The Broadbent Blog


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

Yet another unjustified attack on worker rights



The newly elected Progressive Conservative government in Manitoba has moved quickly to cement its anti-worker bona fides with the radical right-wing by making it more difficult for non-union workers to join a union, and by opening up bidding on large scale public construction projects to non-union companies. Changes in these areas were announced in the Pallister government’s Speech from the Throne on May 16.

Under the current system in Manitoba, a union can be automatically certified by the Labour Board if 65% of the workers in a proposed bargaining unit indicate their support by signing membership cards. As in other jurisdictions with a “card check” system, signed membership cards are subject to independent scrutiny.

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Energy Transition Can Drive Global Jobs Recovery


It is now often said, with reason, that the environment and the economy are not in conflict. But it is even more true to say that seriously addressing the crisis of global climate change could revive a moribund global economy.

The World Economic Outlook (WEO) released by the International Monetary Fund in April of this year once again forecast very slow growth, and argued that economic stagnation is likely to be self-sustaining. This is due to very low levels of business investment, combined with high levels of household and public debt which constrain household and government spending. 

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Christy Clark's inaction on housing affordability speaks volumes


When Christy Clark’s government released its budget in February, many advocates were hoping for real action on soaring housing costs. British Columbia’s economy is growing and investments in affordable housing in this budget – for the last full fiscal year before going to the polls in 2017 – had the potential to address the severe crisis many British Columbians are facing.  

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Facing stark challenges, Notley government delivers on progressive change


In the midst of the catastrophic fires that have devastated homes and livelihoods in the city of Fort McMurray, the Alberta government has declared a state of emergency. All focus is now on ensuring the safety of Albertans in this time of need.

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Cost of home today is double the amount in weeks of labour time compared to 1970s: new study



Inequality is a major theme of current research in economics throughout the world. The now-famous Capital by Thomas Piketty released in English in 2014 is a case in point. It is also a major focal point in Canada, as illustrated by the book Income Inequality: The Canadian Story published recently by the Institute for Research on Public Policy and in the ongoing work of the Broadbent Institute and other groups. 

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PBO sheds new light on federal budget with transparency push



The Liberal election platform promised to “make the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) truly independent” of the government and to make sure that the office is properly funded. The platform also promised to make government accounting “consistent and clear.”

It was, then, a bit surprising that the PBO had to make a formal request for information normally provided in the federal budge, and was forced to provide its own estimates for the missing numbers in its report to Parliament on April 6.  The Department of Finance finally released the requested information only on April 8, more than two weeks after the budget was delivered in the House of Commons (on March 22nd.)

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Climate policy and Canadian social democracy


Recent events have triggered an important discussion on the Left’s approach to climate change policy. The Leap Manifesto is one expression of the desire to transition to a carbon neutral economy while creating a more just and “caring” society.

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Canada's Left is having a moment




Something quite remarkable is happening in Left politics in Canada. And no, we don’t mean the fallout from the NDP convention in Edmonton, though we’ll return to that in a moment.

What we’re talking about is the fact that virtually every major Canadian news story of the past few months has revolved around the advancement of core progressive concerns.

The Left, broadly defined, is on a roll. Think about it. A small sampling includes:

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New report shines light on dynamics of gender pay gap



Every year, women around the world celebrate (angrily) the day their average full-time, full-year earnings have caught up to men’s average full-time full-year earnings from the year before.

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Rising Life Expectancy of the Rich Should Not Threaten Pensions for the Poor


As expected, the federal budget delivered on  the Liberal promise to leave the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) retirement benefits at age sixty five. The Harper government had previously decided to phase in an increase to age sixty seven.

Many pundits have argued that the eligibility age should rise in line with longer life expectancy. They say that a higher retirement age would reduce the growing cost of the OAS/GIS program, and will boost the economy by pushing seniors to work longer.

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