B.C. Election 2017: Kids can’t vote, but child care a critical election issue

Although children can’t vote, where they are cared for and how much it costs have emerged as key campaign issues leading up to the provincial election. The various party platforms diverge widely on ideas to address what many see as a child-care crisis in B.C., specifically the long wait-lists for not nearly enough quality daycare spaces, and the sky-high cost if you are lucky enough to find one. “I think this time people will have child care top of mind when they go into the voting booth,” said Sharon Gregson, with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. “The reality is that no matter what happens on May 9… Read More

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Peterson: Child’s Donald Trump question elicits congressman’s heartfelt reply

U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier’s town hall was winding down, and as usual his audience had gotten its money’s worth. And not just because it was free. DeSaulnier, D-Concord, treated the audience during a recent event at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette to the full dinner show: a fast-paced PowerPoint presentation; a civics lesson (want to know why the Congressional districts are numbered the way they are?); a dose of history (do you know which president was the first to issue his inaugural address from the West Terrace of the Capitol)? Many familiar topics were touched upon, both in DeSaulnier’s talk and the Q&A that followed. Yes, more than a few… Read More

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How the Coming Church-State Showdown Could be Avoided

During argument in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer last week before the Supreme Court, Justice Elena Kagan mused that the case poses “a hard issue. It’s an issue in which states have their own very longstanding law. It’s an issue on which I guess I’m going to say nobody is completely sure that they have it right.” The court did not pay much attention to a question that logically flows from Kagan’s concern: Is this trip really necessary? Does the court really need to jump into this dispute between a church and a state government—or is it a case where the two parties basically have already kissed and made up?… Read More

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Parties propose to tackle housing affordability in their own ways

B.C. residents say affordable housing is the top election issue, according to several polls. And the governing B.C. Liberals and their main challenger, B.C.’s NDP, say they have plans to increase the supply of affordable homes. But there’s a big difference between having a plan and delivering results. The average price for a detached house in the City of Vancouver is $2.6 million. Across Metro Vancouver, the average single-family home costs $1.5 million. Home prices and incomes in Metro Vancouver have become so wildly detached, B.C. real estate economists and experts say, that improving affordability in a meaningful way will be difficult and require profound changes. “What we have is… Read More

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Vaughn Palmer: Clark’s Massey mega-bridge bashed by rivals’ tunnel-vision

VICTORIA — It would hardly be a proper B.C. election without the parties debating the wisdom of some huge taxpayer-financed controversy: Northeast Coal, Coquihalla Highway, Fast Ferries, Vancouver Convention Centre expansion, Sea to Sky Highway, Site C. The latter remains a controversy, of course. But the latest big-ticket project — the estimated $3.5 billion proposal to replace the Massey Tunnel with a 10-lane bridge — also turned up as a major point of contention Thursday in the first leadership debate of campaign 2017. B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark — who promised the replacement in the last election and green-lighted tens of millions of dollars worth of preparatory work on the… Read More

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Trump administration moves to enforce threat to strip funding from immigrant ‘sanctuaries’

By Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday demanded that nine jurisdictions — including the state of California — produce proof that they are cooperating with federal immigration authorities or risk losing grant funding. Sessions sent letters to the nine jurisdictions, including Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, in the latest sign that the Trump administration intends to punish so-called “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate in its promised crackdown on illegal immigration. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January declaring that sanctuary jurisdictions would not be eligible to receive federal grants, and Sessions vowed last month during a White House news conference to take Justice… Read More

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B.C. election 2017: Clark says greed among U.S lumber barons driving softwood spat

Greedy lumber barons in the United States are to blame for the softwood lumber dispute, and their push to choke off the supply of disputed Canadian timber will only make it harder for the average American to buy a home, Liberal Leader Christy Clark said on Friday. Clark told a campaign event in Williams Lake that if the Liberals are re-elected on May 9, they will not rest until a fair trade deal is reached. “The American industry is … driven by greed, pure and simple,” she said, speaking at a log home manufacturing business. “They want to raise the price of lumber because they want to make more money.… Read More

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Liberals pounce on NDP’s mixed MSP messages

B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan refused again Friday to say how his party would pay for its promised $1.7 billion elimination of MSP premiums, amid renewed attacks that he’s simply delaying announcing the inevitable tax hike needed to cover the costs until after the election. Horgan sidestepped questions about why two of his candidates have publicly indicated the Medical Services Plan premiums would be rolled into income tax should the NDP win the May 9 election, potentially resulting in higher income taxes for some B.C. residents. Instead, he insisted he’d hire an independent panel to look at ways to eliminate the MSP premiums — which are set to bring in… Read More

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Commentary: A 200-year-old treaty should be a model for peace

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon gave us a good history and foreign policy lesson earlier this year. It happened in a dance off between Fallon and actor Mike Myers. Myers was representing his homeland Canada and Fallon the United States. When the dancing duel was at an end, Myers talked about the peaceful relations between the U.S. and Canada. He mentioned the Rush-Bagot agreement which took place when Canada was a colony of Great Britain. The Rush-Bagot agreement disarmed American and British warships on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain, except for a few patrol vessels. The agreement is now 200 years old this April. It’s an enduring model… Read More

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