The Broadbent Blog


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

Can Pope Francis change the climate on climate change?


Pope Francis has set out to transform the issue of climate change into a moral imperative, not just for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, but for everyone. He is unambiguous about the role of human activity in producing the greenhouse gasses that are the decisive contributor to global warming and the connection between these climactic changes and global justice challenges facing humanity and the planetary environment. 

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The Paradox of Redistribution


The issue of how to deal with rising inequality and the squeezed middle-class has recently moved to the centre of political debate, with the various parties proposing significant policy changes. International experience suggests that a more equal Canada will require major changes to a wide range of policy levers and not just to the tax and transfer system

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Conservative's new law creates second class citizens


The Canadian government passed Bill C-24 this week, giving itself the power to revoke citizenship of dual citizens convicted in Canadian courts or abroad of committing "acts against Canada,"including terrorism, espionage or treason. Though the government claims it is now better able to protect Canadians from "jihadi terrorism," the law does not make Canadians safer. Instead, it creates a class of second class citizens, whose status as Canadians is insecure.   

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Fun, games and inequality


“You can do anything you put your mind to” is a message that has been instilled in the minds of North Americans. 

People are taught that if they work hard enough, anyone can succeed. This is why many people believe in equality and fairness as forces that shape our economic system and tend to overlook the power of systemic factors like racial discrimination or class barriers in economic inequality. 

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Balanced Budget Law is Poor Economics


The balanced budget legislation introduced as part of the federal budget is based on dubious economic principles that should raise the eyebrows of even fiscally conservative economists.

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Five challenges for bending the health care cost curve in Canada


Greg Marchildon and Livio Di Matteo

Canadian economists received a pleasant surprise this year: expenditure growth on public health care in Canada finally appears to be slowing down. However, it is unclear if this slowdown is the result of explicit success in sustainably bending the cost-curve or more short-term cost-cutting in response to slower economic growth or future federal health transfers.

So is it a blip on the health care horizon or the beginning of a trend?

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Inequality and Inter Generational Unfairness


There has been a great deal of recent media commentary on inter generational unfairness, much of which misleadingly argues that affluent older Canadians are benefiting from current economic and social arrangements at the expense of youth.

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Confessions of an idealist democrat


I taught Canadian government for 30 years and over that time the course content traced the growing shift of power from Parliament to the executive branch and increasingly to the position of Prime Minister.

I recall that most of my students paid very little attention to politics and topical political issues. In the years since, the erosion of Canadian democracy has continued at an accelerating rate and far too many Canadians – much like my former students – appear unaware of these developments or, worse still, indifferent to them.

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Beyond "throw the bums out" in Alberta: Why campaigns matter


Post-election punditry is as much about story-telling as it is analysis and so far pundits (especially conservative ones) have tended to tell one story –Albertans were angry at the PC government’s spending scandals and arrogance, and so "threw the bums out."

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How do you get some of that Rachel Notley magic?


If your Facebook feed is anything like mine, Tuesday night was nothing but wall-to-wall jubilant "OMG RACHEL!" and "WOW! ALBERTA!" posts.

Winning an NDP majority in Alberta is galvanizing. If progressive forces can pull that off, suddenly any victory seems possible.

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