Mike Klassen
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Mike Klassen the Director of Provincial Affairs, British Columbia, for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), proud supporter of 10,000 small and medium-sized member businesses in B.C. and 109,000 across Canada. Mike leads the legislative and communications activities out of CFIB's Vancouver office.

An active volunteer and supporter of the arts, Mike is a director on PAL Vancouver's board of trustees, and a former Vice-Chair of the DOXA documentary festival board. He also served as Vice-Chair of the respected Vancouver City Planning Commission (2007 - 2009), where he collaborated on initiatives to make cities more sustainable, walkable, and economically vibrant.

In addition to Huffington Post, Mike's commentary has been published in the Vancouver Sun, The Province, Vancouver Courier, and 24 Hours Vancouver.

A Vancouver native, a proud Eastsider, a husband, and a dad, Mike is also an avid gardener and supporter of BC's wine industry. His full bio is at: http://bit.ly/mikeklassen.

Entries by Mike Klassen

Is MMBC A Four-Letter Word For Small Business?

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2014 | 10:34 PM

As the only jurisdiction to publicly measure red tape, the B.C. government deservedly received its third "A" letter grade in a row -- the highest in the country -- on the annual Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) red tape report card.

Fighting red tape is now central...

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Vancouver Election 2014: Expect The Unexpected

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 3:02 PM

In 2012, I correctly predicted the re-election of Christy Clark as B.C.'s premier as well as NDP Leader Adrian Dix's rejection of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, both based upon my perception of the political realities in play. In retrospect, I wish I had...

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2013's Top 10 Stories for B.C. Small Businesses

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 8:56 PM

Over the last 12 months in B.C., those of us at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) have seen several positive developments for small business, as well as some emerging problems.

According to our monthly Business Barometer survey, B.C. small business confidence grew substantially this...

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Philip Owen: There Are No Shortcuts When Running a City

(1) Comments | Posted August 8, 2013 | 4:30 PM

Last month I organized a community event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a unique piece of public realm on Vancouver's east side -- the Country Lane. I had discussed the idea of an anniversary fete with a neighbour, who suggested that I invite former mayor Philip Owen....

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Why I Predicted A BC Liberal Win

(5) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 11:51 AM

Last September, while swimming against a tidal wave of negative public opinion, I predicted the BC Liberal Party led by Premier Christy Clark would win the May 2013 election. Understandably, most readers scoffed.

I can assure you that I am no Nostradamus. Don't bother asking me which stock...

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Vancouver, I Love You But You're a Mess

(3) Comments | Posted January 26, 2013 | 5:00 PM

It was crisp and gloriously bright day in early January in Vancouver — the perfect conditions for outdoor chores like taking down Christmas lights.

Or, in my case, it also meant grabbing tongs and a pail to scour my block for coffee cups, bus tickets, plastic packaging, as well as...

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What We Can Learn From Waldorf Hotel Affair?

(3) Comments | Posted January 11, 2013 | 10:42 AM

The news of the demise of the Waldorf Hotel was described by one Vancouver journalist as being like a "small neutron bomb" going off. At least with real neutron bombs the buildings will be left standing, which is probably not the fate of the storied Waldorf Hotel...

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Green Party's Andrew Weaver Case Reveals New Lexicon of B.C. Politics

(4) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 10:27 AM

"The NDP are portraying themselves as sugar-coated candy, but I'm finding that below the surface there's some real ugliness." — Green Party candidate Andrew Weaver in the Vancouver Sun

Welcome to B.C. politics, Mr. Weaver.

Who is Andrew Weaver? According to Wikipedia, he has been named a Guggenheim Fellow,...

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10 Ideas To Re-Engage Vancouver's Reluctant Municipal Voters

(2) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 10:24 AM

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson recently marked the end of his first year of his second mandate, and I would like to congratulate him belatedly on his electoral success. As one of City Hall's close observers (and unabashed critics) I know the mayor is focused on taking the work of successive...

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B.C. NDP, Liberal Nominations Reveal Tale Of Two Parties

(10) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 12:13 AM

Is it time to sell your B.C. NDP stock and buy shares in the B.C. Liberals? It was an off-the-cuff remark by former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan during his interview with CBC radio host Stephen Quinn that prompted that question. Quinn asked why Sullivan would attach himself...

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How #BCL12′s Social Media Changed B.C. Political Coverage Forever

(3) Comments | Posted October 29, 2012 | 1:59 PM

Last Friday evening, Sharon White, the BC Liberal Party's good-natured volunteer president, was smiling like a kid who just got a new bicycle for Christmas. The first full day of the 2012 B.C. Liberal convention (tagged #BCL12 on Twitter) was at an end, and she was standing in the...

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Who Else Is 'Secretly Glad' Geoff Meggs Lost B.C. NDP Nomination?

(1) Comments | Posted October 23, 2012 | 10:50 AM

If you are a B.C. political junkie, there was plenty to keep you engaged over the weekend — whether it was the contest in Penticton that attracted over 700 B.C. Liberals to choose one of four candidates to replace MLA Bill Barisoff, or the comparatively tame function in Vancouver-Fairview where...

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Vision Vancouver's Public Engagement Paradox

(3) Comments | Posted October 4, 2012 | 3:54 PM

I've got an idea - let's add the expression "civic engagement" to Vancouver's newspeak dictionary. "Newspeak" is the term George Orwell first coined in his novel 1984. In Orwell's tale newspeak is used by a totalitarian regime to discourage independent thinking. Today, newspeak is employed by political strategists and marketers...

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It's Your Choice to Be Alone in Vancouver

(2) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 2:04 PM

The esteemed Vancouver Foundation is among our city's finest philanthropical organizations. For decades they have directed funds into worthy projects that have made Vancouver a better place to live. In the past year they have drawn attention to themselves by releasing the results of surveys on public engagement.

The

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Why The B.C. Liberals Will Win The Next Election

(14) Comments | Posted September 6, 2012 | 3:25 PM

You don't hear this stated much these days: The B.C. Liberals will win in 2013.

You heard it here first. In one of the great resurrections in B.C. political history, on the evening of May 14, 2013 premier-elect Christy Clark will be grinning from ear to ear in front of...

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Re-think Robson Square Without Permanent Closure

(5) Comments | Posted August 31, 2012 | 5:06 PM

Close Robson Street first, then ask the public what they think afterward. That's what was announced this week in Vancouver.

City voters by now are used to the "act first, consult later" antics of the Vision government. On Wednesday a press release from the Vancouver mayor's office said the...

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