Poverty: How do we measure up? Very poorly

Oct 5, 2009
Discussions about poverty in Canada and BC are, sadly, forever weighed down by debates about how to define and measure poverty. Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off (LICO) is the line most commonly used, as it is the only measure reliably produced by the federal government each year. It is imperfect, but the best we have to… View Article

Something missing from the H1N1 fight

Oct 2, 2009
When the government announced its plans for dealing with H1N1 in schools on August 24th there was something missing. The government’s “pandemic response framework”, announced by the Ministers of Education and Healthy Living and sport deals with issues like transporting the sick, communications, roles of emergency response teams, school instruction and post-pandemic recovery plans. What… View Article

Green in a Different Sense

Oct 2, 2009
It is all about marketing I suppose, but I still can’t believe the proponents of the Highway 37 Northwest electric transmission line labelling it a green initiative. The only thing green about it is all the money BC Hydro will lose if it goes ahead. The proponents’ spin is that this transmission line will enable… View Article

Will job creation solve our poverty problems?

Sep 28, 2009
You may recall that during the leaders’ debate prior to last May’s election, Gordon Campbell argued that creating jobs is the best poverty reduction strategy out there. Since his re-election, the government’s attention has been focused on the economy, while social policy has taken a back seat. But is this the best approach? A recent… View Article

Poltergeists and P3s: They’re back

Sep 24, 2009
In February, with the spectacular collapse of the $3 billion Port Mann Bridge public private partnership, many people thought P3s in British Columbia were a dead item.  They’re back. With the Fort St. John Hospital project the government’s privatization agency, Partnerships BC (PBC), has found a way to drastically reduce private investment in P3s while… View Article

Droppin’ some HST

Sep 24, 2009
The province-wide revolt over BC’s looming Harmonized Sales Tax is reminiscent of protests a generation ago when the HST’s federal parent, the Goods and Services Tax, was born. The rationale for that shift was similar to that of the HST: to switch from an invisible tax paid by producers (the Manufacturers’ Sales Tax) that was… View Article