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Policy Note

Policy Note delivers timely, progressive commentary on issues that affect British Columbians, including the economy, poverty, inequality, climate change, provincial budgets, taxes, public services, employment and much more. Contributors include staff and research associates from the B.C. Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The views expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of the CCPA. Visit the CCPA's Policy Note blog at [url=www.policynote.ca]www.PolicyNote.ca.[/url]

Blog - Policy Note June 4
Photo: Gee Willi/flickr
Seth Klein | If a compromise is to be reached in the current bargaining between B.C. teachers and the government, the long-standing issue of improving class size and composition must be resolved.
Blog - Policy Note May 26
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
Marvin Shaffer | Cheap power for jobs is an industrial strategy based on subsidizing energy use. It never made sense with oil and gas and it doesn't make sense with electricity.
Blog - Policy Note May 1
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
Marc Lee | The B.C. government has placed all of its bets on LNG. So much political capital has been spent, and the proponents know this, that they may settle for a bad deal rather than no deal.
Blog - Policy Note April 30
Iglika Ivanova | The 2014 living wage numbers reveal a big gap between the low wages a number of British Columbians earn and the real costs of raising a family. Child poverty is a serious concern in our cities.
Blog - Policy Note April 25
Iglika Ivanova | It seems clear that the TFW program has been a boon to employers directly at the expense of lower skilled workers and youth, who are struggling with high unemployment levels.
Blog - Policy Note April 23
Photo: Jeremy Hall/flickr
David Green | The current policy allows firms to operate low wage and benefit workplaces without worrying about turnover costs, which provides a clear incentive to adopt a bad jobs model.
Blog - Policy Note March 28
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
Janet Newbury | With municipal elections on the horizon in British Columbia, it is worth paying attention to the nature of political discourse in this province -- and considering its implications and alternatives.
Blog - Policy Note March 17
Photo: League of Women Voters of California LWVC/flickr
Keith Reynolds | Voter turnout has been falling federally and provincially. At a local level it is already very low. Why should we care?
Blog - Policy Note March 3
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
Keith Reynolds | The B.C. government has announced changes to the way local government elections will be run. One of the changes will be four-year municipal elections.
Blog - Policy Note February 28
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
Ben Parfitt, David Hughes | With nearly 90 per cent of all new gas wells in B.C. fracked, how much of our water might be used and contaminated as natural gas drilling escalates?
Blog - Policy Note February 24
Vanessa Brcic | In B.C., doctors are paid well, but they are paid by an antiquated compensation model called Fee For Service (FFS), which basically reduces medical visits to a series of billable scenarios.
Blog - Policy Note February 19
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
Iglika Ivanova | Yesterday's 2014 B.C. budget contained very little news, as expected. B.C. has no forestry plan, no climate plan, no coherent infrastructure plan, no youth employment plan, no poverty reduction plan.
Blog - Policy Note February 19
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
Marc Lee | Budget 2014 contains some new information about how the province intends to pay for all of the ponies B.C. children have been promised from LNG riches. Alas, there is not much there.
Blog - Policy Note February 18
Iglika Ivanova | The 2014 B.C. budget should prioritize measures to set the foundation of a more just and sustainable economy, where prosperity is shared by all. Here are seven initiatives that will get us there.
Blog - Policy Note February 17
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
Iglika Ivanova | The B.C. throne speech received little media coverage, partly because it fell in the middle of the Olympics and on the same day as the federal budget, but also because it was rather uneventful.
Blog - Policy Note February 7
Olympic Village, Vancouver
Marvin Shaffer | The 2010 Games were not without controversy and Canadians still wonder whether it was all worthwhile. Unfortunately, that fundamental question was never properly addressed.
Blog - Policy Note February 7
Blair Redlin | The common critique both inside and outside the European Parliament is that NAFTA style investor/state dispute settlement with the U.S. would be bad for democracy and not in Europe's interest.
Blog - Policy Note January 27
Photo: Kempton/flickr
Robert Hackett | It is lamentable that Rex Murphy, who sometimes acts like a resident apologist for the fossil fuel industry, is undermining rather than encouraging citizens working against massive vested interests.
Blog - Policy Note January 23
Photo: Katrin Morenz/flickr
Vanessa Brcic | Many voices are calling for attention to poverty reduction and a living wage. But what happens when you add doctors into this conversation? Progress and challenges both.
Blog - Policy Note December 17
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
Marvin Shaffer | It didn't take very much time at the joint federal-provincial environmental hearing into Site C to realize that it is not the best forum to address the central issue underlying BC Hydro's proposal.
Blog - Policy Note November 25
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
Keith Reynolds | One more of British Columbia's public-private partnerships (P3s) has headed down the road to ownership in a European tax haven.
Blog - Policy Note November 19
Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr
Kevin Linklater | Canadians should be concerned about how the Canada Job Grant will privilege the interests of large corporations over the needs of communities and unemployed workers.
Blog - Policy Note November 7
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
Marc Lee | This new agreement is more spin than substance, commits the province to no more than vague directions, and in any event has no binding authority.
Blog - Policy Note November 5
Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr
Iglika Ivanova | The agreement-in-principle signed in Brussels in mid-October touches on virtually all aspects of economic life, including many that are only loosely related to trade.
Blog - Policy Note October 31
Photo: Ben Schumin/flickr
Marc Lee | With a development model based on ever more fossil fuel extraction, Canada's economy and financial markets are on a collision course with the urgent need for global climate action.
Blog - Policy Note October 23
Seth Klein | Well, I've made it to the end of my week. But eating the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner for seven days is no damn fun. I can't wait to eat something different and fresh.
Blog - Policy Note October 22
Seth Klein | I can see now that I'm going to make it to the end of this week. With my $26 I was able to purchase sufficient quantity, but not great nutrition.
Blog - Policy Note October 21
Photo: Seth Klein
Seth Klein | It's the little things that drive home how hard this budget must be in real life, and which have made me very conscious of the cost of things this week.
Blog - Policy Note October 21
Photo: Seth Klein
Seth Klein | It is very boring eating the same food every day -- oatmeal, peanut butter sandwich, an apple, soup or pasta. No treats, no variety.
Blog - Policy Note October 18
Seth Klein | Day 2, and I've already bent the rules. The battle against the cold is not going well, so I'm taking some cold medicine and drinking tea (which was not in my budget).