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 ...

The Disaffected Lib: Dirtier Than We Had Ever Imagined.

Oil and gas fracking doesn’t draw the same attention in Canada as it has attracted in the United States. It’s probably fair to say that most of us hardly think of it at all. That could be about to change. Two new studies into fracking operations in western Canada show that fracking generally and the ...

Michal Rozworski: Budgeting for the oil bust in Saskatchewan and Alberta

The resource price bust is already a few years old but it’s still hitting parts of Canada hard. Two guests talk about the impact of the downturn on fiscal policy in the Canadian prairies and what this augers for the bigger question of a transformation of the economy away from fossil fuels. First I speak with ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: A Review of the 2017 Alberta Budget

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a review of the recent Alberta budget. Points I make in the blog post include the following: -Alberta remains the lowest-taxed province in Canada. -Alberta’s net debt-to-GDP ratio remains the lowest in Canada. -For the third consecutive year, the Rachel Notley government announced ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Calgary Homeless Foundation’s System Planning Frameworks

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF), I’m co-author of a blog post about CHF’s new System Planning Frameworks.  These frameworks discuss the different programs funded by CHF. Points made in the blog post include the following: -CHF disburses approximately $42 million a year to programs for persons experiencing homelessness in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Lies. And Trudeau-Trump lies.

You have come to expect it in the daily reports from the American White House. You know that the man in the White House tells lies. You just do not expect it from the guy in charge in Ottawa. And you already knew that the guy in charge at the White House does not give ...

Views from the Beltline: Will Alberta revert to Social Credit?

In August, 1971, Alberta had its quiet revolution. For 36 years it had been governed by Social Credit, a largely rural-based, social-conservative party led for most of those years by E.C. Manning, father of leading conservative intellectual and unite-the-right guru Preston Manning. By 1971 Alberta, like the rest of the country, was increasingly urbanizing and ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Alternative Federal Budget 2017

This year’s Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) was released on March 9. I was proud to be the primary author of its housing chapter (that chapter is available in English here and in French here). The first AFB exercise began in 1994, with the first AFB being published in 1995. That involved a joint effort between ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Sustainable Fossil Fuel Myths

I think the Fossil Fuel industry isn’t going to manage to sustain their myths. They say things that a kid with a 5th grade education should figure out are not true. Burning natural gas is not sustainable. It’s a fossil fuel. It will run out, and it produces waste gas that contributes to climate change. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Could Chantal Hébert be so diabolical?

Is it whimsy or a diabolical intent? Is Toronto Star political guru Chantal Hébert really that devious? She recently proposed that Rona Ambrose, the federal interim leader for the Conservatives as the ideal person to step in and take over the reins of the combined provincial Conservatives in Alberta. That is a wonderful proposal and ...

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: On Budgets and Deficits In Alberta

Today was budget day in Alberta.  More or less, the NDP government brought in the budget that had been expected.  Continued spending on big ticket items that have been put off for years, if not decades. Predictably both the PC and WildRose opposition parties are crying foul.  The argument is largely that “running up the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget

An Alberta-based volunteer working group, of which I’m a part, recently released a document titled Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget (for media coverage, see this Metro article).  Working group members include staff from Alberta’s non-profit sector, labour movement and advocacy sector. While our long-term goal is to emulate the great work of the Alternative ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Alberta Alternative Budget 2017

Media Release Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget released today (March 14, 2017-Edmonton) Today, a coalition of researchers, economists, and members of civil society released a plan to boost Alberta’s economic growth while reducing income inequality. “For too long Alberta’s public services have been strained from decades of underfunding and reliance on volatile energy markets,” ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Trudeau’s Second Face Speaks Up For Big Oil

The Prime Minister caught a lot of heat for speaking the truth the other month about shutting down the Tar Sands. Then, predictably after furious backpedaling, he let the other side of his face speak about what the Liberals will really allow to permit our climate’s destruction. “No country would find 173 billion barrels of ...

Views from the Beltline: Will city folk continue to be Alberta’s second class citizens?

Amid debate about adopting a voting system to replace the egregiously undemocratic first-past-the-post, another offense against fair voting is sometimes overlooked. In Alberta, an opportunity to redress that particular sin is underway. In accordance with the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission Act, a commission has been established to set the constituency boundaries for the 2019 provincial

Views from the Beltline: Will city folk continue to be Alberta’s second class citizens?

Amid debate about adopting a voting system to replace the egregiously undemocratic first-past-the-post, another offense against fair voting is sometimes overlooked. In Alberta, an opportunity to redress that particular sin is underway. In accordance with the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission Act, a commission has been established to set the constituency boundaries for the 2019 provincial

The Progressive Economics Forum: Public Policy and Homelessness: The Case of Calgary

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Public Policy and Homelessness:  The Case of Calgary.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Calgary experienced explosive growth in the size of its homeless population from the mid-1990s until 2008. -Though causation is hard to establish, ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Poverty Reduction in Alberta

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’m co-author of a blog post titled “Poverty Reduction in Alberta.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The NDP government of Premier Rachel Notley has undertaken important poverty-reduction initiatives since forming a government in 2015. -Alberta (relative to other provinces) has a ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Social Housing in BC, AB and QC (1975-2015)

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation is a transcript of a recent discussion I had with Dr. Maroine Bendaoud. His recently-defended PhD thesis looks at social housing in BC, Alberta and Quebec from 1975 until 2015. Points raised in his thesis include he following: -After Canada’s federal government stopped funding new ...

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Changing Education Curriculum

The Alberta Government kicked off a major review and overhaul of the province's school curricula in June of 2016.  Given that large tracts of the curricula haven't been reviewed or changed in a very long time, this seems to be a perfectly reasonable task for any government to undertake. The current curriculum used by students ...

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Changing Education Curriculum

The Alberta Government kicked off a major review and overhaul of the province's school curricula in June of 2016.  Given that large tracts of the curricula haven't been reviewed or changed in a very long time, this seems to be a perfectly reasonable task for any government to undertake. The current curriculum used by students ...