Ontario Electricity VIII: Now also going backwards on climate

There have been a number of important developments in the Ontario electricity sector since my last update when I summarized my arguments in front of the Standing Committee on General Government of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario against the proposed provincial Conservative legislation, now enacted, that eliminated the provincial Liberal rate-based borrowing scheme to subsidize electricity prices and replaced it […]

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Canada’s Secret Weapon in Fighting Climate Change: Great Trade Unions

U.S. President Joe Biden has been pushing the envelope in bringing America back into the Paris Accord process, setting more ambitious targets for reducing U.S. emissions, and committing to very big investments in renewable energy infrastructure and other climate-friendly measures. This is very encouraging, and will reinforce (and up the ante) for Canada to do better. One news story about […]

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2021 PEF STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST IS OPEN

The 2021 PEF Student Essay Contest is now open! Calling all Canadian students anywhere in the world and all post-secondary students in Canada who are working on papers taking a critical approach to the functioning, efficiency, social, and environmental consequences of unconstrained markets. The winning essays will receive a cash prize of $1,000 for the graduate student category and $500 […]

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The 2021 alberta budget

On 25 February 2021, Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government tabled its third budget, announcing very few major changes to either spending or taxation, while also projecting a deficit of $18.2 billion for the 2021-22 fiscal year. I’ve written an 900-word overview of the budget here.

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Remembering John Loxley

The progressive economics community, in Canada and around the world, lost a wonderful colleague, comrade and friend with the passing of John Loxley on July 28, 2020. Here I would like to share some personal reflections on John’s impact on my life as a progressive economist, and the very rich legacy he has left our shared community. (I also commend […]

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David Hulchanski class discussion

I recently participated in a panel discussion in David Hulchanski’s graduate-level social housing and homelessness course at the University of Toronto. Points raised in the blog post include the fact that all English-speaking countries of the OECD have relatively low levels of public social spending, relatively low levels of taxation, and serious affordable housing challenges. The link to the full […]

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Ten things to know about CMHC’s Insured Mortgage Purchase Program

In March 2020, the Trudeau government launched a new version of the Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP). According to CMHC’s website: “Under this program, the government will purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through CMHC.” Here are 10 things to know: 1. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a federally-owned crown corporation. Many of us know […]

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Federal Support Package: The Pros, the Cons, and the Next Shoe to Drop

Here are some quick thoughts on the extensive package of emergency measures announced today by Prime Minister Trudeau, Finance Minister Morneau, and Bank of Canada Governor Poloz: The Pros: The government has worked quickly and creatively to find ways to deliver support to Canadians, and fast – using the infrastructure of existing benefits, and developing new channels where needed. The […]

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Economic Response to Pandemic: Go Big, Go Fast

The health emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic is of course the primary concern of Canadians, and the first priority for government to address. But it is increasingly clear that the economic fallout from the pandemic is also going to constitute an emergency. And it requires government to respond as urgently and powerfully in the economic sphere, as they are […]

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Cost savings associated with Housing First

I’ve written a summary of a recent study I co-authored on savings to the health and justice sectors associated with Housing First (i.e., the immediate provision of subsidized housing, along with social work support, to persons experiencing long-term homelessness). The study, based on a large sample size from Calgary, finds that every $1 spent on Housing First is associated with […]

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