The Broadbent Blog


Disclaimer: the opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Institute.

The digital economy will not power a recovery


Economists and pundits are at odds over medium term prospects for the global economy. Pessimists see stagnant growth, rising inequality and growing unemployment and underemployment, widely held to be responsible for the rise of right-wing populists such as US President elect Donald Trump. 

Meanwhile, techno optimists such as Erik Bryjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, the authors of The Second Machine Age, argue that the digital economy will drive rapid productivity growth and underpin the gradual emergence of a post scarcity economy capable of providing prosperity for all.

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Ed Broadbent: Reflections on a life in politics, Donald Trump victory



Editor's Note: Ed Broadbent was awarded this year's Lifetime Achievement Award at Maclean's Parliamentary of the Year Awards. Here is his acceptance speech, delivered Tuesday night at an awards ceremony in Ottawa.

I want to thank Maclean’s for this award, for which I am deeply appreciative.  

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Whiteness trouble: the Left's challenge after Trump


The speed, scale and ferocity of racist attacks across the United States in the wake of Trump’s victory are revealing. Doubly revealing, in fact.

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Foreign investment not always a benefit



The federal government heeded the advice of the business dominated Economic Advisory Council and set out a new welcome mat for foreign investors in the recent  Economic Statement . The threshold for review of foreign take-overs of Canadian companies will be raised from $600 Million to $1 Billion (up from just $369 Million in 2015); a new agency, the Invest in Canada Hub, will be set up with a mandate to woo foreign corporations; and reviews of the security implications of foreign take-overs are likely to be limited.

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Government action to curb solitary confinement long overdue


Making a prisoner spend four years isolated in a plexiglass cell under the constant glare of artificial light is a form of custody that shocks Canadian sensibilities. It is difficult to believe that such cruel treatment was imposed on Adam Capay in a Thunder Bay detention centre – but it was.

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Liberal fiscal plan scales back "historic" infrastructure spending


The Trudeau government's fiscal plan as updated in the Fall Economic Statement meets a number of progressive commitments, but also raises a lot of questions about what can be expected of  the federal Budget to be tabled next March.

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Private infrastructure bank not in the public interest


The Advisory Council on Economic Growth chaired by Domenic Barton has proposed to federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau the creation of an independent Canadian Infrastructure Development Bank (CIDB) to help finance $200 billion of public infrastructure projects over the next decade. There is an argument for improved financing tools, but no case for such a lever for massive and costly privatization.

The report of the Council reiterates the consensus view that investment in public infrastructure such as roads, mass transit, railways, ports, water and waste water treatment, clean energy and power grids has been too low, and that a major increase could drive immediate job creation while also boosting longer term economic growth.

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Alberta gets it right on $15 minimum wage


The Alberta government has done it.

On October 1st, the minimum wage increased by one dollar to $12.20 per hour, making it the highest provincial, but not territorial, minimum wage in Canada. 

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How to build a progressive future for BC


On September 22 and 23, the Broadbent Institute hosted Progress Summit BC to chart a progressive path forward for the province in this critical election year. Below are key insights put forward by leaders from six different sectors on the BC they want to build — the progressive policy changes and hard choices that must be made to build the province of their dreams.

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Election of Hillary Clinton May Support New Deal for Canadians


The results of United States Presidential elections always have major implications for Canadians. This time around, we may just see a boost to progressive politics North of the border.

It seems likely that Hillary Clinton will win big over Donald Trump, and that Democrats will also do very well in the Senate and House races, perhaps sufficiently well to win control of both Houses. 

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