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Throne Speech 2017: Forestry

The Throne Speech 2017 provides a few passing sentences about BC forestry and the government’s approach in the coming year and beyond. On reading these few words, one would come away with the impression that the key problem facing the industry is access to the US market and the softwood lumber agreement.  All the actions highlighted were limited to one area: finding markets for BC’s exports.  Yes, this is one of the issues facing the forestry sector. Yet what is avoided are the biggest issues facing forestry in BC. The government is looking outwards at foreign markets when most of the ills lie within the sector and how the BC Liberals have adjusted the rules of the game. Our forestry sector requires an extensive reconsideration and revitalization.

Basic income, Part IV: Recommendations & a commitment to British Columbians


Over the fall, we have explored the concept of basic income in a series of posts on my website, asking for your feedback on each post. The responses I have received, through comments on the website and my Facebook page, as well as in calls and emails to my office, have shown me that there is significant interest in the idea. The reaction has included high levels of support and enthusiasm, as well as a number of concerns and questions.

Touring Vancouver’s downtown east side to learn more about the ongoing opioid overdose crisis

Today I visited Vancouver’s downtown east side to learn more about the overdose crisis plaguing British Columbia.

Earlier in the day, shocking statistics were released by the B.C. Coroners’ Service. Over the period January 1 to November 30 2016, there have been 755 overdose deaths in British Columbia with 128 of those fatalities occurring in November. Year-to-date statistics reveal a 70% increase from last year.

Basic income, Part III: The future of work

1. Introduction

This post is the third in our series exploring the concept of a basic income and its implications in BC. Our backgrounder provided an overview of the concept, the issues we are facing today in BC, and the potential implications of a basic income policy. Our second post investigated in more detail the current state of poverty, welfare rates and social assistance in BC. We are grateful for the high level of engagement that our series continues to receive on social media and this website, including the large number of thoughtful comments. Below we continue to engage with the common themes in the responses we’ve received. This dialogue is very important in exploring ideas and creating good policies.

Basic income, Part II: The current state of poverty and income assistance in BC

This is the second post in our four-part series exploring the concept of “Basic Income”. Our first post focused on providing background information on the topic.  It prompted more than 60 comments on this site and more than 450 comments on my MLA Facebook page. As a consequence, it is apparent to us that there is broad interest in the idea.

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