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

The recent secretive, haphazard spending cuts should be repealed

Sep 23, 2009
Almost daily we wake up to news of yet another important program or initiative whose funding has been cut by the BC government. Literacy initiatives, high school sports, programs that protect women and children from violence, arts and culture: hardly an area of social service provision has been spared. These cuts have been devastating to… View Article

Piecing together the puzzle: help us track BC government cuts

Sep 17, 2009
Since winning the May election, the provincial government has been steadily cutting public services, often without any public announcement. These cuts affect services ranging from the arts to seniors’ care to public schools. They will be particularly hard on the most vulnerable members of our society. In the absence of comprehensive information from the provincial… View Article

What should our government be spending money on?

Sep 16, 2009
One question that is missing from the public debate on deficits and debt is whether we’re getting the best bang for the stimulus buck. Even if we accept that it’s appropriate for governments to borrow and engage in deficit-financing during a recession, as I have argued here, we need to have a discussion about the… View Article

That sinking feeling: BC’s forests and CO2 emissions

Sep 15, 2009
As everyone knows, BC has a lot of trees. From a climate change perspective the nice thing about trees (forests, really) is that they suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. In the jargon, forests are a “sink”, reducing CO2 emissions, rather than a “source” that contributes them. At least, that used to be the… View Article