Jordan Bateman

B.C. Mayors, Councillors Out To Pickpocket Taxpayers Yet Again

Jordan Bateman | Posted 09.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

An important travel advisory for provincial politicians headed to this week's Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) conference in Whistler: keep a close eye on your government issued credit cards.

B.C. Auditor General For Local Gov't Fizzled Quick As Canucks 1st-Round Draft

Jordan Bateman | Posted 09.11.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

We had such high hopes.

TransLink Bonuses, Executive Salaries Draw Criticism

CBC | Posted 09.04.2014 | Canada British Columbia

Concerns are being raised once again about the amount TransLink executives are getting paid, following the the release of documents showing many got s...

What Is It With B.C. Government And Expensive, Poorly Managed Computer Projects?

Jordan Bateman | Posted 10.15.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Taxpayers deserve to know why these projects are going over budget, why they are failing, and precisely what government plans to do about it.

A First Look At How Much B.C. First Nations Chiefs Actually Make

Jordan Bateman | Posted 09.29.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

How do these chiefs get away with making so much money? In part, because very few people actually knew they made that much. For a lot of bands, politician salaries were a closely-guarded secret.

Seaterra's Esquimalt Bribe Should Leave Taxpayers Seaterr-ified

Jordan Bateman | Posted 09.16.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

The CRD's financial management of Seaterra has been Seaterr-ible since the start. It's time for the regional district to give taxpayers the true, detailed cost implications of this massive plan, and for Esquimalt taxpayers to put the CRD's letter in the recycle bin -- where it belongs.

Why Is B.C. Liquor Still Overtaxed, Despite 'Reforms'?

Jordan Bateman | Posted 09.08.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Take a $15 bottle of wine, for example. In B.C., we pay $7.11 for the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) markup tax, 60 cents in other LDB fees, and 94 cents in Provincial Sales Tax -- a total of $8.65 in taxes. That means when British Columbians buy a bottle of wine, they actually pay more in taxes and markup than for the actual drink itself.

Simple Math for Teachers: Economic Growth = Higher Wages

Jordan Bateman | Posted 08.18.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Whatever the final government deal is with the B.C. Teachers Federation (BCTF), and whenever it's settled, the BCTF must quit opposing economic growth if it ever hopes to accomplish its long-term salary and class size goals.

Student's $16,000 Ministry Contracts Under Scrutiny

The Huffington Post B.C. | Posted 05.07.2014 | Canada British Columbia

B.C.'s education minister is investigating a Victoria student's taxpayer-funded trip to Finland to write a report on Finnish education. Anjali Vyas...

Metro Vancouver Garbage Plan Is Going To Burn All Of Us

Jordan Bateman | Posted 07.01.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

The only way this incinerator doesn't become a boondoggle for Metro Vancouver taxpayers is if BC Hydro ratepayers drastically overpay to purchase the electricity the incinerator will create.

Time For Auditor General To Turn Up The Heat On Abbotsford

Jordan Bateman | Posted 06.22.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

How bad was the taxpayer payout? During the Heat's five-year run, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation calculates every attendee benefited from a $21.48 taxpayer subsidy -- every fan, every seat, every game, for five expensive seasons.

BC's HST Hangover Hangs On

Jordan Bateman | Posted 05.27.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Compared to just five years ago, British Columbians now hand over an extra $20 bill every week of the year to the provincial government. This is the biggest jump in the country. This is a hangover from the HST.

Metro Vancouver Needs To Stop Bullying Elected Councils

Jordan Bateman | Posted 05.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

In a triumph for local democracy, the bully that is Metro Vancouver has been put in its proper place by a provincial judge. Metro Vancouver should save its taxpayers some money by forgoing an appeal in this case and accepting the fact that it doesn't always know best. Let's see a little more of this "collaborative federation," and a lot less bullying of elected councils.

B.C. Losing its Tax Advantage -- and Its People

Jordan Bateman | Posted 04.30.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Our beautiful landscape, outdoorsy way of life, and mild weather can only overcome a certain amount of taxes. People are already beginning to vote with their feet, leaving our province for greener pastures -- another spin that will continue to speed up if the BC Liberals do not reverse course.

Time For B.C. To Say Sayonara To The Senate

Jordan Bateman | Posted 04.15.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

The best thing for B.C. is to join Saskatchewan and Manitoba and call for the abolition of the Senate. Premier Clark, deep down, knows this. In her 2011 leadership campaign, she was clear: "We don't really need a Senate." Since then, the Senate's reputation has only worsened, as new scandals and criminal charges tear away any credibility that once resided in the Upper Chamber.

Government Purchases: Someone Needs To Look At How Sausage Is Made

Jordan Bateman | Posted 03.29.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

When it comes to a lot of government activity, taxpayers often want to ignore how the sausage is made: Just take as little of our money as possible, spend it wisely, and make sure the services we depend on are there when we need them. Bureaucracies love that apathy -- it allows them to escape scrutiny of their actions and policies.

Municipal Candidates Should Steal Better Ideas This Fall

Jordan Bateman | Posted 03.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

Taxpayers deserve more than the same-old, same-old from potential mayors and councillors. We want details and real ideas. And, in a world where "there is nothing new under the sun," one hopes that a few ideas that have popped up in cities across B.C. might take root everywhere.

TransLink Border Tax Should Be Deported

Jordan Bateman | Posted 02.25.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Jordan Bateman

In a year where TransLink apologists seemed to throw every possible tax grab -- sales tax hikes, vehicle levies, road pricing, carbon tax -- at the wall to see if anything would stick, one idea stood above the rest for its sheer ludicrousness. The envelope please..

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.

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.