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The Progressive Economics Forum: Will Enbridge’s pipeline ever get built?

You have to wonder why the Harper government bothered with process at all. It’s like there was never any doubt that Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline would get approved. But historians may look back on this moment as the beginning of the end of pipeline politics.

Opposition to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline is BC’s largest social movement. A large majority of British Columbians are opposed to the pipeline. BC First Nations, who hold the ultimate trump card – the constitutionality of their rights and title, have said no means no. Thousands testified to the Joint Review Panel (and its arguably limited (Read more…)

Left Over: Chretien’s Lesson for the Harper at the Gate(way)

Northern Gateway decision holds no easy political options for Harper On the controversial B.C. pipeline, PM can say yes, no or not yet, but all answers come with a cost

By Max Paris, CBC News Posted: Jun 16, 2014 6:02 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 16, 2014 11:13 PM ET

All this bleating about Harper having such a tough decision is nonsense..and, to cap it off, he will have, in one action, guaranteed himself a chance for re-election by not approving it..just like Christy Clark did by denying support without meeting some tough conditions… Let’s get real (Read more…) Government Procurement Failure: BC Ministry of Education Case Study

Apologies for the lack of posts. I’ve been in business mode – both helping a number of organizations I’m proud of and working on my own business. For those interested in a frightening tale of inept procurement, poor judgement and downright dirty tactics when it comes to software procurement and government, there is a wonderfully […]

Left Over: Dirty Oil Wars…..This is Just the Beginning


Here in BC, we appreciate any and all support for this issue..but where is the rest of the country on all the damage this MonsterCon has caused? They can’t all be the drooling knuckle-draggers of Ford Nation, but I have to wonder if it isn’t already too late…the people of Canada, in general, seem so passive that they come across as catatonic.. Where is the energy to fight? I remember back in the 70′s hitting the bricks on a regular basis to fight Trudeau’s price and wage controls, to protest war, to stop the (Read more…)

Eclectic Lip: Pondering a palatable pipeline…

I guest-hosted TWiE podcast episode 137 a few days ago, an episode devoted to the Alberta oil sands / tar sands. If you ask me (and I realize none of you have ) it’s well worth a listen!

The week’s guest was US energy analyst Robert Rapier, who had visited Fort McMurray on a Canadian government junket for journalists. He came back with a five-part essay on his experience, and some valuable, contextualizing factoids.

Shockingly, he showed data suggesting that the Alberta tar sands are now only slightly more greenhouse gas-intensive than “average” petroleum. (In other words, the emissions (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Don’t believe the (LNG) hype

Today we released a new report, Path to Prosperity? A Closer Look at British Columbia’s Natural Gas Royalties and Proposed LNG Income Tax, about liquefied natural gas (LNG ) development in BC, and the public revenues that might be expected. So far, LNG has lacked a real public debate. On one side, we have the drumbeat of the business press with coverage of the deals in the works (which, after a couple years, have yet to come to a final investment decision by any interested party). On the other, we have what can only be called propaganda coming from (Read more…)

Left Over: Opposition to a Pipeline, any Pipeline? Say it Ain’t So…

Pipeline push-back: What’s behind the rising opposition to Canada’s big oil pipelines Climate change debate behind animosity toward Northern Gateway and Keystone XL

By Janet Davison, CBC News Posted: Apr 29, 2014 5:00 AM ET

This headline is profoundly is blatantly obvious to anyone with half a brain why we are opposed..just like our jobs are being sold to the lowest bidder, so are our resources, and to hell with the environment.. Now David Black (what an aptly named fellow!) is pushing for a refinery at the edge of our Province to take all that filth (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Conservative MP Celebrates Anti-Bullying Day By Threatening Violence

Yesterday was Pink Shirt Day, it’s a day dedicated to ending bullying. Now if you didn’t wear a pink shirt, don’t feel too bad, because unless you spent the day threatening someone with violence and having to be physically restrained, you’re still one up on Conservative MP Ron Cannan.

Because it was on Pink Shirt Day that this backbencher MP chose to make a brave stand for bullies everywhere. Now he didn’t ask Parliament why we don’t have a national day for bullies, Camoflage Tank-Top Day if you will, he did one better; he brought the bullying to the House (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Where’s the tax in BC’s carbon tax?

British Columbia’s carbon tax has been getting some high praise lately. A recent article in the Atlantic called it “the crown jewel of North American climate policy”. Such assessments need some tempering. BC’s carbon tax can tell us important things about the limits of fiscal policy today, which in turn questions the potential it has for fostering significant environmental change.

Tales of the tax’s effectiveness focus on its environmental impacts. Almost six years since its introduction, it is indisputable that the carbon tax has had some impact on resource use and emissions. This is clearly a good thing. There is (Read more…)

Left Over: Mikey Doesn’t Like It…


Former B.C. premier Mike Harcourt quits NDP Harcourt let membership lapse over many issues including the party’s opposition to carbon tax

CBC News Posted: Apr 01, 2014 8:10 AM PT Last Updated: Apr 01, 2014 8:10 AM PT


Have to agree with Mike, in principle, although my membership lapsed years ago, and though I vote for the NDP in spite of the things they do that I don’t like (the alternatives are unthinkable) I am, like so many BCers, leaning towards the Greens..I can’t speak for other Provinces , but here on the West Coast, (Read more…)

The Scott Ross: Success Defeated Alison Redford

Alison Redford was defeated because her party is too successful. And there’s proof.

In politics there wouldn’t be many opportunities to test such a theory; to really know if it was the success of Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives that caused Redford to resign. Luckily for this experiment there just happens to be a control group next door, it even comes with its own Alison Redford.

BC’s Christy Clark has a lot in common with Redford. Both were seen as outsiders. Both ran for leadership with little caucus support, each having only one other MLA supporting them. Both became leader of a (Read more…)

Terahertz: Religion as a dirty word

Any headline in the form of a question can be dismissed with the simplest answer (which is also typically no).

Case in point, a Victoria Times-Columnist blog asks “Has religion become a dirty word?“

It argues that Victoria, BC, with a non-religious population of 51% according to Statistics Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey and potentially as high as 64% from the 2013 BCHA poll, has become anti-religious. Such is the secular identity that the religious are made to feel “sheepish” and ashamed of their habit.

Yet without citing any specific evidence of wide-spread anti-religious hate crimes* or (Read more…)

Eclectic Lip: British Columbia hits 1,000 EV’s (and gov’t drops support)

image of Tesla Model S’s at a rally, from Consumer Reports


British Columbians have now purchased more than 1,000 plug-in electric vehicles. Add in low-speed neighbourhood electric vehicles and owner conversions, and the number will be a bit higher.

As of Jan 31, 2014 Polk research (now a division of IHS) had tracked 912 plug-in electric vehicle registrations in BC, representing about 1/6 of all PHEV registrations in Canada to date. British Columbia has about 1/8 of Canada’s population, so the numbers are largely in line with what we’d expect from the demographics.

Polk’s data doesn’t include the Toyota (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: BC proposes LNG tax

I posted this on CCPA’s BC Policy Note blog but others across Canada should pay attention to BC’s quest for LNG gold. I’d also recommend this comparison of the Quebec and BC budgets by Michal Rozworski, which highlights the stubborn emphasis on natural resource development in both budgets. It’s like the tax cut culture has so permeated Canadian politics that our political class cannot see beyond the lure of resource revenues to pay for essential services. Bad fiscal policy and bad environmental policy, not even good policy in terms of job creation, but seemingly good politics in the Age of (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: BC’s Big Favour? LNG Exports and GHG Emissions

The hype on LNG has grown to staggering proportions. I have not had much time to debunk all of the government’s grotesque exaggerations and outright falsehoods. But Christy Clark’s claim that BC is “doing the world a favour” by exporting LNG to Asia made me write this oped, which got picked up in today’s Vancouver Sun:

Is LNG B.C.’s big favour? It’s unlikely exports will reduce global greenhouse gas emissions

Is British Columbia “doing the world a favour,” as Premier Christy Clark put it, by developing a liquefied natural gas export industry? Or is this just wishful thinking (Read more…)

Left Over: Take the Wrong Way Home…

$109 fine for new driver taking drunk dad home 18-year-old novice driver Evan Godo received a $109 fine for not displaying the ‘N’ sign

CBC News Posted: Dec 27, 2013 8:37 PM PT

Here in BC, as elsewhere in Canada, the rules are flexible and depend on your status…

But this kid got caught in the hypocritical cross fire that has highlighted BC drinking and driving laws of late…while our provincial Lieberals talk about loosening up the liquor laws to allow such brave new world concepts as wineries selling their product at farmer’s markets, woe betide anyone who dares to (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: PMO: Anger Betrayal Deception; Oil

Our lying Prime Minister felt betrayed and angry, and … deceived?

The scheme only became public after a CTV news report on the evening of May 14.

The next morning, said Harper, he met with Wright, the successful Toronto financier he had brought to Ottawa in 2010 to be his right-hand man.

“He told me what he had done,” said Harper.

“I think, to be frank, my first series of reactions were probably in the realm of more stunned and disbelief.

“I, for the life of me, still can’t figure out – I don’t think anybody can figure out – (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Conservatives Are Not Responsible

Conservatives are not responsible for your neighbour’s children. Your neighbour’s children will be paying off debts incurred by Conservative Ministers, however. Conservatives only feel responsible for your neighbour’s children when they street race, have sex, use drugs, or are bullied. Full bellies are definitely not their responsibility, unless it’s unsafe meat. Why don’t hungry children benefit from the government’s “rigor” to “meet consumers expectations”? Are hungry children not “consumers”?

Why yes @JamesMoore_org, it is the job of those who have lots to ensure those who don't – esp kids – get enough too. #yourjob—   (Read more…)

Terahertz: So are atheists being censored in Vancouver?

Last week I meant to add a note that the Centre for Inquiry Canada has issued a press release about the fact that Pattison Outdoor Advertising had rejected their fairly inoffensive new billboard campaign in Vancouver.

A pretty slick ad that’s pretty hard to find fault with.

I’ll skip over the fact the title needed a copy-editor* and who’s listed as the media contact** and instead focus on the fact that the latest post on their website is calling for donations for a billboard campaign that has been approved in Vancouver:

CBS Outdoor has accepted our ads, and they (Read more…)

Terahertz: BC public schools continue to permit Christian Evangelism in classrooms

During my work with the BC Humanist Association last year, we managed to help raise awareness of how the longstanding tradition of Gideon’s distributing Bibles to grade 5 students continued unabated in the Chilliwack and Abbotsford School Districts. This process continued despite the BC School Act requiring all schools be “strictly secular” and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms being widely interpreted as protecting the freedom from religion.

Nevertheless, parents in the ironically named Godson Elementary School in Abbotsford were shocked by the distribution of Bibles to their children during class time. This violates the District’s own policy, which permits (Read more…)

Left Over: BC is Sold Out Again: Christy & Allison

Northern Gateway Pipeline Pricetag: Enbridge CEO Lauds Alberta-B.C. Deal, Updating Price

CP | By Lauren Krugel, The Canadian PressPosted: 11/06/2013 11:20 am EST | Updated: 11/06/2013 4:02 pm EST

I applaud the NDP for standing against the encroachment and destruction of a pipeline, and the only reason Crusty got elected is that she made noises about being against it…not the other way around…who writes these articles analysing the election as lost because the NDP didn’t support the pipeline..hogwash~! Now that she’s shown her true colours by sucking up to Redford and Alberta, those who voted for her (or didn’t vote because they (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Staple Theory @ 50: Marc Lee

As part of our continuing series of commentaries celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mel Watkins’ classic article, “A Staple Theory of Economic Growth,” we present the following commentary by Marc Lee, economist with the B.C. office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Marc considers the implications — both economic and environmental — of the current infatuation with export LNG in his province.

LNG: BC’s Quest for a New Staple Industry

Marc Lee, Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

In British Columbia, the top economic priority of the provincial government is the development of a new liquified natural gas (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Metro Vancouver needs to walk its “zero waste” talk

An oped published in the Vancouver Sun:

When delegates attend Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste conference on Wednesday, they will hear from innovators and big thinkers about how to radically redesign waste out of our economy. Ideas will be presented to aggressively reuse, repair and maintain what we consume, and for composting and recycling to keep all materials flowing in a “closed loop.”

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. While Metro has issued a Zero Waste Challenge, has a (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: #GatewayPoems Make Light(crude) of Tragedy

On another note, who says there aren't any jobs in the resource industry for arts students? #GatewayPoems— Adam Stirling (@Adam_Stirling) October 16, 2013

If you want the #KXL, you may as well burn in hell, because it’s bringing hell to earth. When you’ve lost you learn its worth.

Petrostate? Don’t be irate. The ground will lactate- oil, as Mother Earth births new #climate, new organisms. #Evolution, baby.

Strait is the Gate And narrow is the Way Which leadeth unto heavy oil markets in China #GatewayPoems— Andy Skuce (@andyskuce) October 16, 2013

In a province in Canada, (Read more…)

Left Over: Not So Special, After All?

Unemployed Doctors? 1 in 6 New Specialists Can’t Find Work, Study Says

CP | By Helen Branswell, The Canadian PressPosted: 10/10/2013 12:01 am EDT | Updated: 10/10/2013 10:01 am EDT

Not too surprising, I live on Vancouver Island where there are two (2) dermatologists for the entire island, with many hundreds of thousands of residents in two main areas, hours from each other..Places like Lake Cowichan boldly trumpet a nurse arriving, when what they really need are doctors (their last one is retiring…) There aren’t enough specialists here, there aren’t enough GPs here, and we are being underfunded to death by an uncaring (Read more…)