Trudeau’s proposed speculation tax

I’ve written a blog post about the Trudeau Liberals’ recently-proposed speculation tax on residential real estate owned by non-resident, non-Canadians. The full blog post can be accessed here. Nick FalvoNick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant with a PhD in Public Policy. He has academic affiliation at both Carleton University and Case Western Reserve University, and is Section Editor of […]

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Stop Trump copy-cats: Listen to workers

I presented at the Standing Committee on International Trade’s incredibly brief review of the implementing legislation for CETA. With me were representatives from the Business Council of Canada, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Canadian Cattleman’s Association. There are only two more meetings scheduled, and there are no IP experts, no pharmaceutical experts, no representatives from either our shipping industry […]

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Denying Globalization’s Downside Won’t Stop Right-Wing Populism

I was somewhat surprised to see Stephen Poloz recently urging economists to do more work identifying and disseminating research on the supposed benefits of free trade.  That’s slightly beyond his job description (perhaps more fitting with his last position as head of Export Development Canada).  But like economic leaders elsewhere in the world, Mr. Poloz is obviously concerned with the […]

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Canada: World’s Next Superpower? Only If We Stop Relying On Temporary Foreign Workers

It’s only been a couple of weeks since Disney, that most iconic of American companies, moved to displace all its home grown techies with low-cost foreign temporary workers. But the company had to beat a hasty retreat in the face of an outpouring of criticism. Amid the deluge of commentary this story triggered about where America is headed, blogger and […]

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Surely lighthouses are simply a good thing?

“From a conventional view of progress, there were few projects more useful and less problematic than building lighthhouses to save life and cargo. From the shore, however, this was not so obvious. Among the local population were wreckers, who waited for storms to drive vessels ashore which they looted for cargo and parts – or who even lured vesssels to […]

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“Globalization” and Unions

Last weekend I participated in a labour law conference at the University of Western Ontario, speaking on a panel which was asked to speak on the impact of trade and investment on labour rights. I weighed in somewhere between my co panelists Kevin Banks and Marley Weiss, arguing that there are very strong downward pressures on the power of unions […]

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Souvenirs de Cannes

I was in Cannes last week with CLC President Ken Georgetti for the G20 Labour Summit.  (I know, tough job.) This event was arranged by the International Trade Union Confederation with the support of the French Presidency of the G20. Our group as a whole, consisting of labour leaders from the G20 countries and leaders of  the International Trade Union […]

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Neo Liberal Globalization Kills Good Jobs

Well, you’ve heard that kind of line from labour and the left, but now the IMF seems to have been pretty much won over to the argument that global supply chains and technological change are killing more good jobs than they create. In a distinctly gloomy Box starting on p.41  in the latest World Economic Outlook  “Slow Recovery to Nowhere?”,  […]

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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 Bay nickel mine in northern […]

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Majority Conservative Government Ushers in New Era of Economic Stability

“The choice for Canadians is crystal clear,” said Harper. “Continuing our low-tax plan to complete the recovery and create jobs, financial security, stability and certainty for Canadian families and businesses. Or the high-tax, reckless-spending Ignatieff-NDP-Bloc Québécois agenda that will stall our recovery, kill jobs and produce political instability and economic uncertainty by re-opening constitutional debates. On May 2, I urge […]

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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 is going on: rising inequality. […]

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What’s Canada’s Carbon Debt?

Martin Khor, of the South Centre, has done an interesting analysis for the (doomed) Cancun negotiations on climate change. The talks have broken down on north-south lines, with southern countries wanting to keep the Kyoto framework that puts the onus on northern (advanced, industrialized) countries to reduce emissions and give carbon space to southern countries carbon to develop their economies. […]

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Follow the Lead of China’s Strikers

How fascinating, and inspiring, to see China’s workers continuing to build their fightback against the low pay and grueling working conditions that have unfortunately been part and parcel of China’s recent development. And how appropriate that it was a fight against a global auto giant, Honda, that finally put the global spotlight on this struggle. Finally, how ironic that Honda […]

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Different perspectives on GHG emissions

When emissions are reported for the US or Canada, there is an accounting convention that restricts the total to emissions released within the borders of that jurisdiction. This means that Canada’s exports of tar sands oil are counted only to the extent that fossil fuels are used in the extraction and processing, not the combustion of the final product in […]

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Remember the Battle of Seattle!

Ten years ago I was in Seattle for the now famous showdown between activists and the World Trade Organization. Those were good times: we stayed downtown at the youth hostel (since converted to high end condos), ate in and around Pike Place Market, and attended an excellent two-day teach-in put on by the International Forum on Globalization. The air was […]

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What Happened at Pittsburgh?

Summary The main result of the Pittsburgh summit was to institutionalize and modestly extend the global economic governance role of the G-20 which arose as a necessary response to the global economic crisis. There is talk of medium-term co-ordination of national macro-economic policies, and a “re-balancing” of the global economy. However, while this is welcome, there is little of real […]

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World Bank, IMF and Labour Rights

I’m posting below an interesting missive from Peter Bakvis, the Washington representative of the International Trade Union Confederation, on an intersting shift of position on labour rights by the IFI.s “The World Bank has issued a memorandum to its country and sector directors instructing them to stop using the “Employing Workers Indicator” (EWI) of its highest-circulation publication, “Doing Business” (DB). […]

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A global carbon tax

Ralph Nader and Toby Heaps make an excellent case for a global carbon tax. With an Obama administration there is the possibility of such a thing happening, and it would be much more sensible that a complicated cap-and-trade system that will take years to get up and running. Even if a North American cap-and-trade system emerges that does not fall […]

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The Workers’ Olympics?

On the eve of the Beijing Olympics, recognition should certainly go to the scores of workers who toiled to build the stunning spors palaces and who have made China into the economic powerhouse it is today.  Instead, many have received layoff notices and warnings to leave the Chinese capital, as the New York Times reported today.  A remarkable 4 million […]

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A Carbon Tariff is Eminently Sensible

I am really glad Stephane Dion supplemented his Green Shift proposal with a call for a carbon tariff.  This is utterly consistent with demands the left has been making for years, namely that the rules of globalization have to be broadened to effectively address the role of environmental, labour, and social standards in determining competitiveness and hence global trade and […]

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Workers Uniting – The Global Union

I was a delegate to the United Steelworkers’ triennial Constitutional Convention in Las Vegas last week. Video of Obama’s speech and other highlights is available through the union’s revamped website. The 2008 convention will likely be remembered for three historic decisions. First, a new position was added to the union’s International Executive Board. (Semi-regular news stories about western Canada’s rising […]

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Canadian Manufacturing, Global Supply Chains and National Regulation

I spent the morning at Industry Canada’s global supply chains conference. The general tenor of the opening plenaries was as expected – Canadian corporations should slice and dice their supply chains asap to take advantage of lower costs (especially labour costs) in relation to productivity and quality if they are to survive. In a phrase, ‘make Chinese low wages work […]

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