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  • CCPA's National Office has moved! May 11, 2018
      The week of May 1st, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' National Office moved to 141 Laurier Ave W, Suite 1000, Ottawa ON, K1P 5J2. Please note that our phone, fax and general e-mail will remain the same: Telephone: 613-563-1341 | Fax: 613-233-1458 | Email: ccpa@policyalternatives.ca  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • What are Canada’s energy options in a carbon-constrained world? May 1, 2018
    Canada faces some very difficult choices in maintaining energy security while meeting emissions reduction targets.  A new study by veteran earth scientist David Hughes—published through the Corporate Mapping Project, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Parkland Institute—is a comprehensive assessment of Canada’s energy systems in light of the need to maintain energy security and […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The 2018 Living Wage for Metro Vancouver April 25, 2018
    The cost of raising a family in British Columbia increased slightly from 2017 to 2018. A $20.91 hourly wage is needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver, up from $20.61 per hour in 2017 due to soaring housing costs. This is the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Mobility pricing must be fair and equitable for all April 12, 2018
    As Metro Vancouver’s population has grown, so have its traffic congestion problems. Whether it’s a long wait to cross a bridge or get on a bus, everyone can relate to the additional time and stress caused by a transportation system under strain. Mobility pricing is seen as a solution to Metro Vancouver’s transportation challenges with […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Budget 2018: The Most Disappointing Budget Ever March 14, 2018
    Premier Pallister’s Trump-esque statement that budget 2018 was going to be the “best budget ever” has fallen a bit flat. Instead of a bold plan to deal with climate change, poverty and our crumbling infrastructure, we are presented with two alarmist scenarios to justify further tax cuts and a lack of decisive action: the recent […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Stay the course

The Fall Economic Update was hosted this week by the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce. It seems Minister Flaherty wanted to be sure of friendly faces when he announced that the 2012-2013 budget deficit will likely be $5-$7 billion higher than forecast in March. The reason for the higher deficit is that nominal GDP will be lower than expected, which in turn means lower government revenues.  Given that Europe has returned to recession and the US faces an austerity bomb, there are continued global risks to the Canadian economy.

Minister Flaherty’s message was, essentially, “stay the course”.  There is an unspecified plan that can be executed should the outlook worsen (likely more public sector cuts, as David MacDonald outlines here).

Public spending and public service cuts are probably the most counter-productive response in the current economic climate.  The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates that the cuts announced in March 2012 will take 1% out of real GDP from 2014 through 2016, and result in 125,000 fewer jobs for 2016.  This all means that government revenues will be even lower than expected, prompting further belt-tightening.

This at a time when Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio is the envy of other industrialized nations, and borrowing costs are at record lows.  If anyone can afford to borrow to invest in the future, it is Canada, right now.

What to invest in?  The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is calling on the government to invest in critical municipal infrastructure.  This is the kind of investment that puts people to work, makes life better, and improves labour productivity.  This is the kind of investment that businesses rely on governments to make.  A multi-year plan allows smarter and more productive investments.  Real Jobs and Growth kind of stuff.

 

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