The Broadbent Blog


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

Building a national child care program


It is pretty clear that in the often fractious environment of Canadian federalism, Canadians do better when multi-levels of government and political parties work together to put people’s well-being first.

This goes for all sorts of things — environmental protection, trade, securities regulation, infrastructure. Nowhere is it clearer than in the social policy arena of health, welfare and social provision.  

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Oil Sands Development and Canada's Economic Future


Prime Minister Stephen Harper is doubling down on his strong commitment to oil sands development, charging that the opposition's call for greenhouse gas reductions and a thorough environmental review process of pipeline and new energy projects would be an economic disaster.

This approach is wrong on at least three grounds.

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Remembering Jack



It’s hard to believe that, four years ago on Saturday, our friend Jack Layton passed away. I say hard to believe because he still seems very present to me.

The progressive causes and organizations he poured his heart into across the country continue their great work and serve as a living testament to his spirit.

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This election, Canada must tackle disability rights reform


Early into this federal election campaign and, encouragingly, talk of the creation of a Canadians with Disabilities Act has surfaced.

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The economics (and ethics) of affordable child care


Many economists, particularly those that are male, find it difficult to understand the public interest in providing funding to child care. 

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Even Conservatives should embrace a decent minimum wage


Few Canadian economic debates are as long-standing and as predictable as that over the pros and cons of  raising the minimum wage. Progressives call for a higher wage floor to combat inequality, low pay and poverty. But employers and the political right generally argue that a decent minimum wage comes at the cost of jobs, and harms those it is intended to protect. 

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Fraser Institute is wrong on the Canada Pension Plan


A recent study from the Fraser Institute claims boosting premiums to pay for higher Canada Pension Plan benefits would not work, since individuals would simply save less in RRSPs and other individual savings vehicles. Thus there would be no overall increase in retirement income, and individuals would have less flexible access to their savings because CPP contributions are effectively locked in.

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Higher education no silver bullet in fight against inequality


Young people are constantly told that a post secondary qualification is the key to getting a good job, and tens of thousands of students are graduating this year in search of a full-time job matching their qualifications.

For an individual, a  good education certainly raises the odds of finding a good job. But it does not follow that further raising the educational level of the workforce as a whole will boost the overall quality of  jobs or reduce growing income inequality.

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Corporate Tax Cuts, Lost Revenues and Lagging Business Investment


Corporate tax cuts have been central to the Harper government's economic agenda. The result has been a huge loss of public revenues for negligible economic gain, suggesting that we need a major policy rethink.

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Statement by Rick Smith on passage of Bill C-377


Today, Bill C-377 passed Third Reading in the Senate after the Conservative government shut down debate. If there was any doubt this anti-labour “Private Member’s Bill” didn't have the full backing of the Harper government that has been put the rest.

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