Proportional representation breeds unstable governments

B.C.’s electoral reform referendum could lead to more shaky coalitions and less effective government

Proportional representation breeds unstable governmentsSome see the upcoming B.C. referendum on electoral reform – whether the province should switch to a proportional representation (PR) voting system – as a blatant attempt by the B.C. Green Party to secure more power. While it’s clear that under any form of PR, the Greens could increase their seat share, there would also…

On wings and dorsal fins: how fall arrives on the West Coast

As the local orca family hunts sea lions, the resident bald eagles leave for a pre-winter feast of salmon

On wings and dorsal fins: how fall arrives on the West CoastWhen you live in the coastal rainforest, you learn the natural indicators that presage seasonal change. The mornings are getting darker, the days are becoming shorter and the evenings are definitely cooler. We swam on Sept. 3 but the ocean was noticeably colder. And we spent less time out front going through our exercise routines…

Smoke gets in your eyes – and spoils your plans

The summer of 2018’s last trip into Desolation Sound ended abruptly, and not because the weather changed

Smoke gets in your eyes – and spoils your plansOn the morning of Sept. 2, we decided to take a last trip in our boat into Desolation Sound, the world-class boating destination that lies a mere half hour from our Westview Marina berth in Powell River. All summer we’ve been popping in and out of this destination, taking advantage of blue skies and 30C…

Local player makes top prospects list

Offensive lineman Derek Walde of Kindersley is in his final season in the Canadian Junior Football League

Local player makes top prospects listKenneth Brown of The Clarion Derek Walde of Kindersley is in his final season in the Canadian Junior Football League, and he has been recognized as one of the league’s top prospects. The 21-year-old offensive lineman plays with the Kamloops Broncos of the league’s British Columbia Conference. Walde is in his fifth and final season…

Trans Mountain pipeline hurdles never end

The long, convoluted path to rejection demonstrates an approval process that is fundamentally flawed on so many levels

Trans Mountain pipeline hurdles never end“The current state of affairs in Canada is such that building a pipeline to tidewater is practically impossible,” says Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Truer words were rarely spoken. These ones were spoken at an Aug. 30 press conference as the courts set back the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The hurdles, it seems, never end. The…

A tale of two cities and their wildly different spending habits

Vancouver taxes and spends far more than neighbouring Surrey. But do Vancouverites get value for their greater investment?

A tale of two cities and their wildly different spending habitsBy Josef Filipowicz and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute With three levels of government delivering a wide array of services to British Columbians – paid for by an equally wide array of taxes, fees and transfers – it can be difficult for citizens to understand and assess government taxation and spending – especially at city…

LNG Canada a win for consumers, workers, business, environment

Canada has been late to fully capitalize on the potential, based on high export prices and the desperate demand for clean fuel

LNG Canada a win for consumers, workers, business, environmentCanada’s planned liquefied natural gas export project is a huge boost for the economy and the environment. The consortium of large multinational firms (Shell, PetroChina, Petronas of Malaysia, Korea Gas, Mitsubishi) that owns part of the LNG Canada project to be built on the northwest coast of British Columbia recently announced that contracts have been…

Still riding, but with more caution all the time

Motorcycle riders in Canada are at least 15 times more likely to be involved in a crash than automobile drivers

Still riding, but with more caution all the timeIn my home province – B.C. – the attorney general recently announced that July of this year was one of the worst on record for motorcycle fatalities: 18 deaths in one month, the highest number in decades. To put this into some kind of perspective, in 2017 there were 30 motorcycle deaths in total for…

Average workers will ultimately pay B.C.’s new payroll tax

Health tax will reduce wages and job opportunities, and further erode the province’s investment climate

Average workers will ultimately pay B.C.’s new payroll taxBy Charles Lammam and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute B.C. Finance Minister Carole James called Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums “unfair” and argued in a news release that her government’s replacement Employer Health Tax (EHT) is a “much fairer and progressive approach.” More broadly, Premier John Horgan government’s rhetoric about the new tax suggests it…

Connecting the dots in the summer of smoke

Right across Canada, dramatic signs of climate change are casting a pall on the landscape

Connecting the dots in the summer of smokeThe last five summers at Skelhp, on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, have been progressively drier. We’ve had one significant wildfire nearby, in Sechelt Inlet, which wafted ash in a big brown plume over our regional air shed. The smoke from this fire three years ago caused us to close all the windows in the July heat…

Fairness should be at the heart of electoral reform

Every argument in favour of our current flawed system is either easily rebutted or simply untrue

Fairness should be at the heart of electoral reformIn a recent address on proportional representation (PR), Guy Giorno, one of Stephen Harper’s former strategists, said, “The unassailable moral high ground we (supporters of PR) hold is the people and a result that fairly reflects their will.” This caused me to pause and reflect. I’ve long been a supporter of PR and now I…

B.C. and Alberta to lead country in salary increases in 2019

Alberta recorded the fastest economic expansion last year and B.C. posted its strongest pace in more than a decade, says Morneau Shepell report

B.C. and Alberta to lead country in salary increases in 2019If you’re working in British Columbia and Alberta, a new report by Morneau Shepell contains good news. The company’s annual survey, Trends in Human Resources, released on Tuesday, says the two provinces will lead the country in expected salary increases in 2019. B.C. will lead the pack at 2.8 per cent, followed by Alberta at…

Canada’s oil and gas industry faces dramatic shift

A new report by PetroLMI, a division of Energy Safety Canada, details the changing face of the energy workforce

Canada’s oil and gas industry faces dramatic shiftCanada’s oil and gas industry has undergone a significant transformation in the past decade. And as the industry has adjusted to the ups and downs of the economy, there were corresponding shifts in the distribution of the industry’s workforce and the daily experiences of those workers, says a new report by PetroLMI, a division of…

Ontario should look to B.C. as a model for education reform

The province needs to remove religious schools from the public system while introducing partial funding for independent schools

Ontario should look to B.C. as a model for education reformProfessors from Western University recently renewed calls for the Ontario government to change the way kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education is delivered. Most Ontarians live in areas served by four distinct public school boards – English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic. If you live in Penetanguishene on the Georgian Bay, a fifth school board operates…

In Greyhound’s wake, government should stay off the bus

When governments run transportation services, more tax dollars make trips than people. Let private business fill the gap

In Greyhound’s wake, government should stay off the busWestern Canadian bus riders have received an early Halloween scare: as of Oct. 31, 2018, Greyhound won’t offer passenger routes west of Ontario. For the company, it means 415 fewer employees and two million fewer passenger rides each year. For bus riders in remote areas, a vital link has been cut. Some advocates want the…
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