How have taxes changed over the last half century

Aug 12, 2014
The Fraser Institute’s annual Consumer Tax Index report generated some media buzz with its outlandish claims about just how much taxes have risen since 1961. Before you get worked up about this, consider that 1961 was over half a century ago, before the time of universal health care that we all benefit from, before the… View Article

BC government using affordability excuses to underfund education and health

Aug 11, 2014
Affordability is becoming the new buzzword of the BC government. In the dispute with teachers, for example, the Minister of Education has repeatedly argued demands for lower class sizes and improved class composition, as well as fair wages, are unaffordable and unrealistic (see here). When parents and businesses make the case for more public funding… View Article

Where’s the fanfare for tackling poverty effectively? Connecting the dots between three political moments over three months

Jul 30, 2014
The following op-ed was originally published in The Georgia Straight. On June 16, I attended the B.C. government’s Disability Summit, the culmination of a three-month public consultation process on disability in B.C. I watched Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Don McRae lead the audience through the event. I felt the flurry of excitement… View Article

Will offsets be the “indulgences” for our LNG sins?

Jul 18, 2014
In June 2014, the BC government reported on its progress towards the 2007 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, which calls for a one-third reduction by 2020 in GHG emissions (relative to 2007 levels) and an 80% reduction by 2050. The BC government claimed to have met a key milestone: an interim target of a 6%… View Article

BC’s controversial contract obligations dwarf its debt

Jul 18, 2014
Most of the discussion around the delivery of British Columbia’s public accounts this week has centred on debt (Marvin Shaffer makes excellent points in the previous post on why debt is not always bad) and on how BC got the money to balance its books. Something else worth looking at, however, is British Columbia’s non-debt… View Article

Debt Free BC

Jul 17, 2014
One can only presume that the promise of a debt-free B.C. was never meant to be taken seriously. Christy Clark’s very cynical, albeit effective election slogan was based on two highly qualified guesstimates of the potential taxes that could be generated in the most optimistic possible circumstances from an industry that does not yet exist. Thus… View Article