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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
  • CCPA's National Office has moved! May 11, 2018
    ? The week of May 1st, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' National Office moved to 141 Laurier Ave W, Suite 1000, Ottawa ON, K1P 5J2. Please note that our phone, fax and general e-mail will remain the same: Telephone: 613-563-1341 | Fax: 613-233-1458 | Email:?ccpa@policyalternatives.ca ?
    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
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Archive for 'OECD'

Inequality-redistribution in Canada update

Two years ago I posted my first guest blog focused on income inequality, specifically how changes in Canada’s redistribution over the last three decades have increased after-tax income inequality, and how these changes compared to OECD trends. The figures and analysis in this post update the earlier blog, based on the most recent OECD data […]

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 tale book-ended by two Trudeaus: Canada’s foreign aid since 1970

Soon after the 2015 federal election, Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau affirmed that Canada was back as a “compassionate and constructive voice in the world” after a decade of Conservative governments. One of the most important means by which any industrialized country interacts with the developing world is via the amount, composition and effectiveness of its […]

The Federal Role in Poverty Reduction

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’m co-author of a blog post titled “The Federal Role in Poverty Reduction.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development has been tasked to lead the development of a Canada Poverty Reduction Strategy. -Total public […]

Ten things to know about the CPP debate

This fall, Canada’s Parliament will debate a proposal to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).? And over at the Behind the Numbers web site, I’m co-author of a blog post titled “Ten things to know about the CPP debate.” The blog post’s other co-authors are Allan Moscovitch and Richard Lochead. Points raised in the blog […]

Flaherty’s Legacy: Ideological, reckless and just plain lucky

This piece was originally published at the Globe and Mail’s online Report on Business feature, EconomyLab. ?? There are two reasons why it is difficult to comment on the legacy of a finance minister. 1) It is a tremendously challenging job, anywhere, any time. Stewarding one of the largest economies in the world through a […]

Broadening the Bank of Canadaa€?s Mandate

Yesterday, Mike Moffatt took to The Globe and Maila€?s a€?Economy Laba€? in response to my suggestion that the Bank of Canada should moderate the exchange rate. (Perhaps his motive for encouraging me to seek the Saskatchewan NDP leadership was to get me as far as possible from the levers of monetary policy.) ?? My rebuttal […]

Labour Losing to Capital

The just-released OECD Employment Outlook – full text not available on line – has an interesting chapter on the sharp decline of labour’s share of national income in virtually all OECD countries over the past 30 years, and especially the last twenty years. The median labour share in the OECD fell from 66.1% in the […]

Randy Hobacka€?s Pulp Fiction

Last week, Conservative MP Randy Hoback had another letter in The Prince Albert Daily Herald blaming the NDP for the pulp-mill closure in 2006. He still has not addressed my main point about resource royalties. I have the following response on page 4 of todaya€?s Herald: Pulp mill saga proves Mulcaira€?s point Notwithstanding MP Randy […]

More on the OECD and Dutch Disease

Further to my earlier post on the OECD and “Dutch Disease”, I have received a heavily redacted response to an access to information request (A-2012-00073/CN.)?? submitted to the Department of Finance, seeking any comments on the draft assessment and recommendations of the OECD delegation to Canada in 2012. This arrives just as Conservative ads attack […]

CPI Deflates Case for Rate Hike

Todaya€?s report that the national inflation rate fell to 1.2% in May deflates calls for higher interest rates to reduce inflation. The central banka€?s core rate was 1.8%, also below the 2% target. The other argument for an interest-rate hike was to moderate mortgage lending and the housing market. However, the federal governmenta€?s move to […]

OECD Agrees We Suffer From Dutch Disease

OECD economist Peter Jarrett – lead on the just released Economic Survey of Canada – agrees with the Mulcair diagnosis. Enjoy and share:

Inflation On Target; Exchange Rate Off Target

Today, Statistics Canada reported an annual inflation rate of 2%, precisely in line with the Bank of Canadaa€?s target. With inflation under control and renewed risks to the global economy, there is little rationale for the central bank to raise interest rates anytime soon. In fact, the Bank of Canada should now be more concerned […]

Deflating the Monetary Hawks

Canadaa€?s business press has recently been filled with speculation that the Bank of Canada may soon hike interest rates based on its somewhat more optimistic economic outlook. But todaya€?s Consumer Price Index report indicates that there is no need to raise interest rates. Statistics Canada reported that both headline and core inflation fell to 1.9% […]

The Looniea€?s Stagnant Purchasing Power

The following note also appears on Business Insider. I owe Paul Tulloch a hat tip for reminding me of these issues in a good comment on my last post. When Ontarioa€?s Premier recently complained that Canadaa€?s petro-dollar undermines manufacturing exports, many economists tripped over each other to counter that a strong loonie benefits all Canadians […]

Deregulation: A Bad Idea Crosses the Atlantic

The Harper government announced today that federal a€?regulators will be required to remove at least one regulation each time they introduce a new one that imposes administrative burden on business.a€? At the risk of imposing a proofreading burden on communications staff, that sentence is missing the word a€?an.a€? I first heard this idea at a […]

Mind the OECD Credibility Gap

Further to Toby’s post, the OECD report on inequality is well worth a careful read. It bolsters, through careful empirical and cross country analysis, two key arguments long advanced by the labour movement and progressive economists: -?? key trends in the labour market – widening wage disparity between top earners and the rest, and the […]

OECD on Inequality

Following concern expressed by the IMF, the Conference Board and of course thousands of protesters around the world, the OECD has just released an extensive 400 page report on the problem of growing inequality: Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps on Rising. I haven’t read through it yet, and it also has quite a lot […]

Apocalypse Soon?

The OECD’s new assessment of the macro-economic situation makes for pretty grim reading. And their forecast of very sluggish global growth (just 1.6% for the OECD area in 2012) is based on an increasingly incredible view that the Eurozone will “muddle through”and experience only a mild recession. They do not seem to have convinced even […]

McGuintya€?s Graph Misleads on Corporate Taxes

Further to Jima€?s excellent critique of the Ontario Conservative platforma€?s graphs, I am similarly struck by the Liberal platforma€?s lone graph. a€?Cutting Ontarioa€?s Taxes on New Business Investment in Halfa€? (page 25) purports to show that corporate tax cuts are required to get the provincea€?s a€?Marginal Effective Tax Ratea€? below the US and OECD averages. […]

Use University Research to Increase Manufacturing Jobs

Manufacturing jobs have been declinining as a percentage of total jobs in most OECD countries for several decades, with Ontario being especially hard-hit as a jurisdiction. At the end of the Second World War, manufacturing jobs accounted for 26% of all Canadian jobs; by 2007, this figure had dropped to just 12%. And as I’ve […]

Canada Doesn’t Deserve the Silver

It has been widely reported in the Globe and elsewhere that Canada ranks #2 in the just-released OECD Better Life Index, outstripped only by Australia. I am all for measures of objective and subjective social well-being that go beyond GDP as a measure of progress, and this OECD report offers up some useful information. But […]

Mintz: Wrong Again on Corporate Taxes

Ten days ago, Jack Mintz released yet another paper claiming that international competitiveness requires continued corporate tax cuts. In addition to the usual questionable interpretations, it featured at least one straight factual error. Mintz inaccurately reports Icelanda€?s 2010 statutory corporate tax rate as 15% (Table 2 on page 7 and Table 3 on page 9 […]

OECD Corporate Tax Rates: Does Size Matter?

Advocates of corporate tax cuts like comparing Canada to an unweighted average of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development members. Since the OECD keeps admitting more microscopic economies with very low corporate tax rates, this average keeps falling regardless of whether any country actually lowers its rate. Last yeara€?s admission of Estonia, Israel and Slovenia […]

Mintz Misleads on Corporate Taxes

Jack Mintz is out today with yet another paper applauding the federal corporate tax cut from 18% in 2010 to 15% in 2012. Revenue Fudge He claims that the revenue loss will be a€?relatively smalla€? or a€?relatively insignificanta€? without actually suggesting a dollar amount (pages 3 and 20). By comparison, the Department of Finance (see […]

Taxing Multinational Corporations

Earlier this month, I attended a very interesting conference on the taxation of multinational corporations. It included a case study of how SABMiller avoids paying tax in Africa. While many of the points presented are undoubtedly familiar to this bloga€?s readers, the conference put it all together with a clarity that I attempt to reproduce […]

Taxes and Economic Growth

The term a€?Austrian economistsa€? usually refers to the likes of Hayek, Menger and von Mises. But I recently met some rather different economists from the Austrian Chamber of Labour. Austrian law requires that union members pay dues to the Chamber of Labour, so it is very well-funded for a progressive think tank. Similarly, all Austrian […]

The OECD Attack on Medicare

The OECD Economic Survey of Canada (unfortunately only a summary is available on line) was released this week, and its call to impose user fees or deductibles on services covered by Medicare (ie physician and hospital care) received quite a lot of media coverage.?? I saw OECD economist Peter Jarrett doing at least two TV […]

Dangerous delusions about corporate income tax cuts

For years we have been asking Stephen Gordon to provide the evidence for lower corporate taxes. Like Stephen I like the Nordic model and take away from it that tax mix matters, so funding a large public sector may require more than taxes on a€?people we do not knowa€? (ie corporations and the rich), so […]

Do OECD Economists Read OECD Data?

I had the opportunity to meet late last week with the OECD Policy Mission to Canada – the folks who write the country reviews. These meetings are usually interesting and useful, though I find the OECD Economics Department to be ultra neo liberal in their orientation. Even so, I was a bit taken aback to […]