Privatization, P3s & public services

Social impact bonds are a wolf in sheep’s clothing

Apr 27, 2021
Earlier this year, Vancouver city council considered a motion encouraging the city to look into the issue of “social impact bonds” (and more broadly “social impact investing”), which is a warm and fuzzy sounding term that actually refers to a type of privatization. I spoke to city council to help demystify the rhetoric around social… View Article

BC Budget 2021: Stay-the-course budget misses the mark on key areas of urgency outside health

Apr 20, 2021
The BC government tabled a surprisingly stay-the-course budget today, making some improvements on the margins but missing the opportunity to shift BC towards a more inclusive and sustainable economy. While it appropriately includes large sums of time-limited spending relating to the pandemic (and indeed BC has led other provinces on pandemic spending), it is scarce… View Article

The Deregulation Zombie Rises Again in Texas

Mar 3, 2021
Forced to use unprecedented amounts of electricity to heat their homes and stop their water pipes from freezing during the recent cold snap, Texas citizens found that their utilities were only adding to their misery. Hourly prices for electricity literally skyrocketed. Prices spiked from $34 to $9,000 per megawatt hour in a few days due… View Article
Aerial photo of two cars in a minor accident

Creeping privatization is not the fix to auto insurance in BC

Oct 8, 2020
As part of BC’s election campaign, the BC Liberal party pledged this week to move away from universal public auto insurance by opening up basic coverage to private insurance corporations. The claim made by party leader Andrew Wilkinson is that cheaper rates will follow from having private corporations sell insurance plans (using the old litigation-driven,… View Article

Under-regulated, under-researched and largely privatized: Assisted living seniors’ care in BC

Jun 17, 2020
COVID-19 has shone a light on serious problems in our seniors’ care system resulting from years of underfunding, privatization and precarious working conditions. These problems are not isolated to long-term care, however. New research published today looks specifically at the state of assisted living here in BC, and concludes a review by the province’s Seniors… View Article

Time to end profit-making in seniors’ care

Apr 22, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on serious problems in Canada’s seniors’ care system, as nursing homes quickly became the epicenters of the outbreak. These problems are not only due to the greater vulnerability of seniors to the disease, but also to how care is organized and staffed.  In recent weeks, BC’s provincial government… View Article

Time to extend financial supports to local governments

Apr 15, 2020
Local governments and regional authorities like TransLink have been missing from federal and provincial economic responses to COVID-19. Local governments are facing collapsing revenues, and unlike federal and provincial governments, they are not allowed to run deficits to cover their operating costs. As a result they are already staring into the abyss of painful austerity… View Article

Time for a forest reserve

Mar 9, 2020
Almost inevitably, when someone suggests that logging of privately-owned lands should be subject to tougher regulations, there is an outcry from landowners. It is “their” land after all. But this ignores important historical realities in British Columbia—realities that are hopefully being considered in a current review by the provincial government.  Up until 2003, a much… View Article

Building a universal child care system in BC means rethinking how we fund new spaces

Jul 9, 2019
Last year, the BC government made landmark investments in child care, reducing costs for tens of thousands of families. And, those in $10/day prototypes (2,500 spaces throughout the province) are finally experiencing truly affordable child care. However, too many families are still desperate for access to quality, licensed child care. Lower fees don’t help parents… View Article