Marc’s Summer Reading

Jul 22, 2010
With summer comes a lightening of my work load, so I’ve finally found some time to dive into a few interesting books. These are all related to my ongoing research interests (I do have some fiction sitting around waiting for a real holiday, with Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna at the top of the pile): The… View Article

The Census: Evidence based decisions better than decision based evidence

Jul 14, 2010
There is beginning to be a lot of discussion about the decision by the Federal government two weeks ago to drop the compulsory long form census. Armine Yalnizyan, a senior economist with the CCPA was one of the first people to raise the issue in an open letter to the Minister of Industry who is… View Article

And now for the bill: the cost of the Olympics

Jul 12, 2010
The BC government has released its final estimates of the cost of staging the 2010 Winter Games, highlighting the problems this government has with telling the truth (other examples include the 2009 pre-election fudge-it budget, and the HST). The Tyee reports: British Columbia’s government spent $325 million more on the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics… View Article

BC’s 2009 Super-Fudge-It Budget

Jul 12, 2010
Under the “we told you so” category, I am filing the BC public accounts for 2009/10. The province closed the year with a deficit of $1.8 billion. As Will McMartin comments in The Tyee: … B.C.’s public accounts for the fiscal year 2009/2010 conclusively prove that the pre-election fiscal plan foisted on British Columbians by… View Article

Gas prices and consumption: BC vs Pacific Northwest

Jul 12, 2010
On a weekend getaway to Washington state, I was alarmed at how much cheaper gas prices are south of the border. Typically, we paid $3 per gallon, whereas the price in Vancouver upon our return was $1.16 per litre, which is $4.39 per gallon (with the exchange rate roughly parity over the weekend). This is… View Article

Good news from the BC government – with a couple of caveats

Jul 10, 2010
The BC government’s announcement July 9th that it had signed a deal on generic drugs with the province’s drug stores is good news.  As discussed in an earlier blog, British Columbians have been paying far more than consumers in other jurisdictions for generic drugs.  Alberta, Quebec and Ontario had already taken steps to correct this… View Article