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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 September 12
Infographic: Take a Hike! From Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
Iglika Ivanova | A new report by the CCPA, Eduflation and the High Cost of Learning, shows that the average university tuition bill in Canada has grown three times faster than inflation over the last 20 years.
Blog - Policy Note September 11
Marc Lee | The Minister leading up B.C.'s Carbon Tax Review, Kevin Falcon, may be gone -- his departure came just as the deadline for submissions was closing -- but the carbon tax lives on. For now.
Blog - Policy Note August 15
Photo: Tom Cochrane/Flickr
Keith Reynolds | How did we come to the point where organizations advocating equality and changes to public policy appear to be seen by the government as the enemy of Canadians?
Blog - Policy Note August 9
Photo: Ian Britton/Flickr
Marc Lee | A change in tone from Environment Minister Peter Kent is welcome, but when you look closely there is a credibility gap on the climate file at least as wide as Canada's emissions gap.
Blog - Policy Note July 30
B.C. Finance Minister Kevin Falcon.
Keith Reynolds | Normally, the government focuses on debt as a measure of its financial performance. In 2005, they began to publish numbers for their largest future contract obligations as well as debt.
Blog - Policy Note July 23
Photo: BC Gov Photos/Flickr
Kendra Milne | Based on recent announcements, it seems that the Ministry of Social Development is in the mood to address some of the long-standing problems within B.C.'s welfare system.
Blog - Policy Note July 18
Liquefied natural gas facility. Photo: . Shell/Flickr
Ben Parfitt | Premier Christy Clark announced before an audience of business leaders in Vancouver that her government would declare natural gas a "clean" fuel if the gas in question was used to power up LNG plants.
Blog - Policy Note July 16
Keith Reynolds | B.C.'s newly elected government introduced P3s in 2002 with the creation of Partnerships BC. It was largely based on the British Private Finance Initiative (PFI) model which has run into problems.
Blog - Policy Note June 27
Keith Reynolds | Canada is now facing east and west as it attempts to negotiate trade deals with both Europe and in the Pacific region. Both of these new deals are being negotiated in secret.
Blog - Policy Note June 25
Photo: BC Gov Photos/Flickr
Marc Lee | Well, my paper with John Calvert on BC Hydro certainly touched a nerve with the B.C. government. In a long piece for the Vancouver Sun, Energy and Mines Minister Rich Coleman lashes back.
Blog - Policy Note June 13
B.C. premier Christy Clark unveiled the first pillar of her Families First Agenda: Supporting Vulnerable Families this week. Photo: BC Gov Photos/Flickr
Seth Klein | On June 11, the B.C. government surprised many when it announced a host of welfare policy changes. In all, almost 30 welfare rule adjustments are to be enacted.
Blog - Policy Note June 4
Protest against Bill C-38 in Cobourg, Ont. on June 2. Photo: Derek Blackadder/Flickr
Marjorie Griffin Cohen | So many big changes are happening in the federal government's budget bill -- Bill C-38 -- that some significant issues like the changes to the Federal Contractors Program (FCP) have escaped attention.
Blog - Policy Note June 1
Iglika Ivanova | Low tuition fees do not mean that those who benefit from education get a free ride (they don't!).
Blog - Policy Note May 25
Seth Klein | Most British Columbians would agree that everyone should pay their fair share of taxes.
Blog - Policy Note May 17
Photo: Colectivo Desazkundea (Decrecimiento)/Flickr
Seth Klein | There has recently been a renewed interest in the question of whether the ecological crisis means we need to see a decline in economic growth. But my view is that this debate is largely distracting.
Blog - Policy Note May 14
Global warming. Photo: Stefan Gara/Flickr
Seth Klein | This week, federal Environment Commissioner Scott Vaughan released a disheartening report, slamming the Harper government for having no plan to meet its own 2020 greenhouse gas emission target.
Blog - Policy Note April 30
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark. Photo: Province of British Columbia/Flickr
Seth Klein | With Alison Redford's big re-election as Alberta premier last week, Alberta will now join the ranks of provinces with a comprehensive poverty reduction plan.
Blog - Policy Note April 19
Aerial view of Athabasca River and tar sands tailing pond. Photo: doneastwest/Flickr
Marvin Shaffer | What is really required for the assessment of major projects is a broader scope of inquiry -- one that explicitly addresses the question of the public interest.
Blog - Policy Note April 18
Logging on Texada Island, B.C. Photo: d∂wn/Flickr
Ben Parfitt | For more than a quarter century, logging companies at the government's blessing have been on a tear through British Columbia's expansive interior forests.
Blog - Policy Note March 7
Ben Parfitt | Here's the little that we know about a pipeline break that occurred more than half a year ago and that British Columbia's Oil and Gas Commission feels the public is best kept in the dark about.
Blog - Policy Note March 3
Iglika Ivanova | Speaking at the Surrey Day of Action, I shared some of my analysis of the B.C. Budget and debunked myths around the economic context in which the B.C. teachers' bargaining process is taking place.
Blog - Policy Note January 4
Keith Reynolds | There is one simple idea to promote jobs in communities. Local governments should support small businesses in their communities by giving them an advantage when bidding on government work.
Blog - Policy Note December 26
Seth Klein | If 2011 was the year rising inequality finally exploded into the mainstream discourse, now we need to have a serious conversation about what to do to reduce the gap.
Blog - Policy Note December 23
Seth Klein | If this past year -- marked by the Arab Spring and the fall arrival of the Occupy movement -- has taught us anything, it is that we never know when historic moments come.
Blog - Policy Note November 4
Robert Hackett | The Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Canada protests seem to be occupying -- and perhaps unhinging -- the minds of media pundits.
Blog - Policy Note October 15
Ben Parfitt | It took just a week following the airing of an "interview" on CBC's The Lang & O'Leary Exchange for the ombudsman to rule that the public broadcaster's journalistic standards had been breached.
Blog - Policy Note October 13
Seth Klein | Occupy Wall Street has shone new light on the growing gap between the richest 1 per cent and the rest of us. But that's the U.S. right? Surely, our reality is different, eh? Think again.
Blog - Policy Note September 23
Iglika Ivanova | Bringing in international students will benefit B.C. and Canada in the long run. However, we need to make sure that we have the resources to offer them good quality education.
Blog - Policy Note September 12
Iglika Ivanova | The Finance Minister's recent update focused on highlighting the cost of the move back to PST/GST, providing some large numbers for the media headlines, instead of looking at the big picture.
Blog - Policy Note September 9
Marvin Shaffer | The headline in the Globe was certainly ominous -- "Clark's Hydro policy threatens to collapse B.C.'s climate change progress, scientist says." It is quite a story and would be of concern if true.