PEF home page and weblog
An Alberta-based volunteer working group, of which I’m a part, recently released a document titled Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget (for media coverage, see this Metro article). Working group members include staff from Alberta’s non-profit sector, labour movement and advocacy sector. While our long-term goal is to emulate the great work of the Alternative […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Alberta, child benefits, Child Care, deficits, Dutch disease, education, employment, environment, fiscal policy, health care, homeless, housing, income support, income tax, industrial policy, macroeconomics, oil and gas, poverty, progressive economic strategies, public infrastructure, public services, regulation, resources, social policy, taxation, unemployment, unions.
March 15th, 2017
Do you ever lie awake wondering what it is that Finance Canada, the Privy Council Office and Treasury Board Secretariat actually do? Well, wonder no more my friends! Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Ten things to know about central agencies in Canada.” Here’s the […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under budgets, Canada, democracy, economic literacy, economic risk, federal budget, fiscal policy, progressive economic strategies, public services, regulation, Regulations, Role of government, social policy.
August 8th, 2016
French economist Jean Tirole has won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on industrial organization and regulation, in particular his insights into oligopolies. Â â€œWho is Jean Tirole?, Â many non-economists and some economists are asking today.Â The MIT-educated, Toulouse-based professor is a key figure in the New Industrial Organization (IO) movement.Â The movement, […]
Yesterday I blogged about rental housing in Yellowknife, over at the Northern Public Affairs web site.Â Specifically, I blogged about a recent announcement by the city’s largest for-profit landlord that it plans to “tighten” its policies vis-a-vis renting to recipients of “income assistance” (which, in most parts of Canada, is known generically as social assistance).Â […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under aboriginal peoples, Canada's North, competition, Conservative government, corporate profits, employment, Employment Insurance, free markets, homeless, housing, income support, Indigenous people, Northwest Territories, P3s, poverty, prices, privatization, Real Estate, regulation, Role of government, social policy, unemployment.
May 24th, 2014
Further to my earlier post on the OECD’s new data on employment performance across its 34 member countries (and Canada’s relatively poor ranking in that regard), another part of the OECD Employment Outlook 2013 that is also worth reading in detail is Chapter 2.Â
A letter appears in today’s Globe and Mail in response to recent direction given by Minister Flaherty to private mortgage lenders over mortgage rates.Â The letter was written by Steve Pomeroy, one of Canada’s leading housing policy experts. Here is the full text of the letter: – Glass-house mortgages Twice in recent weeks, the Minister […]
The federal government released an updated Canada’s Emission Trends 2012 reportÂ today. In a remarkable shift in federal rhetoric just this past week, the Harperites now appear to be more sensitive to concerns about the Enbridge pipeline and climate change more generally. But appearances can be deceiving and there is good reason to believe the current […]
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
In a recent blog post at Northern Public Affairs, Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox looks at the issue of ‘who gets what?’ when a mine is developed in the Northwest Territories (NWT). Here is an excerpt from the post: – The resource extractor: they pay royalties (the NWT has the lowest royalties in the world), and costs of […]
The Harper government announced today that federal â€œregulators will be required to remove at least one regulation each time they introduce a new one that imposes administrative burden on business.â€ At the risk of imposing a proofreading burden on communications staff, that sentence is missing the word â€œan.â€ I first heard this idea at a […]
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
The front page of todayâ€™s Globe and Mail reports the latest chapter in the federal attempt to create a national securities regulator. (Premiers push back against national securities regulator plan). Â Part of the Harper governmentâ€™s response to the financial crisis was to promise to remedy the patchwork of provincial securities regulators.Â If securities regulators […]
A globeandmail.com article posted last night discusses a recent report on post-secondary educationÂ in Nova Scotia.Â The report itself, released yesterday, was writtenÂ by BMO’s former Chief Economist, Tim O’Neill.Â According to the article, O’Neill’s report calls for “complete deregulation of tuition fees” in Nova Scotia.Â Moreover: He believes that higher tuitions are more equitable because they […]
Over at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Robert Knox has tried to rebut my rebuttal of his C. D. Howe Institute paper. (I am still waiting for a rebuttal of my rebuttal of his more recent Macdonald-Laurier Institute paper.) Knoxâ€™s post sheds light on how his side of the debate sees the issue. But I begin with […]
Since Stephen Harper and David Cameron seem to be on the same wavelength, and the UK thinks it can trash census and turn to isources like credit records for its information needs, the story below on privacy, from Alberta, may be of possible interest. Report of an Investigation into the Security, Collection and Retention of […]
This toughly argued lead article in Bloomberg Business Week on the BP oil leak disaster is a keeper – it sets out a very strong endorsement of the key regulatory role of government in curbing the dangerous excesses of capitalism. “This is a moment to think big and creatively. As distant as risky drilling rigs […]
The CCPA released a report of mine, critiquing federal regulatory policy. Called Canada’s Regulatory Obstacle Course, the brief looks at the latest development in federal deregulation, the Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation (CDSR, announced in the 2007 budget), but situates it in the context of ongoing deregulation that has been underway since the 1980s. The […]
Anti-trust lawyer David Balto, with the Center for American Progress, recently made the case against Ticketmaster’s proposed merger with LiveNation in testimony to the US Congress. The testimony also provides an excellent summary of Ticketmaster’s existing monopoly, some of which I excerpt below: Letâ€™s be straightforward about one transparent fact: Ticketmaster is a monopolist and […]
I was intrigued by what is happening in Iceland, so the following is a piece I’ve written on it.Â It has some introductory macro-economics in it,Â which I think it is good to keep in perspective as we consider the frantic attempts being made to prevent an economic depression. The economic and financial collapse of 2008 […]
Posted by Toby Sanger under banks, capitalism, economic crisis, Europe, financial markets, Fraser Institute, free markets, global crisis, macroeconomics, Nordics, privatization, recession, regulation, Role of government.
October 14th, 2008
The recent outbreak of listeria cast a glaring pre-election light on food safety, and made public the Conservative governmentâ€™s plans to deregulate food inspection. Because regulation is what happens after legislation is passed, it is generally outside the purview of Parliament, and thus a minority government can engage in acts of deregulation rather quietly. For […]
One of the big challenges in reducing greenhouse gas emissions comes from transportation. Here in BC, for example, transportation accounts for 40% of our annual emissions. Of that more than a third (14% of the total) is from personal transportation. So any serious emissions reduction plan has to eventually come to grips with cars. To […]
A salvo from University of Manitoba economists, and PEF members, Ian Hudson and Robert Chernomas, based on their new book, Social Murder and Other Shortcomings of Conservative Economics: The Myth of Conservative Economics January 2008 “The government can’t pick winners, but losers pick government.”Â Former Canadian Deputy Industry Minister V. Peter Harder cited in The […]
Dave Sawyer, one of the authors of the National Round Table on Environment and Economy report, and blogger at EnviroEconomics.ca, makes some pertinent insider comments on the efficacy of a carbon tax in reducing emissions from personal transportation, a major source of emissions: While the carbon tax will â€œdriveâ€ some reductions in vehicle kilometers traveled, […]
The National Round Table on Environment and Economy made the news this week with its report to the federal government on how the fedsâ€™ own climate change targets could be achieved, and with minimal impact on the economy. The NRTEE was established way back when by Brian Mulroney, who a couple years ago was dubbed […]
The Saskatchewan Party won 37 seats with 51% of the popular vote and the NDP won 21 seats with 37% of the vote. Obviously, the Saskatchewan Partyâ€™s victory is bad news for progressives. The provincewide figures mask significant regional variations. Outside of the main cities, the Saskatchewan Party won 27 seats with 62% of the […]
A group of BC-based academic economists have joined together to call for a carbon tax in a letter to BC Finance Minister Carole Taylor. BC is taking suggestions towards a climate change action budget this February. I’m not holding my breath that a carbon tax is likely; from what I’m hearing out of Victoria this […]
During the provincial campaign, Dalton McGuinty seems to have changed his tune on TILMA. This change is somewhat reminiscent of the Saskatchewan Partyâ€™s “road to Damascus” conversion on the issue. Six months ago, McGuinty praised TILMA and mused about joining it. A couple of weeks ago, he wrote the following in response to a questionnaire […]
I overheard on the radio that Mattel has made an apology to the Chinese government for its recall of numerous products â€“ a huge symbol of just how mighty China is. At the time of recall mania there was a lot of China-bashing for its lax regulatory oversight (not so much what it meant for […]
Erin’s post that Liberal leader Stephane Dion wants more corporate tax cuts reminded me of a recent backgrounder from the Library of Parliament on corporate taxes. The primer has a nice table (that will not reproduce nicely in this space) showing federal corporate income tax rates going back to 1960. In both 1960 and 1970 […]
“Dion Would Wield Tax Axe to Spur Growth” was the headline in Tuesdayâ€™s Financial Post. The story reported that “Mr. Dion said his party would look to cut taxes across the board” but that “He would not elaborate on which taxes he would cut.” However, Mondayâ€™s Liberal press release seemed quite clear about which taxes […]