Municipalities

Phony numbers, screaming headline

May 31, 2013
An enormous error in a report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) led to a screaming headline in Wednesday’s Vancouver Sun suggesting spending by local governments was out of control. The CFIB’s report looked at spending in major Canadian cities, including Vancouver, from 2000 to 2011.  It concluded: From 2000 to 2011, Vancouver’s… View Article

Expert Panel on Business Taxation sides with local governments

Sep 26, 2012
Hundreds of mayors, municipal councilors and regional district directors are meeting this week in Victoria at the annual gathering of the Union of BC Municipalities. And not surprisingly, one of the major topics of discussion in the first three days has been the taxes local governments collect to provide their services. The local government leaders… View Article

Hail to the Chief? Or Bailing on the Chief?

Apr 18, 2012
A leaked provincial Cabinet document indicates that the provincial government is contemplating “suspending” the powers of one of its most powerful public servants in order to expedite a controversial logging program that has raised alarm bells in the professional forestry community. The document leaked late Tuesday afternoon, is the second confidential report in as many… View Article

Growing support for cities to adopt living wage

Nov 16, 2011
New developments since my recent post calling on municipalities to lead the way on adopting living wage policies: First, over just over 100 candidates have responded to the Open Letter issued by the Living Wage for Families campaign, covering almost every Lower Mainland municipality. Almost all have expressed support for this proposal or at least… View Article

Hochstein and the demand to cut union wages

Aug 8, 2011
Last week Philip Hochstein had an op-ed in the Vancouver Province accusing municipalities of profligate spending and accusing municipal workers of being vastly overpaid. Hochstein is president of the Independent Contractors and Business Association of BC – representing non union construction corporations. He is the public face of the hard right in British Columbia and has… View Article

Foreign trade issues playing out in BC

Jun 10, 2011
Last week Premier Christy Clark took the unprecedented step of promising there would be public consultation regarding the Province’s position on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. If this really happens it would be an important opportunity.  The current government has never allowed the public to have a… View Article

Big municipal tax shift a great deal for business

Nov 7, 2010
Municipal spending and municipal taxes are amongst the lowest in Canada. KPMG says businesses in Vancouver have the lowest business taxes amongst 41 cities they studied. So how come the pressure keeps coming to shift property taxes away from business and on to residential taxpayers?… View Article