BC Budget 2021: Stay-the-course budget misses the mark on key areas of urgency outside health

Apr 20, 2021
The BC government tabled a surprisingly stay-the-course budget today, making some improvements on the margins but missing the opportunity to shift BC towards a more inclusive and sustainable economy. While it appropriately includes large sums of time-limited spending relating to the pandemic (and indeed BC has led other provinces on pandmeic spending), it is scarce… View Article

BC Budget 2021 could be the most important budget in a generation

Apr 15, 2021
BC Budget 2021 will be tabled on April 20th, in the middle of the COVID-19 third wave. It is an opportunity for the new provincial government to not only support people and businesses through this phase of the pandemic—but also to shape a transition to a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable economy.  The COVID-19 crisis… View Article

One year later: Canadian billionaire wealth up by $78 billion

Apr 14, 2021
One year into the COVID-19 pandemic that has upended the lives of millions of people in this country, Canadian billionaires have increased their wealth by $78 billion. Data from Forbes’ “real-time billionaires” listing on April 7 compared with a snapshot provided by their annual billionaires report last year shows this massive increase in wealth. Together,… View Article

Burning our way to a new climate?

Apr 7, 2021
As UK’s Drax makes play for BC’s wood pellet mills, questions grow about wood-fired electricity With its six massive 660-megawatt power units, the Drax power station in North Yorkshire is the United Kingdom’s largest thermal electricity plant. When it opened in the mid 1970s, the giant facility burned coal. Today, however, Drax burns something else:… View Article

Basic income panel calls for major reforms to income security in BC

Mar 29, 2021
When the final report of BC’s Basic Income Panel came out in January, the media coverage was largely reduced to a few dismissive headlines that the panel had rejected basic income. Behind the headlines, however, is a comprehensive and thoughtful analysis of the state of poverty in BC and the large number of existing programs,… View Article

Now is the time for BC to double down on commitment to $10-a-day child care

Mar 18, 2021
A year into the pandemic, there is a near-universal realization across Canada that the recovery must include large-scale public investments to build a quality, affordable child care system. This would enable parents with young children, in particular mothers, to return to work or pursue educational opportunities to support children’s healthy development in the early years… View Article

How to build affordable rental housing in Vancouver

Mar 16, 2021
We are often told that building affordable housing is just too expensive: land prices are too high, construction costs are rising, development fees and labyrinthine bureaucratic processes are stifling projects. There is some truth in each of these explanations, but to really get a major build-out of affordable housing we need to stop relying on… View Article

Rosenbluth Lecture 2021: Peter Victor, Slower by Design, not Disaster

Mar 12, 2021
The Gideon Rosenbluth Memorial Lecture was held virtually in February. The lecture is in honour of Gideon Rosenbluth, who was an esteemed professor of economics at the University of British Columbia and a research associate with the CCPA’s BC Office.  As a young person, Peter Victor looked at the now-iconic, then newly minted image of… View Article

Wealth tax would raise far more money than previously thought

Mar 11, 2021
While the lives of millions of working people have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, the wealth of the richest few has continued to balloon in Canada. A wealth tax on the super rich is an important policy needed to address extreme inequality and help raise revenue for sustained, long-term increases in public investment in… View Article

To reduce gender inequality, introduce paid sick leave

Mar 9, 2021
In the week of International Women’s Day let’s celebrate BC’s positive steps toward gender equality while bringing attention to the changes still needed.   When it comes to gender and (paid) work, one recent big achievement is the BC government’s introduction of job-protected paid leave for workers who experience sexual and domestic violence. In March 2020,… View Article

A New Book that Challenges Racist ‘British Columbia’

Mar 9, 2021
In light of a surge in anti-racist uprisings, provincial legislators may want to take a moment to reflect upon what their predecessors did in taking “British Columbia” into Canada 150 years ago in 1871. When the legislature recently reconvened, we hope that MLAs paused and listened to the stories that these Indigenous lands are trying… View Article

The Deregulation Zombie Rises Again in Texas

Mar 3, 2021
Forced to use unprecedented amounts of electricity to heat their homes and stop their water pipes from freezing during the recent cold snap, Texas citizens found that their utilities were only adding to their misery. Hourly prices for electricity literally skyrocketed. Prices spiked from $34 to $9,000 per megawatt hour in a few days due… View Article

Fracking in BC’s northeast

Feb 23, 2021
Last summer I got out of Vancouver and toured northern BC. While the trip was mostly for pleasure, my inner economist could not resist some industrial tourism and visits to resource towns and major industrial sites that are the heart and soul of BC’s resource economy. Forestry dominates near Prince George, fishing at Prince Rupert,… View Article
A pile of wood pellets is shown in front of a cross-section view of a stack of logs.

Trees to pellets? Scarred by two previous resource industry boom and busts, pivotal decisions lie ahead for community of Fort Nelson

Feb 17, 2021
The residents of Fort Nelson know better than most rural British Columbians about the harsh economic realities of resource dependency. It is now 13 years since the forest industry ditched the community in dramatic fashion when Canfor Corp. ceased all its local operations in the region and closed its plywood and oriented strand board (OSB)… View Article

Vacancy control: taking the next step on housing affordability

Feb 11, 2021
Recently, two Ontario-based Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) purchased 15 Vancouver apartment buildings for $292 million from Hollyburn Properties. Tenants in those buildings, totaling 614 units, now face a massively elevated risk of being evicted by absentee landlords so that higher rents can be charged to new tenants.  Tenants should be concerned because of a… View Article

Thirsting for information: reforms to industrial water use badly needed

Feb 3, 2021
As British Columbians are discovering everywhere, one of the greatest and most pressing challenges posed by climate change is drought. Consider just three examples. On Vancouver Island, pulp and paper producer Catalyst Paper pumped massive amounts of water from Cowichan Lake into the Cowichan River in 2019 to boost the river’s water levels. It was… View Article
A calculator displaying the text "COVID 19."

BC’s COVID-19 emergency spending leads all provinces, but we’re not out of the woods yet

Jan 26, 2021
BC has invested far more in its COVID-19 emergency response than any other province in the country. The province also provided the highest per capita level of support to individuals at an average of $800 per person. These are among the findings in a new report from CCPA’s national office, which examines the scale of… View Article

Time for zero carbon housing and buildings in BC

Jan 21, 2021
BC needs a lot of new affordable housing and any build out should ensure that it meets the highest standards for energy efficiency, including zero-carbon operations. Residential, commercial and institutional buildings produce 11% of BC’s GHG emissions, mainly from burning natural gas for heating and hot water. Updated building codes are needed to make the… View Article

It’s 2021: Time to get serious about BC’s carbon emissions

Jan 7, 2021
In December 2020, the BC government released its first Climate Change Accountability Report, the result of 2019 legislation aimed at improving the reporting and oversight of climate action in BC. The report lacks accountability in one important respect: it is not an independent assessment and reads like previous BC government reports on climate action that… View Article

Production forecasts, pipelines and net-zero promises: Canada’s recipe for climate failure

Dec 16, 2020
Canada launched Bill C-12 last month, a transparency and accountability act designed to achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2050. The government has also pledged to increase the planned 30 per cent emissions reductions by 2030 it committed to under the 2015 Paris Agreement even though as of 2018, the latest year for which data are available,… View Article