Time to raise welfare rates: Debunking the BC government’s sorry excuses for inaction

Mar 30, 2017
April 1st marks the 10th anniversary since basic welfare benefit rates (also known as social assistance rates) were last increased in British Columbia. For a single person on basic assistance the benefit rate remains $610 per month, and for a single parent with one child it is $946 a month. That means for 10 years running,… View Article

It’s time to give high tech workers equal basic rights

Mar 28, 2017
The BC government recently announced an update to its BC Jobs Plan that focused on measures to encourage increased employment in nine key sectors of the economy. One of those sectors is technology and innovation. To facilitate employment growth in this area the Premier announced that an “Innovation Network” would be created, headed by UBC… View Article

Manitoba opens door to public sector secrecy as Ottawa calls for increase in P3 projects

Mar 22, 2017
Wednesday’s federal Budget reaffirms the Canadian Government’s commitment to its promised “Canada Infrastructure Bank.” This opens the door to having corporations deliver public infrastructure through public private partnerships which is a controversial move. In the words of one writer: In other words, public-private partnerships are sort of like credit cards: You get the shiny thing… View Article

BC Budget 2017: $600 million in tax breaks for business

Mar 17, 2017
Does the BC business sector need a tax cut? Not so much. But Budget 2017 promises to give business over $600 million in additional annual tax breaks nonetheless. That’s more than half a billion dollars annually that won’t be invested in creating affordable high-quality child care spaces, building affordable housing (as opposed to a one-off… View Article

Affordable housing and jobs: Now is the time to build

Mar 16, 2017
The BC government is spending millions on advertising to promote its actions on affordable housing. In Metro Vancouver, however, where the crisis is most acute, there is no sign that housing is going to be within reach of ordinary middle-class households any time soon. [email protected] takes a look at how BC can build the affordable… View Article

Fixing the carbon tax: A closer look at the BC NDP’s climate plan

Mar 14, 2017
The BC NDP unveiled its climate plan in early February, and its key plank is to increase the BC carbon tax from its current $30 per tonne to $50 per tonne by 2022, in line with the new federal floor price on carbon. The carbon tax increase under the BC NDP plan would be phased… View Article

From disenfranchised to revitalized: Ten proposals to set our forests and BC’s rural communities on a new course

Mar 13, 2017
Fort Nelson and Merritt lie at two geographical extremes, the former perched in the northeast corner near some of British Columbia’s biggest natural gas plays, the latter located deep in the province’s southwest, near rolling dry hills that are home to BC’s biggest ranches. It takes nearly 15 hours by car to cover the distance… View Article

BC Budget 2017 fails to fill the hole we’ve dug for children, youth and families

Mar 9, 2017
What’s the purpose of digging a hole and then re-filling it halfway or even all the way 15 years later? Child and youth services providers and families are asking this question as they review the “new” dollars for child-serving ministries in the 2017 BC budget. Over the last 15 years provincial child-serving ministries, school districts,… View Article

5.2 million reasons the fossil fuel industry has the BC government’s ear

Mar 8, 2017
The problem of corporate influence in politics and government is heating up in BC as we head towards the May election. 2017 kicked off with an explosive story in the New York Times, aptly titled “British Columbia: The Wild West of Canadian Political Cash.” The story drew widespread attention to the complete absence of limits… View Article

Precarious work a reality across employment sectors in BC

Mar 5, 2017
Across the world, one of the features of contemporary labour markets is the rising level of precarious employment. We know that labour markets look quite different from place to place for a variety of reasons – institutional, legal, technological, sectoral mix, education, immigration, and other factors that all contribute to geographic differences in precarity. Many… View Article