Treating taxpayers’ money with respect

We should be watching the case of B.C. clerk of the legislature Craig James and sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz very carefully

Treating taxpayers’ money with respectAs the old song says, “money makes the world go round” – at least on the level of material possessions. And money falls into two categories: ours and other people’s. Of course, we’re free to do whatever we wish with our money. We can spend it extravagantly. Or we can take care of it, spending…

Genetic modification a crucial tool in feeding the world

Scientists have found no negative differences in the health of people eating GM and non-GM foods

Genetic modification a crucial tool in feeding the worldThe changing environment means we face weather patterns that haven’t been seen in generations. And that means new challenges in feeding humanity. But we have the tools. Storms and floods are more frequent and widespread. Changing temperatures affect oceans and lands, wildlife and crops. Because we haven’t seen such changes before, we often don’t know…

How the Vancouver area can solve its funding woes

Metro Vancouver contains 21 municipalities. If they amalgamated under one government, many benefits would follow

How the Vancouver area can solve its funding woesMunicipalities are the poor step-children among Canada’s levels of government. They are creatures of the province in which they’re located, with no autonomy beyond that extended by that province. Their taxing powers are extremely limited and they rely very heavily on property taxes. The many basic services that cities provide (water and sewer, roads and…

The gig economy poses hurdles but offers big potential

An advantage of working on your own is that there’s no ceiling on how much money you can make

The gig economy poses hurdles but offers big potentialMoving into a new year is a good to time to plan ahead. But it’s become difficult and even frightening to do so in our work lives. Jobs are disappearing. People are being replaced by robots and other forms of automation. And it’s not just mechanical tasks, but also higher-level white-collar work like medical diagnosis…

How Oshawa’s displaced workers can land on their feet

Auto workers in Oshawa have learned the hard way that there’s no security, or future, in yesterday’s jobs

How Oshawa’s displaced workers can land on their feetThe closure of a General Motors car plant in Oshawa, Ont., will mean the loss of 2,500 jobs. This serious loss has generated much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Of course, we in the West wonder why the tens of thousands of jobs that have been and are continuing to be lost in the…

The compelling arguments against electoral reform in B.C.

Former NDP Premiers Glen Clark and Ujjal Dosanjh may be against electoral reform, but retired lawyer Ian MacLeod expresses his opposition best

The compelling arguments against electoral reform in B.C.We’re in the midst of a mail-in referendum in British Columbia that could dramatically change – and not for the better – how democracy does or doesn’t work in the province. We should really suspect that something is wrong with the proposed changes when people from both major political parties are opposed to the initiative,…

Moving from pandemonium to peace in uncertain times

Our stressful, crazy world can lead to insomnia and worse. But there are ways to cope

Moving from pandemonium to peace in uncertain timesInsomnia could be called the 21st century disease. Falling asleep, staying asleep and getting enough sleep is ever more difficult, especially as one gets older – and everyone is getting older. Couple this with the increasing number of studies that show that lack of sufficient sleep is a major contributor to ill health. Now we…

Proportional representation a perfect example of loser take all

Replacing the existing system with proportional representation will result in a government of chaos

Proportional representation a perfect example of loser take allThe B.C. referendum on how citizens elect those who govern them is fast approaching. The current system has given us viable government for a long time. But like most things in the real world, it’s not perfect. Those who live in a riding that’s considered safe for a party other than the one they choose…

Building lasting stability in the western Canadian economy

My advice for Western Economic Diversification Canada as it builds a 10-year strategy for growth

Building lasting stability in the western Canadian economyWestern Economic Diversification Canada is working on a 10-year strategy to make the four western provinces competitive, innovative and inclusive, attracting business and investment and generating good jobs. To build the strategy, they’re seeking answers to the five questions below. Here are my thoughts on those questions: What does a stronger western Canadian economy look…

Immigration built this country and will ensure its future prosperity

To keep our economy buoyant, we must increase the number of consumers, workers and entrepreneurs

Immigration built this country and will ensure its future prosperityNobody wants a recession. We all want to maintain our level of living and maybe even improve it with better housing, holidays or health care. For this to happen, our gross national product (GNP), the total pile of goods and services Canada produces, has to grow. GNP is measured in dollars but it’s not about…

Governments and the law of unintended market consequences

Things inevitably go off the rails when government gets involved in the marketplace

Governments and the law of unintended market consequencesI believe that the market is the best system for allocating goods and services in an economy. (I also believe that in a country as rich as Canada  no one should have to go cold or hungry, but that’s another subject.) There are many who would disagree, giving governments – through laws, regulation or fiat…

Building resilience into your personality and your business

When we learn how to deal with the cycle of hope, despair and forgiveness, we're well on our way to success

Building resilience into your personality and your businessA wag once said that the only one who really likes change is a wet baby, yet we face continuous, dramatic and ever-accelerating change in both our personal lives and work lives. What we learned at our grandparents’ knees half a century ago doesn’t fit the 21st century world. When our grandchildren sit on our…

The rise of steel collar workers, the end of blue collar workers

Automation is taking over the workplace. That means our education system must adapt. So must the students seeking marketable skills

The rise of steel collar workers, the end of blue collar workersMy bank machine just wished me a happy birthday. It wasn’t the exact day but it asked me: Did you think we would forget that your birthday is this month? This struck me as just one more example of automation taking over what people used to do. No biological being had yet wished me a…

Canada must abandon agriculture marketing boards

Why should the U.S. not put barriers up against our products when we so effectively keep out some of theirs?

Canada must abandon agriculture marketing boardsSometimes political parties and the governments and oppositions they form forget that they exist to improve and enhance the lives of the Canadians who vote for them. So it made me very happy to see the federal Conservatives pressuring the Liberal government to let us know what a carbon tax would cost the average Canadian…

Leave our electoral system alone

British Columbians are being asked, for the third time, to vote on drastic electoral changes. It would be a mistake

Leave our electoral system aloneAmericans look upon their government to ensure them life, liberty and the chance to pursue happiness. In Canada, peace, order and good government are what we expect from our leaders. For the last 150 years that is what we have received. Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live because we…
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