Archive for the ‘Policy Context’ Category

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Forget a guaranteed basic income. There’s a better way to make sure Canadians have enough money after COVID-19

Saturday, September 19th, 2020

We already have many well-entrenched programs serving many parts of the population quite well… To replace many of them with a single cheque would not only be legally difficult, but would also give the federal government a blunt instrument to deal with the complex and ever-changing problems of poverty, low income and inequality… It’s become painfully obvious that ensuring that there are enough affordable, high-quality child-care spaces is essential for a recovery.

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The ‘supply crisis’ in Canada’s housing market isn’t backed up by the evidence

Sunday, September 13th, 2020

… Common complaints include a lack of new housing, burdensome regulation and flawed zoning… The vested interests behind the narrative are relentless, since there are billions in profit to be had. Why let pesky facts get in the way? … housing affordability will suffer to the extent that policy makers either buy into the misdirection, or use the narrative to deflect public pressure to take substantive action.

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Why do Canada’s wealthiest families get huge tax breaks?

Monday, August 24th, 2020

If you’re a billionaire looking to pass on your fortune tax-free to your kids, Canada is a great place to do it… Canada is the only G7 country that doesn’t have an estate tax… Of course, the absence of an inheritance tax is only one of several avenues that the elite have at their disposal to lighten their tax burden. The capital gains tax is another. And its distributional impact is huge… But change is in the air

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Canadians risk becoming addicted to pandemic aid

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

We have remortgaged the house to get through the pandemic, as we should, but now we must pay for it, otherwise we are creating intergenerational inequity by effectively taxing future generations for today’s crisis. The way to address this particular moral hazard is a clear and credible economic and fiscal plan.

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New income support system must go beyond tinkering with EI

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

… pushing hundreds of thousands of people into poverty would risk stalling the recovery that’s now underway. About half the jobs that were lost in the depths of the lockdown in April have already come back, and we can expect unemployment to keep falling. But if the purchasing power that was pumped into the economy through CERB is suddenly cut off, that could plunge the country into a prolonged recession.

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Five good ideas for income supports in a post-CERB Canada

Friday, July 31st, 2020

… the notion that you can only have… a strong income support system or a thriving economy… is a false dichotomy, and our post-pandemic recovery requires us to move past this narrative… we need to fundamentally ensure that people with lived and living experience of poverty and income insecurity are at the centre of policy-making… Failing to put human rights at the centre of our efforts would be an abdication of our collective responsibility.

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Parents, trapped: Lack of child care could undermine economic recovery and hurt women, but the solution is expensive

Sunday, July 12th, 2020

In normal times, daycare is much like a throttle for the engine of the economy. Increase the supply of spaces, and more women are able to work. Productivity rises, household incomes grow and consumer spending ticks up.
But the coronavirus threatens to throw that dynamic into reverse. A mass exodus of women from the work force would be unprecedented in recent decades… an enormous chunk of economic activity is at risk

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Why Canada exploits temporary foreign workers

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

As long as free trade rules, farmers will be under pressure to pay their workers less than Canadians are willing to accept. That in turn will lead to more temporary foreign workers… the government is being urged to provide such workers with a path to citizenship that would give them the same rights (and presumably the same wages) as other Canadians… But who then will pick the asparagus?

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Here’s one simple — and relatively cheap — thing Ottawa needs to do to kick-start our economic recovery

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

Business closures have pounded women across the country, hitting service-oriented sectors that tend to be female-dominated harder than others. Parents who were able to arrange to work from home quickly realized that caring for young children at the same time is unsustainable… “There’s no way our economy can reopen, reboot and recover if 40 per cent of its labour market cannot engage the way it did before”

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Unpaid sick days are what ails Doug Ford’s recovery plan

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

It makes no sense to expect the working poor to become poorer if they come down with COVID-19. Nor is it fair to demand they sacrifice their individual wages, in poor health, so as to benefit society’s collective health… By penalizing sick workers, we will only make more people sick. The premier is right to preach that workers should stay home when unwell. But he should put his money where his morality is, rather than demand that those who can least afford it bear the burden

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