Fires and farmworkers: Climate justice means improving protections for migrant farmworkers

Sep 15, 2023
The impacts of the climate crisis are socially and geographically uneven: the wealthiest regions contribute disproportionately to the destruction of the planet while the poorest regions suffer the heaviest consequences. In this context, migrant farmworkers find themselves doubly displaced, facing droughts and inundations in their home countries, then heatwaves, fires and floods where they come… View Article

Failure to act means failing dikes

Sep 13, 2023
  Province must take responsibility for flood protection infrastructure Provincial and municipal officials were warned repeatedly that the dikes in one of the cities hit hardest by the floods that paralyzed southern British Columbia in 2021 were structurally unsound and could fail should water levels in local rivers rise quickly. For years preceding the disaster,… View Article

Here’s how BC should protect app-based workers

Sep 6, 2023
The rise of the “gig economy” and on-demand work through digital platforms like Uber and Skip the Dishes has ignited the public debate about precarious work. Despite their high-tech image, digital platform firms employ practices that are familiar from centuries of insecure work, including compensating workers on a per-task basis, offering no guarantee of continuing… View Article

Taxing land wealth for the public good: provincial policy options

Aug 30, 2023
Property wealth has become a massive source of inequality in BC as home prices and rents have risen dramatically amid a severe housing crisis and shortage. A consequence of high prices has been an explosion of residential real estate wealth now totaling over $2.1 trillion in the province, a stock of wealth that remains only… View Article

The federal government’s potential leap towards housing affordability

Aug 24, 2023
This is an excerpt from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ annual Alternative Federal Budget chapter on housing. It outlines what an ambitious federal government could achieve on housing affordability in its 2024 budget. For a growing number of Canadians, the housing market is broken. In 2021, an estimated 1.5 million Canadian households lived in… View Article

Housing lessons from Singapore

Aug 10, 2023
Could Singapore, a city-state of 5.5 million across the ocean in Asia, hold the key to BC’s housing future? On a recent trade mission to Asia, Premier Eby was introduced to Singapore and its successes in providing affordable housing for its citizens. With a promised BC Builds program in development, Singapore shows what a more… View Article

The Energy Action Framework and BC’s carbon crossroads revisited

Jul 25, 2023
Since first starting down the pathway of climate action in 2007, the BC government has both developed policies to reduce carbon emissions domestically while simultaneously promoting a growing oil and gas export industry. These contradictions are evident in the March 2023 announcement of a new Energy Action Framework, which tries to balance the interests of… View Article

That 70s Show: The Evolution of Income Inequality in Canada

Jul 13, 2023
  This brief looks at the evolution of inequality going back to 1976. Drawing on Statistics Canada’s Canadian Income Survey, it reviews changes in the distribution of income by decile (groupings of ten percent of households ranked by income from lowest to highest income), and asks a hypothetical question: what would today’s incomes look like… View Article

BC First Nation logs almost all of its treaty lands, leaving behind lots of stumps and questions

Jul 10, 2023
  In just three years, much of the McLeod Lake Indian Band’s treaty lands were stripped of their bountiful and exceedingly valuable trees in a surge of logging that included one massive clear-cut that is almost 3,000 hectares in size, or 7.5 times larger than Vancouver’s Stanley Park.   The extensive logging by the band of… View Article

Landmark health care case spotlights problems of a profit-centred system

Jun 23, 2023
In April, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear a case involving the constitutionality of legal limits on private finance in health care. A 14-year legal saga has ended, but many provinces seem to be ignoring evidence in this case indicating that a profit-centred system does not serve the public interest. Proponents of for-profit… View Article
"Budget 2024" written on a coiled paper pad on a desk.

Our recommendations for the 2024 BC budget

Jun 22, 2023
The BC government is holding its annual public consultation on Budget 2024 this June, inviting British Columbians to share their priorities for government investment next year.  On June 14, I presented the 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… View Article

Open letter on regulating platform work from BC experts in labour law, policy and economics

Jun 20, 2023
The following is an open letter released today led by the CCPA–BC and the Centre for Future Work. It is signed by 61 leading experts in labour law, policy and economics (signatories listed below). The letter urges the BC government to implement strong measures to ensure that ride-share and food delivery platforms fulfill the same… View Article
David Eby at a press conference standing in front of a podium labeled "More Homes for People"

BC’s Housing Supply Act could help break housing gridlock

Jun 15, 2023
As the housing crisis continues apace, the BC government is moving ahead with implementation of the Housing Supply Act, passed in November. This is good news because the housing shortage in this province is as severe as ever. Ultra-low vacancy rates have taken hold in the province’s most expensive regions like Vancouver and Victoria, forcing… View Article

The Bank of Canada’s obsession with interest rate hikes is hurting households: How did we get here and what are the alternatives?

Jun 7, 2023
The Bank of Canada’s June decision to raise its overnight, or policy, interest rate to 4.75% is predicated on cooling an overly strong economy afflicted by stubbornly high inflation. Yet, it’s not at all clear that the Bank’s narrative makes sense and, in one major category, housing, higher interest rates will make inflation worse by… View Article
Protest sign reading "THERE IS NO PLANET B"

Budget 2023: a risky bet on cleaner capitalism

Jun 1, 2023
With roughly $62 billion in new climate-related spending over the next decade, the federal government’s 2023 budget doubled down on climate action with a focus on investment in the clean economy. However, the budget locks in a particular approach to climate action—one where incentives to the private sector do the heavy lifting of growing green… View Article

BC’s Homes for People plan: Some positive steps but still behind on non-market housing

May 16, 2023
The BC government’s April 2023 Homes for People (HFP) plan marks an important step forward towards better managing and regulating housing in the province. With a headline commitment of $4.2 billion over three years (and $12 billion over 10 years), the plan includes new measures to support renters, some loosening of zoning restrictions, new speed… View Article

Why Canada still needs a wealth tax—and what it could fund

May 9, 2023
The rise of extreme inequality has provoked growing calls for an annual wealth tax on the super-rich around the world, and Canada is no exception. Backed by a growing body of economic research, proposals for a wealth tax have high levels of support among Canadians across party lines. Yet, an annual wealth tax is nowhere… View Article
Aerial photo of Smithers mill surrounded by piles of logs

Promises of cleaner air up in smoke

Apr 28, 2023
Calls for BC environment minister to suspend pellet mill permit Every year, the air in the Bulkley Valley community of Smithers becomes hazardous to human health as thousands of fires known as slash burns are deliberately set at logging sites. The contaminated air can stay trapped in the valley’s airshed for extended periods as the… View Article

Waning transparency in Canada: Is access to information broken?

Apr 27, 2023
At the federal, provincial and even the local level, there was a time when governments in Canada seemed to think transparency about their operations was a pretty good idea. Not anymore. At the federal level, the issue of transparency through access to information has even been sent to the United Nations. The Nova Scotia-based Centre… View Article
Two workers painting an exterior wall of a building, hanging with harnesses.

New survey data shines light on the extent and impacts of precarious employment in BC

Apr 13, 2023
The rise of the “gig economy” and on-demand work through online platforms like Uber and Skip the Dishes has ignited public debate about precarious work and what makes a “good job.”  We all know that precarious work existed long before Uber and is not limited to the gig economy. But government efforts to develop an… View Article