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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

Why even conservatives are worried about rising inequality

This essay was commissioned by the National Post.  It was published in today’s edition under the headline “A Problem for Everyone“.  In the print edition, the overline -  a large font summary of what you are about to read  written by the editors –  reads:  “Income inequality isn’t just unfair — it threatens the whole […]

Inequality is bad for business

In August Canadian Business magazine published my article on why inequality is bad for business.  It is produced in full below. Last week the International Monetary Fund, not known for left-leaning views, released a series of articles entitled “Why Inequality Throws Us Off Balance”. One of the papers is by Andrew Berg and Jonathan Ostry […]

Family Values and Budget Cuts

Once again, in the middle of summer, the anti-government government has unleashed more anti-policy policy via a compliant Statistics Canada. Who needs data when you’ve got family values? The Harper team knows what you need. (Hint: tax cuts. Oops! Not for you sister, if you’re a single mom.) The Globe and Mail’s Tavia Grant has […]

When Business and Progressives Agree

It was news, not so much because of what was said, as who said it:  The Conference Board of Canada released a report on rising inequality in Canada today, noting that despite the fact that Canadians are better off than a generation ago, the richest 20% in society are taking an ever-growing share of the […]

Incomes in Canada – Booming and Busted

Today’s release of the annual Income in Canada report is Statistics Canada’s first word on the impact of the Great Recession on Canadians’ incomes. The report in The Daily was presented as a non-event, but the data reveal important stories about the winners and losers since the recession. What comes through loud and clear is […]

What Newfoundland & Labrador Can Teach the Rest of Canada About 21st Century Globalization

A shorter version of this analysis appears at the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab. See article and comments here. Last fall Premier Danny Williams wondered what could drive anyone to let hundreds of millions of dollars slip through their fingers. Last week he got his answer. The Roil report on the 18-month strike at Voisey’s […]

Five Economic Tests for Harper’s Majority Government

This article was first published at the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab. As Parliament resumes after Canada’s historic 41st election, all eyes are on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and how he delivers on his campaign promises of growth and stability. With no encumbrances to its decision-making powers, the Harper majority government will be responsible — […]

Economic Impact of Harper Majority

This 6 minute debate between Michael Hlinka, CBC business correspondent, and myself examines the economic impact of a Harper majority.  It took place early today on Metro Morning, the local morning CBC program in Toronto. It touches on the nature of growth, the distribution of the benefits of growth, the erosion of the foundation of […]

Stephen Harper’s Economic Record: Best in show?

According to the polls, Stephen Harper gets the highest score on handling the economy, though he only gets the nod from 38 per cent of Canadians. As the incumbent, he’s got the advantage on all other candidates.  What the others have done and might do is a topic for another blogpost. This short summary of […]

The future of monetary policy

The following is the press release of a new initiative to examine the future of monetary policy, based on the core sentiment that growth is not enough. “Dynamic, stable and sustainable” is the goal, for the economy… and monetary policy. Full employment is featured as a key – and largely ignored – objective of central […]

False Consciousness, Part I: On Elections and the Middle Class

The following appeared in the National Post today. We’re in the last week of a federal election campaign, and every party wants you to believe they’re there for the hardworking families of a middle class under enormous pressure. That’s you, right? The idea of the middle class resonates, because it is a notion we all […]

Electile Dysfunction

Evidence suggests that we all like it long. Mayors of Canada like it long. It helps them prioritize the next transit or water main development. Police like it long. It helps them decide how to recruit, to reflect the changing communities they serve. Medical researchers like it long. It helps them see patterns of disease, […]

The Polls and the Proles

The polls are suggesting a Harper majority may be in the cards, but they may be counting out the wild card in this deck: young people. How do polls work? Pollsters call people. On land lines. Who answers land lines? Not many young people anymore. They’re constantly connected through their cells, mostly through texts. But […]

On Economics, We-Think, and the Twitterverse

It took me a long time to write my first blog. It was here, and it was in response to the global economic collapse as it was occurring in real time, in late September 2008. For economists, the blogosphere is a rapid response world, and speed can kill. I worried about getting caught undone in […]

Courting the Women’s Vote in 2011

Every party is courting the women’s vote. They are The Undecided – more women than men are still parking their vote. That’s typical of most elections. Women listen for longer, decide later in an election campaign. When the time comes, they will be the kingmakers, if you’ll pardon the term. It leaps to mind because […]

Shock and Awful – The Truth Behind CIT Cuts

Cutting corporate income taxes doesn’t create jobs. They may raise wages, but probably not for you and me. And they mean Canadian taxpayers are paying more….to help the Americans pay down their debt Here’s how I know these things to be true: Yesterday SUN TV rolled out its first full day of programming. The prime […]

Saunders and The Value of CIT Cuts, Part I

Doug Saunders, of the Globe and Mail, has gamely launched a real and meaningful discussion about corporate tax cuts on these pages. See the comments section of this post. Since that forum was getting unwieldly, I’m starting a new post. Doug’s stated pursuit (and mine, and I wager most readers’) – how to harness growth […]

The Legend of Zero

No politician is talking about it, but there is a growing debate about corporate tax cuts, and it’s not about whether they should go up or down 1.5 percentage points. It’s about getting rid of them. Zero corporate income taxes. It is fast becoming the legendary goal for tax reform in some opinion-makers’ minds, and […]

Of the 1%, For the 1%, By the 1%

The first leg of the federal election campaign has featured much debate over who benefits from different proposals. At least indirectly, it has been a conversation about income inequality. What have they been saying? The Harper Conservatives have introduced a number of high-cost measures all of which are based on tax cuts, all of which […]

Who Benefits from the TFSA?

A shorter version of this analysis was published today in the Globe and Mail’s online business feature Economy Lab. Stephen Harper has unveiled yet another plank in a platform that seems remarkably out of touch with the concerns of an electorate walking on post-recession eggshells. His latest proposal would double the contribution limit to the […]

TFSA: Just The Facts Ma’am

Here are the most important facts about the Tax Free Savings Account. Will blog further on this tomorrow. Introduction of the Tax Free Savings Account: January 1, 2009, right at the height of the economic meltdown What’s new: Stephen Harper promises to double the contribution limits to the Tax Free Savings Account, from $5,000 a […]

Value Added? The Dubious Impact of Corporate Tax Cuts

Corporate tax cuts have become a defining feature of the election campaign thus far. The Globe and Mail covered the topic today with an article entitled “Corporate tax cuts don’t spur growth“. Stephen Gordon fired off a critique of the piece in his latest blog at the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab, to which I […]

Budget 2011: Smells like 1995

Back in 1995 Finance Minister Paul Martin introduced a budget that reshaped fiscal federalism and retrenched the scope of the welfare state in Canada. It envisioned a dramatically smaller role for the federal government, a role that was permanently in question through the process of ongoing program review. It was Paul Martin’s permanent revolution, for […]

An Alternative Budget: Making Jobs, Not War

This piece was initially posted on the Globe and Mail’s online business feature, Economy Lab. Join the comments section! For 18 years I’ve been part of a national project in participatory budgeting called the Alternative Federal Budget. Each year dozens of national and community organizations representing millions of Canadians convene over a six month period, […]

Risk, Altruism and A Monkey Economy Like Ours

The “science” of economics has for most of its history relied on theory more than experimentation, which is quite literally the testing grounds of all “real” science. The birth of behavioural economics in the 1970s permitted economists to start testing theory rigorously, by borrowing empirical methods from psychology and other social sciences to lift the […]

The Rise of the Global Elite

“The already wealthy have emerged from the global recession in an even wealthier position. What does the rise of global elites mean to power and influence at home and abroad?” That’s the blurb from TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, the latest Canadian news show to tackle the issue that explains so much of what […]

Avoiding a really bad drug trip – Pharmacare versus CETA

Boomers are getting blamed for an awful lot of fiscal problems these days. But blaming an aging population for healthcare costs spiraling out of control is misplaced. Missing opportunities to manage and contain costs is the real culprit. Take, for example, our spending on prescription drugs. Costs in that part of the healthcare system have […]

Canada’s Immigration Policy: Who’s on the guest list?

This article first appeared in the Globe and Mail’s online feature Economy Lab on Friday. My thanks to all the commentators on this page for the great discussion of the topic. This week, the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship rightly noted that immigrants are Canada’s ticket to economic growth in the coming years. The untold […]

Death of the Tiger: A Cautionary Irish Tale

This blog has been posted on behalf of Bruce Campbell, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The first version of this piece originally appeared in the blogosphere at the Huffington Post The Irish people go to the polls on February 25. The governing Fianna Fail party — that created the fallen Celtic […]

The Long and The Short of Corporate Tax Cuts

A couple of weeks back I summarized five economic reasons to say no to further corporate tax cuts right now. A print edition of the piece caught the eye of Finance Canada, which fired off a chastening letter on February 10th saying: Enjoy and share: