March 2014

How the (Un)Fair Elections Act would play out on the ground

The perception that a Conservative party agenda is written into the so-called ‘Fair Elections Act’ has the national media and pundits talking. And for good reason. In light of recent Conservative run-ins with Elections Canada and the RCMP, the skepticism towards the changes to the powers of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and the Commissioner of Elections Canada are understandable

While the media focus on these elements of the Act is warranted, there are other aspects...

Government policies have widened Canada’s income gap

The fact that income inequality in Canada today is significantly greater than it was 30 years ago is not in serious dispute. But there is much less agreement on the underlying causes.

It is important to look at trends in the “pre-distribution” of income by the market in the form of wages and salaries, and changes in the impact of government taxes and income transfer programs that redistribute market income from the more affluent to the less affluent.

Economists tend to emphasize the former, seeing inequality as mainly rooted in changes in the labour market and in the returns...

The other costly tax break for the rich

This article originally appeared in the Globe & Mail.

The Conservative Party’s 2011 election platform titled “Stephen Harper’s Low-Tax Plan” promised a bountiful menu of tax goodies. The government has delivered appetizers such as the Children’s Art Tax Credit and the Family Caregiver Tax...