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.
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.
Posted by Ellen Russell and Mathieu Dufour · September 07, 2015 8:30 AM
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.
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.
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.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is doubling down on his strong commitment to oil sands development, charging that the opposition's call for greenhouse gas reductions and a thorough environmental review process of pipeline and new energy projects would be an economic disaster.
Few Canadian economic debates are as long-standing and as predictable as that over the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage. Progressives call for a higher wage floor to combat inequality, low pay and poverty. But employers and the political right generally argue that a decent minimum wage comes at the cost of jobs, and harms those it is intended to protect.
A recent study from the Fraser Institute claims boosting premiums to pay for higher Canada Pension Plan benefits would not work, since individuals would simply save less in RRSPs and other individual savings vehicles. Thus there would be no overall increase in retirement income, and individuals would have less flexible access to their savings because CPP contributions are effectively locked in.
Corporate tax cuts have been central to the Harper government's economic agenda. The result has been a huge loss of public revenues for negligible economic gain, suggesting that we need a major policy rethink.
While Canada's short term economic prospects are pretty gloomy, longer term projections are even worse. A major reason is that policy-makers here and in all of the advanced industrial countries have been content to settle for a very slow recovery which undermines our longer-term economic potential.