BC’s last Climate “Leadership” Plan was written in big oil’s boardroom (literally)

Sep 18, 2017
Newly uncovered documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests reveal the cozy relationship between the fossil fuel industry and the last BC government went even further than suspected — all the way to inviting industry to directly craft the province’s climate “leadership” plan. Let’s rewind for a second: back in the spring of 2015, then-premier… View Article

Budget Update investments a positive first step for British Columbians

Sep 11, 2017
The BC Budget Update injects much-needed investment in a number of important policy areas that will quickly start to make a positive difference in the lives of families and communities around the province. Some of the highlights: MSP fee cut Medical Services Plan (MSP) fees will be cut by 50% in January 2018 for everyone,… View Article

9 things to look for in Monday’s BC Budget

Sep 8, 2017
BC’s new government is set to table its first provincial budget on Monday, September 11. While it is expected to be less comprehensive than a full budget (as almost half the year has already passed), the investments made or missing from it will reveal a lot about this government’s priorities. The agreement signed by BC… View Article

Why BC’s new government should make Freedom of Information reform a top priority

Aug 31, 2017
When a political party returns to power after an absence of 16 years, it is going to have a lot of priorities and will encounter a lot of people advocating for particular issues. That will mean some tough choices about how these priorities are scheduled. I am going to suggest that one of the top… View Article

Lifting tuition fees for adult basic education is just the beginning

Aug 29, 2017
The August 8, 2017 announcement that the new NDP government was fulfilling a promise to end tuition fees for Adult Basic Education students and English Language Learners in time for September classes is welcome indeed. This is the first step in undoing an educational wrong. The BC Liberals announced in late 2014 that “adults with… View Article

The enormous cost of public-private partnerships

Aug 3, 2017
Three recent BC public private partnership (P3) hospitals developed in co-operation with the province’s Partnerships BC (PBC) will cost the public $260 million more than traditionally delivered projects, according to figures released in July in response to a Freedom of Information request.1 The three projects were the BC Children’s and BC Women’s Redevelopment Project Phase… View Article

Australia’s LNG catastrophe: Why Petronas’ LNG cancellation is a blessing for BC

Jul 31, 2017
British Columbians should not be lamenting Petronas’ decision to pull its Pacific Northwest Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) proposal. Instead, they should be celebrating the demise of a project built on bad economics, climate change denial and wishful thinking. A few pundits have told the Petronas story as a tragedy. Some are blaming the brand new… View Article

Three health care priorities for a new government

Jul 27, 2017
The transition to power for a new government in BC provides the opportunity to set a new course that addresses both immediate and longstanding policy challenges. On the health care front, there is no shortage of pressing issues facing the new government. It is reassuring, however, that one of the foundational principles of the NDP… View Article

Debunking the Fraser Institute’s latest scaremongering on Indigenous rights

Jul 4, 2017
In a particularly dick move (sorry, no other term for it), the Fraser Institute chose National Aboriginal Day (June 21) to release a report by Tom Flanagan claiming that a sharp increase in people with Registered Indian status will drive up government costs. The methodology employed by Flanagan is remarkably shoddy, as I explain below…. View Article

Time to rethink the approval process for fossil fuel industry developments in BC’s northeast

Jun 28, 2017
When the provincial government created the Oil and Gas Commission in 1998, it did much more than open a “one stop shop” for speedy oil and gas industry approvals; it also set British Columbia on a collision course with First Nations. The consequences of that collision course are more apparent with each passing day, and… View Article

How big is BC’s budget surplus?

Jun 21, 2017
Some recent media commentary has taken to flights of fantasy by assuming that large personal tax increases would be needed to fund the policies contained in the NDP and Greens’ Supply and Confidence Agreement. The assumption that major tax increases would be required ignores a key starting point: large surpluses are projected in this budget… View Article

Brace yourself for more stale arguments on taxes

Jun 20, 2017
What will happen if a new BC government raises taxes on rich individuals and corporations as the NDP promised in its election platform? If years of finger-wagging from pundits and the business lobby can be believed, you might assume the sky will come crashing down—right onto the BC economy. It’s an argument that’s been hammered… View Article

BC NDP-Green agreement commits to Indigenous consent

Jun 15, 2017
In their power-sharing agreement, the BC New Democrat and Green parties commit to support the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2014 Tsilhqot’in decision, calling the documents “foundational” to their shared policy agenda. Central to both is Indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent when… View Article

Don’t be fooled by the Fraser Institute’s fearmongering on taxes

Jun 14, 2017
The latest “Alert” from the Fraser Institute hits a new low in misrepresenting reality. The article claims to analyze the impact of proposed NDP-Green tax changes on BC families but their so-called “analysis” is pure fiction. In their election platform, the NDP proposed raising taxes for the wealthiest British Columbians and for large corporations as… View Article

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline approval based on false assumptions

Jun 14, 2017
Once the political reality of British Columbia is determined, next steps on energy projects like Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and the Site C dam will follow. And while the federal government has approved the pipeline expansion, the BC NDP and Green Party—which have signed a power-sharing agreement following the provincial election—say they will… View Article

Historic gains in Ontario workers’ rights: What BC can learn

Jun 12, 2017
In light of the growth and prevalence of precarious employment and the lack of decent conditions of employment for vulnerable workers, labour advocates and unions in Ontario campaigned for improvements to employment and labour relations laws. As a result of their campaign, in February 2015, Ontario’s provincial government established an independent review headed by two… View Article

Book review – The broken ladder: How inequality affects the way we think, live and die

Jun 6, 2017
The following is a review of  The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne, published by Viking in May 2017. In 2016 Oxfam made the almost unbelievable announcement that the richest 62 people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population. That was… View Article

Four lessons about electoral reform for a new BC government

Jun 5, 2017
Under their recent agreement, the BC NDP and Greens have promised a referendum on electoral reform in BC. This is great news. A huge amount of good could come from changing our outdated first-past-the-post (FPTP) system, as Alex Himelfarb argued in a recent analysis for CCPA (although he was speaking to the federal context). Let’s… View Article

To protect her legacy, Premier Clark should put a moratorium on the destruction of documents

Jun 1, 2017
British Columbia is in interesting times politically and that makes transparency around government decisions more important than ever. It is both a medium-term issue and a critical short-term issue. Controversies around access to government information dogged the government in recent years. The “triple delete” scandal saw a government functionary fined $2,500 for making false statements… View Article

BC NDP-Green agreement offers historic opportunity for game-changing new policies

May 31, 2017
What an interesting and exciting moment in BC politics! For a bunch of policy nerds like us at the CCPA, it doesn’t get much better than this. On Tuesday May 30, the BC NDP and BC Green Party released the terms of their agreement to cooperate and grant legislative confidence to a minority NDP government…. View Article