/15. While the news release stated “B.C.’s budget remains balanced in spite of extra costs,” there is a projected surplus of $266 million for the current fiscal year. In reality it will likely be much higher, due to the usual practice of using conservative planning […]

→ 14 CommentsTags:

Underneath the legal drama: The ethics of for-profit health care in BC

August 26th, 2014 · · Health care, Privatization, P3s & public services

One of the most important constitutional trials in Canadian history was set to begin on September 8, 2014 before the BC Supreme Court. Dr. Day, owner of the for-profit Cambie Surgical Centre says he is fighting for the freedom of patients who are victims of “medical enslavement”, while making generous and unlawful profits well above […]

→ 1 CommentTags:

The dangers of deregulation extend beyond mining disasters

August 22nd, 2014 · · Economy, Environment, resources & sustainability, Privatization, P3s & public services, Provincial budget & finance, Transparency & accountability

The Mount Polley Mine disaster has raised important questions about the risks and costs of deregulation of the mining industry in BC. I spoke about this issue recently on CBC Vancouver’s Early Edition and CBC Kamloops’ Daybreak (if you missed it, there’s audio here, starts around 1:00:48). As a citizen and as a public interest […]

→ 1 CommentTags: ······

Mount Polley Mine dam collapse compels us to review resource development regulations

August 20th, 2014 · · Economy, Environment, resources & sustainability, First Nations & Aboriginal, Privatization, P3s & public services, Provincial budget & finance, Transparency & accountability

At this point, we don’t know exactly what caused the collapse in the large dam holding mining wastewater and contaminated sediment – also known as tailings – at the Mount Polley Mine. This is why we need the inquiry which the BC government announced earlier this week. It remains to be seen if it was […]

→ 2 CommentsTags: ·····