Transparency & accountability

Newly disclosed data shows need for inquiry into fracking

Dec 11, 2017
In May 2014, British Columbia’s then Minister of Natural Gas Development, Rich Coleman, came out swinging when a team of Canadian and American scientists issued a report saying that fossil fuel industry fracking operations could contaminate surface waters and groundwater sources. “The reality is we’ve been doing this for over 50 years, we’ve never had… View Article

The University of Victoria seeks to profit from climate change deniers and policy obstructionists: The Exxon connection

Nov 3, 2017
The school year is now well under way. For many new students starting at the University of Victoria, the university’s stated commitments to sustainability were likely attractive, especially for BC residents whose summers were haunted by relentless wildfires. Given the needed move towards low-carbon economies it makes excellent sense for students to select universities that… View Article

A Dam Troublesome Exception: Progress Energy’s dams should not be exempted from environmental review

Oct 2, 2017
I sent the following letter to BC’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) in response to Progress Energy’s extraordinary request to retroactively exempt the Lily and Town dams from environmental reviews. Such reviews should have been conducted before the dams were built. Not only did those reviews not happen, but the company also failed to obtain other… View Article

Firehose of corporate cash or financing our democracy together? A no-brainer

Sep 25, 2017
A long-overdue and badly-needed overhaul of BC’s election finance rules was introduced by the provincial government last week. Media headlines mostly focused on the decision to include public funding for political parties, questioning whether it is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars and whether the governing NDP has reversed itself on this issue. But this… View Article

BC’s last Climate “Leadership” Plan was written in big oil’s boardroom (literally)

Sep 18, 2017
Newly uncovered documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests reveal the cozy relationship between the fossil fuel industry and the last BC government went even further than suspected — all the way to inviting industry to directly craft the province’s climate “leadership” plan. Let’s rewind for a second: back in the spring of 2015, then-premier… View Article

The enormous cost of public-private partnerships

Aug 3, 2017
Three recent BC public private partnership (P3) hospitals developed in co-operation with the province’s Partnerships BC (PBC) will cost the public $260 million more than traditionally delivered projects, according to figures released in July in response to a Freedom of Information request.1 The three projects were the BC Children’s and BC Women’s Redevelopment Project Phase… View Article

To protect her legacy, Premier Clark should put a moratorium on the destruction of documents

Jun 1, 2017
British Columbia is in interesting times politically and that makes transparency around government decisions more important than ever. It is both a medium-term issue and a critical short-term issue. Controversies around access to government information dogged the government in recent years. The “triple delete” scandal saw a government functionary fined $2,500 for making false statements… View Article