Free to grow or free to fail? Emerging science raises questions about health of our future forests

Jan 31, 2011
As tree-planting company representatives from across British Columbia gather in Kelowna for a conference this week, a lot of attention will focus on the question of just how significant a reforestation challenge we have on our hands in the province. Even those of us who know comparatively little about our forests understand that some astonishing… View Article

Over a decade, average BC wages fall below Canadian average

Jan 21, 2011
Every week the government publication BC Stats Infoline publishes a summary of usually pretty interesting things going on in British Columbia.  They have a nice archive of these publications and it can be helpful to go back and look at earlier publications. I looked at January 2001, the last year of the NDP government, and… View Article

The problems with the textbook analysis of minimum wages

Jan 20, 2011
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the sorry state of the BC minimum wage, stuck at $8 after nine years two months and still counting. Yes, it will likely increase very soon, now that almost all leadership candidates on both sides have expressed support for higher minimum wages, but one has got to ask… View Article

BC’s $8 minimum wage sets another record (low)

Jan 18, 2011
Did you know that BC, the home of the lowest minimum wage in Canada, just recently became the province with the longest minimum wage freeze in recent history? That is to say, since at least the mid-1960s when HRSDC data starts. BC’s minimum wage has now been stuck at $8 for nine years two months… View Article

Lib leadership contender ill informed or misleading on P3s

Jan 12, 2011
George Abbott has become the first of the BC Liberal leadership contenders to talk about the use of Public Private Partnerships (P3s) to deliver public facilities and services.  Unfortunately, Abbott’s comments suggest either that he doesn’t understand how these projects are being imposed or he is misleading the interviewer.  The government’s preferred P3 model is… View Article

ILO points to low union density and low minimum wages as causes of economic collapse

Jan 8, 2011
One more major international organization has published a report commenting on the damage done by growing inequality in society.  In December the International Labour Organization (ILO) published its second Global Wage Report.  The first such report examined trends in global wages in good times.  This one examines what happened in the economic collapse. Looking at… View Article

A Challenge to BC’s Leadership Candidates: Dare to Be Bold and to Tell Us the Truth

Jan 4, 2011
Some thoughts on what I’d love to hear in the current leadership contests: As a number of fundamental crises become more apparent (ecological and economic, not to mention the democratic deficit), the public is looking for bold ideas and bold leadership. Sadly, too many political strategists (as they will confess in private company) operate on… View Article

The IPP Lobby’s Top Ten

Jan 4, 2011
The Vancouver Sun’s Gordon Hamilton reports that the IPP lobby, BC Citizens for Green Energy, has released a Letterman-like top ten reasons for the development of more of their run-of-river and other ‘green’ power projects. Though not as funny as Letterman, the BCCGE’s top ten could bring out a laugh, except for the serious environmental and… View Article