The Broadbent Blog


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

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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Ed Broadbent: Reflections on a life in politics, Donald Trump victory



Editor's Note: Ed Broadbent was awarded this year's Lifetime Achievement Award at Maclean's Parliamentary of the Year Awards. Here is his acceptance speech, delivered Tuesday night at an awards ceremony in Ottawa.

I want to thank Maclean’s for this award, for which I am deeply appreciative.  

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Whiteness trouble: the Left's challenge after Trump


The speed, scale and ferocity of racist attacks across the United States in the wake of Trump’s victory are revealing. Doubly revealing, in fact.

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Foreign investment not always a benefit



The federal government heeded the advice of the business dominated Economic Advisory Council and set out a new welcome mat for foreign investors in the recent  Economic Statement . The threshold for review of foreign take-overs of Canadian companies will be raised from $600 Million to $1 Billion (up from just $369 Million in 2015); a new agency, the Invest in Canada Hub, will be set up with a mandate to woo foreign corporations; and reviews of the security implications of foreign take-overs are likely to be limited.

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Government action to curb solitary confinement long overdue


Making a prisoner spend four years isolated in a plexiglass cell under the constant glare of artificial light is a form of custody that shocks Canadian sensibilities. It is difficult to believe that such cruel treatment was imposed on Adam Capay in a Thunder Bay detention centre – but it was.

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