1. Wow that was fast, far faster than predicted. I thought Christy Clark would make it through the summer and then be stabbed in the back only this fall. Dejavu 1990s !!
    Descending into have-not category for this formerly very strong province now guaranteed amid cancelled projects, plummeting investments, rising taxes, rising energy prices, rising debt, falling net wages and increasing unemployment ! No price is too high to pay to save ” the environment ” as public sector employees, eco-fanatics, FNs and minimum wage workers gorge on the soon shrinking pie.
    First legislative act: amend elections to make them more proportional. The end to corporate ( maybe even union ) donations. Then hike minimum wage and kill investments, jobs and associate tax revenue from LNG, Massey Bridge, Site C dam and KM pipeline. Foreign money will stay away even in real estate as it will get taxed far far higher (30% upfront plus 2% if vacant annually). The real estate industry – the backbone of BC’s economy – will shed jobs by the tens of thousands.
    A shrinking pie where takers take from makers with everybody worse off and excessive spending financed on the back of non-voters such as children and future young job seekers !!
    Pricetag readers may cheer a Massey Tunnel and enhanced public transit investments as roads get ever more clogged.

    1. Why do you waste so much time on this blog if you are in such constant disagreement? Bloody Baffling. Like a vegan forcing themselves to read a Pig Hunting Magazine over and over again.

      1. I think Thomas performs a useful function. As Jason suggests, echo chambers are bad. They tend to get caught up in self-reinforcing cycles. I start to mistrust myself when I find I am surrounded by people I agree with. I believe research has found that groups make better decisions when there is a dissenter, regardless of whether the dissenter is right or wrong. Being confronted with Thomas’s arguments, mistaken though we may find them, forces us to think through our own positions and responses. I appreciate that he is here.
        My criticism of Thomas would not be that I disagree with him, for I think disagreement is productive. It is that he can be repetitive. If I have seen the argument many times before, seeing it one more time doesn’t do any good, and in fact discourages me from reading him at all. Climate change and public employee salaries spring to mind. Also his arguments for vastly increased infrastructure building, which I generally agree with, but which just isn’t going to happen. Obviously Thomas is sincere and passionate about these things, but I think he would make a bigger impact on other matters if he restrained himself on some topics.
        Not to pick on him too much. I have done the same thing myself.

      2. But Ronald, it’s good practice to sharpen our refutations of his tumbling cascade of incomplete rationale, half truths, unreferenced factoids (how’s that LNG industry going?), misrepresentations of history, and blizzards of nouns thrown against the wall to see what will stick. Is it baloney, hamburger or a Bavarian smokie? Sometimes he’s just pulling a porkie.
        It’s actually fun to find that his sources do not pass the sniff test, and to find independent sources with tonnes evidence that refute the denial and hubris he regurgitates on various topics like climate change and economics.
        On rare occasions I’ll even uptick one of his comments. But you can be sure it won’t be on politics, economics, Indigenous peoples, Islam, fossil fuels or climate, most of which is opined on with no original or factual research.
        I agree with Geof that dealing with Thomas’s repetitiveness is tiresome and doesn’t accomplish anything. But refuting Thomas is like going to the gym. You get stronger and hone your own ideas.

    2. The volume of ignorant stereotypes, mischaracterizations and fear mongering in one post is impressive.

      1. Name me just one.
        Perhaps you did not live in other NDP provinces or in the 1990s in BC .. investments will dry up when taxes and energy prices (another form of taxes) go up, and thus, jobs will disappear. Capital is vital for jobs.
        As such, the required capital will come from government, and that means: debt debt debt. Those “good jobs” in that space are union jobs and civil servants jobs. Plenty of new public transit projects to be discussed here on pricetag, but it will be an economic disaster unfolding. But I understand, there is a very large part of BC society not interested in the economy, as they are students, seniors, civil servants, unemployed, well off eco-fanatics or in low wage jobs.As a student, your job prospects in BC have just imploded. Maybe a $15 gaffer job in the movie industry ..

        1. Impressive attempt to beat your previous posts lack of thoughtfulness, but your first post was still better. Kudos on bringing in baseless, silly assumptions though.

        2. You really think that because I’m a student that I don’t care about the future economy of the province I live in? We’re the ones that have to live with it. Just because we don’t follow the same dogma as you doesn’t mean we don’t care.

        3. I’ll leave you to your belief, Don, that the NDP cares about the economy.
          It matters not what people say, it matters what they do !
          Using the 1990s in BC and every other province where the NDP ever had a majority as evidence I can rest and sleep safely in my factual statements that private investments plummet, jobs get destroyed, debt rises and working people are worse off, i..e less money in their jeans after they pay taxes & for energy costs.
          But hey, that gaffer job will go from $10.25 to $15 .. a 40%+ increase .. soon seen in orange ads “We increased movie jobs by 50% and their salaries by 40%+” .. woohoo !

    3. Thomas, I have a link to an analysis of the nineties B.C. NDP’s handling of the economy, that points out that it was not a “dismal decade.” The authors of this analysis are economists hired by the Business Council of B.C. In order to properly support your opinion, I need you to find me a left wing economist that says that the NDP did a lousy job in the nineties and the Liberals have done a good job in this century. Good luck.

      1. LOL!
        With a BC NDP debt of $13B over 10 years compared to the BC Liberal debt of $31B over 16 years (not including $100B in future contractual obligations to the private sector through P3s), and with the independent analysis of the BCBC, the NDP are far better fiscal managers.
        Here’s another little secret: The NDP-affiliated Burnaby city council, which has been in the majority for over 20 years, has built capital reserves approaching one billion dollars. Moreover, the city self-financing and self-insuring, and borrows from the reserves to finance capital projects. This is done through public borrowing by-laws. The provisional and capital budgets of every department that builds stuff must repay the principle with indexed interest.
        The lesson for Thomas based on the evidence should be, if you want sound fiscal management in the traditional conservative sense, vote NDP.

        1. The reserves started in the form of tax defaulted properties that never survived the Great Depression. The density bonuses you are indirectly referring to are targeted for specific public projects, such as social housing, parks and community centres.
          Some of the “affordable rentals” were legit. But a huge number were run into the ground. Your defense of slumlords is noted.

    4. I do agree with your statement that the real estate industry IS the backbone of our economy, however I do not think that is a GOOD thing

      1. Indeed it would be better if BC cut deeply or eliminated altogether taxes on incomes and raised property related taxes to allow job creation, besides $15/h gaffer jobs in the movie industry.
        The new pink coalition will likely destroy the last leg BC stands on by raising all taxes, including those on real estate. This industry too then will reduce supply. A lose-lose scenario is certainly feasible here, affecting the rest of Canada too
        Students without jobs will look elsewhere when they graduate, and they will pay for the massive Ontario style debt explosion as will non-voters under 18 and the yet unborn as private investments plummet to be replaced by public sector debt to prevent near economic collapse.

        1. You can always move to Calgary, Thomas. Housing there has taken a 30% hit due to the foolish provincial tradition of putting all their economic eggs into one finite resource basket. Your rhetorical flourishes are, as usual, not based on the reality on (or in) the ground or on any legitimate economic evidence. The Calgary Herald cannot be used as a source of evidence on its own because it has always been biased to the extreme. In fact, all Postmedia outlets are ordered to toe the company’s notorious political line in their editorials, or else. And “or else” often happens anyway because of the precarious financial situation of their parent hedge fund owners.
          Also, the highways are flat there. You could push your German luxury vehicle quite a bit, but alas, the unrestricted libertarianism of the Autobahn is still lacking. Meanwhile, many of us here will put our feet up and enjoy a cold one while watching the drama in Victoria. The world won’t end. BC will still enjoy a very wealthy tech, manufacturing and tourist sector, as long as one of the planned 900 tankers sailing off Canada Place every year doesn’t collide with a cruise ship because no one stood up on principle to Notley’s imperious comments about BC’s coast.

        2. Calgary real estate actually did NOT implode as you imply. Yes house prices dropped a bit .. maybe 4-5%. Not 30%. Already rising again. Much wrong there too, such as no PST and too many and too well paid civil servants, i.e. gross overspending just as here in BC. At least we have higher CO2 taxes, land transfer taxes and a PST all of which makes sense to me. The gap between privately employed folks with low or no pensions and far higher layoff risks is of course still far too large to similar skilled similar tasked public sector jobs (BC Ferries cafeteria workers come to mind, or BC Liquorstore employees, or city hall planning engineers, or VSB janitors ..) hence out too high taxes and too high spending thus too high debt. An NDP led government will just make that worse, like all other provinces they led elsewhere, crowding private investments and jobs.
          Yes tourism, movie and restaurant jobs, in the $12 to $20 range will flourish. Likely a few high tech jobs too as we now are so much cheaper than US based folks due to our ever weaker Can $s. Manufacturing ? Where are those jobs ? Enlighten me. Which BC company makes stuff here and exports it worldwide ? Lululemon comes to mind. Who else ?
          900 tankers ? I understand they will go to 30/month, from 10 .. not 900/year. Double hulled tankers, going less than 10 km/h, with dual modern navigation systems and a pilot on board do not sink or collide with cruiseships or Canada Place. Like global warming it is all hype based on mainly unfounded speculation of might potentially happen. 99%+ of cars still use oil and will for decades, even in green Vancouver. Might as well forbid car use, flying or crossing the street. All far too dangerous as occasionally someone does get killed.
          Here’s why you should not worry about tankers:

  2. Thomas is just parroting right wing propaganda. If you remember the nineties as I do, you will remember there was this thing called the Asian Flu, which hit Western Canada disproportionately to the rest of the country. The recession here had nothing to do with NDP rule:
    Also please remember that the NDP left the government with a 1.5 bn surplus, something that the incoming Liberal government did their best to cover up.:

    1. Some research on 1990s in BC:
      Some excerpts:
      At its lowest point in 2001, B.C. claimed only 11% of Canada’s share of private investment for that year, a figure that steadily improved, but never entirely recovered under Mr. Campbell, premier from 2001 until 2011.
      “We lost a lot of our head offices in the ’90s,” said John Winter, the president and CEO of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce. “They haven’t come back and we’re not doing anything to attract them to come back.”
      While relative share of investment can be affected by factors beyond politics, such as recessions or trade disputes, the impact of previous governments’ policies continue to be felt, he said.
      “B.C. became a non-starter. It became a have-not province,” Mr. Winter said. “It was the only economy in North America to experience a recession in the ’90s.”
      Even some in the left-of-center Globe and Mail:
      Even the state sponsored CBC confirms net outflow of residence and BC “dead last” in investments across all provinces in 1990s:
      Asian money was the saving grace for BC as money flooded in from Hongkong, then China by the billions .. pouring mainly into residential real estate .. and that last man standing will now be hosed with very cold water, too !
      Wealth destruction in its finest from is upon us in BC.

      1. Thomas, you are very good at digging up articles from the past. But the past is the past and this new governing structure is such a different dynamic. I would suggest the past NDP’s performance is as relevant as historical information when buying stocks. In such a tight balance, cooperation, compromise and collaboration will be front and center to any decision. As such there will be more check and balances, less funny business, and more democracy than in previous governments. Mega projects could actually be based on sound policy, policy based on sound evidence, accountability achieved through sound governance, and governance designed on the basis of clear and articulate visions and values.
        Anyways, we shall see over the coming months and years, but let’s not let our biases get in the way of potential. We all need to have open minds and transcend our ego/biases/traditions/differences if we are to achieve our collective vision humanity aspires. From what I see of students today, I definitely have more hope for a better future. Let’s all try and be more positive and optimistic because at the very least over the next decades it’s these more capable youth of today that will take over.

      2. Thomas, you are ignoring commodity prices amongst other things. These have as /much or more impact on economies overly dependent on natural resources than most government policies. I almost expect you to blame Rachel Notley for the low world price of oil. She was the lonely candidate who talked about diversifying the Alberta economy before the election. You can blame her now for failing to follow through and for putting all her eggs back in the fossil basket just like her predecessors, including the buffoon known as Ralph Klein who was cheered while he laid off hundreds of workers, then bribed the electorate with $400 cheques mailed out from one-time oil revenue.
        And one more time, you are ignoring the stats on debt while succumbing to ideological hype. If you believe conservative governments are so good, then you should look up Grant Devine.

        1. Notley is not diversifying nor cutting public sector expenses in line with falling oil & gas revenues. They made a bad situation far worse. Of course other factors matter, such as commodity prices or Can$ exchange rate. NDP knows how to spend, and to tax. That is what will happen in BC: taxes up and public spending up. Private investments down incl real estate this layoffs in the thousands. Another 1990s have-not province in the making. In case you can’t find a job – students or restaurant workers or realtors or plumbers – you know who to blame.

        2. Nonsense.
          Notley purposely chose NOT to add thousands of additional people to the already burgeoning unemployment rolls, which is what would have really made their predicament worse. They can afford deficit budgets for now because Alberta’s debt is pretty low. But crossing into deficits even with a negligible cumulative debt was the Rubicon the neocons felt violated the Ten Commandments, and they are foaming at the mouth on cue.
          Where Notley is going desperately wrong in the view of several prognosticators is that she is falling right into lockstep with the ancient tradition of subsidizing their annual budgets with revenue from finite resources, and therein sustaining an artificial economy based on temporary wealth. This low commodity period could last a long time, and that is completely beyond their control.
          It’s time to grow up and stand on their own feet and develop a more diversified economy using the vast and unlimited resource called brain power. One day they will have to wake up to the fact that a sales tax is a normal and acceptable revenue source to support programs, and is common throughout the advanced democratic world. The key is to moderate it with healthy 21st Century economic activity, and develop a tech and financial sector, IP and so forth. Renewable energy powering new industry has huge potential. I see this downturn as a lesson. So far they are not learning.
          Here’s another little figure: Suncor’s Fort Hills oil sands processing plant, the largest plant around, is scheduled to be completed in two years, and about 10,000 additional workers will be laid off. The plant is taking eight years to build, and they had to keep going once started because it was too big to stop, even with the bottom dropping out of world oil prices. If prices remain low for a long time, then that represents over $10B in sunk costs.
          It’s all very sad, and so predictable.

      3. The B.C. Liberals cut the provincial corporate income tax to the lowest level in Canada. Did any head offices from other provinces move here? Any banks leave Toronto? Any energy companies leave Calgary? Bueller? Bueller?

  3. “I’ll leave you to your belief, Don, that the NDP cares about the economy.”
    See what you did there in your first sentence? You make these silly assumptions and then argue around in circles about how I’m wrong about a thing I never said and you assumed.
    Why don’t you try and dig a little deeper and ask some questions rather than just assume what you already believe?

    1. Enlighten me: where will the “good jobs” the NDP promises come from, besides pumping billions into public sector projects ? You honestly believe cancelled LNG, pipelines or bridge projects plus tax hikes on incomes and real estate, coupled with hirer minimum wage jobs, install confidence into real estate developers, foreign investors or local entrepreneurs ?
      Enlighten me. Happy to be proven wrong. Very happy.

      1. Good to hear you are open to facts, and I suggest we all wait to pass judgment once the future unfolds. I am very optimistic of the changes and in my experience most problems are a result of systemic issues at the top. This is an opportunity to rid of these systemic issues and therefore fix much of the problems. Sure it could get worse, but I am personally optimistic.
        Secondly, I believe these discussion boards can either add value or go south very quickly. If everyone can be more open and respectful of different views without being “threatened” by them, the value of these discussion will increase. Discussion value is proportional to open thought. This also applies to the *potential* for group think in which someone states a value and then it seems the dogs are let loose. It would be ironic should the fight for truth be stifled by self-inflicted group-think.

        1. If history elsewhere in Canada is a guide, then an NDP led government will ALWAYS result in higher taxes, plummeting private sector investments compensated with higher public sector expenditures. Why would we expect any different here now ? Enlighten me, kindly, WHY ? Show me some evidence please.
          If you were a foreign (or non-BC based or even BC based) investment firm intending to invest into a new industrial project in Delta (sorry, Massey Bridge cancelled), or an LNG plant (sorry LNG is bad, we prefer solar and geothermal), or a restaurant chain (sorry, $15/h minimum wage jobs now even for the most incompetent entry level cook or waiter) , or a high-rise project (sorry, likely higher land transfer taxes, vacancy taxes and speculation taxes), or even a software company (sorry, your foreign hires will have to pay more taxes to get into real estate and tax credits are being reviewed), would you invest more money now, or stall and wait for any decisions ? Billions will come to a screeching halt almost immediately .. and that always means: job losses AND tax revenue losses thus immediate deficits and debt as spending almost always gets ramped up immediately on social programs.
          That was the case in SK before Brad Wall arrived, that is the situation now in AB, that was the situation in MB, and is happening now in Ontario with a massive debt per capita. Massive. Why do we expect BC top be different ? Because Dr. Weaver is a green guy ? Remember, he is a retired academic. Climate is his thing. Kinder Morgan’s $1.3B IPO – already lowered by $2 from $19 to $17 dropped after opening today: .. But what’s a few hundred million ? At $100,000 per local job that is a few thousand jobs, most in BC.
          btw: are FNs being consulted if projects get cancelled ? Or only if they get approved ? Many FNs along pipelines actually want the jobs, you know ? See here, for example
          Sorry, university graduates, those well paying construction, planning, engineering or design jobs at $60,000+ starting salaries, and $100,000+ after a few years will now be replaced with $15/h movie and restaurant jobs (with less tips, as owner takes more to survive). More social housing though and perhaps even 2% lower real estate prices. More buses too. One day maybe, maybe even a subway to your former alma mater ! More debt too to carry for your and your kids.

        2. Thomas you bring a good counter-point to much of the discussions here, but for everyone that decries the potential loss of those projects, there is another that will celebrate it.
          Evidence will prove whether a project was effective or not but before a project is built it should pass the test of a social benefit cost analysis to help define its value. It’s not that those projects are good or bad, but that there may be other solutions that are at a lower cost (socially, economically, and environmentally). And once they are built, you can monitor their impact and then judgement can be passed.
          For example, I have multiple datasets my firm collected on the Port Mann bridge (and all other bridges), and it suggests it is being comparatively underutilized. Although we all know that to be true from our personal experiences crossing them, this quantified and validated (i.e ‘professional grade’) evidence should guide future actions and investments lest we do not learn from our mistakes. (I personally believe it is ok for progressive politicians to make mistakes once in a while out of sincere effort (and they are accountable for their decisions at the end), but to deny evidence and not act on it is wrong. Furthermore, to tamper with the evidence or create “alternate facts” is to go down the slippery slope of corruption).
          To suggest the performance of other governments called NDP–in the past and across our nation–will foretell the performance of this new Green-NDP partnership, is very weak. This is almost a completely different beast. You are then judging a book by it’s cover, prejudicing based on a name, and to me that makes no logical sense.
          “The future, like everything else, is no longer quite what it used to be.” – Paul Valéry

        3. As I said, happy to be proven wrong.
          But if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck .. it is usually a duck .. and not a soaring eagle.
          I agree that a Massey tunnel is better than a bridge and that Site C dam has other alternatives, but keep in mind that any mega-project these days takes a decade to plan, and then 5 years or more to built. So if you change any major project it is a 15 year delay. Any anti-pipeline action will have major Canadian repercussions and is a multi-billion $ hit to BC. Again, I understand that many do not care about jobs, taxes or the economy, but those are usually the handout recipients, secure public sector folks and low income earners, besides the odd affluent or upper middle class green guy. Id one cut Dr. Weaver pension in half maybe he thought differently about the economy ?
          I betcha the (usually not blogging) folks from NE BC also have a different opinion on site C or LNG or oil & gas than the average pricetags reader/blogger. That diversity of opinion is lacking here on pricetags, especially after some other folks like Eric have been banned despite very reasonable contributions.
          The new BC+Green manifesto reads very very pink, high tax, high debt, anti-investment, very high energy price to me. That almost always costs jobs, and associated tax revenue from ensuing falling economic activity. Again, happy to be wrong.

        4. Thomas, I have many family and friends in Ft St John and in three major cities in Alberta, and if course they “care about jobs, taxes and the economy.” Their concern is not misplaced like yours, though, focussed on one political party. It is on the world markets that have failed Canadian petroleum production. LNG has no market. Heavy bitumen has a limited market at best in Asia. If the NDP created these conditions, as you believe, then you might as well blame them for the Fox network’s failure to protect the Trump administration from the law.
          Continuing to use 19th Century raw resource exploitation models is not good for our economy no matter who is in office.

        5. Yes it’s surprizing we’re still in a combustion-era when it comes to energy given technological progress over the past 50 years. Soon the same socio-economic technological forces that brought us combustible fuel will bring us more efficient and cleaner sources of energy. This obviously will threaten (and always has threatened) the status quo, leaving an aftermath of stranded assets.
          But they will be forced to give way or adapt to new realities. And any corporate or political opposition to human innovation that is progressive to human-kind will become defeated whether in the market or at the ballot box.

      2. The NDP jobs will come from shifting income to the lower level of pay. Aggregate demand will be increased. Low income tax credits will decrease as the minimum wage is increased. The velocity of money in the economy will increase massively because the additional income for lower income people is spent locally. Taxpayers will save when many people make too much money to qualify for low income tax credits.
        The cancellation of Site C will be replaced by green energy initiatives, a sector which already employs more people than the fossil fuel industry. Increased spending on education, new health care initiatives and social services will provide employment, albeit government employment.
        The smartest economists agree that B.C., more than any other Canadian province is subject to global economic forces beyond its control. A collapse in commodity prices in the nineties, caused B.C. to lose population and briefly become a “have not” province. This despite curbing out of control Socred spending, running at 12% per year at the time of the NDP taking power. If the Canadian dollar goes up to par, the tv and film industry will collapse, and tourism will be hit hard. What will the price of lumber be, if the Americans allow us to sell it? The NDP has the best fiscal record in Canada. We are in good, prudent hands.

        1. Well said, Keith. As a business owner I agree with increasing minimum wage as at some point you can’t find skilled and quality workers if they can’t afford to live nearby. I understand increasing wages is more difficult for some businesses but I believe an increase in wages should increase the quality of work and therefore the value that a business is providing. I am effectively sharing more of my profits but the beauty is that there is a potential for increased value provision and therefore more profits so that it is not a zero-sum regressive game, but a progressive win-win.
          Of course it’s not just simply increasing wages and leaving it at that, but also helping the industries adapt to minimize unintended consequences which plague all policy changes. So there’s much work to be done for the government on this initiative, but I believe it is the right direction–a rise to the top vs. a race to the bottom.
          There are also those that say younger people who do not have families to support do not need higher wages (i.e. living wages) and can get by on current minimum wages. But their ability to afford to buy a home in the future is probably worse than some of us older folks. And unlike richer people who will lock up funds for future use, people getting by paycheque by paycheque contribute to the local economy right away and (unfortunately) have less savings.
          In the end, it’s about having a decent and dignified life. To not only be able to personally achieve this, but to help others achieve this, is what we as society should embrace.

        2. Keith and Clark, many kudos to your well-articulated and researched contribution to this discussion. It’s very refreshing and clears the air.

        3. To further increasing value-added discussions, although media links are useful, they sometimes do not have the proper information. I can’t tell you how many times the media mis-quoted or wrongly-interpreted basic concepts such as mode shares (mind you many planners do this all the time so it’s almost an epidemic-level problem). And then people start quoting these as if they are solid facts. At the very least, media stories discuss issues of significance, which are important to consider of course and they bring meaning to the work of researchers and professionals.
          I’d rather have data and evidence quoted from publications from respected and reliable institutions (i.e. StatsCan) or academic journals. However, even academic journals need to be interpreted properly as most have very narrow scope and too many confounding factors unaccounted for. Almost all refer to results that have correlation rather than causation, concepts which most get confused with. A strong motivator of most publications is to publish and obtain tenure (not to mention the ego factor). So simply quoting published academic research does not necessarily mean those findings are sound factual evidence, if anything they are theoretical facts.
          The value I get from these blogs is the personal opinions and thought processes of individuals, as well as the debates of point and counter-point (which helps to reduce group-think derived ignorance and prejudices; but please ensure debates are thoughtful and respectful lest this board becomes a troll-fest).
          While we all may be experts in our respective fields, every single person is an expert in their own opinion and their personal values. So I value learning of the varied nature of individual opinions and values, as that helps to tailor the issues I focus on professionally and academically. I am certain others that peruse this board do it for similar reasons.

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