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  • Charting a path to $15/hour for all BC workers November 22, 2017
    In our submission to the BC Fair Wages Commission, the CCPA-BC highlighted the urgency for British Columbia to adopt a $15 minimum wage by March 2019. Read the submission. BC’s current minimum wage is a poverty-level wage. Low-wage workers need a significant boost to their income and they have been waiting a long time. Over 400,000 […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC joins community, First Nation, environmental groups in call for public inquiry into fracking November 5, 2017
    Today the CCPA's BC Office joined with 16 other community, First Nation and environmental organizations to call for a full public inquiry into fracking in Britsh Columbia. The call on the new BC government is to broaden a promise first made by the NDP during the lead-up to the spring provincial election, and comes on […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Income gap persists for racialized people, recent immigrants, Indigenous people in Canada October 27, 2017
    In the Toronto Star, CCPA-Ontario senior economist Sheila Block digs into the latest Census release to reveal the persistent income gap between racialized people, recent immigrants, Indigenous people, and the rest of Canada.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA in Europe for CETA speaking tour October 17, 2017
    On September 21, Canada and the European Union announced that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a controversial NAFTA-plus free trade deal initiated by the Harper government and signed by Prime Minister Trudeau in 2016, was now provisionally in force. In Europe, however, more than 20 countries have yet to officially ratify the deal, […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Twelve year study of an inner-city neighbourhood October 12, 2017
    What does twelve years of community organizing look like for a North End Winnipeg neighbourhood?  Jessica Leigh survey's those years with the Dufferin community from a community development lens.  Read full report.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Economic Climate and Inequality

The December issue of the quarterly Economic Climate for Bargaining publication I produce is now on-line.  This issue has a number of pieces on issues of inequality, including:

  • Rising inequality is hurting our economy
  • Labour rights, unions and the 99%
  • Canadian economy bleeding jobs; public sector cuts to intensify
  • Recession and cuts hit Aboriginal and racialized workers hardest

It also has sections with summaries of Canadian and provincial forecasts of main economic indicators, and discussions of  developments in inflation and wages increases by major sector and province.  It picks up on a number of discussions that have taken place on this blog.

The final figures aren’t in yet — and there are different ways of measuring it– but it looks like real wages will likely decline by the greatest amount since 1995.

A number of relevant reports came out after this publication went to translation.  These include:

  • Mark Carney’s  recent speech where I was heartened to see him emphasize that the problem we face is one of prolonged deficient demand.  (It was also interesting to note that one of the rationales cited for a lower than zero inflation target in the Bank of Canada’s Background document on renewal of the inflation target was it could provide workers with real wage gains when nominal wages are sticky.)
  • The IMF report on Canada issued published yesterday also raises concern overvalued house prices and the impact a correction would have on the economy through the wealth effect.  I wrote a piece on this in the Economic Climate publication four years ago.  At that time, my estimates were that Canadian real estate was overvalued by about 20% or $500 billion: with a housing wealth effect (MPC) of 6% as estimated by the Bank of Canada, that means that a correction would reduce GDP by about 2%.   The more sophisticated calculations in the IMF report are that house prices in Canada are overvalued by about 10% and that the MPC related to housing wealth is 4.3%.  As a result they report a smaller impact on GDP.
  • It is also good to see Don Drummond has an open enough mind to now issue a mea culpa about the economic policies he implemented and espoused for years, summarized just five years ago in his Economists’ Manifesto for Curing Ailing Productivity Growth.  At that time, he said there there was broad consensus among economists for those policies.  I suppose  he wasn’t reading this blog.
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