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.

Federal budget should deliver a major boost to sagging economy

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The economic outlook for 2016 is dismal, but things do not have to be quite as bad as recent forecasts suggest if the new federal government delivers on its its promises of fiscal stimulus. However, it will have to select its priorities carefully.

The November Economic and Fiscal Statement cited an average forecast of just 2.0% growth in 2016 by private sector economists. The International Monetary Fund, with a forecast of 1.7%, is even more pessimistic. Unemployment is expected to remain close to 7%.

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Are the culture wars over in Canada?

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The Canadian federal election that took place on October 19th was historic in ways that go beyond the popular account. Forgoing the wisdom of avoiding sweeping statements about history, something my church history professor warned me against forty years ago, it seems to me the election marked the end of at least one era in Canadian politics, an era that is sometimes called the culture wars.

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Liberals should stick to spending promises despite rising deficits

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The recent federal election featured something of a debate on fiscal policy, with the Liberals promising to run modest deficits for three years in order to stimulate a sagging economy and finance needed long-term investments in infrastructure and social programs. This approach won wide support among both progressives and mainstream economists.

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The global slump and the monetary taboo

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Seven years after the great financial crisis of 2008, the world economy remains at high risk of a new slump despite continued ultra low interest rates. The IMF has called on the United States to put any interest rate increase on hold so as not to worsen the still extremely weak economic situation in Europe and developing countries, notably China.

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Moving from good optics to sustained action on climate change

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The new Canadian government has certainly shot off the starting blocks at breakneck speed on climate policy. Catherine McKenna was more or less packing for a ministerial meeting in Paris while swearing her oath to become Minister of Environment and Climate Change. 

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Statement on Alberta Climate Leadership Plan

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On a public policy Richter scale, Alberta’s new Climate Leadership Plan is an 11. It is enormously positive and forward-looking and will yield measurable benefits for the health and quality of life of Albertans. Significantly, the new plan is supported by oil industry leaders, environmental organizations and other important stakeholders.

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Federal government can lead on climate in Paris. Here's how

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The recent Broadbent Institute and Mowat Centre report, Step-Change: Federal Policy Ideas Towards a Low-Carbon Canada, appears at a critical time. Intended to provide concrete examples of mitigation policies that might be adopted in the long run by the new federal government, it is also a timely reminder of the need for Canada to revise its approach to negotiating an agreement in Paris.

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Canadian democracy and its challenges

Blakeney_thumb.pngThe Broadbent Institute and the University of Saskatchewan recently co-sponsored a conference on the challenges to Canadian democracy to honour the memory of Allan Blakeney, former Premier of Saskatchewan. Blakeney passed away in 2011. 

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Alberta Premier Rachel Notley addresses the Progress Gala

 

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Alberta Premier Rachel Notley spoke at the Broadbent Institute's Progress Gala in Toronto on November 12. Here is a condensed copy of her prepared remarks. 

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So-called "Middle Class" tax cut leaves out most Canadians

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The so-called “middle class” tax cut promised by the newly elected Liberal government in the name of promoting greater fairness seems set to be quickly implemented for the 2016 tax year. Yet the distributional and revenue consequences of this measure are often misunderstood, and the proposed change merits reconsideration.

Currently there are four federal tax brackets: 15% on taxable incomes of less than $44,701; 22% on further income up to $89,401; 26% on further income up to $138,586; and 29% on income above that amount.  

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