The Broadbent Blog


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

A Tribute to Mel Watkins

Photo courtesy of, not intended for commercial use

Mel Watkins is dead and Canada is the poorer for it.

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Financing the War Against COVID-19

It is no exaggeration to say that the world and Canada are now at war with a virus which threatens human lives, our health care system and the economy. As in all wars, the goal of victory takes priority, the normal rules of the game should not apply, and what must be done should be done washout undue concern for the cost.

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Canada’s Response to the Coronavirus: Better than the US, Worse than EU

How does Canada’s fiscal response to the coronavirus stack up so far relative to the rest of the world? Data compiled by the IMF suggests that the totality of Ottawa’s announced measures rank somewhere in the middle among major western economies. Part of the measurement challenges involve disaggregating the direct spending component (e.g., extending unemployment insurance, food assistance, grants, funding for hospitals and health care infrastructure) versus items such as state guarantees for loans to businesses, or tax relief/deferment. Unlike Washington, Ottawa seems to have prioritized relief to individuals over corporate bailouts, but even here is less generous than most major European Union counterparts, as well as the United Kingdom.

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Federal COVID-19 aid needs speed, and space to grow

On March 18, the federal government announced an aid package to help workers and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The package includes $27 billion in wage supports and enhanced benefits, and $55 billion in deferred income tax payments. It is supposed to ensure that workers and small businesses have the financial support they need to follow public health advice and stay home.


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Let’s shore up workers today while thinking of the future in light of COVID-19

Every crisis, it is said, also provides us with an opportunity. Government responses to the economic and social emergency caused by COVID-19 must deal with the immediate impacts on vulnerable workers and communities, but also move us towards our longer term goals.


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Broadbent Institute Resources and Responses to COVID–19

As the COVID-19 health pandemic continues to evolve, each of us needs to do our part to reduce the spread of the virus and “flatten the curve”. We also need to make sure that as communities and a country, we are taking care of each other in the face of lost work and illness.

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Dealing with the Economic Impacts of COVID-19

At this time, it is impossible to know the course and consequences of COVID-19 cases arising from the novel coronavirus. A probable outcome seems to be a spread of the illness among the general population, before it stabilizes and/ or an effective vaccine is developed which could take several months or even longer

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Recognition of informal gatherings of place and space

To what extent should urban neighbourhoods and local businesses be impacted by the construction of transit or other infrastructure projects?

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Media Representation Needed for a Healthy Democracy

For Black History Month, the Institute launched a policy series highlighting bold policy solutions in order to tackle anti-Black racism, focusing on the need for intergovernmental action. Each submission proposes a plan for governments to work together to tackle a problem; while serving as a guide for advocates working towards [what should be] our collective effort to eradicate anti-Black racism.

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Excerpt: Setting our Historical Context

This excerpt has been condensed and re-ordered from its original text [Submission to the B.C. Government on Accessibility Legislation] in order to provide a concise historical analysis of the colonial inception of Canada and its devastating impacts on Black and Indigenous peoples. Find the full report here.


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