Posts by Marc Lee

Marc Lee

About Marc Lee

Marc Lee is a Senior Economist at the CCPA’s BC Office. In addition to tracking federal and provincial budgets and economic trends, Marc has published on a range of topics from poverty and inequality to globalization and international trade to public services and regulation. Marc is Co-Director of the Climate Justice Project, a research partnership with UBC's School of Community and Regional Planning that examines the links between climate change policies and social justice. Follow Marc on Twitter

Unemployment surges again in March

Apr 9, 2009
Just in time for a heated election campaign, the latest unemployment numbers paint a grim picture for BC. Just a year ago, BC was coasting along with an unemployment rate of just over 4%. By the end of 2008 that had crept up to 5%. And now a truly brutal first quarter that saw the… View Article

BC leads country in rising EI claims

Mar 24, 2009
According to today’s Statscan release, unemployment insurance (EI) claims were up 47% in January 2009 compared to January 2008. This makes BC the leader in Canada when it comes to rising EI claims. I don’t think that was one of the Great Golden Goals. There is a lag in the EI numbers, since the most… View Article

Statscan spins the recession

Mar 20, 2009
Here is the upbeat take on retail sales from Statistics Canada’s Daily: Retail sales rose 1.9% in January after decreasing 5.2% in December. Sales rose in five of the eight retail sectors, led by a 3.8% increase in the automotive sector. In volume terms, retail sales were up 1.8%. It goes on to report that… View Article

Well, now that Alberta is doing it …

Mar 17, 2009
You could say that BC is more than a little sweet on Alberta. We love their individualistic, tax-cutting, tar-sanding grit. Can’t get enough of it. We even signed a silly economic agreement called TILMA (the BC-Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement) so we could be more like them. If Alberta went and ran massive… View Article

Social assistance caseload way up

Mar 15, 2009
In our pre-budget Reality Check, we noted that a recession would lead to upwards pressure on social assistance expenditures. The 2009 Budget notes that every 1% increase in the temporary assistance caseload increases expenditures by $3.5 million (and $7 million for the disability caseload). During a major recession it would not be unrealistic to project… View Article

The wrong kind of stimulus

Mar 13, 2009
I am a big fan of stimulus packages for our ailing economy. But my pitch has been that we need to use the occasion to retrofit our economy to be on a more sustainable footing. So it matters a great deal on what we spend those stimulus dollars. If we launch projects that take us… View Article