Transparency & accountability

BC hospital P3 ownership moves to tax haven

Nov 6, 2013
One more of British Columbia’s public private partnerships (P3s) has headed on down the road to ownership in a European tax haven.  Bilfinger Berger Global Infrastructure completed deals last summer to acquire equity and loans for the Kelowna Vernon Hospital.  It is also buying out equity and loans on Alberta’s North East Stoney Trail highway… View Article

What’s the Canada-EU trade deal all about?

Nov 4, 2013
Chances are, you’ve heard about the Canada-EU trade deal. It’s hard to miss, what with the federal government hard at work staging photo-ops and events across the country, promoting the deal as a major win. The official sales pitch focuses on the trade aspects of the deal – lowering or eliminating tariffs between Canada and… View Article

A new government? It’s not as easy as it looks

Feb 28, 2013
If there is a new government in BC on May 15th, it will be confronted with issues that make the transition particularly challenging. The financial issues are a given.  Debt has gone up.  Possibly, given the economic recession we faced, it should have gone up even further.  The dramatic rise in long term contractual obligations… View Article

Parliamentary reform idea: Get Out of the House

Feb 15, 2013
By Seth Klein and Shannon Daub [Note: Samara Canada has been gathering ideas for reforming Parliament. All the ideas they have collected are being posted on their blog, which you can find here. What follows is our contribution.] Here’s the big dilemma: Whatever reforms are made to Parliamentary practice and conduct, the simple truth is… View Article

Fairness by design: a framework for tax reform in Canada

Feb 14, 2013
A new CCPA (National) report by Marc Lee and myself argues that Canada’s tax system needs a “fairness” overhaul and presents a framework for progressive tax reform. Those of you who have been following our tax work so far will find this study a great complement to the BC Tax Options Paper. Tax policy is… View Article

TransLink Funding and Governance (Yet Again)

Mar 8, 2012
I always smile when I think of the provincial negotiator Peter Cameron’s comments when we were wrapping up the final details in the transit funding and governance negotiations leading to the creation of Translink. We all thought we had a good agreement. MetroVancouver would be given broad responsibilities to plan and deliver transit services, develop… View Article

A toxic spill and communications chill

Mar 6, 2012
So here’s the little that we know about a pipeline break that occurred more than half a year ago and that British Columbia’s Oil and Gas Commission feels for whatever reasons the public is best kept in the dark about. The incident occurred on August 19 of last year when a 35-year-old pipeline broke and… View Article