Op/Ed

The incredible shrinking role of government in BC

Today, spending is just 18.4 per cent of BC’s total economic pie (GDP) on government programs and services compared to 21.1 per cent in 2000.

During an election, pundits and political parties tend to focus on spending promises. But the attention on spending makes it easy to forget that we’ve actually witnessed an incredible shrinking of government’s role in BC over the past 15 years.

Unlike the strange mist that shrinks Scott Carey in the 1957 sci-fi classic, The Incredible Shrinking Man, the cause of BC’s shrinking public sector is not so mysterious.

Rossland's Taxes Not High Enough?

Rossland's Taxes Not High Enough?

Dear fellow Rosslanders,

            You may or may not be aware, but it is municipal budget and tax rate setting time again.  There is no really exciting way to start this conversation, but it might be one that you would benefit from taking a moment to look at.

Fracking and all of us: recent news

gas flare

To further our understanding of what's accelerating climate change, here's a brand-new report from the David Suzuki Foundation about leaking of methane from fracking and other fossil fuel extraction being much greater than reported by industry and government, and how it has been measured, and why it's scary:

Methane emissions much higher than reported, threaten climate and GHG reduction targets

Compare the candidates and their parties: Part II

Green Party Candidate Samantha Troy

The Rossland Telegraph asked two sets of questions of the local candidates in this provincial election.  Answers to the first four questions (Part I) appeared last week. Candidates' answers appear in the order in which they were received, and their pictures do too -- last week, we illustrated Part I with Katrine Conroy's picture; this week, we show Samantha Troy's picture; and next week readers will see a picture of Jim Postnikoff.

LETTER: 'My Green vote: weary, hopeful, and defiant'

LettersEd

To The Editor:

It happens every election.  The NDP line up and lecture other lefties on how they mustn’t split the vote and open an avenue for the current government to retain power.

It’s always the same.  Defeating the political right is of paramount importance, they sternly warn, and a vote for the Greens is a vote for the right.

Candidates Answer Four Questions (or not): Part I

NDP Candidate Katrine Conroy. Other candidates' pictures will appear in the next two parts.

Last week, I posted an editorial criticizing negative campaigning, and posed questions for our local candidates to answer -- without mentioning other candidates or other parties. Here are two of our local candidates' answers to the first set of four questions; the third candidate, Liberal Jim Postnikoff, was unfortunately unable to respond in time. Where possible, I have looked through the Liberal platform and attempted to find the Liberal approach on the topics of the questions, and inserted what I could find.

COLUMN: Fair Shares -- the moral way to distribute social wealth: PART II

COLUMN: Fair Shares -- the moral way to distribute social wealth: PART II

This continues a discussion begun in Part I, last week.

Bad Capitalism: exploitation

If there is one single thing that separates me from most Lennonesque liberals and progressives who want One World, it is not my affection for defined and qualified Canadian nationalism. It is that I am anti-capitalist, whereas the majority of global neo-liberal progressives feel that capitalism is operating just fine. They say that because, in their social class, capitalism has enriched them and provided them with privileged, entitled lives that money can buy.

COLUMN: Standing up for science in government decision-making

COLUMN: Standing up for science in government decision-making

Science isn’t everything. But it is crucial to governing, decision-making, protecting human health and the environment and resolving questions and challenges around our existence.

Those determined to advance industrial interests over all else often attack science. We’ve seen it in Canada, with a decade of cuts to research funding and scientific programs, muzzling of government scientists and rejection of evidence regarding issues such as climate change.

Missed opportunities in the health firings

Five of nine key players named in Chalke's report were in government in 2001, three more by 2005 and one by 2007.

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote: “Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.”

It's the missed opportunities over the 2012 healthy ministry firings that will forever haunt the B.C. government.

Instead of seizing opportunities to set the record straight, Ombudsperson Jay Chalke's report – Misfire: the 2012 Ministry of Health Employment Terminations – pointed to a pattern of falsehood piled upon falsehood.

The term used in text messages to describe the government's approach throughout the debacle would be CYA.

Editorial: Negative campaigning and being well-informed

Please vote!

Every day, my inbox is littered with vitriol from two of BC's political parties, about each other.  They're each titled "press release" but I haven't been publishing them. Perhaps that's wrong-headed of me, but I don't want to encourage the negativity.

Why am I opposed to the nastiness?  Because I want voters to vote, and to cast their votes based on rational agreement or disagreement, not based on stirred-up emotions.

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