Remarks delivered at the Group of 78 Annual Policy Conference, Ottawa, Sep. 27, 2019 by Ed Broadbent, Chair of the Broadbent Institute.
It is my pleasure tonight to make some introductory comments to this conference and in particular to introduce Robert Kuttner, a distinguished academic and journalist who is one of America’s leading public intellectuals.
The competing personal income tax cuts proposed by the Liberal and Conservative parties in this federal election are almost identical in terms of goals and re-distributive impact, and neither advance a truly progressive agenda.
As the October federal election approaches, housing continues to be one of the critical issues Canadian face. After over 20 years of minimal attention on the issue, the federal government has finally re-engaged with housing policy and funding. While much jurisdictional authority for housing provision and regulation lies with provincial governments, the federal government, nonetheless, can leverage significant affordable housing infrastructure through its spending powers. Indeed, federal leadership in ensuring affordable housing has been key in the past. Yet, housing experts worry the current initiative promises too little, to be delivered tomorrow and not today.