Is the stimulus killing the P3 model?

Mar 27, 2009
While BC has not formally abandoned the P3 model, there is a notable absence of new P3 projects at a time when billions of dollars are being channeled to infrastructure spending. If P3s really provided value for money and brought the benefits of private sector efficiency and innovation to the delivery of public-sector infrastructure, then… View Article

Is funnelling money into shovel-ready projects the best strategy for infrastructure development?

Mar 27, 2009
I often get asked: “Shouldn’t we support the Olympics or the Port Mann bridge (or any of the multitude of poorly handled infrastructure projects in our province) despite their substantial cost overruns on the grounds that they will create jobs and benefit the economy?” The problem with this question is that it allows for two… View Article

BC leads country in rising EI claims

Mar 24, 2009
According to today’s Statscan release, unemployment insurance (EI) claims were up 47% in January 2009 compared to January 2008. This makes BC the leader in Canada when it comes to rising EI claims. I don’t think that was one of the Great Golden Goals. There is a lag in the EI numbers, since the most… View Article

History lessons for Carole Taylor

Mar 22, 2009
Former Finance Minister Carole Taylor was in court last week testifying in a lawsuit arising from damage to Cambie Street merchants from the Canada Line. She was sympathetic to the merchants but, “It was a TransLink project,” she said. “There’s no question the province didn’t have any control over the project.” She admitted that at… View Article

Contracting Out: Enough to make you sick

Mar 21, 2009
There is now an accumulation of evidence, both international and domestic, that contracting out is good — but only if you happen to own shares in MDS, Sodexho, LifeLabs, Compass, Aramark or any number of other piggybackers. Unfortunately, if you are merely a patient, taxpayer and/or hospital worker you are probably getting sicker, paying more… View Article

Statscan spins the recession

Mar 20, 2009
Here is the upbeat take on retail sales from Statistics Canada’s Daily: Retail sales rose 1.9% in January after decreasing 5.2% in December. Sales rose in five of the eight retail sectors, led by a 3.8% increase in the automotive sector. In volume terms, retail sales were up 1.8%. It goes on to report that… View Article