The Progressive Economics Forum: The Chamber’s economic impact analysis of Bill 148 still doesn’t make sense

On Monday, the Keep Ontario Working coalition spearheaded by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released an analysis of the impacts of Bill 148 in Ontario, which will introduce a $15 minimum wage by 2019 and a host of other employment standards improvements. The analysis raised many red flags: it focused only on costs, predicting very large ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The trial of Kathleen Wynne.

The trial is set to begin in Sudbury, Ontario on September 7. We would ignore the trial and its political implications if it did not involve the present Premier of Ontario. Mind you Kathleen Wynne will spend most of the trial on the sidelines. She is not charged with a crime. She has lackeys for ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Barrie’s Bad Boy Brown.

There is no reason to worry. The next provincial election is not scheduled until June 7 next year. By then, we should expect that far more Ontario voters are going to realize what a screw-up Brown would be as premier. It is not that he is dishonest, devious and dumb, we have had all those ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: She could use her married name.

The question was: What would help Brian Mulroney’s daughter win a seat in the Legislature in the next Ontario provincial election? The obvious answer is to use a different name. It might be a quarter century since Canadian voters turfed Brian Mulroney’s Conservatives (then led by Kim Campbell) and left the party with just two ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Murray dumps Wynne.

“Don’t let the door handle hit you in the ass on the way out, Glen!” The good news is that Ontario Environment Minister Glen Murray is leaving the Wynne cabinet in Ontario. The bad news is that his new job is as executive director of Alberta’s namby-pamby Pembina Institute. It should suit him. It was ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brown’s battling beginnings.

It is getting so bad that even PostMedia writers are wondering when Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown is going to show some maturity. They are starting to question Brown’s ability to run a political party. He is certainly not getting the nomination process right. Many want to write it off to the vulnerability of the ...

Michal Rozworski: What do we do when we Fight for $15

On this episode, three guests provide some perspective on the politics and the economics of the Fight for $15. First, I speak with Jonathan Rosenblum, campaign director at the first Fight for $15 at SeaTac Airport, just outside Seattle, Washington. Workers there won an immediate raise to $15 via a municipal ordinance in 2015. Jon is also an ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is there any hope for Horwath?

Every once in a while, we are reminded that there are three parties at play for the right to hold the lease on the Pink Palace looking down University Avenue from Queen’s Park. We know lots about the Liberals that currently hold the lease. We know more than we want to know about the Conservatives ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: On being nice to Premier Wynne.

It could be hard to get used to doing this. The problem basically is that as a liberal all my life, it is very difficult to accept Kathleen Wynne as a liberal. She is not a liberal and I do not like the way she has been running Ontario. But…(life is full of ‘Buts’ isn’t ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Economists support $15 minimum wage in Ontario

We, the undersigned economists, support the decision to increase the minimum wage in Ontario to $15 an hour. Raising the wage floor makes good economic sense. Today, Ontario’s minimum wage is $11.40 per hour. Adjusted for inflation, this is barely one dollar higher than its value in 1977. Yet over the same four decades, the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Greg Leiseron discusses why the abject failure of Kansas’ anti-social experiment with trickle-down economics shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anybody: Claims of supply-side growth from labor income tax cuts rely on the idea that people will be more willing to work when their after-tax wages are ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Granny Wynne knows best.

The current argument between Ontario’s New Democrats and the Ontario Liberals is like a school yard spat over who did what. It is not only childish but it makes both sides of the argument look foolish. They are arguing over who thought of having a mediocre pharmacare plan first. Neither side has much of which ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Did he say ‘Premier’ Brown?

It was the kind of chill that our granny used to say was caused by someone walking on her grave. It is the combination of cold and a sad premonition. It was the feeling left the other day when noting Bob Hepburn’s column in the Toronto Star about getting cosy saying ‘Premier Brown.’ There was ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The omens are in the ridings Ms. Wynne.

The true politico pays attention to what is happening in the electoral districts. Those readings mean far more than the public opinion polls that are such a waste of time in the year before the election. If you do not grasp what is happening in the field, you are not even in the race. The ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tory Odd Couple Challenge Wynne.

A pair of losers could be Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s nemesis. Meet ‘The Kid’ and the ‘Big Guy.’ They just got back from the Soo were they took a solid Liberal seat in a bye-election by 40 per cent of the votes. These cowpokes are riding high in the saddle. But they are an unlikely ...

The Political Road Map: Don’t Be Afraid of Raising The Minimum Wage!

I decided to write this post in response to the usual chatter that is generated, whenever the government decides to impose an increase on minimum wage. Usually, you will hear some form of Libertarian or Anarchist arguing that the increase in minimum wage will not only lead to higher prices, but also directly result in ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”

That hackneyed expression is used to describe politicians who stupidly work to defeat themselves. A good example today is the desperation we are seeing at Queen’s Park as the Liberal’s Premier Kathleen Wynne continues to destroy the Liberal legacy in Ontario. She has so many irons in so many fires that the voters are completely ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Annette Alstadsæter, Niels Johannesen and Gabriel Zucman examine (PDF) the size and distribution of tax evasion and (not surprisingly) find it clustered at the top – with the wealthiest .01% dodging 30% of its obligation to society at large. And Marco Chown Oved reports that the Canada ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: We can blame Cousin Oliver.

It is all Oliver Mowat’s fault. The myopic Father of Confederation had a mainly rural and agrarian Ontario to oversee in the early years of confederation. His picture hangs over our desk today, not as a distant relation but in the form of a preserved and framed, full front-page of a Saturday Globe published in ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ontario’s Electricity Sector III: Legislative & Finance Update

My January and March posts on the Ontario electricity sector described how decisions by different Ontario governments gave rise to excess electricity generation with an inflated cost structure, leading to higher electricity prices. Here I discuss the latest development, the Liberal Government of Ontario’s proposed financial framework for its “Fair Hydro Plan” (FHP). In election ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Fixing Ontario’s out-of-date work laws.

Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn has a tough road to travel with the Wynne Cabinet. He is seeking to address the antiquated labour laws in Ontario. He wants to restore balance to the rights of part-time workers. He wants to guarantee a minimum wage on which someone can live. What will be interesting in these ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Claire Provost writes about the spread of the private security industry – which now exceeds the size of public police forces in Canada among other countries – as a means of privileging the protection of wealth over public interests. – Meanwhile, Lana Payne comments on the importance of ...

Carbon49 – Sustainability for Canadian businesses: Southcore Financial Centre Showcases Mixed-Use Sustainable Development

The Southcore Financial Centre is a showcase of mixed-use sustainable development in Toronto’s financial district. The three new interconnected towers—PricewaterhouseCoopers Tower, Bremner Tower, Delta Toronto Hotel—incorporate sustainability best practices in their exterior glazing systems, rainwater harvesting, and deep lake thermal cooling. We look into their special features and how KPMB Architects brought all these together. The Southcore Financial Centre ...

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 ...

Joe Fantauzzi: Desmond Cole, the Toronto Star and Another Existential Crisis for Professional Journalism

DISCLOSURE: I worked as a mainstream news reporter between 2003 and 2012. I see this as a two-fold issue; firstly, actions and secondly, words. I’ll consider both briefly and then elaborate on my concerns. Actions There is no point in rehashing here the now well-known details of what lead to Desmond Cole’s departure from the Toronto ...