BC private schools to collect $491 million in public funding this year

Sep 21, 2022
Private schools will collect nearly half a billion dollars in public funding from the provincial government during this school year in British Columbia. This is in addition to further public subsidies to private schools—including elite prep schools—in the form of various tax exemptions and credits.  Provincial operating subsidies to the private school system will rise… View Article
"Housing now" protest

Five reasons supply matters to the housing crisis

Sep 14, 2022
The housing crisis in BC is a multi-headed beast, requiring an all-hands-on-deck effort to make homes affordable and available to everyone as a human right.  Most of my work on housing policy to date has focused on financing a massive expansion of public and non-market housing, using progressive taxes to tamp down on speculation and… View Article

Will Drax’s claim that burning Canadian wood pellets is green go up in smoke?

Aug 30, 2022
OECD investigates UK power company’s sustainability claims as Drax becomes the largest pellet-maker in Canada In April 2021, the United Kingdom’s Drax Group purchased Pinnacle Renewable Energy, becoming the largest wood pellet-maker in British Columbia and Canada.  The acquisition gave Drax control of the majority of pellet mills in the province, locking up a vital… View Article
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The concerning rise of corporate medicine: Public contracts with private clinics top $393 million over last six years

Aug 26, 2022
Private surgeries and medical imaging are big business in BC. Over the last two decades, this for-profit sector has benefited from increased outsourcing of publicly funded procedures and unlawful patient extra-billing. These private businesses are flourishing in part because the BC government has been awarding them millions of dollars in contracts to provide services while… View Article
"Denial is not a policy" protest sign

Capping oil and gas emissions: Production declines must be central to discussion

Aug 3, 2022
New federal proposals for an emissions cap on the oil and gas industry have begun a difficult and uncomfortable conversation, but one that finally gets to the heart of climate and energy policy in Canada. This post looks at the new proposals and how we got here: the evolution of Canadian climate policy since the… View Article

Reconciliation in action?

Jul 13, 2022
Far from it, says chief of holdout First Nation over deal with province on Site C In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was tasked with informing all Canadians about what happened to Indigenous Peoples in residential schools, defined the word reconciliation as a process of “establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between… View Article

Shortchanging public sector workers is bad for BC

Jun 27, 2022
Public sector workers are in the midst of difficult contract negotiations with the BC government. The workers are reportedly asking for wages to keep up with inflation, but the government hasn’t been willing to come to the table with an offer that reflects the rising cost of living. Public sector workers who have been keeping… View Article

Our recommendations for the 2023 BC budget

Jun 23, 2022
The BC government is holding its annual public consultation on Budget 2023 this June, inviting British Columbians to share their priorities for government investment next year.  On June 14, I presented CCPA-BC’s recommendations to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. Via the BC Legislative Assembly website, you can hear my presentation as… View Article

The sound of silence

Jun 21, 2022
Weeks stretch to months, months to years as BC government clamps down on information  When debate on the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Amendment Act began last fall Stephanie Cadieux, then Liberal MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale, was among many to note how British Columbians are waiting longer and longer to obtain information from government… View Article
Damage on Highway 7 damage at Ruby Creek from the November 2022 flooding events

Government to investigate deadly landslide

Jun 16, 2022
Months after five killed, experts to determine if failed logging road caused fatal mudslide Seven months after a mudslide killed five people on Highway 99, the provincial Ministry of Forests is launching an investigation into the event, marking the first time that it has indicated that a failed logging road may be behind the tragedy…. View Article
Illustration of pump jacks at oil wells.

Anticlimactic and anti-climate: BC’s oil and gas royalty review

Jun 13, 2022
The BC government’s recently completed review of its royalty regime for oil and gas is both anticlimactic and anti-climate. After many months of public engagement—including an independent review, discussion paper, hundreds of public submissions, and a “what we heard” report—the public release is surprisingly brief and the regime remains steadfastly committed to growing oil and… View Article
Photo of shopping cart in a grocery store as a part of rising cost of living article.

The rising cost of living in BC: What’s going on and how should we respond?

Jun 9, 2022
The cost of living is going up and is putting strains on household finances. BC’s headline inflation rate hit 6.7% in April, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  Most of the policy response to rising inflation has emphasized the Bank of Canada raising interest rates to cool down the economy. However, much of the… View Article

Opening the floodgates

Jun 1, 2022
More than climate crisis behind last November’s rising waters, death and destruction; experts urge province to make course correction   First of Two Parts When Premier John Horgan declared a provincial state of emergency in the wake of last November’s horrific floods, landslides and deaths, he was quick to name the culprit.  The “never seen before”… View Article

A deadly wake-up call

Jun 1, 2022
In aftermath of a landslide that killed five, experts say government must act now to avoid more “preventable” deaths Second of Two Parts (read the first) As 2021 drew to a close, Premier John Horgan said many British Columbians would remember it “as the year that climate change arrived on our doorsteps.”  Whether it was… View Article

The need for affordable child care

May 20, 2022
Canada is at a game changing moment when it comes to child care. Historic federal funding agreements with provinces and territories now support a vision for high-quality, accessible child care across the country. Affordability is a top priority, with governments committing significant funds to reduce average child care fees by 50 per cent by the… View Article

A win for BC workers: single-step union certification

May 4, 2022
The BC government recently introduced legislation that allows a majority of workers in a workplace to organize a union a little more easily, making it harder for employers to intimidate and interfere in organizing drives. That’s good news both for working people and for the quality of our democracy. Single-step certification simply means that if… View Article

Health care spending falls short in 2022 federal budget

Apr 26, 2022
Marjorie Cohen will deliver the CCPA–BC’s 2022 Gideon Rosenbluth Memorial Lecture on September 14, 2022 at 4:00pm PT. This free lecture will be held on zoom, you can register online here. A consistent theme in the media, when writing about health care in Canada, is to use disparaging adjectives, such as ‘dilapidated,’ ‘ramshackled,’ ‘exhausted.’ They… View Article

Financing public housing: how a massive expansion of rental homes can literally pay for itself

Apr 21, 2022
In the face of a mounting housing crisis, what if BC could massively increase public investment in below-market rental housing—and if that upfront investment could literally pay for itself, with no increase to taxpayer-supported debt? While this might sound too good to be true, it simply follows from the basic logic of rental housing development…. View Article

Employment rights justice denied to thousands of BC Workers

Apr 14, 2022
For decades, the BC Employment Standards Branch has not effectively enforced the Employment Standards Act, meaning thousands of workers are denied their legal rights, a new report that we co-wrote with the BC Employment Standards Coalition shows. Complaints take between 18 months to three years to resolve; the Branch doesn’t proactively investigate employers, industries and… View Article

The last of the green gold: With the best trees gone and revenues plummeting, what’s next?

Apr 14, 2022
Last year, as hundreds of protesters were arrested at Fairy Creek on Vancouver Island for trying to stop logging of old-growth forests, the BC government raked in more money from companies doing such logging than at perhaps any point in history. In total, it collected more than $1.8 billion dollars in stumpage fees—a number that… View Article