Posts by Marvin Shaffer

Marvin Shaffer

About Marvin Shaffer

Marvin Shaffer is a consulting economist and adjunct professor in the Public Policy Program at Simon Fraser University. He has a PhD in Economics from the University of British Columbia and received his BA, Honours in Economics, from McGill University. Marvin has managed his own consulting firm specializing in energy, transportation and natural resource economics for over thirty years.

Marvin previously held senior positions with the Government of British Columbia (head of the Crown Corporations Secretariat and Chief Executive Officer of the British Columbia Transportation Financing Authority). As well, he lectured in economics at the University of British Columbia, and at the University of Queensland and University of Tasmania in Australia. Follow Marvin on Twitter

An Interesting Spin

Feb 23, 2011
In its latest planning document, BC Hydro is forecasting a rate increase of 50% over the next five years. In fact, earlier BC Hydro submissions to the BC Utilities Commission revealed that rates are expected to increase at that pace for the next ten years, with rates forecast to more than double over that period. Not… View Article

The IPP Lobby’s Top Ten

Jan 4, 2011
The Vancouver Sun’s Gordon Hamilton reports that the IPP lobby, BC Citizens for Green Energy, has released a Letterman-like top ten reasons for the development of more of their run-of-river and other ‘green’ power projects. Though not as funny as Letterman, the BCCGE’s top ten could bring out a laugh, except for the serious environmental and… View Article

Olympics – ‘Rousing Financial Success’?

Dec 19, 2010
Though not a true believer myself, I can think of a number of positive impacts from the 2010 Olympics. There was, without question, a community spirit seldom if ever seen in Vancouver. There was a renewed commitment to excellence in sport. However, one thing I couldn’t imagine anyone suggesting is that it was a “rousing… View Article

Feds got it right on Prosperity

Nov 8, 2010
The federal government made the right decision in rejecting the Prosperity mine proposal. The project would have had significant adverse environmental effects, and that for some is reason enough to deny approval. But even if one were willing to accept the environmental impacts because of the economic benefits the project would have offered, it is… View Article

HST and the NDP

Aug 21, 2010
Let’s face it. You can’t blame the NDP or anyone else enjoying the drubbing the Liberals are getting from Bill Vander Zalm and co. It is incredibly fun to watch. There is no question that the drubbing is well deserved. Whatever one thinks of the merits of an HST versus the PST it replaced, it… View Article

‘Prosperity’ Mine

Jul 30, 2010
So there I was in Durham near Newcastle, enjoying a pint in a very historic and charming little pub called the Dun Cow (where do the Brits come up with these names). I was looking at some old photos of hard working folks coming out of the mines and couldn’t help but think of B.C.’s… View Article

Buying off industry

May 27, 2010
At first glance, the response of the forest sector and other large energy users to the province’s Clean Energy Act was surprising. Here is an Act that will force BC Hydro to waste literally billions of dollars to create an artificial demand for private power.  It will without question drive up BC Hydro’s rates far more… View Article

The Clean Energy Act – adding insult to injury

Apr 29, 2010
I don’t follow the provincial legislature closely enough to judge whether the proposed Clean Energy Act is the worst legislation the Liberals have introduced since first being elected, but it has to be a front runner. The first objective listed in the Act is the government’s misdirected requirement for BC Hydro to be self-sufficient, with all of… View Article

Site C

Apr 19, 2010
I recall talking to a senior BC Hydro planner a number of years ago who mapped out a very sensible way to develop the BC Hydro system. Retain the Burrard gas-fired thermal power plant as a back-up for extreme drought, when electricity supply at the hydro facilities on the Peace and Columbia river systems is… View Article

More Please!!!

Mar 9, 2010
Every now and again you read something so outrageous you have to laugh. So it is with the report recently released by BC Citizens for Clean Energy: A Triple Legacy for Future Generations. The essence of this lobby group’s proposal is that the government should develop an export policy for green energy targeting up to… View Article