Will the Olympics boost long-term tourism to BC?

Feb 15, 2010
“We’ve invited the world, they’re coming, and the place is a mess.” That was the tag line the CCPA gave to our BC Solutions Budget back in 2004. At the time, we argued as strongly as we could that if BC was to change the story the world would tell of us this month, we… View Article

The Buy American Deal: CCPA Analysis

Feb 11, 2010
If you’re looking for an alternative perspective on the recent Buy American deal, check out Buy American Basics, a new report from the CCPA’s National Office by economist Scott Sinclair. Scott reveals why this can’t really be called a “deal” as far as Canada’s concerned. You might also want to check out CCPA Research Associate… View Article

Throne speech rather unimaginative despite talk of leading change

Feb 9, 2010
Today’s Throne speech marks a return to the optimistic tone that is typical of the start of each session of the legislature. Sure, there are the obligatory references to financial discipline and balancing the budget, but they come at the very end of the document and are a far cry from last summer’s bare cupboard… View Article

About that Copenhagen award

Feb 5, 2010
Back in December, during the Copenhagen negotiations, a group of environmentalists provided BC Premier Gordon Campbell with an award for climate leadership. Based primarily on the creation of a BC carbon tax two years ago, the Premier has gotten a lot of brownie points from the greens – in spite of the fact that there… View Article

BC hearts Art. But only for the show off.

Feb 1, 2010
The pedestrian stretch of Granville Street downtown has been brightened lately by a colourful display of public art projects, complete with benches for pedestrians to sit for a moment and enjoy the view. What a great idea, I thought to myself as I stopped to look at one of the sculptures. I always found Vancouver… View Article

Corporations are people too

Jan 31, 2010
Advocates of democratic electoral reform are really out of step. Ideas like proportional representation and advertising spending limits are so retro, so 2004. The fashionable electoral reform idea this year is to give corporations a real say. It’s time for individual citizens to share their electoral democracy with corporations to give meaning to those old… View Article

BC’s Urban Housing (Un)affordability

Jan 25, 2010
A new study published today by the Frontier Institute for Public Policy finds that Vancouver has the most unaffordable urban housing market not just in Canada, but in all of Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. This conclusion is based on a very simple, yet effective measure of housing affordability:… View Article

Loukidelis did good work for government accountability. Now it’s a legislative committee’s turn.

Jan 24, 2010
David Loukidelis, British Columbia’s Freedom of Information Commissioner has accepted the new role as the province’s deputy attorney general.  Vaughn Palmer did a good column on the switch in jobs but I thought Loukidelis deserved more credit for his ten years on the job. Personally, I think Loukidelis’s leadership was almost completely responsible for BC’s FOI legislation… View Article

A Modest Proposal

Jan 23, 2010
At some point before long, Haiti is going to be rebuilt. It occurs to me that we in BC have available wood to help in the effort. Most things are built of concrete there because there simply isn’t any wood. Rebuilding out of concrete will be massively expensive and massively polluting. And, as Premier Campbell… View Article

Now for some disaster relief on the homefront

Jan 22, 2010
I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at the public response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti. I’ve seen donations being collected through school bake sales, at the liquor store, and on Hockey Night in Canada, among the usual channels for such stuff. It’s nice to know that, collectively, we care, in spite of the neglect of… View Article

Thinking about zero

Jan 21, 2010
I’m still coming out of my malaise following the Copenhagen climate conference in December. It’s easy to think that the stupid political brinksmanship is never going to end, and the focus of attention will shift to adaptive measures. But what is more likely is a few more Katrina scale disasters that will serve to spur… View Article

Economic Impacts [email protected]#

Jan 20, 2010
There isn’t a reputable economist that I know, nor a student in my benefit-cost class at SFU (that wants to pass) that does not understand the difference between economic impacts and real economic benefits. Nevertheless, industry lobbyists and all-too-many government officials never cease to point to economic impacts — the number of jobs a project… View Article

Will CanWest’s bankruptcy lead to more media concentration or new opportunities?

Jan 18, 2010
There is an old political adage that you should never argue with someone who buys their ink by the barrel.  Let’s ignore that good advice for a minute and talk about the CanWest bankruptcy. CanWest, Canada’s largest media company, filed for bankruptcy protection for its assets which include all of CanWest’s newspaper publishing and associated… View Article

Clearing the hurdles — sports brands and worker rights

Jan 15, 2010
As we prepare to host the Olympics, it’s worth thinking about how high (or low) the bar is set by the major companies that make sportswear. Despite some progress in recent years, substantial violations of worker rights and poverty wages are still the norm for workers in the sportswear industry. In response, Play Fair and… View Article

Child Poverty in BC — taking a look back

Jan 15, 2010
In response to the provincial government’s efforts to explain away child poverty stats, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition (which produces the annual BC child poverty report card) has started to produce monthly fact sheets to set the record straight. The first of these short reports was posted to their website this week…. View Article

First the party, next the hangover

Jan 12, 2010
It’s shocking to think that the 2010 Winter Games are now exactly one month away. Yes, the banners are dropping down the side of downtown buildings; huge tents are being erected anywhere there is open space; advertising from any but the Olympic sponsors has all but disappeared (I hereby challenge any Olympic athlete to eat… View Article

Bankers and cleaners

Jan 11, 2010
So who is worth more to society: someone who cleans hospitals for a living or someone who runs a bank? The answer to that question might seem subjective.  Someone flat on their back in a hospital room might have pretty strong opinions. But Britain’s New Economics Forum (NEF) has produced some pretty thought provoking work… View Article

The business elite’s parking tax backlash

Jan 8, 2010
The media is reporting a “backlash” against the new parking tax in Vancouver.  The Vancouver Sun reports it is a “slickly organized” backlash being run by Vancouver’s business elite.  This is apparently a 30 member business coalition including the Board of Trade. This is not the first time Vancouver’s business elite has gotten organized around… View Article

New Brunswick Plans for a $10 Minimum Wage

Jan 6, 2010
On January 5, New Brunswick’s provincial government announced plans to increase their minimum wage from the current $8.25 per hour to $10 over the next two years. The move has gotten surprisingly little coverage in the mainstream media out West so far, but I urge you to check out this excellent article on the Times… View Article

Housing Solutions

Jan 2, 2010
Just wanted to give our blog readers a plug for an excellent collection on housing solutions. Some of you have likely been following the Tyee’s excellent series of articles on housing and homelessness, written by Monte Paulsen. Now the Tyee has put that whole series together in a single pdf collection. You can find it… View Article