PEF home page and weblog
On Tuesday, Statistics Canada reported that job vacancies have fallen to the lowest level recorded since it began collecting these figures two years ago. On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada projected growth of just 1.5% for this year. On Thursday, Statistics Canada reported that the number of Canadians receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits edged down in [...]
BREAKING NEWS: Women are paid less than men across OECD (read: rich) countries. OK, it’s not breaking news. Not even close. In Canada the ‘Female to Male earnings ratio’ has hovered around the 70% mark for the past 20 years. And for women with university degrees, the ratio peaked in the early 1990′s, and has [...]
The following comes from a short talk on a vision for a zero-carbon BC that I gave at a couple events this Fall. Many have asked for the text so I’ve posted it here, and we may try and turn it into a video. That said, I have been reluctant to do so up to [...]
The annual Employment Insurance Coverage Survey is out, here. The rate of eligibility for regular benefits from Employment Insurance is the lowest since 2003, the earliest year that there is comparable data. To qualify, a person must have worked in the past 12 months and contributed to Employment Insurance, they must have left their job for a [...]
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
Statistics Canada reported today that, for a third consecutive month, consumer prices declined and the inflation rate fell below 2%. In July, the inflation rate was 1.3% and the Bank of Canada’s core rate was 1.7%. Gasoline and natural gas prices, which have been lower this summer than last, dragged down the overall Consumer Price [...]
At yesterday’s Saskatchewan Roughrider game, Premier Wall announced provincial funding for a new stadium: an $80-million grant and a $100-million loan to be repaid over time through a surcharge on tickets. While it’s unclear why a stadium should be anywhere near the top of the priority list, a readiness to invest in public infrastructure is [...]
Today we released a new Climate Justice Project report, Clean Electricity, Conservation and Climate Justice in BC: Meeting our energy needs in a zero-carbon future, co-authored by John Calvert and myself. The report is central to the vision we have been developing of a zero-carbon BC, with a focus on the need to transition off [...]
Today the CCPA released a new big picture report by myself and student researcher Amanda Card calling for a Green Industrial Revolution. The report builds on work done for the BC-focused Climate Justice Project, bringing to bear a national analysis of green and not-so-green jobs. We take a close look at GHG emissions and employment [...]
Posted by Marc Lee under carbon pricing, ccs, climate change, economic growth, employment, energy, environment, housing, industrial policy, investment, labour market, macroeconomics, oil and gas, progressive economic strategies, public infrastructure, public transit, tar sands, transportation.
June 12th, 2012
On June 7, I gave a keynote address to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference. My PowerPoint presentation (with full references) can be found at this link. Points I raised in the address include the following: -Canada’s economy has been growing quite steadily over the past three decades, even when one adjusts [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under BC, competition, Conservative government, corporate income tax, debt, demographics, education, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, household debt, income distribution, income tax, inequality, macroeconomics, Newfoundland and Labrador, P3s, part time work, post-secondary education, privatization, productivity, public infrastructure, Quebec, rankings, regulation, Role of government, social policy, student debt, student movement, taxation, user fees, working time, young workers.
June 7th, 2012
Today’s record low interest rates on long term Canadian government bonds present a fantastic opportunity to save money by borrowing more. Back last December I wrote a post pointing out that the federal government could and should be much more aggressive in locking in low interest rates by shifting new borrowing to long term bonds [...]
Canadian Press writes, “Mr. Mulcair’s analysis of what ails Canada’s economy is contradicted by a new independent study produced by the Institute for Research on Public Policy.” Really? What does the study conclude? As quoted by Canadian Press, “On balance, the evidence indicates that Canada suffers from a mild case of the Dutch disease, which [...]
Andrew Jackson has started off this discussion with his post today looking at the job impacts of federal cuts. I wanted to add my own two sense and some calculations that I’ve whipped up. Thankfully the federal budget has started to fill in some of the details of its latest round of cuts. In particular, it [...]
I have an opinion piece out on the City of Ottawa’s universal, student transit pass–also known as “the U-Pass.” Points raised in the op-ed include the following: -U-Pass programs exist for roughly 30 universities and colleges across Canada. -For a U-Pass program to be introduced, students typically must vote in favour of the program in [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under cities, climate change, Ontario, post-secondary education, public infrastructure, public services, public transit, student movement, transportation, user fees.
February 7th, 2012
Last month, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) released a document entitled Public Education for the Public Good: A National Vision for Canada’s Post-Secondary Education System. I found the document to be quite informative, filled with a lot of useful statistics. For example: -Enrolment is rising in colleges and universities across Canada. Since the late 1990s, full-time enrolment has [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under BC, democracy, education, employment, fiscal federalism, part time work, post-secondary education, public infrastructure, social policy, user fees, young workers.
November 6th, 2011
Last weekend, I spoke on a panel at the Annual Conference of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. The panel was inspired in large part by the recent debate in Toronto over Mayor Rob Ford’s attempt to sell social housing units to private buyers. The panel, entitled “To Privatize or Not to Privatize? That is the question,” included myself, Vince Brescia (President and CEO [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under capitalism, cities, housing, Ontario, P3s, poverty, prices, privatization, public infrastructure, public services, Role of government, social policy, Toronto.
November 5th, 2011
On Tuesday night, Peterborough City Council approved a plan for a for-profit corporation to own and operate a new student residence at Trent University. I’m concerned that this may signal a new trend at Canadian universities; about a year ago, I blogged about a similar plan at the University of Toronto. I am not opposed [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under education, housing, Ontario, P3s, post-secondary education, privatization, public infrastructure, public sector procurement, regulation, social policy, student debt, student movement, user fees.
August 4th, 2011
My recent post on public sector pay elicited a lot of comments, including a fair few based on the right-wing premise that the public sector is an unproductive burden on the private sector. I have always found this ascription of productivity to the public and private sectors to be deeply misleading in that it conceals [...]
It has been fascinating to watch the growing public reaction to the full-court press from Canada’s Big Pipe companies (aka, the telcos and cablecos) for usage-based billing (internet metering). The CRTC has played a corporatist role that has largely been compliant with the demands of industry. Even in the midst of the turning political tide, [...]
This was posted on the Globe and Mail’s online feature Economy Lab today. My sincere thanks to all the people who have posted on the topic on this site. The Harper government ’s commitment to further reduce the general corporate income tax rate while the nation struggles with budgetary deficits has been championed by – [...]
Today’s Globe and Mail features an article about the University of Toronto’s plan to turn “to the private sector to solve their campus housing problems” for students. In particular, the article refers to a plan whereby the U of T would become “the first university in Canada to erect a large tower offsite with private [...]
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 [...]
Last week the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) published an update for the G20 Summit on its call from earlier this year for a Global Green New Deal. This update showed that Canada is close to the bottom in the stimulus funds it is committing to green economic areas. According to the UNEP, only 8% [...]
While BC has not formally abandoned the P3 model, there is a notable absence of new P3 announcements at a time when billions of dollars are being channeled to infrastructure spending. If P3s really provided value for money and brought the benefits of private sector efficiency and innovation to the delivery of public-sector infrastructure, then [...]
Most regular folks and media pundits seem to assume that the public sector is recession-proof – hence all those nasty calls for wage freezes, cuts and pension rollbacks on the part of supposedly cosseted government workers from the CFIB and other right-wingers. In point of fact, it’s a myth. Since October, 2008 – when employment [...]
No, the West is not Alberta as everyone in Ontario seems to think (I’m from Toronto so I can say that). I mean BC, where an election is on in two months. You would not really know it walking around Vancouver, probably because the writ has not yet dropped, so we are in the calm [...]
The main message in Statistics Canada’s release of 2009 investment intentions is that modestly higher public investment will partly offset sharply lower private investment. The glass-half-full perspective is that things would look far worse without the increase in public investment. The glass-half-empty perspective is that this increase will not be nearly enough to fully offset [...]
The existing pot of infrastructure money offered up by the feds in last year’s federal budget has been criticized for being contingent on a P3 model, aka public private partnership, where design, build and subsequent operation of infrastructure was undertaken by the private sector, and leased back to the public sector over the lifetime of [...]
It’s noteworthy that the week before a budget that will supposedly accelerate infrastructure spending, the Finance Minister is announcing new management for PPP Canada. Budget 2007 dictated that provinces and municipalities seeking federal infrastructure funding “be required to demonstrate that the option of undertaking the project as a public-private partnership has been fully considered.” As I [...]
A well-timed release from StatsCan today that speaks for itself in terms of relevance to the current Budget debate: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/090114/dq090114a-eng.htm “Between 1962 and 2006, roughly one-half of the total growth in multifactor productivity in the private sector was the result of growth in public infrastructure. Public capital (the nation’s roads, bridges, sewer systems and water treatment systems) [...]