Reducing poverty and carbon emissions: lessons from Manitoba

Feb 26, 2016
I often get asked about alternatives to our fossil-fuelled status quo. In recent years, there have been many new projects that point to the way forward, that get beyond vague statements about reducing carbon emissions and boosting clean energy. Our CCPA-BC office held a conference last year to examine new approaches to good and green jobs…. View Article

Methane emissions from fracking: clean LNG’s dirty secret

Feb 25, 2016
The proposed Woodfibre LNG plant near Squamish is an example of what has been called “clean LNG” – that is, the plant will use grid electricity from BC Hydro to power the energy-intensive liquefaction process, instead of gas. This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly for this one part of the supply chain. The Woodfibre… View Article

Petronas’ Pacific NorthWest LNG: profile of a carbon bomb

Feb 23, 2016
I submitted the following in response to a call by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency for public comments on the February 2016 draft environmental assessment of the Pacific NorthWest LNG, also commonly known as the Petronas LNG project given the lead corporate proponent. (You can make a submission too). This submission is in regards to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions… View Article

Why not put some Metro Vancouver property transfer tax into infrastructure?

Feb 19, 2016
When it comes to revenue for the provincial government from property taxes in British Columbia, Metro Vancouver is such a cash cow we should be able to hear it say “moo.” The province gets revenue from property from two sources: the BC school tax and the property transfer tax. On Saturday, February 13 the Vancouver Sun… View Article

Five surreal moments in BC Finance Minister’s Q & A with journalists

Feb 17, 2016
OK, so we know what some of the problems are with the 2016 BC Budget. Economists have analyzed how empty it is of real measures to help British Columbians. But I’d also like to share a little bit about what it was like to sit and listen to the Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s Q… View Article

Housing budget? Not so much.

Feb 17, 2016
It was supposed to be the housing budget, with action to address a top issue facing the province. Today’s banner headline from The Globe and Mail (“Balanced BC budget aims to cool hot real estate market”) implies that they did take concrete measures. But if you read the budget, there is not much there relative… View Article

What you need to know about BC Budget 2016

Feb 16, 2016
“The measure of any society is reflected in the degree to which it is willing to help the most vulnerable.” Mike de Jong in the BC Budget 2016 Speech If this is the measure we apply to Budget 2016, then BC is failing miserably. What this budget offers to BC’s most vulnerable is a drop in the bucket…. View Article

Budget 2016: less money collected as taxes and spent on health and education

Feb 16, 2016
For me, the most interesting part of British Columbia’s Budgets are always at the back of the 134 page Budget and Fiscal Plan document. Buried back there in tables A9 to A13 is information about how much of the province’s treasure is being collected from various sources and spent in various program areas going back… View Article

7 things that should be in the BC Budget but were missing from the Throne Speech

Feb 15, 2016
BC Budget 2016 will be tabled tomorrow but we already know it will include a break on MSP premiums for some single parents, $50 million for new affordable housing initiatives this year (with funding also committed in each of the next four years), help for first-time home buyers, more resources for the long neglected BC child welfare system,… View Article

BC’s job market is weaker than the government would like you to believe

Feb 12, 2016
Premier Christy Clark rarely misses a chance to take credit for BC’s recent economic growth and job creation numbers even though they have more to do with plunging oil prices and the low dollar than with any action her government has taken. This year’s throne speech was no exception, calling BC “an island of prosperity” and a leader:… View Article