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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 'Ontario'

Ontario Electricity Sector V – What they knew, and when they knew it…

Last month I published a full-length article in the “The Monitor” magazine providing a “how we got here” analysis of the Ontario electricity sector and some options for the next Government.? Since then, two things have changed: first on May 31 two investigative journalists, Carolyn Jarvis and Brian Hill, wrote an excellent story for Global […]

Ford Plan for Ontario – Potential Employment Impacts

Ontario Conservative leader Doug Ford finally released a partially costed version of his election promises in his Plan for Ontario in the last week before the election. This includes approximately $7.6 billion in tax cuts and revenue reductions and a net $500 million reduction in annual spending.[I] At the same time, Ford has also promised […]

Ontario Election: Inequality Impacts of Fiscal Plans

In the context of Ontario’s upcoming June 7 election, I just finalized an article on the CCPA’s “Behind the Numbers” blog, exploring the fiscal plans of the three major political parties from a historical and comparative context. I concluded that while the Ontario election offers voters three distinct fiscal visions, it is also true that […]

NDP Math Error will Help the Party, Not Hurt It

The number-cruncher in me cringed in sympathy for the anonymous research nerds who made the now-famous math error in the Ontario NDP’s fiscal platform. They wrongly added a $700 million contingency reserve?to net revenue, instead of to expenses.? The result is an underestimation of the?planned deficit (if we include that reserve – more on that […]

Ontario’s Electricity Sector IV: Pre-Election Update

My first, second and third posts on the Ontario electricity sector described how policy and administrative decisions by different Liberal Governments gave rise to excess electricity generation with an inflated cost structure, leading to higher electricity prices. In anticipation of June 2018 elections, the Liberal Government recently implemented a costly and first-in-Canada financial scheme to […]

Why Toronto needs a national housing strategy

Dr. Colin Phillips is an up-and-coming scholar in Canada’s homelessness sector. He has an opinion piece in today’s Toronto Star titled “Why Toronto needs a national housing strategy.” Points made in the opinion piece include the following: -The City of Toronto has worked hard to develop good practices on the ground to address homelessness. -But, […]

Housing Affordability and Inequality: Low-Income Renters in Ontario

I dedicate this post to the memory of Bonnie Briggs, who died earlier this month, in honour of her lifelong and tireless work on housing and homeless issues in Toronto. In this first of a series of housing-related posts I analyze rental housing expenditures for low-income households in Ontario. Rent is the single largest expenditure […]

The Ontario Chamber’s economic impact analysis of Bill 148 still doesn’t make sense

On Monday, the Keep Ontario Working coalition spearheaded by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released?an analysis of the impacts of Bill 148 in Ontario, which will introduce a $15 minimum wage by 2019 and a host of other employment standards improvements. The analysis raised many red flags: it focused only on costs, predicting very large […]

Economists support $15 minimum wage in Ontario

We, the undersigned economists, support the decision to increase the minimum wage in Ontario to $15 an hour. Raising the wage floor makes good economic sense. Today, Ontario’s minimum wage is $11.40 per hour. Adjusted for inflation, this is barely one dollar higher than its value in 1977. Yet over the same four decades, the […]

Ontario’s Electricity Sector III: Legislative & Finance Update

My January and April posts on the Ontario electricity sector described how decisions by different Ontario governments gave rise to excess electricity generation with an inflated cost structure, leading to higher electricity prices. Here I discuss the latest development, the Liberal Government of Ontario’s proposed financial framework for its “Fair Hydro Plan” (FHP). In election […]

Ten things to know about social assistance in Canada

I’ve just written a blog post about social assistance in Canada. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Social assistance has two contradictory objectives: 1) to give people enough money to live on; and 2) to not give people enough money to live on. -Very few immigrants receive social assistance (relative to the […]

Ontario’s Electricity Sector II: Political Economy Update

This is a third guest post by Edgardo Sepulveda, who is a Toronto-based expert in telecommunications and regulatory economics. ?Twitter: @E_R_Sepulveda   By Edgardo Sepulveda In my previous post of January 29 I described how decisions by different Ontario governments gave rise to excess electricity generation with an inflated cost structure, leading to higher electricity […]

The Alternative Federal Budget 2017

This year’s Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) was released on March 9. I was proud to be the primary author of its housing chapter (that chapter is available in English here and in French here). The first AFB exercise began in 1994, with the first AFB being published in 1995. That involved a joint effort between […]

Ontario’s Electricity Sector: Privatization and deregulation

We’re pleased to present this very topical post by Edgardo Sepulveda examining what has caused Ontario’s rising high electricity prices. This is Edgardo’s second guest post as a PEF member, following his, first, which was an analysis of the impact of fiscal policy changes on post-tax income distribution.? Edgardo has been an international?consulting economist and […]

Do Calgary and Edmonton need more power and resources?

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Do Calgary and Edmonton need more power and resources?” The blog post comes as the Government of Alberta considers the possibility of, well, giving more power and sources to both Calgary and Edmonton. Points raised in the blog post […]

Guaranteed Annual Income

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Ten things to know about Canada’s guaranteed annual income debate.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -There are people and groups on both the left and right of the political spectrum who favour a Guaranteed Annual […]

Litinerance au Canada: Sa croissance, les reponses politiques, et le plaidoyer

Le 1er f??vrier, ja€?ai fait une conf??rence sur l’itin??rance adress??e aux ??tudiants du s??minaire d’??tudes sup??rieures de monsieur Steve Pomeroy ?? la School of Public Policy and Administration ?? l’Universit?? Carleton. Le th?¨me de ma pr??sentation a ??t?? l’??mergence de l’itin??rance au Canada en tant que domaine politique publique pressant dans les ann??es 1980. Ja€?ai […]

Homelessness in Canada: Its Growth, Policy Responses, and Advocacy

On February 1, I gave a guest presentation on homelessness to a graduate seminar class on housing policy taught by Steve Pomeroy at Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration. The focus of my presentation was the emergence of homelessness in Canada as a pressing public policy area in the 1980s. I discussed the […]

Dix choses ?? savoir sur les d??fis associ??s avec mettre fin ?? l’itin??rance au Canada

Le 18 novembre, ja€?ai fait une pr??sentation sur les d??fis en ce qui concerne ?? mettre fin ?? l’itin??rance ?? au Canada au 7 Cities Leadership Summit ?? Edmonton. Ma pr??sentation, illustr??e de diapositives, peut ?atre t??l??charg??e ici. Voici dix choses ?? savoir en tant que d??fis concernant???? mettre fin ?? la€?itin??rance ?? au Canada. […]

Ten Things to Know About the Challenges of Ending Homelessness in Canada

On November 18, I gave a presentation on “ending homelessness”? at the 7 Cities Leadership Summit in Edmonton. My PowerPoint slides can be downloaded here. Here are ten things to know about “ending homelessness” in Canada: 1. In 2008, Calgary became the first Canadian municipality to publicly commit to “ending homelessness.”? More than a dozen […]

Ten Things to Know About Homelessness in Canada

This afternoon I gave a presentation at Raising the Roofa€?s Child & Family Homelessness Stakeholder Summit in Toronto. My slide deck can be downloaded here. To accompany the presentation, Ia€?ve prepared the following list of a€?Ten Things to Know About Homelessness in Canada.a€? 1.Efforts to enumerate persons experiencing homeless have generally been spotty, but it […]

The Ontario Auditor’s damning report on P3s

The Ontario Auditor General’s 2014 Report includes a chapter on Infrastructure Ontario’s P3 program that is particularly damning–and corresponds with many of the criticisms made on this blog and elsewhere by myself and others. While the headlines were that P3 projects cost the province an additional $8 billion than if they were procured traditionally, the […]

Short Circuited: Assessing Hudaka€?s Energy Policy

The following is a guest post by Brendan Haley: Jim Stanford and I have written an assessment of the Ontario PCa€?s energy policy for Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives entitled Short Circuited. In particular, we look into the idea that cancelling renewable energy policies will lead to job creation. Here are some highlights: More Data […]

Benjamin Zycher’s Eight-Year Itch

The controversy regarding the mathematical errors in the Ontario PCsa€? a€?million jobs plana€? went viral last week, after a critical mass of economists weighed in to confirm that the party had indeed badly misinterpreted the findings (by as much as 8 times over) of their own consultantsa€? studies.?? This sparked a firestorm of media coverage, […]

More on Conference Board Model of Corporate Tax Cuts

Further to my post yesterday about how the Ontario PCs have vastly overstated their own consultants’ estimates of the??number of jobs produced by their various policy proposals (including lower corporate taxes, lower electricity prices, interprovincial free trade, and regulatory reduction), some have asked me about precisesly how the Conference Board report simulated the corporate tax […]

Major Numerical Problems in Tim Hudak’s Jobs Plan

When Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak kicked off the current election campaign with a plan to “create a million new jobs” in Ontario, he tried to dress up the??platform launch with a certain scientific respectability.?? The party released a “technical backgrounder” showing the precise composition of the million new jobs, along with two commissioned consultants’ […]

Hudak job cuts impact on communities

Today the Ontario Federation of Labour and CUPE Ontario published calculations I prepared??of how Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak’s??promise to eliminate??100,000 public sector jobs will be felt at the local level, on cities and communities across the province. The original??OFL release provides info on the magnitude of these impacts for the 15 largest census metropolitan […]

Huge Jump in Ontario EI Claims

Statistics Canada reported today that the number of Canadians filing Employment Insurance (EI) claims rose by 10,350 or 4.5 per cent in March, the largest monthly increase since the start of 2013. This national increase was driven by a jump of 9,480 or 12.9 per cent in Ontario, the largest monthly increase in the province […]

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: