Canada: Ten things to know about the federal role in housing policy

I’ve written a 750-word overview of the federal role in housing policy. The English-language version is here: https://nickfalvo.ca/canada-ten-things-to-know-about-the-federal-role-in-housing-policy/ The French-language version is here: https://nickfalvo.ca/canada-dix-faits-saillants-sur-le-role-du-federal-en-matiere-de-politique-du-logement/ Nick FalvoNick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant with a PhD in Public Policy. He has academic affiliation at both Carleton University and Case Western Reserve University, and is Section Editor of the Canadian Review of […]

Read more

Redistribution, Inequality, and Federal Policy: Guest Post by Edgardo Sepulveda

We are pleased to present this rich guest post by a new PEF member, Edgardo Sepulveda. Edgardo has been a consulting economist for more than two decades advising Governments and operators in more than 40 countries on telecommunications policy and regulation matters (www.esepulveda.com). Redistribution, Inequality and the new Federal Tax & Transfer initiatives I want to present an analysis of […]

Read more

Fiscal and Economic Record of Political Parties

A version of this originally appeared in rabble. Conservative ads have focused on the NDP’s fiscal and economic record, claiming that the “NDP Can’t Manage Money”. These include another round of staged interviews with people who repeat “the NDP can’t manage money”, “the cost of their plans is huge”, that “business will be under attack”, they’ll be “reckless spenders” and […]

Read more

Andrea Horwath’s Debacle

I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud when I saw election results. I almost spat a mouthful of my breakfast across the room. Almost nobody expected Ontario’s Liberals to win a majority, least of all the NDP’s Andrea Horwath. Her decision to pull the plug on the Wynne government has to go down as one of the […]

Read more

Linda McQuaig for Toronto Centre

For the “You Read It Here First” file, I wrote on Friday: Toronto Centre needs a candidate with a track record of advancing more substantive and more progressive positions on economic issues. Specifically, the NDP should nominate someone who can take on Freeland regarding inequality and what to do about it. Today, Linda McQuaig announced her candidacy for the NDP […]

Read more

Is Chrystia Freeland Progressive?

Chrystia Freeland, The Globe and Mail’s candidate in Toronto Centre, recently wrote a book about inequality (which I have not yet read) and is supposed to “bring fresh thinking to the Liberal Party’s economic team.” She has already attracted a few jabs from right-wingers Terence Corcoran and William Watson. But is she progressive? The Globe gave Freeland more than 900 […]

Read more

McGuinty Budget Would Cut Over 100,000 Jobs

Last week, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union released an interesting report by the Centre for Spatial Economics on the economic impact of proposed provincial budget cuts. It provides a timely reminder that the public sector is a crucial component of the economy, with public spending also supporting many private-sector jobs. The Centre for Spatial Economics concludes that the Liberal budget presented […]

Read more

Bear Safety Tips for Bob Rae

Liberal leader Bob Rae seems intent on provoking a Grizzly attack. I have slightly adapted some internet advice for him: – Play dead! (The latest polling results should make that relatively easy.) – Lie face down on the ground with your hands around the back of your neck. – Stay silent and try not to move. – Keep your legs spread apart and […]

Read more

Ontario’s Stimulating Election Platforms

A common refrain among political pundits has been that all of Ontario’s election platforms are unrealistic given a deteriorating economic outlook. Rather than bemoaning this alleged lack of realism, we should evaluate how each party’s platform would fare in a downturn. The NDP platform is built on the fiscal framework set out in the 2011 provincial budget. The Liberal and […]

Read more

Liberal Math

This Ontario NDP fact check should warm the hearts of economists, accountants and math teachers everywhere: Are Liberals Smarter Than a 5th Grader? The Ontario Liberals put out a release with this erroneous secondary headline: “NDP K-12 plan amounts to just 0.0009% of total education budget.” To calculate this figure, they divided $20 million by the province’s 2011-12 education budget […]

Read more

McGuinty’s Graph Misleads on Corporate Taxes

Further to Jim’s excellent critique of the Ontario Conservative platform’s graphs, I am similarly struck by the Liberal platform’s lone graph. “Cutting Ontario’s Taxes on New Business Investment in Half” (page 25) purports to show that corporate tax cuts are required to get the province’s “Marginal Effective Tax Rate” below the US and OECD averages. It compares projections of those […]

Read more

Iggy’s EI Reversal

In case progressives needed another reason to distrust Michael Ignatieff, he just pulled the rug out from under Employment Insurance improvements: Michael Ignatieff is reversing his support for a wide range of enhancements to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, saying they are too expensive and are no longer required. The Liberal Leader attempted to provoke a federal election around this time […]

Read more

Liberal-NDP Merger?

Warning: The following post probably does not belong on an economics blog. Yesterday, CBC reported that Liberals and New Democrats are negotiating a possible merger of the two parties into one. It seems like everyone except Warren Kinsella has denied this report. So, how does CBC respond? It doubles down on its original report by making Kinsella the lead item […]

Read more

Liberals Reply to Bay Street

Michael Ignatieff sent an April Fool’s Day letter to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. It marshalled compelling evidence against more corporate tax cuts, but insisted that the Liberals still favour more corporate tax cuts: In a study that KPMG describes as “the most thorough comparison of international business locations ever undertaken by KPMG,” it was demonstrated that Canada is already […]

Read more

Ignatieff on Corporate Taxes

Last night, I went to sleep early before watching any coverage of the Liberal Policy Conference. This morning, a well-rested Erin Weir marched into the office with such purpose that I did not even look below the fold on The Globe and Mail’s front page. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I got an e-mail about Michael Ignatieff proposing to cancel […]

Read more

McGuinty, the CCPA and the HST

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has taken a shine to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Over the past month, he and other Liberals have repeatedly cited it. Indeed, McGuinty invoked the CCPA’s name four times in the provincial legislature on February 17. However, he first did so the day before that: Ms. Andrea Horwath: Can the Premier explain why, […]

Read more

A Reverse Mortgage on Ontario’s Crown Jewels

I have the following op-ed on page A19 of today’s Toronto Star. It reiterates points made before on this blog. The only substantive difference is that I had previously low-balled the annual profits of Ontario’s Crown corporations at $4 billion. Today’s op-ed assumes $4.3 billion, the amount anticipated for the current fiscal year. That assumption probably still understates the value […]

Read more

Paul A. Samuelson 1915-2009

Paul Samuelson was the greatest economic theorist of the 20th century. If we see Leon Walras, with his general equilibrium theory, as the Newton of economics – which I think Samuelson did – then Samuelson was its Einstein. In his Foundations of Economic Analysis in 1947, he laid out the fundamental mathematics that underlay the ideal market economy. For the […]

Read more

Reading the entrails of BC’s election

Three-peat. Hat trick. The media is full of jubilation for the re-election of the Campbell Liberals. But looking at the numbers, it was actually quite close: the BC Liberals got 45.7% of the popular vote, compared to 42.2% for the NDP. This slim margin validates the Angus Reid polling camp, which came closest on estimating the popular vote, compared to […]

Read more

Costing the Liberal Platform

The Liberals released a “costed” platform today. http://www.liberal.ca/platform_e.aspx There’s a lot to like here in terms of the Liberal Party’s programmatic commitments to child care , support for manufacturing investment, green job creation, public health care, student aid, basic infrastructure, dealing with poverty, and so on – but I stand by my earlier argument that they can’t balance the Budget, […]

Read more

“Junkyard Jack”

An open letter to Susan Riley (Ottawa Citizen) Dear Susan I always enjoy your columns, but feel compelled to modestly take issue with yesterday’s highly critical piece on Layton and the NDP. http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/columnists/story.html?id=380c76cc-f1cc-4aa8-84d7-4aadebd0ec1f   Yes, Layton is sometimes unduly macho combative and, yes, the frequent attacks on the Liberals do sometimes grate, especially if they allow Harper to get off […]

Read more