The Broadbent Blog


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

How Budget 2018 Can Help Canada's Working Poor


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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Making Tax Fairness a Priority


It’s safe to say that taxes aren’t everyone’s favourite subject. Canadians are usually confronted with the idea during tax season: as we frantically get our financial documents in order, while tempering our slight annoyance with the government for peering into our pockets. But we need to have more comprehensive conversations on how taxes affect our lives on a daily basis; because the fight for a fairer tax system is real and urgent.

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Income Tax System Fails to Correct Growing Inequality



Data from the 2016 Census show that income inequality grew quite significantly over the previous decade from 2005 to 2015, and that the supposedly most progressive part of our overall tax system failed to make much of a difference. This underlines the need for progressive tax reform in the next federal budget.

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What will it take for Canada to treat First Nations children fairly?



Two years after the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) found Canada to be racially discriminating against over 165,000 First Nations children, the Tribunal has issued a fourth non-compliance order against the Federal government on February 1, 2018 (February 1, 2018 Order) or its failure to implement “immediate relief’ measures pending longer term reform. In its 2016 landmark ruling, the Tribunal found the Government of Canada in breach of the Canadian Human Rights Act for providing inequitable child welfare services to First Nations children and their families and for failing to implement Jordan’s Principle (Jordan’s Principle is a child-first initiative aiming to ensure that First Nations children has access to equitable and culturally appropriate services without delay). The Tribunal ordered a series of immediate measures to relieve the most egregious elements of the discrimination whilst longer term reform took place. It is astounding and unconscionable  that two years and four non-compliance orders later, Canada has not complied even with the “immediate relief” measures let alone seriously engaged in long term reform.

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Laytonian Social Democracy: One Small Practical Action at a Time


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.

Fifteen years ago today, Jack Layton became the Leader of the federal NDP at the Toronto Convention Centre. While delegates did not know it at the time, he would go on to become the most electorally successful leader of the federal CCF-NDP and bring the party closer to its dream of forming the federal government than it had ever been.

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Reconciliation and Human Rights for Indigenous Peoples: The Pathway Ahead


In January 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal released a historic decision finding that the Government of Canada was racially discriminating against over 165,000 First Nations children. Leading up to the decision, the Government of Canada spent more than 8 million dollars in legal fees trying to have the complaint dismissed on technical grounds. After the decision was issued, the Government of Canada tried to evade human rights scrutiny by arguing that reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples would best be achieved through consultations, rather than orders from the Tribunal. The authors argue that this distorted version of reconciliation is in fact incompatible with the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and domestic and international human rights law.

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2017: the year progressive politics came roaring back



This time last year, I will confess, I wasn’t feeling so hot.  A maniac had just taken over the White House, reverberations from Brexit were echoing around the globe, and neo-Nazis were building momentum throughout Europe.

As 2017 dawned, it felt like the forces of dangerous far-right bigotry were on the march everywhere.

But if the past twelve months showed that politics can get ugly in unexpected ways, it also showed that the majority of people won’t stand for hate.

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Cannabis Legalization and Equity in Canada


Recreational cannabis is almost legal in Canada, former cops are cashing in, yet our government is still hesitant to advance any measures that would repair some of the social damage caused by almost a century of cannabis prohibition. 

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Drowning in Debt


It is hardly news that Canadian households are deeply in debt. Total debt is now (2016) at a near record high of 172.1% of household disposable (after tax) income.

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Bill C-362 and “Tax Fairness”: Closing loopholes and bringing money back to Canada


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.

“Tax Fairness” is a phrase being bandied about more and more lately. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard Liberals say “tax fairness” over the past 6 months, I would be very wealthy indeed. But for all the talk, where’s the action in addressing this terrible problem? A recent Environics poll shows that 90% of Canadians agree that using tax havens to avoid paying taxes is morally wrong, even if it’s legal.  And almost all agree that the law should be changed to make the use of tax havens illegal.

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