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National child-care plan would accelerate post-COVID recovery

Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

… while most of the initiative and fiscal support for national ELCC is coming from Ottawa, provincial governments would benefit enormously from the new system. Provincial GDP would grow, tens of thousands of jobs would be created, and provincial revenues would grow by $8-14 billion per year… In the wake of COVID-19, Canada needs the economic benefits of high-quality, universal ELCC more urgently than ever. Investing in a national plan is an economic “no-brainer” that will pay for itself.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | No Comments »


A national child-care program would be a boon to Canada’s post-COVID recovery — none more so than Ontario’s

Saturday, November 28th, 2020

Ontario’s failure to build a 21st-century child-care system is holding back provincial economic recovery. Its patchwork arrangement of overstretched group care, tax-subsidized nannies and sky-high fees squanders tens of billions of dollars of GDP, income and tax revenue. Ontario, and other lagging provinces, have a golden opportunity to fix this problem — and in so doing accelerate Canada’s reconstruction after COVID-19.

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There’s no shortage of labour. Employers just need to improve their offer

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

Employers’ complaints of “labour shortages” are not credible; and a more universal approach to income protection (as partly reflected in the CERB) should be maintained. Ultimately, we must find a better “incentive to work” than compelling people to accept low wages, uncertain hours, and risk of infection on pain of destitution.

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Some of our most undervalued workers now among our most valuable as pandemic forces rethink of what jobs are critical

Saturday, March 21st, 2020

Millions of so-called “low skill” workers are also indispensable to our well-being, possibly even our survival… They have to keep working: both to earn income (most wouldn’t even qualify for Employment Insurance), and to serve us… Indeed, the precarious insecurity of these supposedly “menial” jobs now poses major risks to the rest of society.

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Employers complain about a ‘skills gap’ in Canada. But employers are part of the problem

Thursday, February 20th, 2020

… It’s time for employers to rediscover the value of investing in their own training programs. Government must play a role, of course, but by prodding employers to do a better job, rather than letting them off the hook entirely… And aggressive training plans should be a core feature of any government-supported industrial programs, technology grants or infrastructure projects.

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Did this historic trade deal help Canada? No

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Oct. 06 2012
Let’s step back from the rhetoric and consider some concrete indicators of our North American trade performance, then and now… Quantity of Exports… Composition of Exports… U.S. Market… Productivity… In short, it’s hard to find any concrete economic evidence whatsoever that this historic deal actually helped Canada… In reality, last week’s back-patting was all about partisan politics, not economics.

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Policy, not cutting labour costs, is the key to preserving our auto industry

Monday, August 27th, 2012

20 August 2012
Direct hourly labour costs are less than 5 per cent of the total cost of designing, engineering, manufacturing, transporting and selling a new vehicle. Yet they capture 99 per cent of the attention. If the analysts are serious about preserving and building this industry for the long term, they’d better… start to imagine an all-round industrial policy framework – like those in other successful jurisdictions – that offers a more promising economic recipe.

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Fiscal “Crisis” In Context: Two Indicators

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

July 12th, 2012
… choosing today to slash spending on useful public programs very much reflects a political choice, not a fiscal necessity. In the long run, we can and should pay for the public services we need by putting Canadians back to work. In the meantime, there is clearly ample capacity for governments to continue to carry the cost of these programs… it is counter-productive to impose austerity in the public sector on top of the other painful economic challenges we are facing.

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Posted in Equality Debates, Policy Context | 1 Comment »


The troubling truth about free trade

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

May. 21, 2012
If the goal is truly boosting trade (as opposed to enshrining business-friendly economic rules or propping up authoritarian governments in Latin America), then this government is failing miserably. Canada’s export failure cannot be blamed on foreign trade barriers. Instead, we must look in the mirror – at the structural inadequacy of our business sector. Canada has chronically failed to nurture and develop domestically based globally active firms that produce innovative, high-value products for world markets.

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What is Dutch Disease, and How To Cure It

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

April 16, 2012
We need more industries that add value to our resources (rather than exporting them in raw form); that generate more high‑income, high‑quality jobs; that embody technology and innovation; and that contribute to greater suc‑cess in world markets. These policies, and the fiscal tools that could fund them, formed part of the 2012 Alternative Federal Budget (published in March by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives).

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