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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 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.
Blog - Policy Note April 8
Photo: 350.org/Flickr
Marc Lee | B.C.'s 2013 election comes at an important moment in history. Worldwide, extreme weather events are making a powerful statement that climate change can no longer be denied.
Blog - Policy Note April 3
Janet Newbury | With a provincial election just around the corner in B.C. and municipal elections to follow, this is a good time citizens to think about how we can be more engaged in the democratic process.
Blog - Policy Note April 2
Marc Lee | Below is the summary for our latest Climate Justice Project report, Closing the Loop: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Creating Green Jobs through Zero Waste in B.C.
Blog - Policy Note April 1
Seth Klein | One of the more contentious issues regarding the B.C. government's record concerns the issue of social housing. To hear Minister Rich Coleman tell it, B.C.'s record has been above and beyond.
Blog - Policy Note March 20
Seth Klein, Iglika Ivanova, Shannon Daub | Most British Columbians are prepared to pay a little more of their income in taxes, provided it results in better access to public services, less poverty, and a healthier environment.
Blog - Policy Note March 12
Photo: Daniel McCullum/Flickr
Keith Reynolds | British Columbia's government announced it had extended its agreement with Maximus BC, a U.S. subsidiary corporation, to manage B.C.'s health information for another five years.
Blog - Policy Note March 4
BC Tax Revenues By Source As a Share of GDP, 2000/01 and 2011/12/ Iglika Ivanova
Seth Klein | For all the faults in last week's B.C. Budget (and there were many), it's worth noting that the conversation about taxes has fundamentally shifted, and in a welcome direction.
Blog - Policy Note March 1
Photo: Aidan Wakely-Mulroney/Flickr
Keith Reynolds | If there is a new government in B.C. on May 15, it will be confronted with issues that make the transition harder than most government changeovers we have seen in the past.
Blog - Policy Note February 26
Photo: Esther Gibbons/Flickr
Keith Reynolds | Maybe we have a balanced budget, but if we do it comes at the price of reckless and continuous undermining of education and social supports in B.C.
Blog - Policy Note February 25
Photo: BC Gov Photos/Flickr
Janine Farrell | The centrepiece of the B.C. government's response to the crisis in B.C.'s care system was the announcement that it would create an Office of the Seniors Advocate.
Blog - Policy Note February 22
Minister of State for Seniors Ralph Sultan. Photo: BC Gov Photos/Flickr
Janine Farrell | The provincial government has done little to take up valuable recommendations on seniors issues raised by the Ombudsperson, and neither the throne speech or budget contained plans to do so in future.
Blog - Policy Note February 18
Photo: Chris Fane/Flickr
Seth Klein, Shannon Daub | Here's the big dilemma: Whatever reforms are made to Parliamentary practice and conduct, the simple truth is that, for now, citizens have lost faith in politicians.
Blog - Policy Note February 13
Photo: BC Gov Photos/Flickr
Iglika Ivanova | Yesterday's Speech from the Throne reads more like a list of what this government sees as its main achievements than a true framework for going forward.
Blog - Policy Note February 12
Photo: United Way of the Lower Mainland/Flickr
Seth Klein | As many of you have likely heard, late last week we at the CCPA lost a great friend, and Canada lost one of its greatest advocates for children.
Blog - Policy Note February 11
Photo: BC Gov Photos/Flickr
Seth Klein, Adrienne Montani | With the inaugural Family Day, Premier Christy Clark has made good on a promise made during her bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. But what of other promises made by the premier?
Blog - Policy Note January 31
Iglika Ivanova | In a new report we released this week, Seth Klein and I show there's a clear need for tax reform in B.C., both to raise new revenues and to make our tax system more fair.
Blog - Policy Note January 25
Photo: BC Gov Photos/Flickr
Kendra Milne, Jess Hadley | Earlier this week, we read with interest Kathy Tomlinson's January 21 CBC Go Public story, "Landlords 'powerless' as tenants get free ride."
Blog - Policy Note January 23
Photo: PianoWow/Flickr
Marc Lee | Gambling has long been with us, from poker parties and hockey pools through to lottery tickets and horse racing. But casinos are a form of gambling that has seen a massive expansion.
Blog - Policy Note January 18
Photo: Dogwood Initiative/Flickr
Ben Parfitt | The B.C. government, First Nations and environmental organizations alike have all hailed it as an ecological triumph and a shining beacon of a new economic order based on conservation principles.

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