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This morning I gave a presentation to a church group in Ottawa on affordable housing and homelessness. My slides can be downloaded here. Points I raised in the presentation include the following: -Though government provides subsidies to some low-income households for housing, it is important to be mindful of the considerable funding available for Canadian [...]
This week I am attending a conference entitled “Welfare Reform in Canada: Provincial Social Assistance in Comparative Perspective,” organized by Professor Daniel Béland. The focus of the conference is “social assistance,” which typically encompasses both last-resort social assistance (i.e. ‘welfare’) and disability benefits. In Ontario, the former is known as Ontario Works and the latter [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under child benefits, income support, Indigenous people, labour market, migrant workers, poverty, progressive economic strategies, Role of government, skill shortages, social policy, temporary workers, training.
October 24th, 2013
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
Today’s Statscan release of income data for 2010 allow for a backward glance at the state of the recovery. What is most striking is that – following two years of flat income growth in 2008 and 2009 – there was no meaningful economic recovery for most Canadians in 2010. Median earnings (half earned more, half [...]
Last week I was in Whitehorse where I released a peer-reviewed policy report on poverty in Yukon. The report was part of the much larger Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada project. Report findings include the following: -Ignoring poverty can be quite costly, as has been clearly demonstrated by research on the ‘costs of [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Canada's North, child benefits, Conservative government, fiscal federalism, health care, housing, income support, Indigenous people, inequality, minimum wage, poverty, Quebec, social policy, wealth, women, Yukon.
May 27th, 2012
John Stapleton has an opinion piece out on Prime Minister Harper’s proposed changes to Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). I find the following quote from Stapleton to be particularly troubling: By providing OAS and GIS at age 65, Canada has greatly reduced the incidence of poverty among seniors. By moving the [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Conservative government, CPP, demographics, fiscal federalism, income support, Old Age Security, older workers, pensions, population aging, poverty, retirement, seniors, social policy.
February 19th, 2012
Michael Mendelson has posted a long comment on my earlier post regarding the Mowat Report on EI. He defends Caledon’s proposal for temporary non EI income support for the unemployed as a clear improvement over welfare , and stresses that it is not intended to undermine EI as a social insurance program. I read the [...]
December marked the three-year anniversary of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. While I believe there is much to celebrate, much remains to be done. The Strategy surprised a lot of observers, especially in light of the fact that it was announced in December 2008, just as Ontario was entering a recession. Its focus was almost exclusively [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under child benefits, Conservative government, corporate income tax, early learning, economic crisis, education, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, housing, income support, income tax, Indigenous people, inequality, minimum wage, Ontario, poverty, progressive economic strategies, recession, social indicators, social policy, taxation, unemployment.
January 8th, 2012
A research paper published by the Canadian Breast Cancer Network underlines that the economic costs of cancer are huge due to a lack of supportive public and workplace policies. As they say ” we may think of breast cancer as a health condition, but it is also an economic condition.” Based on surveys of former [...]
Pollsters tell us that Ontario’s New Democrats may double their seat total in next month’s provincial election. It’s also entirely conceivable that they could be part of a coalition government at Queen’s Park. But what’s actually in the party’s election platform? One central feature of the NDP’s proposals is to implement a tax credit for companies that hire new workers. The tax [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under climate change, corporate income tax, education, employment, energy, environment, fiscal policy, health care, housing, HST, income distribution, income support, income tax, investment, minimum wage, NDP, Nova Scotia, Ontario Election 2011, party politics, post-secondary education, poverty, progressive economic strategies, public services, public transit, social democracy, social policy, socialism, super-rich, taxation, user fees, wealth.
September 20th, 2011
An article in the current edition of NOW Magazine looks at social assistance in Ontario. The article is aptly entitled “Poverty Pariah,” in light of how apparently unpopular Ontario’s welfare system has become over the past 20 years. As can be seen at the National Council of Welfare’s Interactive Welfare Incomes Map, a single adult [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under food, guaranteed annual income, housing, human rights, income distribution, income support, inequality, minimum wage, NDP, Ontario, poverty, progressive economic strategies, recession, social policy.
July 24th, 2011
I have an opinion piece in today’s Toronto Star regarding Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford, and the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC). Mr. Ford would like to see a considerable number of units from TCHC’s existing stock sold off. For background on the issue, please my blog post of April 13, which can be found here. In today’s piece, I [...]
A guest post from Richard Pereira, a recent winner of the PEF Essay Contest… – Canadian Economics Association – The Town Without Poverty There were hundreds of speakers at this year’s CEA conference in Ottawa. About a dozen of these were designated “Special Lectures/Conférences spéciales” and among them were Jack Mintz on “The GST After [...]
Results of a major survey of post-secondary students were released on Thursday. The 149-page report, entitled Sources et Modes de Financement des Etudiants the Premier Cycle 2009, was written by the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ). It was done in collaboration with Léger Marketing, who suveyed almost 13,000 undergraduate students in Quebec, spanning 14 different post-secondary [...]
The recent controversy over the long-form census has caused me to be a bit more suspicious of Statscan lately. Two recent events in particular have left me scratching my head. First, as part of my doctoral dissertation research, I was trying to get ahold of (time series) social assistance statistics for all 10 Canadian provinces, namely social assistance [...]
With all of the attention focused on the HST implementation on July 1, most people seemed to miss the next increment of that other much-hated tax, BC’s carbon tax. As of July 1, the carbon tax is now $20 per tonne of CO2, or about 4.6 cents on a litre of gasoline. And like any [...]
Two weeks ago, the report of a government-appointed panel on Ontario’s social assistance system was made public. The report, entitled “Recommendations for an Ontario Income Security Review,” was written by the 11-member Ontario Social Assistance Review Advisory Council, which had been struck in December 2009 by the McGuinty government. The Council had been asked to make recommendations on [...]
John Richards tells us “tough love” was the right public policy stance for governments to take in the mid 1990s. In his report released today by the C.D.Howe Institute, Reducing Lone Parent Poverty: A Canadian Success Story,Richards tells us that the tightening of access to welfare and the imposition of workfare was the kick-in-the-butt that [...]
(Notes for my presentation to a recent workshop on the concept of a basic income.) Over the years, we have put in place an effective income security system for older Canadians – CPP plus OAS/GIS have come close to providing an adequate basic income for the elderly. And we have the instrument we need to [...]
It is one of those publications that few media outlets will report on, and even fewer British Columbians will read, but BC Stats just released the latest version of its Local Area Economic Dependencies, updated based on 2006 census data. This publication basically asks where the income in various BC communities comes from. In many [...]
Much of the debate about economic stimulus has been on infrastructure (picture the Hoover Dam, as Stephen Gordon comments). But there is more! One neglected area is around income support, including EI, the CCTB, GST credit and provincial social assistance programs. Below is the quick synopsis from the CCPA’s alternative economic and fiscal update, and [...]
Rob Rainer of the National Anti-Poverty Organization has audited the federal Liberals’ Green Shift plan for anti-poverty measures and found it lacking a comprehensive approach. I’ve excerpted below the main points in his brief, which is not on the NAPO web site and should not be taken as the voice of NAPO on the matter [...]
In contrast to last week’s Census release highlighting stagnant individual earnings, today’s Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) release trumpets rising family income. The political right critiqued coverage of last week’s release for emphasizing individual rather than family income and for not capturing the tax-and-transfer system’s equalizing effects. In particular, the Prime Minister indicated [...]
The Caledon Institute’s Sherri Torjman articulates some repairs to Canada’s social safety net. Below are the key elements of the proposal (full paper here). My main substantive critique is that, like its predecessor discussion piece last year, Torjman envisions a strange mix of delivery, going from federal in the short-term to provincial in the medium-term, [...]
http://www.caledoninst.org/Publications/PDF/622ENG.pdf “There are several positive measures, most notably the Working Income Tax Benefit, the Registered Disability Savings Plan and the proposed changes to the Equalization program. Other provisions, like the child tax credit, are a large cup of wasteful spending. The funds could have been far better spent on an increased Canada Child Tax Benefit, [...]
The story below was the banner headline piece on page one of today’s Vancouver Sun, and is a perfect choice for the “we told you so” file. Three years ago, after being awarded the 2010 Olympics, our BC Solutions Budget (and in subsequent editions) made many of the same points as the Olympics Housing Roundtable’s [...]
This story in the Star points at (another) re-announcement of the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB), a Canadian version of the US Earned Income Tax Credit first announced by then-finance minister Ralph Goodale in his economic and fiscal update prior to the last election. In the 2006 federal budget, the Tories announced they were continuing [...]
http://research.cibcwm.com/economic_public/download/srpt_rrsp_022007.pdf An interesting piece on retirement savings from CIBC. It highlights the huge increase in unused RRSP contribution room in recent years, and the widening contribution gap between higher and lower income Canadians. As of 2005, the median total asset value of RRSPs held by pre retirement persons aged 55-65 was just $60,000 – hardly [...]
BC Budget 2007 is a “housing budget” that does not build much housing. The budget commits to a mere 250 new social housing units over two years – a far cry from the 2,000 per year that was built back when the federal and provincial governments were in the game (before 1993). At this pace, [...]
The latest from the Toronto Star “war on poverty” series. Here is David Olive: A constant state of dread TheStar.com – News – A constant state of dread If the poor weren’t so conveniently invisible, maybe we’d come to our moral senses and devise a national strategy for eliminating poverty. But the one in [...]