Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Could a B.C. Government Worker Actually Grow the Economy?

Jordan Bateman | Posted 02.01.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

It's an all-too-regular occurrence in this province. Government employees, whipped up by their union leaders, marching against whatever economic development opportunity is being proposed. Pipelines to the coast? Opposed. Gas exploration? Opposed. Companies creating investment revenue for pensions? Opposed. New mine? Opposed. Coal exports? Opposed. But what if government employees had a direct financial stake in the economy doing better than expected? Would they be more willing to consider ways to grow the economy? It's an interesting premise, and one the B.C. government will test in the next round of collective bargaining.

Good Corporate Citizens Don't Take Cash From Taxpayers

Jordan Bateman | Posted 01.25.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Can a company truly be considered a good corporate citizen while taking money from taxpayers through corporate welfare? Corporate welfare happens when a government makes a political decision to use tax dollars to favour one company over another. While all of us understand we need to pay taxes to fund societal benefits like hospitals, schools and infrastructure, most feel government should not use our money to pick winners and losers in business by handing out grants to specific companies.

EI Is the Biggest Scam of Them All

Nick Bergamini | Posted 01.25.2014 | Canada Business
Nick Bergamini

Now you may be asking, "How is EI a scam? I pay into it, and if I lose my job, the government's got my back right?" The answer to that is no, not exactly. The government plays favourites with EI benefit payments, basing your eligibility entirely on where you live and what you do for a living.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation Gets it Wrong

Christopher Smillie | Posted 01.25.2014 | Canada Business
Christopher Smillie

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is supposedly a "not-for-profit citizen's group dedicated to lower taxes, less waste and accountable government." It...

Should EI Become A Savings Plan?

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 01.25.2014 | Canada Business

OTTAWA - A taxpayer group says Canada's employment insurance system is broken and needs to be replaced.In a report released today, the Canadian Taxpay...

Going off-road is getting expensive in B.C.

Jordan Bateman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

"There is no such thing as free regulation," John Hutton once said, and the British author was right. Every rule set out by government comes with a price -- both to individual freedom and to taxpayers' wallets. Sometimes, the regulation is worth the loss of freedom or the cost. Few begrudge spending tax dollars or the loss of freedom to have the Auditor General review the province's books. But when government attempts to solve a problem that appears to be overblown, regulation becomes expensive and unnecessary.

B.C.'s Carbon Tax is no West Coast Panacea

Jordan Bateman | Posted 12.31.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

The carbon tax lobby was practically giddy this month, as newspaper headlines touting a B.C. climate change agreement with three U.S. states blared, "Washington and Oregon follow B.C.'s lead on carbon tax system," and "Washington, Oregon plan to emulate B.C.'s carbon tax." Fortunately for American taxpayers, the headlines just aren't true.

Why Clark's Unhappy With BC Ferries

CBC | Posted 12.21.2013 | Canada British Columbia

BC Ferries is being heavily criticized after it emerged there is still no plan to curb executive bonuses despite pledges to get such compensation un...

How Much Does TransLink's CEO Make?

Jordan Bateman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

If TransLink is as broke as it claims to be, why are taxpayers so grossly overpaying its chief executive officer? Ian Jarvis received $394,730 in salary, incentives and taxable benefits in 2012, plus another $32,552 in taxpayer-funded petition contributions. On top of that, Jarvis took $11,418 in "other" benefits, including a "Wellness Allowance" that apparently only the CEO is eligible for. That's a total compensation package of $438,700. Jarvis made $140,000 more last year than the province's deputy transportation minister, Grant Main. He made $200,000 more than Premier Christy Clark. Clark wasn't alone; Jarvis out earned Prime Minister Stephen Harper by nearly $75,000.

The Cliché That's Costing B.C. Big Time

Jordan Bateman | Posted 12.09.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Whether BC Liberal or NDP, governments have grown reliant on the cash flowing from ICBC and BC Hydro ratepayers. Any suggestion of reduction is met with ministerial shrugs and the talking point: "How would we fund health and other services without that money? Should we raise taxes?" Yet, the ignored solution can be found in another cliché: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

TransLink: A Rat's Nest Of Redundancy

Jordan Bateman | Posted 11.23.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Giving TransLink more tax dollars is like giving a pyromaniac a fresh box of matches. Both will eventually run out and keep coming back for more -- unless they change their ways. TransLink's executive vice-president Bob Paddon, he of the $307,857 annual pay, claims his operation is an "efficient and well-run organization." The facts prove otherwise. TransLink is a rat's nest of redundancy and waste.

There's Nothing Impoverished About B.C. Cities' Budgets

Jordan Bateman | Posted 11.15.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Don't hold your breath hoping mayors and councillors will come home from this month's Union of B.C. Municipalities conference with a stack of cost-saving ideas and strategies. In 2011, cities in B.C. combined to bring in $7.87 billion in revenue. Regional districts added another $1.6 billion. Throw in TransLink and its $1.3 billion and you have a combined annual budget of $10.77 billion to run everything from Abbotsford to Zeballos. To put that into perspective, if local government were a provincial government ministry, it would be bigger than anything except health, and more than double the size of education.

Sick Day Abuse Makes Taxpayers Nauseous

Jordan Bateman | Posted 11.05.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

When was the last time you called in sick? Was it just a case of the sniffles? Were you flat on your back? Or did you go golfing and not want to use a vacation day? Did you feel guilty about leaving your co-workers to cover for you? Did you take as few days as possible, knowing someone else had to pick up the slack in your absence? Chances are if you work in the private sector, your answers are very different from those of some government employees.

The Drastic Idea Proposed To Pay For Flood Repairs

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 10.27.2013 | Canada Alberta

CALGARY - The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is recommending some drastic measures to help pay for the billions of dollars in flood damage suffered in ...

Who's Running TransLink Anyway?

Jordan Bateman | Posted 10.15.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

At TransLink, the inmates are now running the asylum. With such little support from taxpayers, riders, mayors, the minister and the board chair, TransLink's push for a $23 billion tax-and-spend binge is coming from its senior executive team. They are making media appearances and desperately trying to push for higher taxes. It will be up to the taxpayers to take the keys away from the transportation authority's senior executives

City Hall Pay Is Out Of Control

Jordan Bateman | Posted 10.05.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Taxpayers and watchdogs often focus their attention on the top of the government salary spectrum. Government executives are increasingly overpaid, especially at the municipal and regional district level. But it's not just the top end that is out of control. Taxpayers are overpaying for labour throughout the system.

Enough With the Reviews: B.C. Needs a Complete Reset

Jordan Bateman | Posted 09.20.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

B.C. has seen umpteen reviews of various government agencies and files. BC Hydro, ICBC, BC Ferries and TransLink have all been reviewed within the past two years. Reviews have been promised for the B.C. Lottery Corporation, B.C. Housing, the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission, B.C. Transit, and the Liquor Distribution Board. Pre-election, the NDP generated a list of 35 reviews had been promised by the government. One hesitates to remind government of these promised reviews, lest a review into the missing reviews also be promised.

Tax Credits are a Bad Business

Jordan Bateman | Posted 08.25.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

It's bad enough that many municipalities are hiking property taxes this year, but the provincial government's decision to kill a light industry tax credit is piling on B.C.'s job creators -- and highlighting why such tax credits are bad policy in the first place.

B.C.'s Big Byelection Bill Makes No Sense

Jordan Bateman | Posted 08.18.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Think of it as an electoral echo. While many British Columbians are just getting over the election hangover from May's blockbuster BC Liberal comeback win, 13 municipalities are about to head into by-election mode. Four mayors and 10 councillors from 13 different communities were elected May 14th. A dozen BC Liberals, two New Democrats: all will need to be replaced in the coming weeks, triggering a series of expensive by-elections.

How B.C. Pays So Quebec Can Play

Jordan Bateman | Posted 08.05.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

in Canada's Equalization program, "have" provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan send billions of dollars to Ottawa that are in turn handed to chronic overspending "have-nots" like Quebec. It creates a system where the reward for prudent fiscal management is bailing out those who couldn't care less. In other words, we in B.C. pay so they can play.

Adrian Dix: The Unpredictable Premier?

Jordan Bateman | Posted 06.30.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Voters want to know where their potential leaders stand before they have to walk into a polling station and put a tick next to a party's name. While it's impossible for anyone to fully anticipate and articulate every possible challenge and scenario ahead of a four-year term in office, taxpayers want a predictable pattern set out. Political leaders should be able to change their mind as circumstances change, but nothing had changed about asset sales or Kinder Morgan.

You're Being Taxed on Your Tax-Free Savings Account

Tim Paziuk | Posted 06.25.2013 | Canada Business
Tim Paziuk

I wish we could call a "time out" for politicians. Wouldn't it be great if we could send them to some dark room in Parliament and make them think about what they're doing? I'm talking about the tax you pay on your RRSP and all other types of investment accounts. Tax on TFSAs, RESPs and RDSPs. Yes, you're reading this correctly.

B.C. School Officials Getting Raises Without Reviews

Jordan Bateman | Posted 06.05.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

School trustees and superintendents may bristle at the suggestion that top education staffers don't deserve pay increases. But how can they defend that position when they fail to evaluate their top employees every year?

Stop PavCo's Banana Republic Tactics On BC Place Info Requests

Jordan Bateman | Posted 05.13.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Why shouldn't taxpayers know what the B.C. Lions or Vancouver Whitecaps pay to play in our $563 million stadium? Why shouldn't we be aware of the legal issues surrounding the stadium's roof? Or why the Telus naming deal died?

Did B.C. Transit Police Sweeten Their Stats?

Jordan Bateman | Posted 05.07.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

What if a public company gave one set of sales numbers to its board of directors, another to its shareholders, and a third to its auditors? Would you feel comfortable entrusting the executive of this company with a $29.6 million investment? Incredibly, that's precisely what has happened with the Transit Police.