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  • 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
  • Losing your ID - even harder to recover when you have limited resources! October 10, 2017
    Ellen Smirl researched the barriers experienced by low-income Manitobans when faced with trying to replace lost, stolen, or never aquired idenfication forms. Read full report here.  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA recommendations for a better North American trade model October 6, 2017
    The all-party House of Commons trade committee is consulting Canadians on their priorities for bilateral and trilateral North American trade in light of the current renegotiation of NAFTA. In the CCPA’s submission to this process, Scott Sinclair, Stuart Trew, and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood argue for a different kind of trading relationship that is inclusive, transformative, and […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Ontario’s fair wage policy needs to be refreshed September 28, 2017
    The Ontario government is consulting on ways to modernize the province’s fair wage policy, which sets standards for wages and working conditions for government contract workers such as building cleaners, security guards, building trades and construction workers. The fair wage policy hasn’t been updated since 1995, but the labour market has changed dramatically since then. […]
    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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