Disappointing Premier’s announcement won’t help the BC economy

Oct 27, 2010
British Columbians who expected to see any meaningful action on the economy tonight were greatly disappointed by Premier Campbell’s address. In a paid television appearance (*update* which we now know cost $240,000), the Premier attempted to set the record straight on HST and claimed to be concerned about the economy and families struggling to get… View Article

Premier picks “can do” guy to sell HST in Cabinet shuffle

Oct 27, 2010
MLA John Les returned from the political wilderness Monday when the Premier appointed him Parliamentary Secretary for HST Information in his Cabinet shuffle.  In my mind it was one the most dubious choices in what was a controversial remixing at the top. Earlier, Les had served as Solicitor General until losing his post during an… View Article

Upset about offsets

Oct 26, 2010
A recent story on offsets reported in the Tyee caught my eye. In a nutshell, a residential subdivision development on Denman Island was prevented from going ahead in part because of the magic of carbon offsets. First of all, more conservation by preventing this type of development is a good thing. But in what way… View Article

On average, who knew Wednesday was World Statistics Day?

Oct 22, 2010
I’ll bet I was one of the few people in British Columbia that was a little excited that last Wednesday was set aside to honour statistics. The United Nations General Assembly declared October 20th World Statistics Day.  The Under-Secretary for Economic and Social Affairs issued a statement saying: Reliable, timely data are crucial for economic… View Article

Perverse outcomes of the Basi-Virk case

Oct 21, 2010
I — along with a whole lot of other British Columbians — have been stewing away about the abrupt end to the BC Rail trial, and the decision to let David Basi and Bob Virk completely off the hook for $6 million in legal fees. Politics of the matter aside, what really gets me is… View Article

The loss of a kind and powerful person – Sandy Cameron

Oct 19, 2010
We at the CCPA are saddened by the recent death of Sandy Cameron. Sandy was one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I’ve ever met. And he was a powerful person — not in the sense of formal power, but in the sense of inspiring others through his words and actions as an anti-poverty… View Article

Why incentive pay won’t fix education or health care

Oct 14, 2010
It turns out — surprise! — that it’s really hard to measure quality in complex social systems and that employing simplistic quantitative measures can backfire. That’s the take-home message from a recent talk by UC Berkley economist and public policy professor Jesse Rothstein who came to SFU to present his latest research on using standardized… View Article

What do we value more? Good taste or saving young lives?

Oct 9, 2010
Last May there was uproar in the media about an advertising campaign planned by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).  The Insurance Corporation was targeting young drivers with a racy campaign to persuade them not to drink and drive.   The then Solicitor General Kash Heed put the kibosh on the campaign that had cost… View Article

Sshh. It’s an election.

Oct 7, 2010
This piece, by myself and Heather Whiteside, also appeared in the Vancouver Sun today. It summarizes findings from Election Chill Effect: The Impacts of BC’s New Third Party Advertising Rules on Social Movement Groups,  co-published yesterday by the CCPA, BC Civil Liberties Association, and BC’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Association. “For groups to be… View Article

Which is more important, lower taxes or a higher minimum wage?

Oct 2, 2010
BC Labour Minister Murray Coell apparently got taken to the woodshed this week after telling a forum at the Union of BC Municipalities that his government was considering raising the minimum wage. The next day he quickly called a press conference on the driveway of a Whistler hotel to “clarify” his remarks.  He really just… View Article