Food as a right of citizenship

Mar 19, 2009
I came across an interesting piece in YES! Magazine about a city in Brazil that took an innovative approach to poverty reduction and practically ended hunger by adopting a food-as-a-right policy. Belo Horizonte, the fourth largest city in Brazil, has a population of 2.5 million people, slightly larger than the Lower Mainland. The city grappled… View Article

Well, now that Alberta is doing it …

Mar 17, 2009
You could say that BC is more than a little sweet on Alberta. We love their individualistic, tax-cutting, tar-sanding grit. Can’t get enough of it. We even signed a silly economic agreement called TILMA (the BC-Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement) so we could be more like them. If Alberta went and ran massive… View Article

BC’s minimum wage soon tied for Canada’s lowest

Mar 15, 2009
On April 15th British Columbia officially wins the race to the bottom. That is the day New Brunswick raises its minimum wage to $8.00 an hour. When that happens New Brunswick, PEI and British Columbia will be tied with the lowest minimum wage in Canada. This three-way tie won’t last for long though. On September… View Article

Social assistance caseload way up

Mar 15, 2009
In our pre-budget Reality Check, we noted that a recession would lead to upwards pressure on social assistance expenditures. The 2009 Budget notes that every 1% increase in the temporary assistance caseload increases expenditures by $3.5 million (and $7 million for the disability caseload). During a major recession it would not be unrealistic to project… View Article

The wrong kind of stimulus

Mar 13, 2009
I am a big fan of stimulus packages for our ailing economy. But my pitch has been that we need to use the occasion to retrofit our economy to be on a more sustainable footing. So it matters a great deal on what we spend those stimulus dollars. If we launch projects that take us… View Article

Beggar-thy-neighbour politics in Metro Vancouver

Mar 13, 2009
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts made the news this week calling for property-tax-free zones in Surrey to attract new business to her city. Of course, in a climate where businesses are not making new investments, this will at best lure businesses from other parts of Metro Vancouver. Economists call these beggar-thy-neighbour policies because you can only… View Article