The Broadbent Blog


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

Racial discrimination and the economic downturn


The Census  replaced by the National Household Survey in 2011  is our key source of information for “visible minority” persons, best known as racialized persons (since race is a social rather than biological concept) and since “minorities” make up close to the majority of the population in the large urban centres of Toronto, Montreal,  and Vancouver.


In 2011, one in five (19.1%) of all Canadians belonged to visible minority groups, up from one in six (16.2%) in 2006. Almost one quarter of young people age 20 to 24 belong to a visible minority group.


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The dubious case for the deserving rich


Harvard University economist Gregory Mankiw, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under United States President George W. Bush and, more recently, a key economic adviser to Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, mounts a spirited defence of the very rich in an article to be published in the next issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives.


Mankiw’s central argument, recently highlighted by Chrystia Freeland, is that very high incomes reflect exceptional productive contributions by highly talented individuals which benefit the rest of society.


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As climate landscape shifts, Canada sticks head in the (tar) sands


Barack Obama’s new climate change plan could significantly shift the landscape for Canadian economic and climate policy. It should really invite reflection on the Canadian side of the border about the direction in which we should be heading as a country.

Lots of questions remain about the details and implementation of the U.S. plan. What will the Environmental Protection Agency’s power plant regulations look like?  Will the White House be able to bypass Congress and coordinate with cities and states? What are the implications for Obama’s eventual decision on the Keystone XL pipeline?

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Obama's climate action — and Harper's moral failure


For Canadians who care deeply about acting to stave off dangerous climate change, President Obama’s landmark speech today outlining his administration’s climate action plan likely induced mixed feelings: delight to see the President speak so clearly and resolutely about the moral obligation to take action and to back those sentiments up with some concrete action. And distress at the clear contrast in both tone and substance we get from our Federal government here in Canada. 

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In his own words: Hugh Segal on Bill C-377


Bill 377 is anti-democratic and will destabilize the Canadian economy. Conservative Senator Hugh Segal put it best this week when he said:

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The end of the "Golden Age" for university graduates


Some 500,000 students have just graduated from Canada’s postsecondary education system, and the great majority will be hoping to find a decent job and to embark upon a meaningful career.

Unfortunately, the employment prospects for many graduates are pretty dismal, for reasons that deserve serious reflection.

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Why Crowley has it wrong on cars, freedom, and public transit


In Wednesday's Globe and Mail, Brian Lee Crowley of the MacDonald Laurier Institute produced what he called a “homage to the (undeservedly) hated car”. In it, he reproduced a number of standard shibboleths against what he sees as “the paternalistic philosophy of centralized urban planning that has infected city halls in virtually every major city in the country” determined to get people out of their cars.

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Farewell to the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy


The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) closed shop at the end of March.

This move, announced in the 2012 Budget, was not unexpected, but was unfortunate and unwarranted. Now more than ever we need to take a careful look at the linkages between our environment and our economy, and this was precisely the role and mandate of NRTEE which drew upon the best available professional expertise.

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"Tax Freedom Day": freedom from what, exactly?

8201935758_fb991e5d32_b.jpgConcrete is poured into the foundation of the Trois-Rivieres Regional Hospital.

 The Fraser Institute has declared yesterday “Tax Freedom Day”: the day, they claim, that Canadians stop earning wages that go towards income taxes and begin making money that they can spend at their discretion. Fraser's goal is to paint a picture of Canada as an overtaxed country suffering under the weight of big government.

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Statement on the first reading of Bill C-525

This summer, the Conservative government unleashed the latest wave in their ongoing attack on Canada’s democratic institutions. Bill C-525, like Bill C-377, is further evidence of a Conservative government bent on undermining Canada’s unions. We view this bill as part of a broader assault on our democracy that includes shutting down debates in Parliament to ram through legislation, muzzling government scientists, and intimidating civil society groups.

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