The Broadbent Blog


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

Liberal government faces tough fiscal choices in implementing progressive agenda


The briefing books being prepared for Prime Minister-designate Trudeau and his new Cabinet are likely warning of tough fiscal choices ahead. It will be very hard for the incoming government to reconcile a genuinely progressive platform on the social spending side with limited revenues, even given an acceptance of short-term deficits.

We can expect quick implementation of the new Canada Child Benefit, which will deliver higher benefits to all but the most affluent families with children and will significantly reduce inequality and poverty by being income-tested. This is the approach that has long been called for by Campaign 2000 and the Caledon Institute, building on the child benefit reforms of the Chretien government.

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Wage suppression and the Federal Balanced Budget Act


In the October 2013 Speech for the Throne, the Canadian government announced it would introduce balanced-budget legislation. At the time this vague proposal attracted little interest from anyone, although a year later the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) did produce a substantial document analyzing the benefits and costs of such a proposal. 

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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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