Wage suppression and the Federal Balanced Budget Act
In the October 2013 Speech for the Throne, the Canadian government announced it would introduce balanced-budget legislation. At the time this vague proposal attracted little interest from anyone, although a year later the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) did produce a substantial document analyzing the benefits and costs of such a proposal.Read more
Want employment and wage growth? It’s skills stupid!
The recent election was full of varying promises to increase growth rates and employment levels. Few of these promises, however, addressed a critical weakness in our ability to compete in global markets: significant literacy and numeracy skill shortages.
This is a critical area where the federal government has a vital role to play.Read more
The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Next Canadian Economy
Economists have a strong predisposition towards trade liberalization, which is held to increase efficiency and boost productivity through greater specialization in those sectors in which we hold a comparative advantage.
But the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is likely to be damaging to our future prosperity by reinforcing our over reliance upon low value-added exports of raw and semi-processed resources, and by further increasing our chronic deficit in the trade of sophisticated manufactured goods and advanced services.Read more
Supply management and the folly of the TPP
The recent conclusion of the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations between Canada and eleven other countries has resulted in the usual chorus of condemnation by right wing economists of Canada’s system of supply management covering dairy, eggs and poultry.Read more
Government investment can reverse Canada's business innovation deficit
There has been a lot of talk during the federal election campaign about how to create more good, “middle-class” jobs. But there has been only limited recognition of the need for a much more active government role if we are to build the more innovative and sustainable economy we need to create such jobs.Read more
Labour market policy is about more than unemployment
When we talk about jobs during the current election campaign, we should be concerned about both the short term and the next few years. We badly need to create jobs now, and also need better labour market policies to avoid emerging skills shortages.Read more
$50 billion Canada-wide infrastructure program would generate significant ROI, boost productivity, wages and competitiveness
OTTAWA— A five-year $50-billion public infrastructure spending initiative would generate a return on investment to Canadians over the long term as high as $3.83 per dollar spent, trigger significant private sector investment and stimulate wage increases, according to a new study by an independent economic modelling firm.Read more
On inequality, wages and bargaining power matter
The current federal election is being fought against a backdrop of deepening inequality and the social problems that accompany it. Promises to “make things better” will no doubt be uttered throughout the campaign.
As we mark another labour day, it is important to remain discerning of the policies on offer.Read more
The great shrinkage: Fiscal capacity under Stephen Harper
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's economic record since taking office in 2006 is at the centre of debate in the current federal election campaign. Arguably his signature achievement is to have radically reduced the fiscal capacity of the federal government, and with it, the broader role of government in advancing the economic and social welfare of Canadians.Read more
The unsung merits of supply management
You’d think that milk in Canada was coloured red considering the debate about our dairy industry.
The way we manage our milk supply is being scrutinized by our trading partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. They don’t like how farmers run the dairy industry and want the federal government to let them in to sell us their products. This country’s think tanks and pundits have lined up to lambaste the system.Read more