Provincial budget & finance

Our take on BC Budget 2020

Feb 18, 2020
BC Budget 2020 is light on new announcements. It largely marks the final year of implementation of the ambitious three-year plan set out back in 2018 to tackle some of our biggest social and economic challenges head on. The good news is that it delivers on key commitments made (and even ups the amounts slightly… View Article

A surplus at all costs? Balanced budget fixation hurts BC

Jan 20, 2020
Almost every year at budget time, BC governments of all stripes predict public coffers are going to be worse off than they’re likely truly expecting. This habit is usually portrayed as harmless or even prudent, but when the budget room available to us is systematically underestimated, it distorts the scope of public debate. Budget lowballing… View Article

Happy new year—no more MSP!

Jan 6, 2020
It’s a brand new year, and BC’s Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums are no more. That’s great news because MSP premiums were a very unfair tax (or “regressive” as we economists like to say). In its first budget (in 2018), the current provincial government announced it would phase out MSP premiums by 2020 and has… View Article

Let’s go big on building affordable non-market rental housing

Dec 11, 2019
To fully address Metro Vancouver’s housing crisis we need an ambitious build-out of 10,000 new units per year of non-market, rental housing. This includes public housing and co-ops that are truly affordable for ordinary households. New investments from the BC and federal governments point to a modest revival of public, non-market housing, but these investments… View Article

An electrifying announcement leads to more questions than answers

Dec 5, 2019
In late August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau traveled to Vancouver to announce that the federal government had agreed to financially support a new hydroelectric transmission line project in British Columbia’s remote northeast region. In a memorandum of understanding signed with the provincial government, the federal government committed $83.6 million to the project, which will cover… 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

How much is BC giving to natural gas companies?

Jun 24, 2019
All British Columbians have a stake in the pricing of natural resources. When trees are logged, when minerals are mined, when fossil fuels are drilled, the companies doing the extracting pay fees to the Province in recognition that the resources are publicly owned. It is therefore in everybody’s interest to know how the government prices… View Article