The Broadbent Blog


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

Trudeau’s broken promise on electoral reform betrays the public interest


Through my many decades of involvement in politics and public life, I’ve lived through a number of disappointments and broken promises.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to abandon his commitment to make the 2015 election the last held under the broken first-past-the-post electoral system is one of the most cynical I’ve seen.

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Taxing dividends: the case for reform


Special tax treatment of dividend income costs a lot in terms of foregone government revenues, mainly benefits the very affluent, and thus merits serious re-consideration as part of the federal government's current review of tax expenditures.

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Trump, Canada and life after NAFTA


The election of President Trump and the potential imposition of border taxes and other protectionist measures is clearly of great concern to Canadian exporters, the workers they employ and the communities they support. This underlines just how much NAFTA and the wider liberalization of trade with rising economic powers such as China have shaped our economy and made us highly vulnerable to forces outside our control.

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On Donald Trump and the fight for progress in Canada


On January 20, a dangerous con-man took high office in the United States.

Openly trading in hate while ushering in more inequality will be Donald Trump’s MO for the next four years. While the far right gains ground globally, locally we’re not immune.  It is a troubling moment for progressives. It’s also an opportunity to respond and to act.

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Big cities much more unequal than Canada as a whole


It is no secret that big, global cities like London and New York are highly unequal and display harsh extremes of wealth and poverty. This is increasingly true of Canada's largest cities, as shown by recently released Statistics Canada data on the geographical distribution of high income earners.

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Trumping trade and the threat to the liberal trade regime


United States president-elect Donald Trump is widely portrayed as crudely and ignorantly anti “free trade'' and a powerful threat to a benign liberal world order. In fact, he is responding, albeit not very rationally, to serious problems with the U.S. economy and the global trading system.

Economists and liberal pundits embrace the classic Ricardian view of mutually beneficial gains from trade. They forget the underlying assumptions, namely that trade consists of the balanced exchange of final goods under freely floating exchange rates, with no capital mobility between countries and full employment.

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Christy Clark's flawed, risky home ownership gamble


In the lead up to the provincial election next May, the Liberal government has begun laying the groundwork for an election platform, announcing new policies in the hopes of wooing voters. 

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The case against privatization and P3s


When the Liberal party campaigned and won in 2015 on making significant new investments in infrastructure, there was cause for optimism.

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Why the sluggish Canadian economy needs a new public investment boost



The Liberal federal government took office just over one year ago, not least because Justin Trudeau promised to boost the economy and help the middle-class through a major increase to public investment. Economists and the public generally endorsed running modest deficits at a time of very low interest rates in order to spark a stronger recovery.

As 2016 draws to a close, the economy continues to limp along, and there is a growing case for further fiscal stimulus in 2017.

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The digital economy will not power a recovery


Economists and pundits are at odds over medium term prospects for the global economy. Pessimists see stagnant growth, rising inequality and growing unemployment and underemployment, widely held to be responsible for the rise of right-wing populists such as US President elect Donald Trump. 

Meanwhile, techno optimists such as Erik Bryjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, the authors of The Second Machine Age, argue that the digital economy will drive rapid productivity growth and underpin the gradual emergence of a post scarcity economy capable of providing prosperity for all.

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