The Broadbent Blog


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

Want employment and wage growth? It’s skills stupid!


The recent election was full of varying promises to increase growth rates and employment levels. Few of these promises, however, addressed a critical weakness in our ability to compete in global markets: significant literacy and numeracy skill shortages. 

This is a critical area where the federal government has a vital role to play.

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Time for a new government to deliver progressive change


After nearly 10 years of a Conservative government in Ottawa, the majority of Canadians voted for change on Monday.

Now, after this long decade, the country can turn its mind to undoing the damage. There is so much to do.

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Next Canadian Economy


Economists have a strong predisposition towards trade liberalization, which is held to increase efficiency and boost productivity through greater specialization in those sectors in which we hold a comparative advantage.

But the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is likely to be damaging to our future prosperity by reinforcing our over reliance upon low value-added exports of raw and semi-processed resources, and by further increasing our chronic deficit in the trade of sophisticated manufactured goods and advanced services.

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The TPP: A secret deal that binds the hands that heal


Picture this: a patient returns to the office for a follow-up visit with their physician. When asked how the prescribed treatment is working out, they answer: “I don’t know, I couldn’t afford to fill the prescription.”  

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Supply management and the folly of the TPP


The recent conclusion of the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations between Canada and eleven other countries has resulted in the usual chorus of condemnation by right wing economists of Canada’s system of supply management covering dairy, eggs and poultry. 

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Serious climate action requires emission reduction targets


Justin Trudeau has announced that the Liberals “won’t set a specific emissions target” for greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change. His reasoning is that, “what we need is not ambitious political targets. What we need is an ambitious plan to reduce our emissions in the country.”

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Government investment can reverse Canada's business innovation deficit


There has been a lot of talk during the federal election campaign about how to create more good, “middle-class” jobs. But there has been only limited recognition of the need for a much more active government role if we are to build the more innovative and sustainable economy we need to create such jobs.

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Canada's childcare debate through Finnish eyes


As an early childhood researcher newly arrived from Finland, the current Canadian debate about universal childcare has been somewhat baffling.

In Finland, universal early childhood education and childcare (ECEC) means that if a child's parents want her/him to attend, the municipality in which they live is obliged to provide them with a place irrespective of the parents’ work/life situation. 

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Making molehills out of mountains


Pity the poor pundits this ridiculously long election season.

The election-industrial complex has never revved this hot for so long, and some of its practitioners are starting to show the strain from feeding the 24-hour news beast. As time wears on two conflicting and equally erroneous themes are front and centre, each making their own unfortunate contribution to the campaign murk.

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Time to move beyond "tough on crime" rhetoric


Not since Governor Michael Dukakis’ 1988 presidential bid was derailed by attack ads about the dangerous inmate Willie Horton being released into the community has any well-briefed politician dared not to be “tough on crime.”  

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