Economics, Policy and the Future of Grizzly
Bears in BC
In 2003, the Centre for Integral Economics was contracted
by the Raincoast Conservation Society to do what no one had
done before - analyse revenues derived from British Columbia's
grizzly bear resource. We found that grizzly bear viewing
ecotourism is conservatively worth $6.1 million annually in
BC, while the grizzly hunt brings in only half as much. The
argument to maintain the hunt as an economic benefit is flawed.
Application of Market Tools to Airshed
In this project we were contracted by Environment Canada to
undertake a survey of ENGOs in the Lower Mainland, and to
make recommendations regarding the coordination of these groups,
and the application of market tools to airshed management.
This project demonstrated and reinforced our position as a
broker of economic ideas between government and the environmental
Financing First Nations' Sustainability
We recently collaborated with Common Ground Consulting to
prepare a report for the department of Indian and Northern
Affairs Canada. The report, to be presented to the Aboriginal
Capital Corporations of BC, is an initial scoping of the interest
and opportunities for developing an equity-financing fund
for First Nations. This project was an important convergence
of our interests in corporate social responsibility, sustainability
and market tools, and community economic development.
Sustainability Indicators: Framework &
The BC Environmental Network (BCEN) is the principal umbrella
organization for environmental organizations in British Columbia.
They asked the Centre for Integral Economics to design a conceptual
framework and a set of preliminary recommendations for the
development of a set of sustainability indicators. This project
was an important opportunity to build closer ties with the
BCEN and its members, and to introduce to them some of our
ideas around economics and sustainability.
Municipal Tax Shifting
Local governments have both the opportunity and the flexibility
to reorient their fiscal tools for sustainability. The Municipal
Tax Shifting Program was launched in 2000 to take advantage
of this critical locus for implementing on-the-ground tax-shifting
policies. Real life tax-shifting success at the municipal
level will provide powerful leverage for other jurisdictions
and higher levels of government. For the past year and a half,
the Centre for Integral Economics has focused on developing
and testing a comprehensive, accessible and useful toolkit,
including a tax modelling tool and supporting materials for
local governments. Recently, we have been working with the
City of Winnipeg to create genuine tax shifts at the municipal
New Economy Program
The goal of the New Economy Program (1998-1999) was to educate
and empower that sector of British Columbia's economy that
stood to gain the most from a broad environmental tax shift.
We worked closely with the new economy sectors, particularly
environmental industries and high tech. These sectors, which
tend to be innovative and to value the natural amenities of
the province, also tend to invest more in human resources
than in energy and materials. Accordingly, these sectors would
gain from a shift in taxation away from labour and investment,
towards taxing energy and waste. This program reflected our
broad intent to move the taxation burden off of "goods" and
onto "bads," while maintaining overall revenue neutrality.
Environmental NGO Tax Shift Working Group
The Centre for Integral Economics brought together and facilitated
a broad-spectrum provincial working group, that submitted
a list of tax-shifting priorities to the NDP provincial government.
This submission subsequently became an important reference
for the government's Green Economy Secretariat agenda. Our
submission, and the organizational interests it represented,
were also significant in ushering in Canada's first legislated
provincial tax shift, around phasing out industrial "beehive"