Women in the Canadian Economy

Mar 8, 2010
Last weekend, I spoke at a community event celebrating International Women’s Day in Vancouver. It got me thinking about the status of women in the Canadian economy, reflecting both on the successes over the last half century and on the areas where work is still needed to achieve gender equality. As a young woman in… View Article

Climate inaction and BC’s budget

Mar 3, 2010
The 2010 BC Budget was a disappointment on the climate action front. Even as Premier Campbell waxed poetic in the Globe about the impact of climate change on the 2010 Spring Games – with its sunny days, crocuses, daffodils and by the end, cherry blossoms making it fun for people on the street but a… View Article

BC Budget 2010 (notes from Iglika and Marc)

Mar 2, 2010
For a document titled Building a Prosperous British Columbia, the 2010 BC Budget is underwhelming in its ambition. Budget 2010 shows a government talking a lot about the legacy of the Olympics but lacking any coherent vision of how to translate upbeat sentiments into real improvements in British Columbians’ standard of living. This budget says… View Article

BC’s budget deficit third smallest in Canada

Mar 1, 2010
Media attention may still be firmly focused on athletes and tourists today, but we’re already starting to see hints about what will dominate BC’s post-Olympics discourse. The fear-mongering around our provincial debt and deficits is making a return… View Article

Costs do matter!

Mar 1, 2010
Admittedly, I’ve been over 4000 kilometres away from the frenzy on Robson Street for the last two weeks and more. Nevertheless, I still can’t buy into the new found enthusiasm for the Olympics. True, the men’s hockey final was spectacular, and I enjoyed it as much as anyone, celebrating with a margarita at a favourite… View Article

BC’s public sector: among the smallest in the country

Feb 25, 2010
Have you heard pundits say that BC’s public sector is too big or “bloated”? It’s an argument frequently used as an excuse to advocate for government spending cuts, but is it true? You may want to take a look at the numbers for yourself. The CCPA just released a short report on the size of… View Article

Is it time to stop worrying about the economy?

Feb 22, 2010
If you read the papers in this province, you’d think BC had long forgotten about the recession. Every bit of economic good news is trumpeted enthusiastically, from small increases in employment to the latest growth forecast released by private sector economists. Yet economic forecasting is a notoriously difficult business. Just a year ago, we saw… View Article

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 !?@#

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