The following is based on a talk at the Bring Your Boomers election forum on April 3 at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver, the fourth in a series of intergenerational dialogues from Gen Why Media, and was co-sponsored by the CCPA, Get Your Vote On, LeadNow and Vancity credit union. I was asked to set the stage for a conversation on climate justice between three youth and five politicians seeking office in the coming election.
BC’s 2013 election comes at an important moment in history. Worldwide, extreme weather events from drought to floods to powerful storms and record-breaking temperatures are making a powerful statement that climate change can no longer be denied. ...Read more
Tags: British Columbia·climate justice
A version of this article appeared today in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab.
(This version includes references to the debate plus charts and graphs from data specially tabulated from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. The data don’t include the self-employed.)
President Obama put the idea of raising the minimum wage on the radar in the U.S. It deserves to be on the radar in Canada too. That’s because low-wage work is on the rise.
Obama says raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour is good for families dependent on low-wage jobs, and for businesses dependent on more consumer power to fuel their growth. A growing economy helps balance the books too. ...Read more
Tags: Economy & Economic Indicators·minimum wage
I got way off my usual research agenda this morning for a business panel on CBC radio. The topic was the economics of casinos, the result of the City of Surrey voting down a new casino proposal. I have often disparagingly compared stock markets to casinos, but in fact I knew relatively little about the actual business of casinos. I don’t even buy lottery tickets. Perhaps it is the economist in me that knows the odds are stacked against me. ...Read more
Tags: British Columbia·casinos·Economy & Economic Indicators
Testimony to the Joint Review Panel on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project
By Marc Lee, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
January 16, 2013
My name is Marc Lee, and I have served as an economist for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for more than 14 years. Most recently I have been Senior Economist and the Co-Director of the Climate Justice Project, a multi-year SSHRC-funded research project with the University of British Columbia, in collaboration with a large team of academics and community groups. ...Read more
Tags: British Columbia·climate justice·Employment and Labour·pipeline
An op-ed of mine was published by the Vancouver Sun today:
What’s next for BC’s carbon tax?
Climate change forced its way onto the political agenda in 2012, as Hurricane Sandy ripped through the northeast United Stages just days before the election. And while action remains frustratingly slow, extreme weather disasters in the billions of dollars are making a statement that politicians can no longer ignore. The costs of our addiction to fossil fuels are starting to pile up, and we cannot afford to keep dithering. ...Read more
Tags: British Columbia·carbon tax·Climate Change
The following comes from a short talk on a vision for a zero-carbon BC that I gave at a couple events this Fall. Many have asked for the text so I’ve posted it here, and we may try and turn it into a video. That said, I have been reluctant to do so up to now because it was intended as a 5-6 min talk and thus had certain major omissions. In parentheses below I have added back a couple paragraphs that got cut due to time constraints.
Welcome to BC, 2040 ...Read more
Tags: British Columbia·Climate Change
Today we released a new report by yours truly, BC’s Legislated Greenhouse Gas Targets vs Natural Gas Development: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. It was just five years ago that BC brought in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, a signal that BC was serious about climate action. The Act calls for a 33% cut in emissions by 2020 (relative to 2007 levels) and 80% by 2050, with interim targets for 2012 and 2016. My report provides a reality check on progress toward and prospects for the 2020 target. ...Read more
Tags: British Columbia·Environment
The Minister leading up BC’s Carbon Tax Review, Kevin Falcon, may be gone – his departure came just as the deadline for submissions was closing – but the carbon tax lives on. For now. Back in 2008 when the carbon tax was announced, it was scheduled to rise from an initial level of $10 per tonne (2.3 cents at the pump for those who don’t speak fluent carbon) to $30 a tonne as of July 2012. ...Read more
The federal government released an updated Canada’s Emission Trends 2012 report today. In a remarkable shift in federal rhetoric just this past week, the Harperites now appear to be more sensitive to concerns about the Enbridge pipeline and climate change more generally. But appearances can be deceiving and there is good reason to believe the current charm offensive is just a recasting of business-as-usual in recognition of just how offside the government has been on climate file.
Here is Environment Minister Peter Kent in a speech delivered today: ...Read more
Today we released a new Climate Justice Project report, Clean Electricity, Conservation and Climate Justice in BC: Meeting our energy needs in a zero-carbon future, co-authored by John Calvert and myself. The report is central to the vision we have been developing of a zero-carbon BC, with a focus on the need to transition off of fossil fuels and the key role that BC Hydro can and should play in the transition. Our conclusion is upbeat and hopeful: we can do this — but we need a major shift away from current policies. ...Read more
Tags: British Columbia·Climate Change·Environment