Many Canadians have, with good reason, embraced the idea of a Green New Deal. Supporters of the idea rightly say that dealing with the global climate crisis cannot be separated from the pursuit of social and economic justice. They emphasize that, with strong government leadership, a rapid transition away from the old carbon economy can generate many good new jobs in areas like renewable energy and energy conservation such that no workers need be left behind.
The movement for a “Green New Deal” has taken off in the US and Canada. The idea takes inspiration from the American post-war economic mobilization and creation of a welfare state. The Green New Deal calls on us to solve the climate crisis and provide economic security, through a big, ambitious, and multifaceted policy approach.
An idea has been developing. Perhaps three of the biggest threats to our societies – environmental destruction, public austerity and economic inequality – stem from a single problem: a rapacious economic model that assumes everything, including people, is a resource to be consumed. Until there’s no more.
Maybe it was the months of smoke-filled skies or the flash floods following hard on the heels of long droughts. Or maybe it was mountainsides covered in beetle-killed trees or glaciers melting to slivers of ice. Whatever the reason, British Columbia has got the message when it comes to climate change.
Posted by Katrina Miller · November 20, 2018 11:15 AM
There has been plenty of fear mongering that Canada must follow U.S. President Trump’s corporate tax cut agenda or face economic devastation. Yet many of the experts, often those not working for corporate interests, agree on two things: there is no assurance and much skepticism that the broad cuts will lead to significantly greater economic competitiveness for the U.S in the long-term1,2; and, there are much more effective levers to generate a competitive advantage for the Canadian economy than tax cuts3.
Now that Manitoba has joined Ontario and Saskatchewan in opposition to a carbon tax, what are the realistic political options for the federal government? Economists overwhelmingly support carbon pricing as the most economically efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emission and combat climate change. But should the federal government now just accept that Canadian conservatives have successfully framed it as a “job-killing tax” whose implementation will “hurt the economy”? Have Doug Ford, Andrew Scheer and other Conservatives been successful in nurturing the suspicion that carbon pricing is just another tax grab by government that will make “ordinary Canadians” worse off? Is the idea now politically dead?
The way Canadian dairy farmers are portrayed in the NAFTA debate might lead you to believe they drive Porsches to the milking barns. Farmers who own quota in our food system, where dairy along with poultry fall under supply management, are often portrayed as a lobby group rather than people we rely on for food security.
This blog post is part of aseries of poststhat will be focusing on the tax avoidance by Canada’s most wealthy. This series was sparked by findings in the Paradise Papers — the latest leak that revealed the offshore tax haven activities of former Canadian elected officials and political insiders. Tax avoidance is wrong. It robs the Canadian government from paying for and maintaining our health and social programs; ones that work to improve the lives of all Canadians. A government crackdown on offshore tax havens is urgent and necessary.
It’s safe to say that taxes aren’t everyone’s favourite subject. Canadians are usually confronted with the idea during tax season: as we frantically get our financial documents in order, while tempering our slight annoyance with the government for peering into our pockets. But we need to have more comprehensive conversations on how taxes affect our lives on a daily basis; because the fight for a fairer tax system is real and urgent.
Posted by Martin Adelaar, Roger Peters and Geoff Stiles · December 08, 2017 11:02 AM
The Broadbent Institute's new project, Change the Game, takes a critical look at the history of social democracy in Canada, with the intention of learning from the successes and challenges of the past in order to build the best possible path forward. We invite you to join us in rethinking and renewing social democracy by reading other entries in this series.
In his reflections on the social democratic tradition Andrew Jackson argued that we need to democratize the Canadian economy by increasing social ownership of capital.In the energy sector this means identifying mechanisms such as community ownership and a greater role for the public sector, ensuring that the corporate assets associated with energy production “flow to all citizens”, and are not monopolised by large private or public organisations – in short, energy democracy. Following Jackson, we believe that the expected de-carbonization of energy production can facilitate such a transition.