Health Act Inquiry Into Threats Posed by Sour Gas A Step Closer?

Mar 30, 2011
A local citizens initiative aimed at highlighting the health threats posed by sour gas wells in B.C.’s energy-rich Peace River region appears to be gaining momentum, but whether or not it will result in a public inquiry remains to be seen. Last week, the Alaska Highway News reported that during her first installment of promised… View Article

How income splitting works and who does it work for: some practical examples

Mar 29, 2011
Income-splitting works by allowing families to allocate more of their earned income to a lower tax bracket by sharing the earned income between the spouses when filing taxes. The maximum amount of income that can be split this way is $50,000. Income-splitting makes a difference to a family’s tax bill because we have a progressive… View Article

Income splitting: a poorly targeted non-commitment with negative labour market implications

Mar 29, 2011
I was on the CBC Early Edition this morning, discussing Stephen Harper’s first election promise: income splitting for families with children. If you missed it, you can listen to the podcast here (I’m at about 1:08:00 onwards). Since five minutes is too short for any kind of informed discussion, and I think that informed discussions… View Article

CCPA blogs the federal election

Mar 28, 2011
Our colleagues at the CCPA’s National Office have launched a great new blog that will offer commentary on the federal election. Check out Making It Count for informative posts on income splitting, taxes, EI and more. Meanwhile, stay tuned to Policy Note for ongoing commentary on the busy BC political scene…. View Article

There is no Goldilocks in democracy

Mar 24, 2011
Oh boy, we’re in for a lot of democracy here in BC this year.  Federal election in May and probably an HST referendum in June.  My money is on an October provincial election if Christy Clark thinks the numbers are right.  Then a vote for councils and school boards in November. And that is just fine… View Article

Corporate tax cuts haven’t delivered

Mar 23, 2011
Yesterday I debated an economist from the Fraser Institute on CBC radio about the Federal Budget. One of the points of contention (and indeed, one of the core issues around which this budget will likely bring down the government) was the matter and merits of corporate tax cuts. My point: corporate tax cuts simply have… View Article

More thoughts on BC’s new minimum wage

Mar 23, 2011
As some of you may have seen, Adrienne Montani (of First Call) and I had a piece in the Vancouver Sun earlier this week: a “memo” to the new Premier on what a “Families First” agenda should look like . (If you didn’t see it, you can find it here.) In it, we praised Cristy… View Article

Reading the tea leaves in a Cabinet shuffle

Mar 15, 2011
Figuring out what the changes in a Cabinet shuffle mean is a lot like reading tea leaves: you can find just about anything you can imagine. Christy Clark’s first Cabinet announced yesterday is no exception. That being said, there are some things that stand out as pretty strong likelihoods. First of all it looks like… View Article

How flipping equity in P3s boosts profits and ends up with the projects being run from Channel Islands tax havens

Mar 9, 2011
Just like good stilton cheese, public private partnerships (P3s) were imported to British Columbia from the United Kingdom.  And like good stilton, in the UK P3s are starting to smell. In 2003, as part of its privatization agenda, BC’s government created Partnerships BC as a private company owned by the Ministry of Finance.  Partnerships BC’s… View Article

Tradable Water Rights – Coming to a province near you

Mar 5, 2011
In January of this year, the BC government joined Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to become the fourth province to announce that it is considering creating tradable water rights as a way of curbing use and improving the efficiency of allocation. The announcement came as a vague reference to “water markets” in the latest draft of… View Article