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Archive for 'public sector procurement'

The Ontario Auditor’s damning report on P3s

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 […]

Closing the Loop: Zero Waste, GHG Emissions and Green Jobs in BC

Below is the summary for our latest Climate Justice Project report, Closing the Loop: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Creating Green Jobs through Zero Waste in BC (I recommend checking the much prettier full paper, stand-alone summary, and awesome infographic by Sam Bradd on the website). Closing the Loop was a complex and challenging project that made my head spin, […]

Defending Green Jobs at the WTO

As a partner in Blue Green Canada, the United Steelworkers have issued the following news release: WTO Called Upon to Dismiss Japan, EU Challenge to Canadian Renewable Energy Policy Canadian NGOs and labour unions have sent an amicus curiae submission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the eve of a second hearing tomorrow into […]

Federal R&D Panel Report

In a week when business lobby groups are appearing before the House of Commons Committee on Finance and calling for more tax breaks, the federal R&D Panel appointed a year ago released a very good report saying Canada’s very generous system of R&D tax incentives haven’t been effective and what we need instead are more direct grants […]

Buy America Redux

Scott Sinclair writes cogently on the CCPA blog about the current edition of the Buy American debate. We had somewhat different views of the 2010 Canada-U.S. Agreement on Government Procurement. However, I certainly endorse Scott’s conclusion that the Canadian government should be strengthening public investment here rather than just complaining about proposed public investment south […]

Tuition Increases by Stealth

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 […]

Toronto Community Housing Corporation

I have an opinion piece in today’s Toronto Star regarding the recent controversy surrounding the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC).  In the way of background: -TCHC is Canada’s largest provider of social housing, and Toronto’s largest landlord. -There have been two recent reports by the City of Toronto’s auditor–one looks at staff expenses at TCHC, […]

A hip hop version of the Keynes vs Hayek debate

Here’s a new take on bringing economic theory to the masses — a rap battle between Keynes and Hayek. What’s amazing about it is the amount of solid (if not plain nerdy) content this video packs into such a short time. It’s fun to watch for sure (very high production values), but you get that […]

New West Partnership

On Friday evening, I was in Kingston listening to a speech by western Canada’s best Premier. The following morning, I awoke to discover a far less coherent op-ed by the other three western Premiers on The Globe and Mail’s website. They were trumpeting Friday’s unveiling of the New West Partnership. As the Saskatchewan Federation of […]

The Conference Board on P3s: more myths

The Conference Board of Canada published a report late last month, Dispelling the Myths, which purports to show that public-private partnerships (P3s) have delivered major efficiency gains for the public sector, a high degree of cost certainty, and greater transparency than conventional procurement. While the report maintains it provides an impartial assessment of the benefits and […]

Buy American Deal: Did We Get Hosed?

I was going to comment on Jim’s post, but ended up writing enough to warrant a new post. Jim correctly argues that Buy American provisions are tiny in the grand scheme of Canada-US trade. Similarly, whatever potential procurement preferences Canada bargained away would also have been tiny by this standard. The overall economic effect of […]

Buy American Negotiations

It remains unclear whether or when Canada-US negotiations on “Buy American” policies might produce a deal. While such a bilateral agreement could serve both countries well, Canadians should resist pressure to have our provincial and municipal governments sign onto the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Government Procurement. A Canadian exemption from Buy American requirements makes […]

Buy North American

Canadian newspapers have recently been flooded with negative stories about Buy America, largely focussed on a single scandalous incident at a Marine base in California. The potential damage to Canada’s economy has been vastly overstated. To the extent that Buy America shifts US government contracts from offshore suppliers to American manufacturers that use Canadian components, Canada […]

Buy America Op-Ed Round-Up

Jim’s posting of his excellent Globe column prompts me to review Canadian labour op-eds, and responses to them, on the “Buy America” controversy. The CAW’s Ken Lewenza was first out of the gate, writing in The Financial Post (Feb. 3) that Canada should mirror Buy America with its own “Buy Canadian” policy. My National Post op-ed […]

The Trade Deficit and Buy Canadian Policy

A standard objection to the Buy Canadian policy proposed yesterday by Canada’s largest industrial unions was that Canada enjoys a trade surplus. Such a policy would allegedly prompt foreign retaliation, erasing our current trade surplus and its contribution to aggregate demand in Canada. This morning, Statistics Canada reported that we actually ran a merchandise trade […]

Steelworkers and Auto Workers, Together at Last

The heads of Canada’s largest industrial unions just presented the following appeal to use government procurement policy to maintain and create Canadian jobs. UPDATE: It seems that Peggy Nash (from CAW) and I (from USW) will be taking calls about Buy America and Buy Canadian policies on CP24, a Toronto news TV station, between 9pm and […]

We need public investment

http://news.guelphmercury.com/Opinions/article/409306 Today’s economic update by Jim Flaherty must provide investment in jobs the canadian press November 27, 2008 Ken Georgetti Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty must use today’s economic update to become part of the solution to our ever deepening economic crisis. Governments, leading economists and even the International Monetary Fund agree that cutting interest […]

How Large is the Public Sector?

Murray Dobbin recently reminded me of and forwarded a very old article by David Robertson from the 1980s, published in the CUPE journal the Facts, which laid out some numbers on the scale and importance of the public sector vis a vis the whole economy. In search of comparable information, I explored StatsCan’s input- output […]

Buy in Canada Public Sector Procurement and Jobs

I went trawling through the detailed trade by commodity data on the Industry Canada (Strategis) web site the other day in search of examples of potential job creation from raising the Canadian content of public sector procurement (as called for, not just by the labour movement but also, recently, by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.) […]