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  • A critical look at BC’s new tax breaks and subsidies for LNG May 7, 2019
    The BC government has offered much more to the LNG industry than the previous government. Read the report by senior economist Marc Lee.  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver April 30, 2019
    The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver is $19.50/hour. This is the amount needed for a family of four with each of two parents working full-time at this hourly rate to pay for necessities, support the healthy development of their children, escape severe financial stress and participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Time to regulate gas prices in BC and stop industry gouging April 29, 2019
    Drivers in Metro Vancouver are reeling from record high gas prices, and many commentators are blaming taxes. But it’s not taxes causing pain at the pump — it’s industry gouging. Our latest research shows that gas prices have gone up by 55 cents per litre since 2016 — and the vast majority of that increase […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA welcomes Randy Robinson as new Ontario Director March 27, 2019
    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is pleased to announce the appointment of Randy Robinson as the new Director of our Ontario Office.  Randy’s areas of expertise include public sector finance, the gendered rise of precarious work, neoliberalism, and labour rights. He has extensive experience in communications and research, and has been engaged in Ontario’s […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Budget hints at priorities for upcoming […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Archive for 'regulation'

Social Murder and Conservative Economics

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.”  Former Canadian Deputy Industry Minister V. Peter Harder cited in The […]

Carbon tax and driving

Dave Sawyer, one of the authors of the National Round Table on Environment and Economy report, and blogger at, 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 “drive” some reductions in vehicle kilometers traveled, […]

The NRTEE and carbon pricing

The National Round Table on Environment and Economy made the news this week with its report to the federal government on how the feds’ 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 […]

Saskatchewan Election Results: Assessing the Damage (Updated Again)

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 Party’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 […]

Economists call for BC carbon tax

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 […]

TILMA and the Ontario Election

During the provincial campaign, Dalton McGuinty seems to have changed his tune on TILMA. This change is somewhat reminiscent of the Saskatchewan Party’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 […]

Chinese toys redux

I overheard on the radio that Mattel has made an apology to the Chinese government for its recall of numerous products – 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 […]

Dion vs Harper: Who will be corporate Canada’s sweetheart?

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-omics: Corporate Tax Cuts and Deregulation

“Dion Would Wield Tax Axe to Spur Growth” was the headline in Tuesday’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, Monday’s Liberal press release seemed quite clear about which taxes […]

The secrecy of the SPP

Linda McQuaig takes on the Security and Prosperity Partnership: Since the SPP initiative was officially launched in March 2005, the public has been effectively shut out of the process. There’s been little awareness, let alone public debate, about what’s going on. The key advisory body in the SPP is an all business group called the […]

Just how safe is our food?

Asks the Vancouver Sun with its banner headline today. There is a general expectation among the public that someone is looking out for their interests. Concerns generally only arise when there is an e-coli or SARS-like outbreak. Not overtly mentioned in the article below (though it promises to be part one of a series) is […]

Caveat emptor: natural gas deregulation

Around lunchtime I got a knock on the door, and a good-looking young woman was there to make a sales call for Univeral Gas. She was seeking to convert my natural gas supply under a newly deregulated market. I asked her if she would leave behind materials so that I could think about it. No […]

TILMA: A Report from the Front Line

On Tuesday, I testified before the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on the Economy, which is holding public hearings on joining TILMA. The Legislative Assembly is broadcasting the hearings and promptly posting the recordings. To see my presentation, click “Video 1” for June 5 and use the bar immediately below the screen to advance the […]

Krugman: Fear of Eating

Paul Krugman takes on deregulation in the US, sounding a lot like a CCPA research associate. In a research paper released last year, Bruce Campbell and I contemplated deregulation in the Great White North (dubbed “smart regulation” by the previous Liberal government) and a current obsession of our policy elites, regulatory harmonization (dubbed “cooperation”). We […]

What Inter-provincial Barriers?

Like so many commentators on this topic, Andrew Coyne attacks the inefficiency and absurdity of alleged “internal trade barriers” without actually naming any. He could presumably trot out the two or three usual suspects, but does he believe that Canada’s “economic union” depends upon the colour of margarine in Quebec? Coyne writes that, “Viewed strictly […]

Regulatory “cooperation” in action

In our paper, Putting Canadians at Risk, Bruce Campbell and I feared that lowering our regulatory standards would inevitably happen under the banner of “regulatory cooperation” with the US, something senior government officials think is just great. While this might look like typical Harper policy, it is really just a continuation of an initiative that […]

Toxic chemicals and our flawed regulatory system

Two recent reports from the Globe below point to the failures of our regulatory system. The first is on bisphenol A, an endocrine disrupter, and the second on trans fats. The challenge is a regulatory approach that insists on bullet-proof evidence of harm – which can take decades to accumulate – before action is taken […]

Robin Boadway on Internal Trade

“Balkanization of our national economic space . . . thicket of provincial barriers.” – Conference Board of Canada, Mission Possible, 2007 “Our federation has been a ‘mini global economy’ for decades. There are virtually no internal barriers to labour and capital mobility, and no tariff-like distortions on interprovincial trade.” – Robin Boadway, “National Tax Policy […]

Georgetti Responds to Coon Come on Anti-Scab Legislation

Opponents of Bill C-257 need to identify a purpose served by replacement workers other than strengthening the bargaining position of employers in relation to their employees. Hence the misleading claim that replacement workers are needed to provide essential services during labour disputes. Matthew Coon Come, a former aboriginal political leader who became a corporate CEO, […]

Anti-Scab Legislation

I hope that enough Liberals and Conservatives will vote for Bill C-257 to pass it on March 21. However, Stephan Dion and his labour critic have announced that they will not support it because the Speaker ruled their essential-service amendments inadmissable. The Canada Labour Code already protects essential services during labour disputes. Workers in federally […]

TILMA in the News

Yesterday and the day before, several newspapers posted the following story about TILMA. Although it is disappointing to read uncritical reporting of the Conference Board’s $4.8-billion figure, it is good to see the Canadian Press report that “The NDP governments in Saskatchewan and Manitoba have said they’re not interested in signing on.” While opponents of TILMA […]

Scientists call for action on toxic chemicals

A letter to the Prime Minister from Scientists For A Healthy Environment, which doubles as an effective critique of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act: Dear Prime Minister, We are writing to encourage your Government to make significant improvements to Canada ‘s overarching pollution law, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). Canada has a growing pollution […]

Back-of-Envelope Math on TILMA

It seems to me that, compared to an international free-trade agreement, TILMA provides none of the potential benefits (i.e. tariff reductions) and all of the costs (i.e. regulations harmonized to the lowest common denominator and businesses suing governments). As Marc noted below, the Government of BC claims that TILMA could add $4.8 billion to provincial […]

TILMA’s fuzzy math

BC and Alberta signed a new agreement earlier this year to reduce interprovincial barriers to trade. The Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) is due to go into effect in April 2007. Apparently Saskatchewan and Ontario are now considering signing on as well. While it is widely believed in business circles that there exist […]

Regulating toxic chemicals

“Canada’s New Government improves protection against hazardous chemicals” says the press release. This item fits in the “ounce of prevention” file, but is also another one for the “opportunistic Harper government” file.On prevention, Canada has been slowly getting its act together with regard to the growing evidence that thousands of untested and unregulated chemicals in […]

EU’s REACH legislation on toxics in jeopardy

On the verge of becoming law, Europe’s REACH legislation on toxic chemicals is a huge step forward. It requires that chemical companies prove their products are safe before introduction in the marketplace, as opposed to the status quo (in the US and Canada, too) where chemicals are innocent until proven guilty, which can take decades. […]

Regulation, anyone?

This is not good. But doing something about it (i.e. internalizing the externality) is too offensive to corporate Canada – and apparently from the article, corporate everywhere. Call it “smart regulation” or “risk management”, the way our regulatory system is set up means that the bodies have to pile up for the sake of sufficient […]

TILMA: A solution in search of a problem

Bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations often go hand in hand, with bilaterals able to achieve results that are more liberalizing than could be achieved on a multilateral basis. If the bilateral agreement is among two major players, however, it can be used to pressure others into signing on. The US is using this as its […]

Tax shifting: A gimmick with legs

While I admire Green Party leader Elizabeth May as a committed environmentalist, I have a big problem with her pushing “tax shifting”, which goes by the slogans “tax the bad things like pollution not the good things like employment and work” and “getting the market prices right”. This makes for a great political campaign but […]

Deregulation: not so smart

An oped by myself and Bruce Campbell appears in today’s Tyee, a great on-line paper with a BC focus. “Why ‘smart regulation’ isn’t” can be viewed here. Enjoy and share: