Provincial budget & finance

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

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

Following the money in BC communities

Mar 12, 2009
It is one of those publications that few media outlets will report on, and even fewer British Columbians will read, but BC Stats just released the latest version of its Local Area Economic Dependencies, updated based on 2006 census data. This publication basically asks where the income in various BC communities comes from. In many… View Article