PEF home page and weblog
(The following is something I’ve prepared for the next issue of CUPE’s Economy at Work, a popular economics quarterly publication I produce.) In his annual Economic and Fiscal Update (EFU), finance minister Joe Oliver told Canadians that while the federal government will finally record a surplus next year after seven years of deficits, we can’t […]
In a little noticed comment, Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently was reported to say: “Dropping our tax rate has not caused the government’s corporate income tax revenues to fall, which indicates that it does in fact attract business.” No one seems to have questioned his statement, even though it was made on the same day […]
A guest blog post from Mario Seccareccia and Louis-Philippe Rochon. After learning that the Canada Revenue Agency is auditing the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives on the grounds that it allegedly engages in politically partisan, biased and one-sided research activity, a number of university professors have drawn up an open letter asking the Minister of National […]
Posted by Wenonah Bradshaw under C. D. Howe Institute, Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Conservative government, Fraser Institute, Macdonald-Laurier Institute, petitions.
September 11th, 2014
This morning the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation released a new report about “motivational interviewing” for welfare recipients. The link to the full report is here, and the link to the executive summary is here. Authored by Reuben Ford, Jenn Dixon, Shek-wai Hui, Isaac Kwakye and Danielle Patry, the study reports on a recent randomized […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under BC, Conservative government, employment, immigration, income, income support, Indigenous people, Job vacanices, labour market, migrant workers, poverty, skill shortages, social policy, temporary workers, unemployment, wages, workplace benefits.
September 11th, 2014
Statistics Canada reported today that the number of people receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits fell by 12,070 in May – the largest drop in nearly two years. (The last time Statistics Canada records indicate a larger decrease was 12,670 in July 2012.) This substantial decline in EI benefits comes as unemployment is rising. The Labour […]
Earlier today, over at the Northern Public Affairs web site, I blogged about a recent (and controversial) decision made by the Yukon government about affordable housing in the Yukon. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Very little affordable housing gets built in Canada without federal assistance. -Without financial assistance from senior levels […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under aboriginal peoples, Canada's North, Conservative government, fiscal federalism, housing, Indigenous people, NDP, party politics, poverty, Role of government, social policy, Yukon.
July 15th, 2014
Yesterday I blogged about rental housing in Yellowknife, over at the Northern Public Affairs web site. Specifically, I blogged about a recent announcement by the city’s largest for-profit landlord that it plans to “tighten” its policies vis-a-vis renting to recipients of “income assistance” (which, in most parts of Canada, is known generically as social assistance). […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under aboriginal peoples, Canada's North, competition, Conservative government, corporate profits, employment, Employment Insurance, free markets, homeless, housing, income support, Indigenous people, Northwest Territories, P3s, poverty, prices, privatization, Real Estate, regulation, Role of government, social policy, unemployment.
May 24th, 2014
Earlier this month, I blogged about the At Home/Chez Soi homelessness study prior to the release of its final report. Today I’ve blogged again, this time about the contents of the final report itself. This second blog post, being rather long and nuanced, was written for the Homeless Hub. It can be accessed at this […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under cities, Conservative government, fiscal federalism, health care, homeless, housing, income support, municipalities, P3s, poverty, privatization, social policy, Toronto.
April 24th, 2014
On Tuesday, April 8, results of the Mental Health Commission of Canada‘s At Home/Chez Soi homelessness study will be released at an Ottawa press conference. The study followed more than 2,000 participants in five Canadian cities. All were homeless when the study began. Half of them received the Housing First intervention, and half of them did […]
Alex Usher, one of Canada’s most well-known post-secondary education pundits, has just written a blog post offering some sober second thought on Minister Kenney’s recent enthusiasm for Germany’s apprenticeship system. Mr. Usher’s blog post can be accessed here.
Posted by Nick Falvo under Conservative government, education, employment, fiscal federalism, labour market, post-secondary education, skill shortages, training, young workers.
March 26th, 2014
This piece was originally published at the Globe and Mail’s online Report on Business feature, EconomyLab. There are two reasons why it is difficult to comment on the legacy of a finance minister. 1) It is a tremendously challenging job, anywhere, any time. Stewarding one of the largest economies in the world through a […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under budgets, Conservative government, deficits, federalism, fiscal federalism, global crisis, housing, IMF, income distribution, income tax, inequality, macroeconomics, OECD, public infrastructure, Role of government, StatCan, stimulus, taxation, TFSA, World Bank.
March 20th, 2014
What follows is a guest post by Craig Jones, former Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Canada. Champions of harsher justice measures in the Harper government would have us believe that longer sentences are a win-win-win: for victims, for safe streets and for future victims. To that end, the government enacted a number […]
This blog’s unofficial slogan has been “Tomorrow’s conventional wisdom, today.” After this week’s Conservative backpedaling on income splitting, we may need to change it to “Today’s conventional wisdom, seven years ago.” Or we could just stick with “You read it here first.” My first-ever blog post, Income Splitting Redux, argued that this tax policy “would benefit […]
Here’s the first section of the budget summary and analysis I’ve prepared for CUPE. The full version is on-line on CUPE’s website at http://cupe.ca/economics/missing-action-federal-budget-2014 together with CUPE’s press release at: http://cupe.ca/economics/federal-budget-2014-help-hurt-canadian Missing In Action: Federal Budget 2014 CUPE Federal Budget 2014 Summary and Response Conservatives ignore pressing economic needs with a Do-little budget Using more […]
This piece was first published in the Globe & Mail. In a move that caught everyone off-guard, Canada Post announced a five point “action plan” last week that included phasing-out home delivery of the mail over the next five years, making Canada the only G7 nation to do so. Why? To “protect taxpayers.” Of all the reasons that merit […]
On November 25th, I made the following submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance regarding Bill C-4, Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2, on behalf of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. 1. Introduction and Context Thank you for the invitation to appear before the Committee, as Members of Parliament […]
Buried in the federal government’s recent Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections are figures showing the Harper government is set to squeeze federal government’s role to the smallest it has been in seventy years. (Bill Curry at the Globe also just wrote about this, but without figures further back than 1958). Total federal government spending as a share […]
This afternoon, I gave a presentation on public policy responding to homelessness in Canada, with a focus on the past decade. I gave the presentation at this year’s annual conference of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. Points I made in the presentation include the following: -Once inflation is accounted for, the current annual value of […]
This piece was first published in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab. Five years after a global economic crisis unleashed chaos on markets everywhere, income inequality has become an inescapable political and economic issue, in Canada as elsewhere. That’s because of mounting evidence that the increasingly skewed distribution of gains from economic growth slows future growth potential, […]
This piece was published today in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab. Two findings stand out in the National Household Survey (NHS) data released Wednesday, both critical in this post-recession era of uncertainty: 1) A quarter of Canadian households spent 30 per cent or more of their pre-tax income on shelter, the official measure of housing affordability. […]
Monte Solberg, the former Conservative cabinet minister responsible for Employment Insurance, proposed to eliminate the program in a recent Sun Media column: An alternative would be to self-insure. Employee and employer premiums would accumulate in an account in each worker’s name. Including interest, anyone who managed to stay employed through their lifetime earning even a […]
A recent online article suggests that Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is opposed to increasing federal tax rates. I find this quite surprising. According to the August 8 article: Mulcair seemed surprised when he was asked if taxes would go up under an NDP government. “You’re the first person who’s ever asked me that,” he […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Conservative government, corporate income tax, economic literacy, fiscal policy, income tax, NDP, party politics, progressive economic strategies, social democracy, taxation.
August 9th, 2013
Today I gave a presentation on Canadian housing policy at the annual conference of the European Network for Housing Research. Points raised in the presentation include the following: -Fiscal context, more so than which party has been in government, appears to have shaped federal housing policy in Canada over the past two decades. Program expenses […]
1. He’s Number Two: Stephen Poloz was widely acknowledged in economic and political circles as the second-best choice for the top job at the Bank of Canada. So the surprise was not that he was chosen. The surprise was, Why Not Tiff Macklem? Will someone please find out and tell the rest of us? 2. […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under Bank of Canada, Conservative government, economic growth, free markets, free trade, G-20, inflation, interest rates, international trade, macroeconomics, monetary policy, Role of government, stimulus, unemployment.
May 3rd, 2013
Regulations guiding the new Social Security Tribunal came into force April 1st, 2013, and are available online at the Canada Gazette. The SST combines the first and second level of client appeals for CPP, OAS, and EI into one tribunal. HRSDC expects that the changes will result in $25 million in annual savings, due to […]
A letter appears in today’s Globe and Mail in response to recent direction given by Minister Flaherty to private mortgage lenders over mortgage rates. The letter was written by Steve Pomeroy, one of Canada’s leading housing policy experts. Here is the full text of the letter: – Glass-house mortgages Twice in recent weeks, the Minister […]
Last May federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said there was no such thing as a bad job. The Law Commission of Ontario may disagree. This week it put out a report about the rise in vulnerable workers and precarious jobs. Now that he’s heard from executives who think Canadians are paid too much, Mr. Flaherty […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under Conservative government, employment, employment standards, human rights, immigration, income, labour market, migrant workers, minimum wage, Ontario, poverty, Role of government, women.
August 17th, 2012
Bill Curry reports in today’s Globe that, at last year’s economic policy retreat, business leaders urged Finance Minister Flaherty to reduce the pay of “overpriced” Canadian workers, including through anti union right to work legislation. Coincidentally, or not, the subsequent 2012 federal Budget introduced new rules which will require most EI claimants to accept jobs […]
Last week, Conservative MP Randy Hoback had another letter in The Prince Albert Daily Herald blaming the NDP for the pulp-mill closure in 2006. He still has not addressed my main point about resource royalties. I have the following response on page 4 of today’s Herald: Pulp mill saga proves Mulcair’s point Notwithstanding MP Randy […]
Last week, Conrad Black launched a $1.25-million libel lawsuit against me, Random House of Canada and its editors over four sentences in my book “Thieves of Bay Street” that discuss his case. You can see the National Post article here about the suit: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/22/conrad-black-suing-publisher-for-1-25m/ While I won’t argue the merits of the suit on this […]