Final farewell to the CCPA

Dec 20, 2018
Dear friends, After 22 years as founding Director of the CCPA’s BC Office, this month marks the end of my employment with the CCPA. Given that, I wanted to share some farewell thoughts and thanks (in addition to those I wrote when I announced my departure plans last spring). Leaving the CCPA is quite emotional…. View Article

Where is labour’s voice in coverage of pipeline controversies?

Dec 19, 2018
The news media play a strong role in shaping how many Canadians understand issues like climate change—and the tensions between the fossil fuel industry and those seeking to transition to a low-carbon economy. But are the media providing a clear view of the debate surrounding these issues? And are all stakeholders’ voices being heard? Short… View Article

Great news for human rights in BC!

Dec 18, 2018
On November 27, sixteen years after the previous government abolished it, the BC government passed legislation to bring back the BC Human Rights Commission. Human rights commissions play a vital role in promoting, defending and protecting human rights. Commissions across the country work to prevent abuses by building awareness of human rights, investigating issues of… View Article

BC’s shiny new climate plan: A look under the hood

Dec 17, 2018
BC’s new climate plan, Clean BC, is a big and visionary document and was instantly lauded by environmental groups and businesses alike. In this post, I recap the key components of the plan and do a bit of a reality check against the hype, in particular the challenge of fitting liquefied natural gas (LNG) into… View Article

Whose wealth is it anyway? BC’s top 10 billionaires and the rest of us

Dec 12, 2018
Economic inequality has exploded in recent decades—globally, in Canada and here in BC. Much of our concern about inequality has focused on the growth of extreme disparities between the incomes of the very rich and those of us on the middle and lower rungs of the income ladder. But there’s been much less focus on… View Article

BC can afford major new investments in the common good

Dec 3, 2018
This post is part of our BC Budget 2019 series, which highlights key findings from the CCPA’s research and outlines our recommendations for the 2019 provincial budget. Find more from the series at: BC has the financial means to make major differences in the lives of British Columbians. The most recent update to BC’s… View Article

True reconciliation in BC requires implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Nov 29, 2018
In the span of a decade, we have moved from the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples being largely absent from political and public discourse in BC to being fully endorsed by both the federal and provincial governments. In May 2017, implementation of the UN Declaration was called “foundational” to the Confidence and… View Article

What’s missing from the Uber debate? Market power, congestion, pollution, and even deaths

Nov 26, 2018
The BC government has introduced legislation expected to bring ride-hailing to the province late next year, though many questions remain about what the outcome will be in practice. A number of important policy details still need to be filled in by the Passenger Transportation Board and ICBC. Meanwhile the debate on ride-hailing has largely been… View Article

Employer Health Tax refinements good news for public services, non-profits

Nov 22, 2018
Just over a month before the new Employer Health Tax comes into effect, we have some of the final details of the tax’s design at hand. The provincial government released implementation details for the tax (EHT) over the summer and introduced legislation to enact it last month. The EHT replaces the deeply unfair Medical Services… View Article

Trans Mountain pipedreams and other energy follies: Why Canada needs a viable energy plan

Nov 13, 2018
Like it or not, we need to plan for a major transition over the coming decades from our reliance on fossil fuels to renewable energy. Fossil fuels are the major source of energy for Canadians and people around the world (providing 85 per cent of global primary energy in 2017). But hydrocarbons—oil, gas and coal—unfortunately… View Article

Pro rep leads to better public policy

Nov 8, 2018
Debunking the claims of proportional representation naysayers This post is part of a series explaining the benefits of proportional representation and debunking myths from the ‘No’ side of BC’s 2018 electoral reform referendum. More from the series is available at Over the last few months, I’ve spent quite a lot of time debating and… View Article

How fast can we get to 100% renewables?

Nov 7, 2018
This piece draws on research and a presentation in Vancouver by Mark Jacobson from Stanford University, who delivered the 2018 Gideon Rosenbluth Memorial Lecture. You can listen to the audio or watch a recording of the live video stream below, and you can download Mark’s slides here (PDF). It is well established that we need… View Article
Image: The massive Sunrise Plant, the largest gas plant built in Western Canada in 30 years, sits on farmland near Dawson Creek. It was one of three gas plants in a row exempted from provincial environmental assessments. © Garth Lenz

Shielding fossil fuel corporations from public scrutiny: The new “neutral”?

Oct 31, 2018
British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office bills itself as a “neutral” provincial agency. But there is evidence that this is not the case, and that BC Environment Minister George Heyman — who is tasked with “revitalizing” the province’s environmental assessment law — needs to make serious reforms. When a public regulator makes major decisions behind closed… View Article

The power of ideas and research: A note from CCPA-BC’s incoming Director

Oct 26, 2018
I first encountered the CCPA when I was a university student trying to make sense of the world and my place in it. I’d moved out to Vancouver at 19 with a longing to explore this beautiful coast, a passionate if somewhat disorganized commitment to social justice, my cat, and not a whole lot else…. View Article

BC’s speculation tax is a key piece of the housing affordability puzzle

Oct 25, 2018
The BC government has brought forward legislation to implement one of its major policy measures on housing: the speculation tax. In a defence of the tax earlier this year, we outlined why the speculation tax represents an important step in addressing the housing crisis. The tax covers a limited set of geographical areas in BC that have a high demand… View Article
Photo: © Garth Lenz

Who owns and benefits from Canada’s fossil fuel sector?

Oct 23, 2018
Many Canadians—politicians and business people in particular—are quick to tout the value of the fossil fuel sector to our national economy. But who primarily benefits from these industries? The major investors in Canada’s fossil fuel sector (oil, bitumen, gas and coal) have high stakes in maintaining business as usual, rather than addressing the industry’s serious… View Article

Dangerous precedent: Petronas subsidiary gets free pass after building unlicensed fracking dams

Oct 22, 2018
In a decision without precedent in its 25 years of existence, British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has told Progress Energy that two massive unauthorized dams that it built will not have to undergo environmental assessments. The decision comes after the company made an audacious request to the EAO to have the two dams declared… View Article

Getting to pro rep: How I plan to rank the options

Oct 19, 2018
Debunking the claims of proportional representation naysayers This post is part of a series explaining the benefits of proportional representation and debunking myths from the ‘No’ side of BC’s 2018 electoral reform referendum. More from the series is available at During these weeks leading up to the electoral reform referendum, I’ve been giving a… View Article

Pro rep will indeed mean more minority governments — bring it on!

Oct 16, 2018
Debunking the claims of proportional representation naysayers This post is part of a series explaining the benefits of proportional representation and debunking myths from the ‘No’ side of BC’s 2018 electoral reform referendum. More from the series is available at Among the fear-mongering claims of the ‘No’ side in BC’s electoral reform debate, a… View Article

Designated Indigenous seats: A possibility for political inclusion?

Oct 15, 2018
As the Federal Court of Appeal’s quashing of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) showcases, a wide chasm remains between the federal government’s platitudes of reconciliation and real action. Canada, the Court ruled, has again fallen short of its obligations to consult with and accommodate Indigenous peoples—to say nothing of the right to free, prior… View Article