Corporations are people too

Jan 31, 2010
Advocates of democratic electoral reform are really out of step. Ideas like proportional representation and advertising spending limits are so retro, so 2004. The fashionable electoral reform idea this year is to give corporations a real say. It’s time for individual citizens to share their electoral democracy with corporations to give meaning to those old… View Article

BC’s Urban Housing (Un)affordability

Jan 25, 2010
A new study published today by the Frontier Institute for Public Policy finds that Vancouver has the most unaffordable urban housing market not just in Canada, but in all of Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. This conclusion is based on a very simple, yet effective measure of housing affordability:… View Article

Loukidelis did good work for government accountability. Now it’s a legislative committee’s turn.

Jan 24, 2010
David Loukidelis, British Columbia’s Freedom of Information Commissioner has accepted the new role as the province’s deputy attorney general.  Vaughn Palmer did a good column on the switch in jobs but I thought Loukidelis deserved more credit for his ten years on the job. Personally, I think Loukidelis’s leadership was almost completely responsible for BC’s FOI legislation… View Article

A Modest Proposal

Jan 23, 2010
At some point before long, Haiti is going to be rebuilt. It occurs to me that we in BC have available wood to help in the effort. Most things are built of concrete there because there simply isn’t any wood. Rebuilding out of concrete will be massively expensive and massively polluting. And, as Premier Campbell… View Article

Now for some disaster relief on the homefront

Jan 22, 2010
I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at the public response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti. I’ve seen donations being collected through school bake sales, at the liquor store, and on Hockey Night in Canada, among the usual channels for such stuff. It’s nice to know that, collectively, we care, in spite of the neglect of… View Article

Thinking about zero

Jan 21, 2010
I’m still coming out of my malaise following the Copenhagen climate conference in December. It’s easy to think that the stupid political brinksmanship is never going to end, and the focus of attention will shift to adaptive measures. But what is more likely is a few more Katrina scale disasters that will serve to spur… View Article

Economic Impacts [email protected]#

Jan 20, 2010
There isn’t a reputable economist that I know, nor a student in my benefit-cost class at SFU (that wants to pass) that does not understand the difference between economic impacts and real economic benefits. Nevertheless, industry lobbyists and all-too-many government officials never cease to point to economic impacts — the number of jobs a project… View Article

Will CanWest’s bankruptcy lead to more media concentration or new opportunities?

Jan 18, 2010
There is an old political adage that you should never argue with someone who buys their ink by the barrel.  Let’s ignore that good advice for a minute and talk about the CanWest bankruptcy. CanWest, Canada’s largest media company, filed for bankruptcy protection for its assets which include all of CanWest’s newspaper publishing and associated… View Article

Clearing the hurdles — sports brands and worker rights

Jan 15, 2010
As we prepare to host the Olympics, it’s worth thinking about how high (or low) the bar is set by the major companies that make sportswear. Despite some progress in recent years, substantial violations of worker rights and poverty wages are still the norm for workers in the sportswear industry. In response, Play Fair and… View Article

Child Poverty in BC — taking a look back

Jan 15, 2010
In response to the provincial government’s efforts to explain away child poverty stats, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition (which produces the annual BC child poverty report card) has started to produce monthly fact sheets to set the record straight. The first of these short reports was posted to their website this week…. View Article