Local living wage employer wins best employer award

Feb 29, 2012
Hats off to Eclipse Awards, a local small business that was one of the first to seek certification as an official Living Wage Employer. At an awards ceremony last night, Eclipse won the Best Employer award from Small Business BC. Their status as a living wage employer played an important role. Here’s a news release… View Article

The long term costs of legislating workers back to work

Feb 25, 2012
As the provincial government spends the weekend drafting back-to-work legislation that will impose a contract on BC teachers, I found this opinion piece I wrote back in the year 2000, when the previous BC government legislated CUPE school support workers back to work. Still feels remarkably timely. So, just thought I’d re-post that old piece… View Article

The Great Natural Gas Footrace: Where Have We Seen This Before?

Feb 24, 2012
Several weeks ago, some running buddies of mine – two fine chaps working in the provincial civil service – invited me to speak on a panel at the annual Association of BC Forest Professionals meetings in Victoria. I had the good fortune to be joined by Bruce Fraser, former chair of the BC Forest Practices… View Article

The false economy of BC Budget 2012: deficit exaggerated to avoid spending on real problems

Feb 21, 2012
Today’s BC budget was simply titled Budget 2012. It broke with the tradition of ambitious-sounding titles we’ve seen in the last decade (such as 2010’s Building a Prosperous British Columbia budget), but that’s about all the change you’ll notice from the previous administration’s budgets. Despite the fact that this was hailed as the first budget… View Article

How to Destroy a Good Poverty Line

Feb 17, 2012
[The following piece was authored by Michael Goldberg, Steve Kerstetter and Seth Klein] More than a decade ago, the federal and provincial governments started work on a new poverty line – the Market Basket Measure (MBM). After decades of distracting and divisive debates about poverty lines, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada crafted a methodology… View Article

“Mass staff replacements” in seniors’ care: impacts and solutions

Feb 16, 2012
Deep in the second volume of the BC Ombudsperson’s recently-released second report on seniors’ care, is an interesting and important discussion about large-scale staff replacements and other substantial changes at residential care facilities. Under the current legislative framework governing most care facilities for seniors, a facility operator must notify its regional medical health officer four months… View Article

Tax haven based company buys more BC P3s: British Auditor General questions profits in such transactions

Feb 14, 2012
Two of British Columbia’s public private partnership (P3) projects have changed hands again and once again the new owner resides in a European tax haven. In a separate but related development, last Friday Britain’s Auditor General released a report questioning very high level of profits for some British P3 projects partially generated by flipping the… View Article

Comparing two carbon bombs: LNG plants vs Enbridge pipeline

Feb 8, 2012
With the spotlight on the federal government’s aggressive push to export tar sands bitumen via the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline to Kitimat, and from there by tanker on to China, the BC government reclaimed some attention on the energy file when it released its Natural Gas Strategy last week. With lots of glossy pages, but little detailed… View Article

Whatever happened to gender identity and expression?

Feb 5, 2012
A year ago this week, Bill C-389, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression), passed third reading in the House of Commons, receiving support from MPs from all political parties. So whatever happened to it? The private member’s bill, sponsored by former Burnaby-Douglas MP… View Article

After Self-Sufficiency — Will the Public or Private Interests be Served?

Feb 4, 2012
It was, I suppose, too much to expect the government to acknowledge that the self-sufficiency and insurance requirements it had imposed on BC Hydro was a serious mistake. So it was no surprise that they simply stated in their announcement paving the way for the powering of the proposed new LNG plants that the Campbell-era policies… View Article