The rich get richer and the poor get poorer in British Columbia, as they do in much of the world. As the richest few tally their billions, the poorest seek the doorway that will be their home for the night. Those in between work more and struggle not to fall deeper into debt. Nowadays to discuss poverty, the correct term to use seems to be income inequality. It's been the subject of several important and much-discussed books in recent years--and now there's one for B.C.

In A Better Place on Earth: The Search for Fairness in Super Unequal British Columbia (Harbour, 2015), Andrew MacLeod interviews "economists, politicians, policy-makers and activists, as well as those living on the edge"; to illustrate the consequences of this monetary inequality. This book received the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness.

MacLeod's title is an oblique reference to the slogan for a B.C. Liberal government ad campaign, "The Best Place on Earth", a public relations campaign to hype the province prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics.

MacLeod talks to "a single parent whose child support payments are clawed back by the government; a 25-year-old struggling to live on disability payments who won't share his identity for fear of repercussions from the system; a security guard who wasn't given bathroom breaks, didn't drink water at work and eventually had to have a kidney removed as a result of severe dehydration."; MacLeod examines the public policy that has contributed to this economic disparity, and encourages British Columbians to consider how our society can be more fair for everyone.

In All Together Healthy, A Canadian Wellness Revolution (D&M 2018), Andrew MacLeod examines inequities within Canada and draws on international comparisons to assess why Canada's high spending on health care has failed to achieve better results. Well-researched and enlivened with interviews and personal stories, MacLeod explains the complexities of public health policy in an immediate and approachable way, making a passionate case for how best to maximize the health of the many.

Andrew MacLeod has been the Legislative Bureau Chief for website since November, 2007. Prior to working for the Tyee he was a staff news writer for Monday Magazine from 2002 to 2007 in Victoria. While obtaining an English degree from the University of Victoria, he had been a co-editor of the UVic student newspaper The Martlet in 1992-93.

His work has been referred to in the BC legislature, Canadian House of Commons and senate. He won an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies award for news writing (2006) and was a finalist for a Western Magazine Award for best article in BC and the Yukon (2007). His reporting has also appeared in the Georgia Straight, BC Business, 24 Hours, Victoria's Focus Magazine, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Detroit's MetroTimes, Portland's Willamette Week and elsewhere.

Born in Montreal on July 1, 1972, MacLeod grew up in Toronto and came to B.C. in August of 1991. He now lives with his family in Victoria.


A Better Place on Earth: The Search for Fairness in Super Unequal British Columbia (Harbour Publishing, 2015) $22.95 978-1-55017-704-6

All Together Healthy, A Canadian Wellness Revolution (D&M 2018) $22.95 978-1-77162-188-5

[BCBW 2018]

Reviews of the author's work by BC Studies:
A Better Place on Earth: The Search for Fairness in Super Unequal British Columbia.