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  • Report looks at captured nature of BC’s Oil and Gas Commission August 6, 2019
    From an early stage, BC’s Oil and Gas Commission bore the hallmarks of a captured regulator. The very industry that the Commission was formed to regulate had a significant hand in its creation and, too often, the interests of the industry it regulates take precedence over the public interest. This report looks at the evolution […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Correcting the Record July 26, 2019
    Earlier this week Kris Sims and Franco Terrazzano of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wrote an opinion piece that was published in the Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, Winnipeg Sun, Ottawa Sun and Toronto Sun. The opinion piece makes several false claims and connections regarding the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP), which we would like to correct. The […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Rental Wage in Canada July 18, 2019
    Our new report maps rental affordability in neighbourhoods across Canada by calculating the “rental wage,” which is the hourly wage needed to afford an average apartment without spending more than 30% of one’s earnings.  Across all of Canada, the average wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $22.40/h, or $20.20/h for an average one […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada July 9, 2019
    CCPA senior economist David Macdonald co-authored a new report, Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada­—released by Upstream Institute in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)—tracks child poverty rates using Census 2006, the 2011 National Household Survey and Census 2016. The report is available for […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Fossil-Power Top 50 launched July 3, 2019
    What do Suncor, Encana, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Fraser Institute and 46 other companies and organizations have in common? They are among the entities that make up the most influential fossil fuel industry players in Canada. Today, the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP) is drawing attention to these powerful corporations and organizations with the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Randy Burton on TILMA

Hopefully, the radio interview that I just did with Saskatoon’s News Talk 650 will help to counteract Randy Burton’s column in today’s StarPhoenix. Burton claims:

There is one overarching reason why we should be cautious about accepting the predictions of doom that await Saskatchewan if it joins a trade agreement with Alberta and B.C.

The people who tell us less restrictive trade with other provinces will kill democracy in Saskatchewan are the same people who told us free trade with the U.S. would mean the end of Canada as we know it.

The Council of Canadians, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and various labour groups were unanimous then and they’re just as convinced now.

. . .

The Conference Board of Canada has concluded that TILMA would increase Saskatchewan’s GDP by $291 million, and increase annual employment by 4,400 person years. In other words, signing the agreement could cause economic growth that exceeds our average annual increase in employment.

University of Saskatchewan economist Eric Howe was contracted by the government to examine this study and he concluded the Conference Board might be underestimating the benefit.

Nor should we believe that we can avoid the process of reducing trade barriers, he argues.

There are at least three serious problems with Burton’s column:

First, rather than addressing the arguments against TILMA, he simply pooh-poohs the people making them. In fact, the experience of NAFTA’s dispute-settlement process reinforces the concerns now being raised about TILMA’s similar dispute-settlement process.

Second, Burton provides no examples of inter-provincial “trade barriers” that should be reduced.

Third, he touts Eric Howe’s perspective without mentioning that John Helliwell also reviewed the Conference Board’s study for the provincial government and came to the opposite conclusion. (My take on the Conference Board, Howe and Helliwell is now available on the CLC’s website.)

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