BC Budget 2015: Missed opportunity for climate change action

Feb 27, 2015
Global warming and the other ecological impacts of climate change threaten our health—our very survival. As the impacts of climate change unfold, society will face increasing economic costs. Even the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy,  which some have criticized as being unduly influenced by the Conservative government, estimates these costs, which include… View Article

BC Budget 2015 confirms it: we can afford the $10aDay Child Care Plan

Feb 26, 2015
Budget 2015 clearly shows that BC can afford to start implementing the $10aDay Child Care Plan now – and it can choose to do so without raising taxes, without cutting vital programs and services, and without going into deficit. A short and simple analysis, summarized below, provides one example of how investment in child care… View Article

The early and fatal undermining of TransLink

Feb 25, 2015
Pete McMartin wrote an excellent column in the Vancouver Sun documenting the many ways that the provincial government has undermined TransLink. The upcoming referendum isn’t the first but rather the culmination of a two decade, tragically effective, bipartisan effort to prevent TransLink from doing what it was originally set up to do and what the region… View Article

BC Budget 2015 snapshot: More revenue from MSP, tuition, but less money for public services

Feb 25, 2015
One way to measure a government’s commitment to public services is to see what percentage of the province’s wealth (GDP) the government spends on these services. According to government plans outlined in the Budget Documents: Health care spending will fall from 7.9% of GDP in 2012/13 to 7.5% in 2017/18. Education spending falls from 5.6%… View Article

Low-carbon urban infrastructure: a view from Vancouver

Feb 18, 2015
I have a new case study (full pdf; summary article from the publishers) out as part of the Economists for Equity and Environment‘s Future Economy Initiative. I look at the City of Vancouver’s Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU), a low-carbon district energy system that hits a sweet spot of clean energy, local control, and stable prices at competitive rates…. View Article

11 things you need to know about BC Budget 2015

Feb 17, 2015
1. Budget 2015 ends the claw-back on child support payments for single parents on welfare. This is estimated to put $13 million in the hands of some of the poorest British Columbians. It’s a good step forward, but it is very very small. $13 million is three hundredths of one percent of the provincial budget…. View Article

3 worrisome facts about BC’s job market on the eve of Budget 2015

Feb 16, 2015
2015 marks the sixth year of BC’s recovery from the recession. But it’s been a slow and largely jobless recovery in BC. 1. BC needs 93,000 more jobs to return to our pre-recession employment rate (the proportion of working age British Columbians who have jobs). Only 71.2% of working age British Columbians have jobs today…. View Article

Rethinking social protections in the age of contractors

Feb 14, 2015
The job market is changing rapidly. While most workers of our parents’ generation could have reasonably expected to spend their entire working careers in permanent full-time jobs with one or two employers, today many rely on contract work or freelancing, and even regular full-time employees change jobs frequently. There are pros and cons to this shift,… View Article