The Broadbent Blog

THE HUB FOR CANADA’S LEADING PROGRESSIVE VOICES.

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

Doug Ford and the Contradictions of Right-Wing Populism

The election of the new Conservative government in Ontario has been widely seen as a victory for the populist right. Certainly the new Premier, Doug Ford, claims to speak for “the little guy” in opposition to the so-called “liberal elites.” But, like Donald Trump and right-wing populists in Europe, he is likely to disappoint many of his supporters since he lacks a coherent economic strategy that will truly benefit his base.

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Pierre Trudeau, the Liberals and the Social Democratic Left

What is the true nature of the Liberal Party of Canada? Is it a genuinely progressive party of the centre-left, worthy of the support of those pushing for a more equal and inclusive society? Or is it essentially a party of the status quo which campaigns from the left but generally governs from the right? These questions have a rich historical dimension which remains relevant today.

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Towards a New Canadian Trade Strategy

Globalization in Question?

The future of the neo liberal global economic order is seemingly in play. Brexit, President Trump's “America First” threat to both the NAFTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the growing strength of the anti European Union right pose a threat to business as usual. However, there is room for doubt over the staying power of right-wing populism, which owes more to racism than to economic nationalism per se.  And corporate interests are mobilizing to preserve the very real gains they secured for themselves under the the current global trade regime, including NAFTA.

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The Winding Road to a National Pharmacare Program

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The Report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, “Pharmacare Now, Prescription Medicine Coverage for all Canadians” released on April 18 marks a step forward towards a national program covering all Canadians, but also opens up some major political questions.

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Keep expectations high for antiracism consultations

This article first appeared April 10, 2018 in Policy Options.

The Liberal government shouldn’t bend to critics of its antiracism consultations, but it should also know racialized Canadians expect meaningful change.

The federal government is about to embark on nationwide antiracism consultations. The initiative is not without its naysayers. The announcement of the $23-million plan in the 2018 budget has been critiqued by prominent Conservative MP Maxime Bernier and media pundits. Warnings to the government to “be careful” and to “keep a low profile” have cast a shadow over the process before it has even begun. If the Liberals intend to follow through on their statement of “standing up for diversity” and “building communities where everyone feels included,” backing down from the consultations and giving in to mainstream media and the right is not an option. Rather, their goal should be to ensure that the time of racialized Canadians and Indigenous people isn’t wasted by this process and that these consultations result in much-needed policy changes.

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The Historical Keys to a Modern Industrial Democracy

The Broadbent Institute's new project, Change the Game, takes a critical look at the history of social democracy in Canada, with the intention of learning from the successes and challenges of the past in order to build the best possible path forward. We invite you to join us in rethinking and renewing social democracy by reading other entries in this series.

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Wealthy Get Off Lightly from Budget 2018 Changes to the Private Corporation Rules

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This blog post is part of a series of posts that will be focusing on the tax avoidance by Canada’s most wealthy. This series was sparked by findings in the Paradise Papers — the latest leak that revealed the offshore tax haven activities of former Canadian elected officials and political insiders. Tax avoidance is wrong. It robs the Canadian government from paying for and maintaining our health and social programs; ones that work to improve the lives of all Canadians. A government crackdown on offshore tax havens is urgent and necessary.

There has been surprisingly little critical commentary on the 2018 federal Budget legislative proposals regarding the taxation of passive investment income in private corporations. This sorry saga has now come to an end, but with very little progress made in terms of gains in public revenues and the promotion of greater tax fairness.

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Budget 2018: Responsive to Gender Issues? Not without tax reform.

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This blog post is part of a series of posts that will be focusing on the tax avoidance by Canada’s most wealthy. This series was sparked by findings in the Paradise Papers — the latest leak that revealed the offshore tax haven activities of former Canadian elected officials and political insiders. Tax avoidance is wrong. It robs the Canadian government from paying for and maintaining our health and social programs; ones that work to improve the lives of all Canadians. A government crackdown on offshore tax havens is urgent and necessary.

Gender Responsive Budgeting has been trumpeted as the focus of the Liberal government budget preparation for the past two years. But how deep does the analysis go and how does it affect outcomes, especially around touchy issues like fair taxation?

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Employment Insurance under the Trudeau Liberals

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In their 2015 election platform, the Trudeau Liberals identified a number of items related to Employment Insurance (EI) that they would change: reversing the Harper EI reforms defining ‘suitable work’; reducing the waiting period for EI benefits; reducing EI premiums; introducing more flexible parental leave; providing better access to compassionate care; and increasing funding for employment and training programs managed by provinces, territories and Aboriginal labour market organizations.

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How Budget 2018 Can Help Canada's Working Poor

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The Liberal government have promised to make progressive changes to the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) in next week's budget.

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