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.

A Legacy Worth Fighting For: The Left and the Jewish Community

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The Broadbent Institute's new project, Change the Game, takes a critical look at the history of social democracy in Canada, with the intention of learning from the successes and challenges of the past in order to build the best possible path forward. We invite you to join us in rethinking and renewing social democracy by reading other entries in this series.

The recent emboldening of xenophobia and acts of hate in Canada should be seen through a much longer history of racism and discriminatory policies in this country.

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Reflections on the Labour Movement and Social Democracy

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The Broadbent Institute's new project, Change the Game, takes a critical look at the history of social democracy in Canada, with the intention of learning from the successes and challenges of the past in order to build the best possible path forward. We invite you to join us in rethinking and renewing social democracy by reading other entries in this series.

For large parts of the 20th century, social democracy was the natural habitat for many in the labour movement, and vice versa. Social democrats built the political space where union aspirations for better living conditions and social solidarity found a sympathetic hearing. For their part, social democrats have always relied on strong unions as a major force for economic equality, full employment and the economic democracy that are the necessary pillars of a progressive welfare state1. Social democratic parties also benefited from close union ties in the electoral arena through union political support, both in terms of resources and expertise, as well as a connection to their natural voting constituency.

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Building worker power to shape a better future for Canada

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This Labour Day solidarity takes on a renewed importance and our work as progressives acquires a new urgency. Over the summer, white nationalist and racist right-wing mobilizing turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia as the ideology of hate grows increasingly visible across North America. Here in Canada, that same ideology led to the massacre of six men at prayer in a Quebec City mosque at the hands of an Islamophobe.

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Is Canada Facing a New Financial Crisis?

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Leading progressive academic economist Steve Keen gained international recognition after he successfully predicted the 2007 global crisis using an alternative macro-economic model built on the pioneering work of Hyman Minsky and Wynne Godley. His new book, “Can we avoid another financial crisis?” argues that the lessons of the crash have still not been learned by the economic policy mainstream, and that a new crisis looms for some highly indebted countries, including Canada.

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Why the Nordic social democratic model can’t be implemented from Ottawa

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The Broadbent Institute's new project, Change the Game, takes a critical look at the history of social democracy in Canada, with the intention of learning from the successes and challenges of the past in order to build the best possible path forward. We invite you to join us in rethinking and renewing social democracy by reading other entries in this series.

It’s common for Canadian social democrats to model themselves after the so-called Nordic countries—Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. Those societies have achieved a high degree of social solidarity, economic prosperity and personal freedom. They have strong educational outcomes, lower levels of inequality and good health. They have an internationalist outlook. They are happy.

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Challenging the Economic Dogma of a “Natural” Unemployment Rate

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On July 13th, the Bank of Canada began to tighten monetary policy, arguing that the economy would be operating at full capacity by the end of this year. This action was guided more by the economic dogma of a “natural” unemployment rate crafted by Milton Friedman back in the 1970s than by hard evidence of a looming increase in inflation. 

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The economy is all of us: Community benefits organizing in Canada

 

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The Broadbent Institute’s leadership development and training mission is to build backbone for left organizing in Canada. This takes on many forms, including training activists for campaigns. Increasingly we are aligning our organizational objectives, and that has opened new areas of leadership activity that focuses on our policy priorities: climate change, inequality and democratic renewal. This has led us to focus on supporting the development of a community benefits movement in Canada.

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Take Upbeat Economic News with a Pinch of Salt

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On July 13th, the Bank of Canada modestly hiked interest rates and argued that the economy would be operating at full capacity by the end of this year. The International Monetary Fund recently said that Canada would lead growth among the big economies in 2017 as a global economic recovery finally begins to take hold.

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Ordinary Canadians Should Support Closing Private Corporation Tax Loophole

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Federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau is to be commended for cracking down on very high income taxpayers using private corporations to avoid paying their fair share of tax. He should shrug off predictable and self-serving criticism from business lobby groups, and deepen his resolve to promote progressive tax reform. 

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The case for raising the minimum wage

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Due to the strong lobbying efforts of labour and social activists, Canada's minimum wage floor is rising significantly from the current level of between $11 and $12 per hour depending upon the province. A new norm of $15 per hour will be in place, in Alberta by October, 2018, in Ontario by January, 2019, and very likely in British Columbia under the terms of the NDP-Green Party agreement.

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