PEF home page and weblog
The story of child poverty in Canada is very much an urban story. One out of every 10 children living in urban areas was poor in 2010, compared to one in 20 children living in non-urban areas. Three quarters (or 76%) of all poor children in Canada lived in one of the urban centres shown [...]
On April 23, the Fraser Institute released the annual update of their misleading Consumer Tax Index report. The piece is meant to feed the anti-tax sentiment with numbers sprinkled liberally for their shock value instead of providing any meaningful analysis. Here are some of the main flaws with the report’s methodology. If what follows sounds [...]
A new CCPA (National) report by Marc Lee and myself argues that Canada’s tax system needs a “fairness” overhaul and presents a framework for progressive tax reform. Those of you who have been following our tax work so far will find this study a great complement to the BC Tax Options Paper. Tax policy is [...]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under corporate income tax, financial transactions tax, guaranteed annual income, income support, income tax, inequality, progressive economic strategies, taxation, TFSA.
February 14th, 2013
The Globe and Mail has just launched an in-depth feature on higher education in Canada, an installment of their Our Time to Lead series. For a couple of weeks, you can expect to see increased coverage of the issues facing our post-secondary education system in print but especially online. The editors deserve credit for seeking [...]
This September, like every year, a new group of high school graduates headed to college or university to pursue higher education. But today’s generation of students is in for a very different experience from the ones their parents had. On campuses across the country shiny new buildings are popping up, bearing corporate logos or the [...]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under education, income distribution, inequality, labour market, privatization, public infrastructure, public services, student debt, taxation, user fees, young workers.
October 9th, 2012
A new report by the Canadian Medical Association provides a timely reminder that money buys better health, even in a country with a universal public healthcare system. A poll commissioned by the CMA found a large and increasing gap between the health status of Canadians in lower income groups (household income less than $30,000) and [...]
Despite the remarkably poor media coverage of the early days of the protests (especially in English Canada), it seems that the Quebec student protestors have finally succeeded in sparking a broader public discussion about civil liberties and the right to protest (even in the Globe here, here and in the Celebrity Photo captions). Yet, media [...]
Last Monday, BC teachers held a Day of Action in communities across the province to protest the BC government’s decision to legislate a contract and put an end to their collective bargaining process. I was invited to speak to teachers at the Surrey rally, where I had the opportunity to share some of my analysis [...]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under BC, budgets, economic growth, education, employment, income distribution, inequality, poverty, public services, recession, social policy, taxation, unions, user fees, wages.
March 4th, 2012
This morning the CCPA released a new report (co-authored by yours truly) that looks at the thorny issue of health care reform in BC (and Canada) and identifies some practical, evidence-based strategies that have been successful in improving quality of care and controlling costs in other jurisdictions. The papers comes out at a time when [...]
Earlier today, Elections BC announced the much anticipated HST referendum results. British Columbians have voted to scrap the HST. The best part about having the results is that now we can move on from the narrow issue of what type of sales tax is better and focus our energies on some of the bigger issues [...]
Whenever we consider the pros and cons of a new policy, we want to know if it benefits or hurts the poor, the middle class and those who are better off. Often, the answer depends on how we define each of these groups. It’s said that 99% of Canadians think of themselves as middle class, [...]
We’ve known for a long time that we all pay for poverty. We just didn’t know how much. This is the question I investigate in my latest CCPA report The Cost of Poverty in BC. If you’re not in the mood for reading the report, you can watch a short video that summarizes the findings [...]
Despite all the arguments outlined on this blog, and the federal election debates, the race to the bottom in corporate taxation seems to be alive and well in the G-7. The latest move comes from the UK, whose March budget announced a new 2 percentage point reduction in their corporate tax rate. Meanwhile, Canadian provinces [...]
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the sorry state of the BC minimum wage, stuck at $8 after nine years two months and still counting. Yes, it will likely increase very soon, now that almost all leadership candidates on both sides have expressed support for higher minimum wages, but one has got to ask [...]
It turns out — surprise! — that it’s really hard to measure quality in complex social systems and that employing simplistic quantitative measures can backfire. That’s the take-home message from a recent talk by UC Berkley economist and public policy professor Jesse Rothstein who came to SFU to present his latest research on using standardized [...]
Here’s a new take on bringing economic theory to the masses — a rap battle between Keynes and Hayek. What’s amazing about it is the amount of solid (if not plain nerdy) content this video packs into such a short time. It’s fun to watch for sure (very high production values), but you get that [...]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under economic crisis, economic growth, economic literacy, economic thought, fiscal policy, free markets, history of economic thought, industrial policy, inflation, interest rates, investment, labour adjustment, labour market, macroeconomics, media, monetary policy, prices, progressive economic strategies, public sector procurement, recession, Role of government, stimulus, unemployment, wages.
October 12th, 2010
Among the concerns about the HST that we at the CCPA have raised was the poor timing of the tax change. From my pre-budget piece last September: If British Columbians respond to the HST by reducing their consumer spending, the timing of the HST introduction may actually slow down the economic recovery, which should be [...]
While we’re talking about labour markets, here’s a blog post I wrote for CCPA’s PolicyNote blog. — An interesting chart from The Economist shows that over a third of young university graduates in Canada end up working in low skilled jobs. In fact, Canada is second only to Spain in the OECD when it comes [...]
As BC and Ontario have now started paying the HST at the till, many people may be wondering when exactly can we expect to see those jobs postings opening up. This is a good question. According to analysis commissioned by the BC government from economist Jack Mintz, titled British Columbia’s Harmonized Sales Tax: A Giant [...]
That the HST will take a bite out of family budgets is clear to everyone. The main question right now is just how big of a bite. Two studies released in BC earlier this week asked this exact question but came to very different conclusions. On Monday, the Fraser Institute released a paper arguing that [...]
Last Thursday’s Statistics Canada release of individual and household income data for 2008 marks a new era in the study of poverty in Canada. Instead of reporting only on the Low Income Cut Offs (LICO), as they used to, Statistics Canada reported on three of the most common measures of low income in the same [...]
A recent article in The New York Times illustrates this point with the story of an unemployed administrative assistant in her 50s, who has not been able to find a job for over two years after being laid off. As the journalist explains, her difficulties are likely not the result of age discrimination, the weak [...]
As promised, here’s my fourth post inspired by the recent Fraser Institute report on taxes paid by Canadian families. I can’t stand seeing people fall simple numbers tricks. And while I realize that I don’t have the time to argue with everyone who is wrong on the Internet, I try to make it a point [...]
A recently released Fraser Institute report claims that the tax bill of the average Canadian family grew by a whopping 1,624% since 1961. This is an enormous number, designed to appeal to our sensationalism-hungry media, but it does not provide a meaningful comparison of today’s average tax bill and the tax bill our parents’ and [...]
The Fraser Institute and the CCPA do not typically see eye to eye, but they seem to agree that personal income taxes take up a relatively small fraction of the average tax bill — about 13 – 14%. According to the Fraser Institute’s recent report on the average Canadian family’s tax bill, the average family [...]
It’s tax season and people are looking more closely at their incomes and the amount of taxes they pay. The Fraser Institute released their annual Consumer Tax Index report yesterday, claiming that the total tax bill of the average Canadian family now takes up 41.7% of their income. This seems like a big number, which [...]
When the global recession hit in late 2008, economic output and employment fell so steeply in such a short period of time that policy-makers were seriously concerned about the possibility of the downturn growing into a global depression. The sense of urgency led to unprecedented levels of multilateral economic coordination, with stimulus spending rolled out [...]
Yesterday, the Fraser Institute published a new report, which argues that the government stimulus did not drive Canadian economic growth in the last two quarters of 2009 and suggests that government spending on infrastructure was useless for the economy. The report earned the scorn of Finance Minister Flaherty, who was quoted in the Vancouver Sun [...]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under budgets, economic crisis, economic growth, economic literacy, fiscal policy, Fraser Institute, GDP, macroeconomics, monetary policy, Role of government.
March 24th, 2010
Last weekend, I spoke at a community event celebrating International Women’s Day in Vancouver. It got me thinking about the status of women in the Canadian economy, reflecting both on the successes over the last half century and on the areas where work is still needed to achieve gender equality. As a young woman in [...]
A new study published today by the Frontier Institute for Public Policy finds that Vancouver has the most unaffordable urban housing market not just in Canada, but in all of Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. This conclusion is based on a very simple, yet effective measure of housing affordability: [...]