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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 October 17
Inside the Burnaby Covanta incinerator. Photo: Caelie_Frampton/flickr
Marc Lee | The topic of zero waste is full of exciting ideas for rethinking and reducing our ecological footprint. Unfortunately, Metro Vancouver is not walking its zero waste talk.
Blog - Policy Note October 17
Seth Klein | Today is Day 1 of my welfare food challenge, during which I will spend one week trying to eat on a total budget of $26. You can read more about the Welfare Food Challenge here.
Blog - Policy Note October 10
Photo: Don Hankins/flickr
Marc Lee | This is the text of remarks I made today to Vancouver city council on divestment. Council requested that staff report back on how the city's financial investments align with the city's mission.
Blog - Policy Note September 30
Photo: CAN Europe/flickr
Marc Lee | No matter how you slice it, Canada has a carbon bubble on its hands -- if the world heeds warnings from bodies like the IPCC.
Blog - Policy Note September 18
Photo: Jason V/flickr
Marvin Shaffer | When the government imposed its Energy Plan on BC Hydro it never bothered to estimate the costs (or for that matter the benefits) of what it hoped to achieve.
Blog - Policy Note September 11
Photo: Guilhem Vellut/flickr
Iglika Ivanova | The recent rape chant scandals at UBC and at St. Mary's University in Halifax are evidence of systemic sexism that permeates our educational institutions from coast to coast.
Blog - Policy Note September 10
Photo: Geoffery Kehrig/flickr
Iglika Ivanova | This year's back-to-school media coverage featured surprisingly little analysis on how our schools are doing. Are we undermining our schools by becoming complacent?
Blog - Policy Note August 28
Image: toddsmithdesign/flickr
Marc Lee | My beef with the IRP is this: B.C. needs a high-quality electricity system, and in the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we need BC Hydro to play a central role in delivering clean energy.
Blog - Policy Note August 14
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
Iglika Ivanova | The latest B.C. job numbers reveal a picture of persistently high unemployment and stalled job creation.
Blog - Policy Note August 2
Photo: Stephen Rees/flickr
Marc Lee | The choice of owning a car works out to about $5,000 per year for us, a figure that covers amortization, insurance, maintenance and gas.
Blog - Policy Note July 26
Photo: RambergMediaImages/flickr
Vanessa Brcic | Given pharmaceutical industry bias that saturates our information sources, physicians and governments need organizations like the Therapeutics Initiative to make safe decisions about pharmaceuticals.
Blog - Policy Note July 17
Iglika Ivanova | Statistics Canada recently released new data on the incomes of Canadians and it shows two worrisome trends continuing through the economic recovery.
Blog - Policy Note July 11
Janine Farrell | The new fees undermine the human rights of persons with disabilities and seniors in this province and will hit those least able to afford it the hardest.
Blog - Policy Note July 9
Seth Klein | Statistics Canada has released Incomes in Canada for 2011, with the latest poverty rates. You can find it here. And the numbers for B.C. are grim indeed.
Blog - Policy Note June 27
Photo: flickr/bcgovphotos
Iglika Ivanova | There's nothing in Christy Clark's recycled throne speech today to suggest that her new government intends to follow through on its commitment to address rising inequality or the climate crisis.
Blog - Policy Note June 26
Photo: flickr/bcgovphotos
Ben Parfitt | Christy Clark's B.C. government is set to gamble everything on liquified natural gas (LNG) -- but everything in the international fossil fuels market is about to change
Blog - Policy Note June 21
Photo: jan zeschky/flickr
Iglika Ivanova | It's hard to see how approving the Fraser Surrey Docks' coal port proposal would serve anything other than the very short-term commercial interests of the U.S. coal industry.
Blog - Policy Note May 31
Janet Newbury | Now that the B.C. election is over, those of us who are passionate about civic engagement need to do what we can to understand political disengagement and hopefully alter its course.
Blog - Policy Note May 23
Photo: Gary A. K./flickr
Seth Klein | Here are a few of the initial lessons I draw from the election, and what it means for a progressive research institute like the CCPA -- because I do think our work matters, more than ever.
Blog - Policy Note May 13
Photo: BC Gov Photos/Flickr
Marvin Shaffer | There will be green and renewable energy industry pressure on whatever party forms the next government to force BC Hydro to develop or buy renewable energy we don't need and can't justify.
Blog - Policy Note May 10
Sources: BC Ministry of Finance, British Columbia Financial and Economic Review
Iglika Ivanova | Both main parties in this election campaign are accusing the other of being big spenders. But is too much of the public debate around this election focused on reducing the size of government?
Blog - Policy Note May 10
Photo: 350.org/Flickr
Seth Klein | Climate issues have received some welcome profile in this election, and in some of the platforms. It is possible to offer some assessment of where the parties have landed on climate action.
Blog - Policy Note May 9
Seth Klein, Trish Garner, Ted Bruce | British Columbia has the highest rate of poverty in Canada, but is one of the last provinces left without a poverty reduction plan.
Blog - Policy Note May 8
Photo: Thompson Rivers/flickr
Shannon Daub, Janine Farrell | What are the burning issues in health care, and how do the party platforms stack up? Here's our take, with a particular focus on seniors.
Blog - Policy Note May 6
 Photo: proposed location of Site C Dam by flickr/tuchoti
Marvin Shaffer | Is Premier Christy Clark's election-inspired promise of a debt-free B.C. to be taken seriously? Marvin Shaffer persuasively argues no.
Blog - Policy Note May 3
Image: Siân for London/flickr
Iglika Ivanova | How much do working parents need to earn to be able to afford to live in our community? The living wage invites all of us to think about the actual costs of raising a family in our communities.
Blog - Policy Note May 1
Photo from BC Gov Photos/flickr
Marjorie Griffin Cohen, David Fairey | B.C. has acquired the "distinction" of being home to Canada's largest income gap, highest poverty rate, and second-highest child poverty rate. How has this occurred in such a rich province?
Blog - Policy Note April 29
Photo: BC Gov Photos/Flickr
Marvin Shaffer | One can excuse politicians in the heat of a campaign of simplifying issues and seeking out tags and slags in lieu of substantive debate. But there is no excuse for columnists of major newspapers.
Blog - Policy Note April 18
Seth Klein, Iglika Ivanova | While arguments about deficits and "who is the better fiscal manager" may make for entertaining politics, there is no compelling economic reason why B.C. cannot run a few years of modest deficits.
Blog - Policy Note April 9
Photo: PoYang_博仰/Flickr
Keith Reynolds | With all of the uproar over the British Columbia Auditor General's report on the Pacific Carbon Trust in late March there was a second report that didn't get as much attention as it deserves.