Tagged: politics

Better education, more taxes, more public spending addresses economic inequality in Canada: SFU professor

With the rate of job inequality growing in Canada, one Simon Fraser University economics professor says improving education, changing labour laws and increase public spending will minimize the inequality gap.

Krishna Pendakur gave a public lecture to a packed room in Burnaby this week. The lecture was called “What does inequality really mean in Canada? Ninety-nine per cent of us want to know.”

Other suggestions in the lecture include strengthening unionization and raising the minimum wage.

After talking about the distribution of wealth in Canada and how the nation compares to the rest of the world, historically to present day, Pendakur addressed what the Canadian systems and its citizens can do to reduce inequality.

One suggestion is taxation.

“Tax rates have been declining in Canada since the late 1990s.”

Taxation supports public spending, he said, and public spending goes to citizens in need of resources and social services.

“The federal government writes a lot of cheques,” he said.

Public spending is a move towards reducing inequality.

Pendakur said, “When you reduce taxing, you reduce public spending.”

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District of North Vancouver communities want more information on proposed transit tax

One community in the District of North Vancouver is for the transit tax hike while other communities seeks more information on the situation.

The Mayors’ Council will ask in the upcoming plebiscite for transportation funding if Metro Vancouver people are willing to pay an extra 0.5-per-cent increase in the provincial sales tax.

Corrie Kost, executive member of the Edgemont and Upper Capilano Community Association, said, “Show me the money.”

As a retired scientist, he wants facts. Until there is a defined cost-benefit analysis plan, Kost remains in the “No” camp.

On the Mayors’ Council transportation website, the plan for the North Shore is mostly focused on improving public transit in the City of North Vancouver and not so much on the District of North Vancouver.

The website promises 50 per cent more SeaBus service with “increased frequency to provide service every 10 minutes in the a.m. and p.m. peak periods and every 15 minutes at other times.”

Kost said, “A third seabus has been promised for the last 20 years. [Politicians] didn’t follow through many times in the past. It kills their credibility.”

He remains adamant for specific numbers, especially how much residents will receive for the dollar amount they invest.

On the other side of the fence, Rene Gourley, chairman of Delbrook Community Association, said people within his community are a bit more informed than anyone else and they’re for the tax hike because they understand the need for transit options, especially with the older generations.

“It requires strong knees and strong hearts to get around,” he said. “We live on a hill.”

Buses are needed, said Gourley. Otherwise there would be too many cars on the road.

He said, “We’re a car-centric community, a secure standard suburb.”

Looking towards the Blueridge Community Association, the co-chairperson said people aren’t informed enough to state anything firmly.

Eric Godot Andersen said there would be a meeting at the library at Blueridge Elementary School about this specific issue. He’s inviting a speaker from the “Yes” side and from the “No” side to illuminate what the consequences are. No one is confirmed at this time.

The meeting is on March 24, 2015 at 7 p.m.

TransLink’s transit plan for the North Shore claims its goal is to increase transit travel by 50 per cent by 2040.