Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Dan Levin writes that Christy Clark and her B.C. Libs have turned British Columbia into a haven for capital to run wild without any social responsibility or public benefit:
Like many places, British Columbia set up a system of tax incentives to lure businesses to the far western Canadian province in the hopes of creating jobs and transforming Vancouver into a global financial center.

But if the program has been good for business, it’s been less beneficial for British Columbia.

Participating companies have created few jobs, according to government figures, while more than 140 million Canadian dollars ($106 million) have been doled out in tax refunds since 2008, when the initiative was expanded.

The incentives operate under a cloak of secrecy that is unusual for similar efforts in Canada and the United States, critics say. The province will not name the companies that get the breaks. The only information available about them is on the website of a nonprofit that promotes the program.

“This is essentially a temporary foreign-worker program for the rich, with secret government subsidies for multinational corporations,” said Dermod Travis, the executive director of IntegrityBC, a nonpartisan political watchdog group based in Victoria, the provincial capital. “The government is selling B.C. as a tax haven for the global elite to park investment here, but not have to contribute.”
- Meanwhile, Jeremy Nuttall exposes just a few of the more blatant lies which Clark is substituting for any reasonable defence of her record or plans.

- Branko Milanovic examines just a few of the reasons why we need to be concerned about inequality - as well as some of the areas where there's room for far more study as to its effects. 
- Andre Picard highlights how Canada's current patchwork of prescription drug coverage is contrary to the principles of universal health care. And Steve Morgan makes the case for universal pharmacare, while Martin Regg Cohn emphasizes the importance of making such a program available to everybody.

- Finally, Alan Broadbent criticizes the City of Toronto for leaving needed city-owned social housing to rot.

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