BI in the News

Stephen Harper's bogus 'consumers first' agenda

Let me get this straight.

The Conservative government is looking to pivot from growing corruption and scandals with a Throne Speech later this month that talks about a “consumers first” agenda, including the latest proposal for an airline passenger bill of rights. At least that’s what Conservative sources are telling reporters about what to expect from the Parliamentary reboot on Oct. 16. Aside from some improvements to product safety brought about during their minority rule, the...

Ed Broadbent: are the dreams of social democracy still affordable?

This post originally appeared on

On September 24th, 2013, Broadbent Institute Chair Ed Broadbent gave the 2nd annual Jack Layton Lecture at Ryerson University. In this speech, Ed Broadbent connects the philosophy and historical successes of social democracy with today's social and political challenges.

Over the past fifty years, social democrats ...

Yahoo! News: left-leaning Broadbent Institute mocks Harper’s ‘enemies list’ with ‘frenemies list’

Andy Radia, Canada Politics, Yahoo! News

Earlier this week, media outlets reported that government staffers were directed — by the PMO — to compile "enemy lists" of bureaucrats and stakeholders to be included in transition documents for incoming cabinet minsters.

The reports — and particularly the use of the term 'enemy' — have a created a media frenzy with some evoking the memory of Richard Nixon.

In an interview with ...

Begin by hiking tax credits for working poor

Last September, the Broadbent Institute issued a major discussion paper, Towards a More Equal Canada, on rising economic inequality. We followed up in April with a brief to the Commons finance committee on what income tax and transfer changes could promote a fairer Canada.

Extreme economic inequality undermines democracy and the common good. Very unequal societies do much worse in terms of social and economic performance, in health and life expectancy, social mobility (equality of opportunity for children), crime levels, the quality of democracy, and levels of social trust.


It's World Environment Day and Canada's Not Doing so Hot

Today is World Environment Day, an appropriate moment to reflect on the state of our nation's journey towards sustainability.

In a nutshell, we're not doing so hot.

Measured against other OECD nations, Canada continues to rank near the bottom of the barrel for environmental protection. Once viewed as a constructive, conscientious partner, Canada is now a sort of pariah on the international stage, uninterested or downright unwilling to work with other countries to tackle major global environmental challenges from desertification to over-fishing, deforestation to climate change...

Canadian demographics may not favour the Conservatives

Susan Delacourt, Toronto Star
Parliament Hill, May 24 2013

There are two ways to become a former Conservative in Canada these days.

You can get tossed out, like senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau.

Or you can leave the party of your own volition, as voters in Labrador did earlier this month when they elected Liberal MP Yvonne Jones, handing Conservative Peter Penashue a resounding defeat in the federal byelection.

So is it time to revisit this idea — put forward not so long ago — that Conservatives stand to be the natural...

Progressive values are on the rise in the U.S. and Canada

A luncheon speech by Center for American Progress (CAP) President Neera Tanden underscored that success for progressives depends on a strong, sustainable progressive movement, driven by idea generation and solid policy. Tanden was director of domestic policy for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign and served as Hilary Clinton’s policy director on her presidential campaign. 

“Our experience since creating CAP in 2003 has reinforced the lesson that gearing up for highly expensive elections every four years is wholly insufficient for achieving real progressive change,” said Tanden. “...

Use the tax system to fight poverty

Canada has an inequality problem. Middle-class incomes have stagnated and poverty has risen as the income share of the top 1% has risen dramatically.

How much inequality we are prepared to tolerate is a matter of political choice. Some countries have done better than others, and Canada has not performed well.

Tuesday is the deadline for filing our personal income tax returns. As millions of Canadians sit at their computers and at their kitchen tables working to remit their paperwork, it’s an appropriate moment to consider how changes to our tax and income transfer system...

Reform the tax code to counter income inequality: Broadbent

This article originally appeared on iPolitics.

Income inequality is threatening Canada’s economic growth and is dragging the country’s standard of living down with it, says former NDP leader Ed Broadbent.

Appearing before the Commons finance committee Tuesday, eight experts — including some of the country’s top economists and policy specialists — took turns outlining why income disparity can no longer be ignored.

“There isn’t a sane...

Anti-Union Measures: Solution in Search of a Problem

Careful observers of Canadian politics will be forgiven a certain "déjà vu" feeling at the most recent target of Conservative i.e. trade unions.

Fresh from their bilious campaign against the charitable sector (recall the intemperate claims that environmental groups are "radicals", "terrorists" and "eco-vandals" emanating from federal Cabinet Ministers and Senators), the muzzling of federal government scientists, and sundry closings of important institutions with the continuing temerity to speak their mind, trade unions are clearly next in the Tory cross-hairs.

In Toronto,...


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