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…

Adrift and perilously close to abandoning ship

After more than a little high-seas misadventure, the Frankie finally proves seaworthy – and sanitary

Adrift and perilously close to abandoning shipBack in 2012, we had a dreamboat, an 18-foot Hourston Glascraft. It was brand-new, had a magnificent 150-horsepower Yamaha four-stroke outboard, and quickly became the envy of the Skelhp government wharf. We paid monthly wharfage dues all summer and used it to fish and cruise. We christened her the Francine, after my then 90-year-old Mom.…

B.C. falling short of its considerable mining potential

B.C. miners face more onerous permitting process compared to other provinces. Adding another layer will only make it worse

B.C. falling short of its considerable mining potentialBy Ashley Stedman and Elmira Aliakbari The Fraser Institute To encourage natural resource development and the prosperity that comes with it, mining investors need more certainty about exploration activities – not less. It's an issue that deserves immediate attention in B.C. According to a recent Fraser Institute survey of senior mining executives, British Columbia’s regulatory…

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…