PEF home page and weblog
Recycling is supposed to be a good thing, so when the federal Liberals quietly announced that “asset recycling” would be part of their strategy for meeting their much-ballyhooed infrastructure promises, not many eyebrows were raised. They should have been. Asset recycling is an obscure code word for selling our public goods for private profit. It’s […]
On November 18, I gave a presentation on â€œending homelessnessâ€ at the 7 Cities Leadership Summit in Edmonton. My PowerPoint slides can be downloaded here. Here are ten things to know about â€œending homelessnessâ€ in Canada: 1. In 2008, Calgary became the first Canadian municipality to publicly commit to â€œending homelessness.â€ More than a dozen […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under aboriginal peoples, Alberta, cities, corporate income tax, demographics, fiscal policy, homeless, housing, income tax, Indigenous people, municipalities, Ontario, poverty, public infrastructure, Role of government, social policy, taxation.
November 18th, 2015
A five-year $50-billion public infrastructure spending initiative would generate a return on investment to Canadians over the long term as high as $3.83 per dollar spent, trigger significant private sector investment and stimulate wage increases, according to a new study by an independent economic modelling firm. The Economic Benefits of Public Infrastructure Spending in Canada, […]
As usual, the monthly Labour Force Survey numbers headline seems to tell a different story than the underlying numbers. According to the LFS, Canada added 35,000 jobs in January. A statistically significant number of jobs, hurray! But wait. Those were all part time jobs. We lost 10,000 full time jobs, and added 47,000 part-time jobs. […]
The Ontario Auditor General’s 2014 Report includes a chapter on Infrastructure Ontario’s P3 program that is particularly damning–and corresponds with many of the criticisms made on this blog and elsewhere by myself and others. While the headlines were that P3 projects cost the province an additional $8 billion than if they were procured traditionally, the […]
Much has been made about Stephen Poloz’s decision to abandon ‘forward guidance’ in Bank of Canada rate setting announcements for the time being. Critics bemoan the loss of direction from the Bank. But Poloz’s comments yesterday were chock full of guidance on how the Bank sees Canada’s economic situation. Having been disappointed by the failure […]
Here is the link to a piece I wrote for the Globe on line this week re an interesting new eBook on secular stagnation. Â I am struck by the fact that several eminently mainstream economists, mainly in the US but also Blanchard at the IMF,Â see a need for public investment to drive growth, given […]
This piece was originally published at the Globe and Mail’s online Report on Business feature, EconomyLab. Â 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
This morning I gave a presentation to a church group in Ottawa on affordable housing and homelessness.Â 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 piece wasÂ first publishedÂ in the Globe & Mail. In a move that caught everyone off-guard, Canada Post announced a five point â€œaction planâ€ last week that included phasing-out home delivery of the mail over the next five years, making Canada theÂ only G7 nationÂ to do so. Why? To â€œprotect taxpayers.â€ Of all the reasons that merit […]
The City of Regina is engaged in a controversial debate about a proposed public private partnership (P3) for the cityâ€™s wastewater plant. Residents formed a Regina Water Watch group to keep the facility public.Â They collected enough names to take the issue to a municipal referendum on September 25th, despite attempts by the city to […]
On Tuesday, Statistics Canada reported that job vacancies have fallen to the lowest level recordedÂ 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. Â Not even close. Â In Canada the ‘Female to Male earnings ratio’ has hovered around the 70% mark for the past 20 years. Â 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. Â The rate ofÂ eligibilityÂ 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 todayâ€™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 Canadaâ€™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 yesterdayâ€™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 itâ€™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.Â 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, â€œMr. Mulcairâ€™s analysis of what ails Canadaâ€™s economy is contradicted by a new independent study produced by the Institute for Research on Public Policy.â€ Really? What does the study conclude? As quoted by Canadian Press, â€œOn 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 todayÂ looking at the job impacts of federal cuts. Â 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.Â 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)Â released a documentÂ entitledÂ Public Education for the Public Good:Â AÂ National Vision for Canada’s Post-Secondary Education System. I found the document to be quite informative, filled with a lot of useful statistics.Â 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.Â The panel was inspired in large partÂ by theÂ recent debateÂ inÂ Toronto over Mayor Rob Ford’s attempt to sell social housing units to private buyers.Â The panel,Â entitled “To Privatize or Not to Privatize? That is the question,” includedÂ myself,Â Vince Brescia (PresidentÂ 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.Â 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, […]