Open for business? Not B.C.

B.C. government sending all the wrong signals to investors, which could lead to a rude economic awakening

Open for business? Not B.C.By Charles Lammam, Hugh MacIntyre and Ashley Stedman The Fraser Institute Consumer spending and a hot real estate market have helped buoy British Columbia’s economy in recent years. But they’ve also helped mask deep-rooted economic problems, including B.C.’s dismal level of business investment. Unfortunately, an onslaught of recent policies from Premier John Horgan’s government has weakened…

White privilege or simply elite posturing?

Creating a society in which everything is viewed in terms of race will divide our nation and breed resentment

White privilege or simply elite posturing?Parents in the interior of British Columbia were shocked recently when their children came home from school with news of a new social awareness campaign: posters put up throughout School District 74 featuring administrators commenting on racism. In one of the posters, district superintendent Teresa Downs (who appears to be a white woman) is shown…

When property prices are a crime

The B.C. government balked at applying the foreign buyer tax to pre-sale contracts, so property flipping won’t slow down and it certainly won’t stop

When property prices are a crimeEveryone knew that Vancouver housing prices were criminal, they just didn’t know by how much. By now, many citizens are aware that offshore money, mostly from China, has been laundered through casinos and invested in properties that have often been flipped through shady realtors and unlicensed brokers. The new government in British Columbia talked a…

How B.C. can escape its painful housing trap

Instead of targeting affordable housing, B.C. government should be targeting housing affordability

How B.C. can escape its painful housing trapBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute The B.C. government’s recent budget included a 30-point plan aimed at the province’s housing woes. The aim was off the mark. Most of the plan’s points fit into two broad categories: reducing demand by raising property transfer taxes, for non-residents and on homes over $3 million,…

A two-step approach to electoral reform

One referendum, with little public education, is not enough. Voters need to have full knowledge of the consequences of their choices

A two-step approach to electoral reformIn its haste to change the way we vote, British Columbia’s new government has created an unnecessarily short timeline. While advocates for reform think the speedy process will help their cause, it’s more likely to result in another failed attempt at changing the way representatives are selected. The government’s public consultation campaign on the referendum…

Pipe dreams: Taking pipeline obstructionism to a whole new level

B.C.’s government seems intent on crippling the Canadian economy and tearing apart inter-provincial relations

Pipe dreams: Taking pipeline obstructionism to a whole new levelThe B.C. government has thrown yet another wrench in the gears of the Canadian provincial comity with a declaration that it will create a new regulatory process for pipeline approval and restrict how much bitumen can be moved through pipelines into the province. The government, led by Premier John Horgan, also announced it will create…

B.C.’s budget cools the economic climate

The B.C. budget does little to improve the investment climate or mitigate the effects of policy changes emanating from the U.S.

B.C.’s budget cools the economic climateBy Charles Lammam Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute The fact that the first full budget from B.C.’s new government includes major tax increases will likely go unnoticed by many – unfortunately. Instead, many economic commentators will focus on the government’s aim to balance the operating budget every year. A fiscal framework that avoids the deficit-financed…

B.C. at a fiscal crossroads

It can continue to pursue fiscal prudence or follow other provinces that are plagued by chronic shortfalls and ongoing budgetary challenges

B.C. at a fiscal crossroadsBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute As the old cliché goes, if you don’t learn from past mistakes, you’re doomed to repeat them. But the opposite is also true – learning from previous successes can be as valuable. As it prepares to introduce its first full budget, British Columbia’s NDP government would do well…

Stuck in traffic: why won’t Vancouver embrace Uber?

The benefits of ride-hailing services are many, for both individuals and communities. So what's the holdup in B.C.?

Stuck in traffic: why won’t Vancouver embrace Uber?In a well-functioning city, we’ve long taken certain things for granted. We expect law and order, and a reasonable degree of safety. Drinkable water should flow from the taps. A reliable supply of electricity should ensure the lights stay on. Traffic should move. Recently, this list of basic requirements has expanded. We expect cellphones to…

How do we close the widening gap between Alberta and B.C.?

Part 1: The wine versus oil showdown in the West has exposed some fundamental differences – but it's nothing other generations haven't seen

How do we close the widening gap between Alberta and B.C.?There was only one other car at the Earls Cove ferry terminal last week as I headed home to Powell River. It was a brand new Jeep with a white-and-red Alberta licence plate grinning from the rear bumper. I say grinning because on my part of the Sunshine Coast, you rarely see an old beater…

Bizarre cult of oppression grips Canada’s West Coast

The environment is only a side issue for an increasingly passionate mob of activists whose assault on the ‘establishment’ is nothing less than a moral crusade

Bizarre cult of oppression grips Canada’s West CoastRegardless of your political feelings about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, you have to admit the guy has guts. Not many politicians would have the courage to host a town-hall meeting in a place as openly hostile as Nanaimo, B.C. Immediately upon entering the building last week, the climate bullies jumped on him with a torrent…

At Boulder Hut, every ski turn comes after a lot of (uphill) effort

Boulder Hut in the Purcell Range of southeastern British Columbia offers a rustic – and fabulous – backcountry skiing experience

At Boulder Hut, every ski turn comes after a lot of (uphill) effortThere are no baths or showers at Boulder Hut. Cleanup after a day of strenuous backcountry skiing involves soaping up in a wood-fired sauna, then dumping a bucket of water over your head. To my surprise, a fellow guest – fit, naked and female – offered to do the pouring. I reluctantly acquiesced. Thereafter, the absence…

We’re neglecting our responsibility to kids in care

Why do we expect youth with the complex traumas associated with growing up in care to stand alone? Supporting young people to 25 years of age is essential

We’re neglecting our responsibility to kids in careGrowing up in government care in Manitoba was difficult. The deep politicization of child welfare didn’t help. Polarized public opinion and a controversy-avoidant government shaped the legislation and policies that affected my day-to-day life. Everyone, it seemed, sought to provide me with the best care – but it often missed the mark. Unfortunately, my experiences in the…

Injecting some Positive Energy in a divisive national debate

A three-year initiative assesses how Canadians think and talk about energy in all forms, bringing together disparate and typically unaligned voices

Injecting some Positive Energy in a divisive national debateMonica Gattinger, a University of Ottawa scholar, is doing more to do advance constructive energy conversations in Canada than just about anyone. She's the chair of Positive Energy, a three-year initiative to assess how Canadians think and talk about energy in all forms. Positive Energy is bringing together disparate and typically unaligned voices. Her goal is to reframe our…

It’s time the oil industry got smart about its messaging

Smart agriculture movement offers the perfect template: it's about building trust with consumers by telling stories about good – and improving – practices

It’s time the oil industry got smart about its messagingFirst there was precision agriculture. Then came decision ag. Now there’s smart ag. These terms describe fundamental changes in agriculture to better produce crops or livestock. It’s all about maximizing yield while minimizing costs and environmental impact. They include everything from predictive analytics and digital technologies to soil management and crop protection strategies. Autonomous tractors. Bio-fertilizers. Variable rate inputs for applying…
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