Recycling is supposed to be a good thing, so when the federal Liberals quietly announced that “asset recycling” would be part of their strategy for meeting their much-ballyhooed infrastructure promises, not many eyebrows were raised. They should have been. Asset recycling is an obscure code word for selling our public goods for private profit. It’s […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: How not to fund infrastructure
A five-year $50-billion public infrastructure spending initiative would generate a return on investment to Canadians over the long term as high as $3.83 per dollar spent, trigger significant private sector investment and stimulate wage increases, according to a new study by an independent economic modelling firm.
The Economic Benefits of Public Infrastructure Spending in Canada, . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: New Study on Positive Economic Impacts of Public Infrastructure Investment in Canada
As usual, the monthly Labour Force Survey numbers headline seems to tell a different story than the underlying numbers. According to the LFS, Canada added 35,000 jobs in January. A statistically significant number of jobs, hurray!
But wait. Those were all part time jobs. We lost 10,000 full time jobs, and added 47,000 part-time jobs.
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: January Job Gain Part-time, Self-employment
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 . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Ontario Auditor’s damning report on P3s
Much has been made about Stephen Poloz’s decision to abandon ‘forward guidance’ in Bank of Canada rate setting announcements for the time being. Critics bemoan the loss of direction from the Bank. But Poloz’s comments yesterday were chock full of guidance on how the Bank sees Canada’s economic situation.
Having been disappointed by the failure . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Bank of Canada, Exports, and LMI
Here is the link to a piece I wrote for the Globe re a new eBook on secular stagnation. I am struck by the fact that several eminently mainstream economists mainly in the US see a need for public investment to drive growth, a view which we do not often hear in Canada from mainstream . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: More on Secular Stagnation
TweetTomorrow, voters in four federal ridings across Canada, including Alberta’s Fort McMurray-Athabasca and Macleod, have an opportunity to choose their next Member of Parliament. Paying close attention to a by-election campaign may not be the most thrilling activity to occupy your time during the summer months, but it is an important one. Voters in southern . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: A Liberal win in Fort McMurray-Athasbasca would send shockwaves to Ottawa
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 . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Flaherty’s Legacy: Ideological, reckless and just plain lucky
This piece was first published in the Globe & Mail.
In a move that caught everyone off-guard, Canada Post announced a five point “action plan” last week that included phasing-out home delivery of the mail over the next five years, making Canada the only G7 nation to do so. Why? To “protect taxpayers.”
Of all . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada Post’s vow to ‘protect taxpayers’ needs a reality check
The City of Regina is engaged in a controversial debate about a proposed public private partnership (P3) for the city’s wastewater plant.
Residents formed a Regina Water Watch group to keep the facility public. They collected enough names to take the issue to a municipal referendum on September 25th, despite attempts by the city to . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: What’s the real risk and cost for Regina’s wastewater P3?
On Tuesday, Statistics Canada reported that job vacancies have fallen to the lowest level recorded since it began collecting these figures two years ago.
On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada projected growth of just 1.5% for this year.
On Thursday, Statistics Canada reported that the number of Canadians receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits edged down . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: A Weak Week for Canada’s Economy
BREAKING NEWS: Women are paid less than men across OECD countries.
OK, it’s not breaking news. Not even close. In Canada the ‘Female to Male earnings ratio’ has hovered around the 70% mark for the past 20 years. And for women with university degrees, the ratio peaked in the early 1990′s, and has been below . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Gender Wage Gap hurts Economic Growth
The following comes from a short talk on a vision for a zero-carbon BC that I gave at a couple events this Fall. Many have asked for the text so I’ve posted it here, and we may try and turn it into a video. That said, I have been reluctant to do so up to . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Marc’s Letter from 2040
The annual Employment Insurance Coverage Survey is out, here. The rate of eligibility for regular benefits from Employment Insurance is the lowest since 2003, the earliest year that there is comparable data.
To qualify, a person must have worked in the past 12 months and contributed to Employment Insurance, they must have left their job . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Fewer Unemployed Eligible for Benefits
This September, like every year, a new group of high school graduates headed to college or university to pursue higher education. But today’s generation of students is in for a very different experience from the ones their parents had.
On campuses across the country shiny new buildings are popping up, bearing corporate logos or the . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Time to Rethink The Way We Fund Higher Education
Statistics Canada reported today that, for a third consecutive month, consumer prices declined and the inflation rate fell below 2%. In July, the inflation rate was 1.3% and the Bank of Canada’s core rate was 1.7%.
Gasoline and natural gas prices, which have been lower this summer than last, dragged down the overall Consumer Price . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Prices Decline Yet Again
At yesterday’s Saskatchewan Roughrider game, Premier Wall announced provincial funding for a new stadium: an $80-million grant and a $100-million loan to be repaid over time through a surcharge on tickets. While it’s unclear why a stadium should be anywhere near the top of the priority list, a readiness to invest in public infrastructure is . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Investing in the Green & White – Why Not in Green Power?
Today we released a new Climate Justice Project report, Clean Electricity, Conservation and Climate Justice in BC: Meeting our energy needs in a zero-carbon future, co-authored by John Calvert and myself. The report is central to the vision we have been developing of a zero-carbon BC, with a focus on the need to transition off . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Clean electricity, conservation and a zero-carbon future
Today the CCPA released a new big picture report by myself and student researcher Amanda Card calling for a Green Industrial Revolution. The report builds on work done for the BC-focused Climate Justice Project, bringing to bear a national analysis of green and not-so-green jobs. We take a close look at GHG emissions and employment . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: A Green Industrial Revolution
Today’s record low interest rates on long term Canadian government bonds present a fantastic opportunity to save money by borrowing more.
Back last December I wrote a post pointing out that the federal government could and should be much more aggressive in locking in low interest rates by shifting new borrowing to long term bonds . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Record Low Interest Rates Mean Governments Can Save By Borrowing More
Canadian Press writes, “Mr. Mulcair’s analysis of what ails Canada’s economy is contradicted by a new independent study produced by the Institute for Research on Public Policy.” Really?
What does the study conclude? As quoted by Canadian Press, “On balance, the evidence indicates that Canada suffers from a mild case of the Dutch disease, which . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: IRPP: No Denial of Dutch Disease
Thankfully the federal budget has started to fill in some of the details of its latest round of cuts. In particular, it now estimates 19,200 positions lost due to its latest round of cuts (Federal Budget 2012, pg 221). Although it is nice to have an initial estimate, this hardly show the full picture as . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Federal Job Cuts…the Real Numbers