Squandering Canada’s Moment

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“Seizing Canada’s moment.”

It’s an odd title for a Throne Speech that was absent any kind of momentous vision for this country.

“Seizing” the moment would mean tackling the challenges that today’s Canada faces: stagnant or falling wages for middle- and lower-income Canadians; crises in Aboriginal education, food, housing, and missing and murdered women; high youth unemployment; eroding citizen trust in democracy; and environmental degradation, to name but a few.

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10 things to remember about Stephen Harper’s consumer-unfriendly record

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The Conservative government devoted a big chunk of Wednesday’s Throne Speech to try and buff up its reputation as a government that cares – really, really cares – about consumers.

Here are 10 things to remember about the Harper government’s record when you’re being bombarded with Conservative spin about the consumer goodies in the Throne Speech:

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Review: The Entrepreneurial State

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The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs Private Sector Myths has been critically well-received in the UK by such publications as the Economist and the Financial Times and stands as a refreshing new take and counterpoint to today’s rather stale debates on the economic role of government.

On the one hand, the right celebrates private sector entrepreneurship and so-called free markets as the only sure road to prosperity. The private sector led “creative destruction” process is seen as the key source of capitalist dynamism and growth. On the other hand, progressives tend to stress the role of the state as a needed regulator of economic activity, as a Keynesian backstop to stable growth, and as a vehicle for achieving a fairer distribution of income and wealth. Proponents of a more active government role in the economy are often portrayed by the right as enemies of a successful economy.

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Costly and unfair: Stephen Harper's income-splitting scheme

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During the last federal election, Stephen Harper promised that his Conservative government would introduce a new way to tax families with children after balancing the federal budget.

We are likely to hear a lot more about the merits of Harper's 'income-splitting' proposal before the 2015 election. The Conservatives continue to slash spending and erode public services precisely in order to create the fiscal room for this promised tax cut. Never mind that Mr. Harper’s aggressive agenda of tax cuts has already helped turn a $16 billion surplus in 2006 into annual deficits.

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