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  • Canada’s Fossil-Fuelled Pensions June 22, 2018
    The British Columbia Investment Management Corporation is?the steward of BC’s public pensions, but bankrolls companies?whose current business models exceed the climate change targets agreed to in the Paris Agreement to which Canada is a signatory. The pensions of over 500,000 British Columbians and assets worth $135 billion are managed by the Corporation—-one of Canada's largest […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Imagine a Winnipeg...2018 Alternative Municipal Budget June 18, 2018
    Climate change; stagnant global economic growth; political polarization; growing inequality.? Our city finds itself dealing with all these issues, and more at once. The 2018 Alternative Municipal Budget (AMB) is a community response that shows how the city can deal with all these issues and balance the budget.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Why would a boom town need charity? Inequities in Saskatchewan’s oil boom and bust May 23, 2018
    When we think of a “boomtown,” we often imagine a formerly sleepy rural town suddenly awash in wealth and economic expansion. It might surprise some to learn that for many municipalities in oil-producing regions in Saskatchewan, the costs of servicing the oil boom can outweigh the benefits. A Prairie Patchwork: Reliance on Oil Industry Philanthropy […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • What are Canada’s energy options in a carbon-constrained world? May 1, 2018
    Canada faces some very difficult choices in maintaining energy security while meeting emissions reduction targets.? A new?study by veteran earth scientist David Hughes—published through the Corporate Mapping Project, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Parkland Institute—is a comprehensive assessment of Canada’s energy systems in light of the need to maintain energy security and […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The 2018 Living Wage for Metro Vancouver April 25, 2018
    The cost of raising a family in British Columbia increased slightly from 2017 to 2018. A $20.91 hourly wage is needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver, up from $20.61 per hour in 2017?due to soaring housing costs.?This is the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Archive for 'health care'

Saskatchewan budget misses opportunity on rental housing assistance

I recently wrote a ‘top 10’ overview blog post about the 2018 Saskatchewan budget. Following on the heels of that, I’ve now written an opinion piece about the budget’s announcement of a phase out a rental assistance program for low-income households. Points raised in the opinion piece include the following: -Across Saskatchewan, rental vacancy rates […]

Ten proposals from the 2018 Alternative Federal Budget

I’ve written a blog post about this year’s Alternative Federal Budget (AFB). Points raised in the blog post include the following: -This year’s AFB would create 470,000 (full-time equivalent) jobs in its first year alone. By year 2 of the plan, 600,000 new (full-time equivalent) jobs will exist. -This year’s AFB will also bring in […]

Panel discussion at federal NDP policy convention

Yesterday I spoke on a panel discussion on economic inequality, along with Andrew Jackson and Armine Yalnizyan. We were guests at the federal NDP’s policy convention in Ottawa. The panel was moderated by Guy Caron. Topics covered included the minimum wage, basic income, affordable housing, the future of jobs, gender budgeting, poverty among seniors, Canadian […]

A Response to the 2017 Saskatchewan Budget

I have an opinion piece on Saskatchewan’s recent budget in the Regina Leader-Post. Points raised in the opinion piece include the following: -Reductions in personal and corporate income taxes help the rich more than the poor (and this budget cut both personal and corporate income taxes). -Increases in sales tax hurt the poor more than […]

Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget

An Alberta-based volunteer working group, of which I’m a part, recently released a document titled Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget (for media coverage, see this Metro article).? Working group members include staff from Alberta’s non-profit sector, labour movement and advocacy sector. While our long-term goal is to emulate the great work of the Alternative […]

Ten things to know about the 2016-17 Alberta budget

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I have a blog post titled: “Ten things to know about the 2016-17 Alberta budget.” The link to the post is here. Enjoy and share:

This election, let’s have a real debate about legalizing marijuana

On the campaign trail, Prime Minister Harper repeated assertions that relaxing pot laws will lead to terrible, horrible things: “a€?When you go down that route, marijuana becomes more readily available to children, more people become addicted to it and the health outcomes become worse.” The Conservative response is to escalate the “war on drugs,” even […]

Response to Johann Hari’s TED Talk on Addiction

This is a guest blog post from Doug Chaudron: – British journalist Johann Hari recently gave a TED talk, provocatively titled a€?Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong.a€? See the 15-minute talk, and find Haria€?s biography, at http://tinyurl.com/o5kp779. Some key points made by Mr. Hari in his talk include these: Current approaches to […]

Alex Usher Needs to Consider Taxation

My debate with Alex Usher on tuition fees continues, over at the Academic Matters web site.?? In my latest post, I make the case that Mr. Usher needs to consider Canada’s tax system when suggesting that reducing tuition fees is “regressive.” Enjoy and share:

Alex Usher is Wrong on Tuition Fees

Earlier today, over at the Academic Matters web site, I addressed the issue of whether Canada’s current system of high tuition fees and means-tested student aid is in fact “progressive.”?? My post was a response to a Alex Usher‘s May 9 blog post.?? My blog post can be found here. Enjoy and share:

More on the At Home/Chez Soi Study

Earlier this month, I blogged about the At Home/Chez Soi homelessness study prior to the release of its final report. Today I’ve blogged again, this time about the contents of the final report itself.?? This second blog post, being rather long and nuanced, was written for the Homeless Hub.?? It can be accessed at this […]

The dubious case for casinos

I got way off my usual research agenda this morning for a business panel on CBC radio. The topic was the economics of casinos, the result of the City of Surrey voting down a new casino proposal. I have often disparagingly compared stock markets to casinos, but in fact I knew relatively little about the […]

Three Cheers for the Fraser Institute!

At times, the Fraser Institute produces such helpful material. I hope they make their well-heeled funders, such as the multi billionaire Koch brothers, proud. However, I’m sure the Kochs are more concerned that missteps by their progeny Mitt and Ryan are derailing their chance to buy the US presidency. So back to the Fraser Institute […]

To address health inequalities, look beyond the role of individual responsibility

A new report by the Canadian Medical Association provides a timely reminder that money buys better health, even in a country with a universal public healthcare system. A poll commissioned by the CMA found a large and increasing gap between the health status of?? Canadians in lower income groups (household income less than $30,000) and […]

Freedom from government services day

Well well, another misinformed tax freedom day has come and gone on June 12th.?? To mark the occasion this year I wanted to skip over the very serious??methodological flaws??that others have pointed out, and take a look at several other items that Canadians are “free of” at various points.?? By gaining a€?freedoma€? from the taxes […]

Poverty in Yukon

Last week I was in Whitehorse where I released a peer-reviewed policy report on poverty in Yukon. The report was part of the much larger Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada project. Report findings include the following: -Ignoring poverty can be quite costly, as has been clearly demonstrated by research on the ‘costs of […]

Meilinomics II: Income from Within

The following is another excerpt from Dr. Ryan Meilia€?s new book, A Healthy Society: How a Focus on Health Can Revive Canadian Democracy, which fellow blogger Greg Fingas has been discussing. The road to Tevele is red sand and sloppy in the rainy season. The pick- up truck bounces in and out of ruts as […]

Meilinomics I: The Little Boats

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Ryan Meilia€?s new book, A Healthy Society: How a Focus on Health Can Revive Canadian Democracy. Therea€?s a family that comes frequently to the West Side Clinic; wea€?ll call them Lucas and Annie. Hardly a week goes by that I dona€?t see them in for a medical visit […]

Wall Strikes Out on Fiscal Federalism

Saskatchewana€?s Brad Wall recently issued a statement exhorting his fellow Premiers to blaze largely unspecified new trails on healthcare, Employment Insurance and Equalization. Unfortunately, he misses the ball on all three issues. Greg Fingas and Verda Petry have already refuted Walla€?s call for further healthcare privatization. On Employment Insurance, Wall implies that eastern Canadians are […]

A prescription for health care reform: think integration & collaboration

This morning the CCPA released a new report (co-authored by yours truly) that looks at the thorny issue of health care reform in BC (and Canada) and identifies some practical, evidence-based strategies that have been successful in improving quality of care and controlling costs in other jurisdictions. The papers comes out at a time when […]

Impact of Increased Health Privatization on PSE

An article in yesterday’s Village Voice looks at the rising costs of post-secondary education (PSE)??in the United States.??It points to research suggesting that the “biggest single factor” contributing to the rising cost of PSE for both private and public institutions is the cost of employee health benefits. I would infer from the above that, insofar […]

Is Money Enough? The Meaning of 6% and Flaherty’s Health “Plan”

As Christmas presents go, this one was a shocker:?? Over lunch on Monday, cash-strapped Finance Minister Jim Flaherty promised provincial and territorial finance ministers he’d increase federal funding for health care by six per cent each year for the next five years. ??No strings attached. No negotiations.?? A done deal.?? With a catch. The provinces […]

Conservative Health Transfers

During the federal election, I noted in a Toronto Star op-ed that the federal Conservative platform entails significant fiscal costs for provincial governments. I accepted the Conservativesa€? promise to continue the 6% escalator for the Canada Health Transfer, but worried that they might cut other transfers of similar value. Today, the Finance Minister unveiled plans […]

The Economic Impacts of Breast Cancer

A research paper published by the Canadian Breast Cancer Network underlines that the economic costs of cancer are huge due to a lack of supportive public and workplace?? policies. As they say ” we may think of breast cancer as a health condition, but it is also an economic condition.” Based on surveys of former […]

The Sask Partya€?s 0.1% Health Plan

The banner headline, in block capitals, on the front page of yesterdaya€?s Regina Leader-Post was a€?SASK. PARTY HAS FIVE-POINT HEALTH PLAN.a€? Thata€?s accurate reporting, as far as it goes. The Saskatchewan Party did announce a healthcare plan featuring five points. It would have been similarly accurate to report that this announcement was accompanied by a […]

Sask Party Healthcare Math

Yesterday, the Saskatchewan Party claimed that the provincial NDPa€?s plan for 30 additional primary healthcare clinics would cost $840 million. It has since removed this goofy press release from its website, but herea€?s a screenshot. The Sask Party multiplied the Saskatoon Community Clinica€?s $7-million annual provincial cost by 30, and then multiplied that total by […]

Student Debt Rising Amongst New Physicians

Newly-released data??indicate that student debt is rising??amongst??new physicians in Canada. In 2010, 23 percent of medical residents??reported having??more than??$120,000 in education-related debt upon completion of their residency training (as compared with just??17 percent in 2007). (Note: across Canada, average tuition fees for medical students amount to just over $10,000 a year.) This appears to have […]

The Ontario NDP Platform

Pollsters tell us that Ontario’s New Democrats??may double their seat total in next month’s provincial election. It’s also entirely conceivable that they could??be part of a coalition government at Queen’s Park.??But what’s actually in the party’s??election platform? One central feature of the NDP’s??proposals is to implement a??tax credit??for companies that hire new workers. The tax […]

McGuinty Proposes Undergraduate Tuition Grant

An Ontario election??is??slated for October 6, and the reigning Liberal Party will attempt to pull off a third consecutive majority government. In that vein, the Liberals have recently made a slew of campaign promises in the post-secondary education (PSE) sector. Notably, they’ve committed to reducing undergraduate tuition for “middle-class Ontario families” by 30 percent, amounting […]

The Double Whammy of Defunding Universities

As I’ve blogged about here, federal funding for??post-secondary education (PSE) in Canada??is decreasing.?? Between 1985-1986 and 2007-2008, annual federal cash transfers to Ontario for PSE (in constant 2007 dollars) decreased from roughly $1.4 billion to??just under $1 billion.??(Yet,??during that same period, PSE enrolment in Ontario increased by more than 60 percent). And as I’ve??written about […]