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Archive for September, 2015

First Nations Education is critical social infrastructure

Many Canadians know that the federal government is responsible for funding social services, health care, education and income supports on First Nations reserves. Few people realize that the escalator for these transfer payments has been frozen at 2% per year since 1996, without consideration for population growth or need. According to the Assembly of First Nations, by […]

Too Early to Call Recession Over

Statistics Canada is reporting a 0.3% increase in monthly GDP for July, on top of a (downward revised) 0.4% increase in June. This will no doubt spark Conservative politicians, and many economists, to declare that the shallow recession which Canada experienced in the first half of 2015 is already over. As recently as last week, […]

Taking credit where it’s not due

On the election’s climate file, Prime Minister Harper has claimed that his is the “first government in Canadian history that has actually been able to see a reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time seeing the economy grow.” This is very much a case of claiming credit where it is NOT due, from […]

Memo from Washington: The Pope’s Call for Climate Action

To start his US tour, the Pope stated that “climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation. When it comes to the care of our ‘common home,’ we are living at a critical moment of history.” Speaking on behalf the poorest people – those who will be most adversely affected […]

TPP: Renegotiating NAFTA, By the Back Door

For years, trade and justice activists have proposed renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement to address some of the deal’s most damaging features: for example, by removing the anti-democratic investor-state dispute settlement provisions of Chapter 11, linking trade benefits to genuine protections for human and labour rights (all the more important given the deteriorating […]

Missing in (debate) action: macroeconomic lessons from the Great Depression

This is a guest blog post from Mario Seccareccia, Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa. ——- Since the October 2008 federal election, Canadian politicians have been struggling to come to terms with what to all accounts has turned out to be a “lite” version of the 1930s, whose major difference is that today we have […]

Election 2015: The Political Economy of Balanced Budgets

First, disclosure.  I wear several hats.  In addition to being a progressive economist, I am  a member of the NDP.  I have been since 1988.  I will be voting for the NDP candidate in my riding and I just donated $100 to the party,with more to follow. The recent promise of four years of balanced […]

Ten Things to Know About Homelessness in Canada

This afternoon I gave a presentation at Raising the Roof’s Child & Family Homelessness Stakeholder Summit in Toronto. My slide deck can be downloaded here. To accompany the presentation, I’ve prepared the following list of “Ten Things to Know About Homelessness in Canada.” 1.Efforts to enumerate persons experiencing homeless have generally been spotty, but it […]

Dix Choses à Savoir sur l’Itinérance au Canada

Cet après-midi, j’ai fait une présentation au Child & Family Homelessness Stakeholder Summit, organisé par Chez Toit, à Toronto. Ma presentation, illustrée de diapositives, peut être téléchargée ici. Pour accompagner la présentation, je vous ai préparé la liste suivante: « Dix choses à savoir sur l’itinérance au Canada. » 1. Les tentatives de dénombrer les […]

Federal Surplus: Digging Deeper

This week Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are trumpeting the announcement of a small surplus ($1.9 billion) for fiscal 2014-15.  The political symbolism of this “good news” is a welcome change for them from a string of negative economic reports (most importantly, news that Canada slipped into recession in the first half of 2015) that has damaged […]

New Study on Positive Economic Impacts of Public Infrastructure Investment in Canada

A five-year $50-billion public infrastructure spending initiative would generate a return on investment to Canadians over the long term as high as $3.83 per dollar spent, trigger significant private sector investment and stimulate wage increases, according to a new study by an independent economic modelling firm. The Economic Benefits of Public Infrastructure Spending in Canada, […]

Small Business Taxes, Big Loopholes

by: Kaylie Tiessen & David Macdonald Small business taxes made the news last week when, during a CBC interview, federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau suggested many business owners are using the small business tax rate as a de facto in-country tax shelter. Responding to the interview, Conservative leader Stephen Harper accused Trudeau of taking aim […]

Canada’s failed experiment with corporate income tax cuts

  After a generation of comparatively high corporate income tax (CIT) rates, in the late 1980s Canadian governments at the federal and provincial levels began a series of corporate income tax reforms. According to many mainstream (‘neoclassical’) economists, reducing CIT rates was a wise public policy. A reduced CIT rate means a reduction in the […]

GDP Recession a Symptom of Deeper Failures

There were surely more people (myself included) watching Statistics Canada’s GDP release at 8:30 am Tuesday, than any other release in recent history! This reflected the political significance of the possibility that an official recession would be confirmed by the numbers, right smack in the middle of an election campaign — all the more so […]