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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

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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