Some issues arising from the special advisor’s report on the Vancouver School Board

Jun 6, 2010
The special advisor appointed by the provincial government to look at the finances of the Vancouver School Board reported on Friday and a number of issues arise from the report.  Before discussing these, however, people should be aware that in my day job I am a researcher for the Canadian Union of Public Employees which… View Article

‘Green’ Summer Reading

Jun 3, 2010
As I was wandering through the airport this spring I succumbed to my one true addiction: books.  Yes, I know that a good environmentalist uses the local library, but I’m working on it….. Anyway, as always, I try to pick up something that I’ve read a review on or something that just jumps out at… View Article

View from the Top: Income Inequality in BC

Jun 2, 2010
A fascinating, and shocking, literature on the incomes at the very top of the distribution has emerged in recent years. Typically, Statistics Canada only reports income distributions for quintiles, or 20% groupings, and occasionally deciles, or 10% groupings. But new research based on tax filing has shown that the real action has been at the… View Article

Legislative review of FOI Act narrow and timid

Jun 1, 2010
A legislative committee reviewing BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act reported on May 31st and the results were disappointing.  They certainly did not live up to the previous legislative review in 2004.  Back then government backbenchers on the Committee made recommendations leaders of the government didn’t like.  The 2004 Committee made recommendations… View Article

Child poverty: How does BC stack up against those provinces with a plan?

May 29, 2010
A week ago, I appeared before the BC Legislature’s Standing Committee on Children and Youth. The committee, to its credit, had decided to spend a day hearing witnesses on the subject of child poverty, and what BC could do to make a difference. Among the points I raised with the committee: too often this issue… View Article

Early indicators of how the recession has hit BC’s poor

May 29, 2010
Just wanted to draw readers’ attention to a great op-ed piece in The Province newspaper this past Thursday: “Recession slammed BC’s poor; and it’s not over,” by Chandra Pasma. Chandra is a policy analyst with Citizens for Public Justice (a faith-based social justice group), and author of a recent report entitled Bearing the Brunt: How… View Article