Alberta BC investment deal threatens local government

Murray Dobbin

Last April the provincial government signed the Trade, Investment, and  Labour Mobility Agreement, or TILMA, with the province of Alberta.. It may well be one of the most radical investment deals ever signed anywhere and local governments  may be the most negatively affected.

The agreement - to come into effect next April - will jeopardize many of the regulatory powers now enjoyed by  municipalities and could result in enormous amount of additional administrative paper work and costs.

TILMA has been promoted primarily as a labour mobility agreement and has been touted as a way of creating a economic powerhouse of the two provinces by harmonizing all regulations. The agreement   requires BC and Alberta regulations to be made the same. But by far its most important provisions have to do with investment - and the power the agreement gives to investors to challenge existing and future regulations. 

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1100 Canada Health Act Violations

BC government admits violations of the Canada Health Act and the Medicare Protection Act

About-face occurs three months after NDP raises concerns
Following  an investigation prompted by NDP questions, the government will now reimburse 1100 British Columbians who paid fees to get off long waiting lists for MRIs and other services at St. Paul's and Mount Saint Joseph's Hospital over the last four years.

The BC Liberal government  has admitted to allowing at least 1100 violations of the Canada Health Act and the Medicare Protection Act three months after the NDP first revealed the Campbell government was turning a blind eye to private clinics to selling access to MRI testing.

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Even Grinch Fired Up Over Coal Power

Jim Lipkovits

About 200 people from Premier Campbell’s riding rallied at Kits Beach December 13, protesting the BC government’s plans for coal-fired electricity.  The family event featured a carnival band, children’s face-painting, and even a dancing Grinch whose sign read “Coal Power: A Wonderfully Awful Idea.”

Although the atmosphere was festive, the speakers were serious.  “Given what we know about coal power, there is no excuse for building this type of plant,” said the former head of the BC Utilities Commission Mark Jaccard.  “They are a technology of the past.”

Mayor Randy McLean of Princeton was pleased to find that people in Vancouver are concerned about the plans.  His community is the planned location of a 56 megawatt coal-fired electricity generating plant.  He told the crowd “I can’t tell you how good it feels to find that other people are getting concerned.  We have sometimes been feeling very alone in our fight against this plan.”
The rally organizers are concerned that BC is choosing to get into coal power at a time when its contribution to global warming is clearly understood.  Other jurisdictions such as Ontario and the several US states are planning to phase out coal power.

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