Still reckless and unnecessary

Aug 27, 2009
Gary Mason offers this summary of the past eight years in yesterday’s Globe: When B.C. Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell came to office in 2001 he unleashed a top-to-bottom review of all government agencies in an effort to bring finances in order. The result wasn’t pretty. It led to protests of all kinds from any number… View Article

Spending cuts will spell further job losses and a longer recession

Aug 27, 2009
Want a recipe to harm the economy and increase hardship for British Columbians in the middle of a recession? It’s easy – all you have to do is cut government spending. Unfortunately, this is exactly where our government seems to be headed judging by their ominous throne speech. A new report by yours truly, released… View Article

The throne speech missed the point

Aug 25, 2009
Today’s throne speech suggests that the BC government has finally recognized the severity of the recession and the hardship it’s causing to families across the province. Unfortunately, when it comes to policy implications or what to do about the recession, the government seems to have it all backwards. Instead of presenting an ambitious stimulus plan… View Article

Reading the entrails of BC’s election

May 13, 2009
Three-peat. Hat trick. The media is full of jubilation for the re-election of the Campbell Liberals. But looking at the numbers, it was actually quite close: the BC Liberals got 45.7% of the popular vote, compared to 42.2% for the NDP. This slim margin validates the Angus Reid polling camp, which came closest on estimating… View Article

Watch out for that train

May 13, 2009
Is it too early to start talking about what happens now the election is over? Because that light at the end of the tunnel really is a train. In their February Budget the Liberals said they were going to have a $500 million deficit this year. Nobody believed them then. Marc Lee called the Budget… View Article

Yet another case of our government delaying the release of important data

May 12, 2009
Less than a week after BC’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) report raised serious questions about secrecy in government (see Keith’s comments here), The Tyee reporter Andrew MacLeod has uncovered another case of important statistics not being released on time. The culprit this time is the Housing and Social Development Ministry, which typically… View Article

Bike to Work Week and our transportation culture

May 11, 2009
Pouring rain marked the start of Vancouver’s Bike to Work Week (May 11 – 17) this year, but those who braved the weather conditions are being rewarded with a beautiful sunshine for the ride home. Bike to Work Week is an annual event organized by the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition, which aims to raise the… View Article

Where’s Our Danny Boy (2)? Mayor of embattled town weighs in on needed forest reforms

May 11, 2009
Few British Columbia communities have been hit as hard by the forest industry crisis as Mackenzie. Some 1,500 jobs, by mayor Stephanie Killam’s estimate, have been lost in the community as sawmills, planer mills and pulp and paper mills closed. With hundreds of good paying mill jobs gone, jobs in related service industries have disappeared… View Article

Planet Before Politics

May 11, 2009
I signed the following open letter published in the Globe on the weekend. I cannot take any credit for organizing or writing the letter (hat tip to Ian Bruce of the David Suzuki Foundation). On the other hand, I can say that I have co-published with David Suzuki! It’s time to put the planet before… View Article

Towards an effective and fair carbon reduction strategy

May 8, 2009
This oped appeared in the Vancouver Sun’s online edition: Towards an effective and fair carbon reduction strategy By George Heyman and Dr. Colin Campbell, May 7, 2009 The latest science on global warming shows we must rapidly slash carbon emissions, or face catastrophic impacts on our civilization by the end of the century. We are… View Article

Report finds government stonewalling on FOI requests

May 8, 2009
BC’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) released a report yesterday showing secrecy in government is even a bigger problem that we thought. A February report from BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner’s described what he called, “an unacceptable pattern of government-wide failure to respond to access requests in as timely a fashion as it… View Article

Mischief making by oil and gas industry

May 8, 2009
Ben Parfitt and I submitted the following letter to the Vancouver Sun yesterday. Hopefully it will run in the next couple days. Here it is: Letter to the editor Re. “Maintaining momentum in oil and gas,” May 7. The oil and gas industry should stop its political mischief-making, and obfuscating the numbers about the industry’s… View Article

BC government should heed its own report on childcare

May 7, 2009
Do you remember the 2008 Throne Speech in which the provincial government launched a feasibility study on providing full day kindergarten for 5 year-olds and extending full day preschool options to younger children as well? Here’s a refresher: A new Early Childhood Learning Agency will be established. It will assess the feasibility and costs of… View Article

What are we going to do with the oil and gas industry?

May 7, 2009
That is the question no one seems willing to entertain in this election campaign. In today’s Vancouver Sun, David Collyer of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers makes the case for expanding the industry based on some dubious facts. First there is this gem: The industry has invested almost $30 billion dollars in British Columbia… View Article

Why young children’s education and care are not priorities in this election

May 7, 2009
It seems clear that policy-makers in this province (and country, for that matter) are not prepared to invest in a quality early education and childcare system, despite the proven benefits for children. The reasons have got to be political, as the economic case for investing in early childhood education and care has already been made… View Article

Poverty reduction and the party platforms

May 7, 2009
The CCPA is a member of the BC Poverty Reduction Committee, the network that has been pressing all the BC political parties to commit to a comprehensive poverty reduction plan. Over 280 organizations have now signed an Open Letter to all the political parties calling on them to commit to a poverty reduciton plan with… View Article

There is more to good economic policy than protecting the interests of employers

May 6, 2009
Next week’s election will take place in the midst of an economic crisis which hit our province seemingly out of the blue last fall and hit us hard, causing 69,000 job losses between November and March (the April numbers will be released on Friday, May 8, and are expected to be just as grim as… View Article

The Case for STV

May 6, 2009
One final article from our BC Commentary special: The Case for the BC Single Transferable Vote (BC-STV) by David Huntley and Michael Wortis BC-STV has many advantages over the current First-Past-the-Post system (FPTP) used for electing our MLAs. BC-STV will achieve a reasonably proportional representation of parties, with the number of MLAs of each party… View Article

The Case Against STV

May 5, 2009
More from our BC Commentary special on STV: The Case Against STV By David Schreck Will STV “make your vote count”? Actually, BC-STV can make your vote worth less and make your MLA less accountable. Our existing first-past-the-post (FPTP) system is not perfect, but it is better than BC-STV. Inequality is inherent in BC-STV. The… View Article

A Framework for Enhancing Home Support in BC

May 4, 2009
Home support is an important element of the broader home and community care system, which unfortunately tends to get overlooked in many health care discussions. Home support serves an important dual purpose: it improves the quality of life of vulnerable citizens by allowing them to continue living independently in their own homes and it enables… View Article