• No evidence that ‘Canada works’ in new internal free trade deal

    Not only are whole sectors walled off for future negotiations (financial services, alcohol) or simply excluded (supply management) but more than half of the 329-page agreement… is taken up listing all the other exceptions insisted upon by one government or another. Even the chapters devoted to freeing trade are riddled with limitations, caveats and exemptions…

  • Free trade within Canada gets a boost from new deal

    Critics have long complained Canada has better free trade deals with other countries than within its own borders… The centerpiece… is a framework that will help provinces and territories agree on joint regulations and harmonization of standards. “That’s going to help make Canada one of the easiest places in the world in which to do business. It’s going to make us more competitive. It’s going to create jobs,”

  • Trump’s ‘leaked’ NAFTA letter is a gift to Canada

    Ironically, half the things the United States is demanding of Canada and Mexico (e.g. access to local government procurement, meeting international labour standards) would be on Canada’s list, too. “Transparency, efficiency and predictability,” “fair, equitable non-discriminatory access,” “eliminate artificial or trade-distorting barriers to investment.”… trade negotiations do not take place in a vacuum… Does the United States want a failed state on its southern border? Does the United States need Canada’s support here or there on the world stage for a secure and prosperous North America?

  • Don’t blame foreign workers when the problem is locals who prefer EI over working

    … between December 2015 and September 2016… 67,440 temporary foreign workers were granted access to Canada to work in areas where unemployed Canadians with relevant prior work experience lived close by. That isn’t how the system is supposed to work. The temporary foreign worker program is meant to be a last resort for employers; the EI program is intended to be a safety net, not a permanent crutch.

  • What if Sociologists Had as Much Influence as Economists?

    … a wide body of sociological research shows how tied up work is with a sense of purpose and identity… Sociology also offers important lessons about poverty that economics alone does not… It’s relatively clear how a change in tax policy or an adjustment to interest rates can make the economy grow faster or slower. It’s less obvious what, if anything, government can do to change forces that are driven by the human psyche.

  • Canada’s approach to board diversity needs a rethink

    Women made up 12 per cent of all board seats examined in the study, up 1 percentage point from 11 per cent in 2015… The dissatisfaction with the current regulatory regime highlights the need to consider mandatory quotas… the CSA found that only 9 per cent of companies have internal targets for women on their boards, with a mere 2 per cent having targets for women in executive positions.

  • Liberals pledge $5-billion for training, employment in 2017 federal budget

    Under the federal budget, unemployed people who want to use government-funded training programs will not have to give up their EI benefits. New loans and grants for adult students are designed to help a wider range of people, such as parents who want to return to the workforce and those who are victims of shrinking industries… women will be able to claim EI maternity benefits earlier in their pregnancy, starting at 12 weeks before the due date.

  • Federal budget to show how infrastructure bank can attract, free up investment

    A new infrastructure bank could free up billions in new money for social services Canadians regularly use, internal government documents say — provided the experimental new institution meets its lofty financing goals… Funding for social infrastructure projects, which tend to be less attractive to private investors, could increase by one-third if the bank meets its target of leveraging $4 in private investment for every $1 from the federal government

  • Canada’s 150th year could be as pivotal as 1867 and 1967

    Canada confronts five big economic challenges: · to live within its means; · to achieve stronger productivity improvement; · to expand the globally competitive supply side of its economy; · to make itself more competitive globally in terms of risk/reward opportunity for the best people; and · to do something bold… to help better match greater private-sector strength with better public-sector infrastructure… to build solid and desirable personal lives in a country that combines dynamism with calm and common sense.

  • Public spending should rise because it needs to, not just because it can

    … fully two-thirds of federal program spending — is on transfers: to individuals, to businesses and other groups, and to other levels of government. Much of these, too, are spent on purchasing goods and services from the private sector… for the most part there’s no reason why this spending needs to expand faster than inflation plus population growth.