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.

Employment insurance measures a must for fiscal stimulus

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Low oil prices have taken their toll on an already weak Canadian economy, where household debt levels are at record highs and business investment continues to lag. The Bank of Canada held off on a further rate cut this week, opting instead to wait and see the size and structure of fiscal stimulus in the upcoming federal budget.

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Apocalypse Now? Declining dollar, ultralow oil prices and Canada's path forward

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With a plunging Canadian dollar, collapsing oil prices, slumping stock markets and signs that the economy stalled in the last quarter of 2015, it is easy to think that we are on the cusp of economic disaster. But the state of the Canadian economy, while indeed dismal, does not justify alarmist pronouncements that threaten to make things even worse by undermining consumer and business confidence.

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Remembering Ellen Meiksins Wood

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Celebrated political theorist and socialist historian Ellen Meiksins Wood passed away at her Ottawa home on Thursday at the age of 73 after battling cancer. Ellen is survived by beloved second husband Ed Broadbent, founder and board chair of the Broadbent Institute, and brothers Peter Meiksins of Cleveland and Robert Meiksins of Milwaukee. She was predeceased by her first husband, Neal Wood (1922 – 2003).

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Fighting seniors poverty

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The new Liberal government is on track to seriously address the growing problem of poverty in old age. But their election promises need some critical reconsideration. 

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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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