Babel-on-the-Bay: Alberta commits to pollute.

It is hard to think of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley as an oil baron but she must be at least an honorary member of the Petroleum Club. Her government has committed to shipping 50,000 barrels a day of what must be diluted bitumen through TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline over the next 20 years. Bitumen, the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Elizabeth Kolbert comments on the psychology of inequality, and particularly how the current trend in which a disproportionate share of gains goes to a small number of wealthy individuals produces no ultimate winners:  As the relative-income model predicted, those who’d learned that they were earning less than their ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Lion proposes to his Princess.

We read that it was the Tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, who determined that Sikh men could identify as Singh (lion) and Sikh women as Kaur (princess). This happened more than 300 years ago and was all in aid of getting rid of the caste system for Sikhs and asserting the equality of women. It ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the positive natural effects of minimum wage increases – and why we shouldn’t lose them to the threat of artificial problems being created by employers looking for excuses to exploit their workers. For further reading…– The Bank of Canada’s staff analytical note on the effect of planned minimum wage increases is here (PDF). ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Matt Bruenig writes about the U.S.’ alarming growth in student debt – which combined with diminished career prospects is leading to dim future outlooks for far too many young workers. And Eric Grenier’s look at the latest release of data from Canada’s 2016 census shows a stark ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten considerations for the next Alberta budget

On November 17, the working group of the Alberta Alternative Budget (AAB) sponsored a one-day workshop at the University of Alberta. The event’s main purpose was to discuss recent developments in Alberta public policy, as well as expectations for the upcoming Alberta budget. Twenty speakers presented in total. In light of what was discussed at ...

The Disaffected Lib: Is Tesla a Death Sentence for Conventional Power Utilities?

Elon Musk wagered he could build s 129 megawatt battery in Queensland within 100 days or it was free. Tesla built and installed the battery with plenty of time to spare and, with it, just might have served a death warrant on fossil energy electricity. Alternative clean energy, solar and wind, is already cheaper than ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Excessives beat Progressives in Alberta.

Friends in Alberta have been asking why this commentary had nothing to say about the race to run that province’s United Conservative Party? It was not because we did not have an opinion. It was sleazy, it was corrupt, it was predictable and we wanted no part of it. I never thought in this lifetime ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: New book on Indigenous homelessness

I’ve recently reviewed a new book on homelessness among Indigenous peoples. The book, published by the University of Manitoba Press, was edited by Evelyn Peters and Julia Christensen. My review can be accessed at this link.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Book review: Social policy in Canada (second edition)

Oxford University Press has recently released the second edition of Social Policy in Canada, co-authored by the father-daughter duo of Ernie Lightman and Naomi Lightman. I recommend this book as an excellent resource for students of social policy. It will be useful for classroom instruction, while also being a handy reference for researchers, persons who ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Naomi Klein examines how climate change has contributed to a summer of extreme weather disasters, while David Suzuki highlights how we can work with nature to respond to increased flooding. And Emily Atkin discusses the outsized damage 90 corporate behemoths have done to our climate. – Meanwhile, Abacus ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Crawford Kilian writes that Donald Trump’s presidency is merely a symptom of the wider disease of undue deference to wealth. And Matt Karp comments on the need for progressives to identify the problem rather than soft-peddling class divisions: What distinguished the Bernie Sanders campaign more than any other ...

Things Are Good: Alberta’s Carbon Tax Brings Cash to Great Programs

The Canadian province of Alberta is best known for the tar sands and the damage extraction of the bitumen has done to the planet. The province is now aware that their extraction economy won’t last forever because it isn’t renewable, so they have started to implement policies to make their province more efficient. One recent ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The marriage of Alberta’s Alt-right.

Can you not just visualize Stan Laurel, in the person of Brian Jean, saying to Oliver Hardy, in the person of Jason Kenney, “Well here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten us into.” The mess they are into is a new provincial party in Alberta that could earn the enmity of the rest of Canada. It ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten Things to Know About Social Assistance in Alberta

I’ve just written a blog post about social assistance in Alberta. Points raised in the post include the following: -It’s very difficult to quality for social assistance in Alberta (this is also the case in all other provinces and territories). Reasons why are discussed in this previous blog post of mine. -In the 1990s, there ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Book review: Understanding spatial media

I’ve just reviewed a new book about spatial media (and have written it from the vantage point of somebody working in Canada’s homelessness sector). Points raised in the blog post include the fact that the language used when enumerating persons experiencing homelessness has an impact on policy discussions. Another point raised in the book is ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on Ottawa’s Canada 150 event which was planned solely for the benefit of VIPs and businesses rather than mere people – and how that reality fits the Trudeau Libs’ general governing themes. For further reading…– Again, CBC reported on the Canada Day fiasco, while the Ottawa Citizen published accounts from a few of the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Second Annual Canadian Homelessness Data Sharing Initiative

I’ve just blogged about the Second Annual Canadian Homelessness Data Sharing Initiative. This is now an annual event that takes place in Calgary. It’s co-sponsored by the Calgary Homeless Foundation and the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. A summary of the inaugural event (which took place in May 2016) can be found here, ...

Dead Wild Roses: Unite the Right in Alberta – And other Trite Phrases

  There is a frighteningly large segment of the population of Alberta that thinks that what the Republican Administration down south is gang-busterly-amazing-awesome-fantastic (full disclosure – by exhibiting knowledge of uncommon adjectives I disqualify myself from said group). The Republicans, led by Trump, are merrily deconstructing American civil society; whether through willful action or diligent ...

Montreal Simon: Justin Trudeau and the Absurd Alberta Kerfuffle

I thought Justin Trudeau did a great job of presiding over the Canada Day festivities in Ottawa, as well as representing the spirit of the new generation.But as you probably know, he made a small mistake. To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a speech to a cheering crowd in Ottawa Saturday, highlighting the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Fiscal situation of Canada’s ‘oil rich’ provinces

I’ve just written a blog post about the fiscal situation of Canada’s ‘oil rich’ provinces (i.e., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador). It consists of a summary of key points raised at a PEF-sponsored panel at this year’s Annual Conference of the Canadian Economics Association. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Monitoring Program Performance in Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care

I’ve just written a blog post discussing how program performance is monitored in Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) is the System Planner for Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care (full disclosure: I work as CHF’s Director of Research and Data). As System ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Nathan Cullen’s Electoral Reform tour stop in Regina

@gtlem @pau1234la @Erin_Weir @nathancullen Here's the good one he took, and got @Carla4Lakeview in the background. pic.twitter.com/o9q29JLDA4 — Saskboy (@saskboy) May 26, 2017 Room filling up at Knox-Met for @nathancullen #ERRE #KeepYourPromise tour#cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/tM3a5IWgBa — Saskboy (@saskboy) May 26, 2017

The Progressive Economics Forum: 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 ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Program Evaluation

I’ve just blogged about program evaluation and the way it’s used where I work—namely, at the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF). The blog post serves as a primer on program evaluation. It also discusses how CHF measures performance by programs that it funds (CHF disburses $42 million annually to programs in Calgary’s homeless-serving sector). The blog ...