Alberta Politics: A wacky idea for getting more value from university administrators: pay them less and never mind competitiveness

PHOTOS: Alberta Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt serving pancakes at yesterday morning’s Premier’s K-Days Breakfast on the south lawn of the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton. Below: Just to stick with the photographic theme, even though it has nothing to do with the story, Premier Rachel Notley cooking up the flapjacks Mr. Schmidt was serving. Here’s ...

Alberta Politics: Recommendations of independent review of Athabasca University seem unlikely to survive Alberta political reality

PHOTOS: University of Saskatchewan Professor Ken Coates, author of the independent review of Athabasca University released last week. Below: Athabasca U President Neil Fassina, AU Board Chair Vivian Manasc, and Alberta Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt. Recent news reports about the continuing woes of Athabasca University and in particular coverage last week of Professor Ken ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: A Response to the 2017 Saskatchewan Budget

I have an opinion piece on Saskatchewan’s recent budget in the Regina Leader-Post. Points raised in the opinion piece include the following: -Reductions in personal and corporate income taxes help the rich more than the poor (and this budget cut both personal and corporate income taxes). -Increases in sales tax hurt the poor more than ...

Politics and its Discontents: An Excellent Policy Initiative

Although perhaps less than perfect, New York state has taken a bold move in promising free college/university tuition for its residents whose families earn less than $100,000 per year. This will allow many more to secure higher education than would be possible without the bill; upwards of 80% of families will qualify. Ontario has also ...

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 ...

Alberta Politics: New board chairs appointed at Athabasca University and Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

PHOTOS: Ray Martin at the side of NDP Leader Rachel Notley, back in the days before she was premier. He once sat in the Legislature with Premier Notley’s father, Grant Notley. Mr. Martin has been appointed chair of the board of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Below, Edmonton architect Vivian Manasc, who has been ...

Alberta Politics: Athabasca U’s future seems brighter as Saskatchewan prof named to conduct sustainability review

PHOTOS: The participants in this morning’s Athabasca University news conference in Edmonton. From left to right: Saskatchewan Professor Ken Coates, Athabasca University Board Chair Margaret Mrazek, Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt and AU President Neil Fassina. Below: A closer look at Mr. Schmidt’s new beard; newly appointed Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson; and cabinet troubleshooter ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – The Star argues that a crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance is a crucial first step in reining in inequality. Susan Delacourt wonders when, if ever, Chrystia Freeland’s apparent interest in inequality will show up in her role in government. And Vanmala Subramaniam reminds us why the cause ...

Alberta Politics: Alberta Government names five new members to Athabasca University Board of Governors

PHOTOS: Treaty 7 Grand Chief Charles Weasel Head, newly appointed to the board of Athabasca University, with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Below: New AU board members McDonald Madamombe, Debby Kronewitt-Martin, Lynn Hamilton and Cheryl Hunter-Loewen; and AU’s next president, Neil Fassina. The Alberta government has moved quietly but dramatically to begin the difficult work of ...

Alberta Politics: Grim proposed Athabasca University budget to be shown faculty today projects insolvency by 2017-2018

PHOTOS: Athabasca University’s main building in the Town of Athabasca, 130 kilometres north of Edmonton. Below: AU’s logo; Interim President Peter MacKinnon; and Alberta Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt. Athabasca University Interim President Peter MacKinnon will present a grim proposed three-year budget this morning to the institution’s General Faculties Council that projects growing deficits and ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Eric Reguly highlights the growing possibility of a global revolt against corporate-centred trade agreements: (A) funny thing happened on the way to the free trade free-for-all: A lot of people were becoming less rich and more angry, to the point that globalization seems set to go into reverse. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Caroline Plante reports on Quebec’s scourge of medical extra-billing and user fees (as identified by its own Auditor General). And Aaron Derfel notes that the federal government has done nothing to apply the Canada Health Act to rein in the practice. – Erika Shaker highlights how federal funding ...

Alberta Politics: Board of Governors appears to openly defy Notley Government as Athabasca University crisis deepens

PHOTOS: Athabasca University’s administrative building, just outside the Town of Athabasca, about 150 kilometres north of Edmonton, as seen from the air. Below: Alberta Advanced Education Minister Lori Sigurdson, interim Athabasca University President Peter MacKinnon and interim AU Board of Governors Chair Margaret Mrazek. The Notley Government, clearly aware of the serious problems faced by ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s failed experiment with corporate income tax cuts

  After a generation of comparatively high corporate income tax (CIT) rates, in the late 1980s Canadian governments at the federal and provincial levels began a series of corporate income tax reforms. According to many mainstream (‘neoclassical’) economists, reducing CIT rates was a wise public policy. A reduced CIT rate means a reduction in the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Jim Stanford, Iglika Ivanova and David MacDonald each highlight how there’s far more to be concerned about in Canada’s economy beyond the GDP dip alone. Both Thomas Walkom and the Star’s editorial board write that it’s clear the Cons have nothing to offer when it comes to trying ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – David Cay Johnston observes that the U.S.’ extreme inequality goes far beyond money alone. And Jesse Myerson notes that a basic income can be supported based on principles held across the political spectrum, while making the case as to how it should be developed to serve as ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Myth of STEM Degrees: STEM as the Canary in the Coal Mine

What follow is a guest blog post from Glenn Burley: – If Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and professional fields like medicine, law, and dentistry are the so-called golden ticket to a good job in today’s labour market, what does that say about the current and future health of our economy? The myth of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content for your long weekend reading. – Jim Buchanan comments on the mountain of inequality looming over all of our political choices. Laurie Posner interviews Paul Gorski about the need for a vocabulary which accurately portrays inequality as the result of social conditions rather than merit or culture. And Robert Reich notes that if ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the Saskatchewan Party’s choice to turn the graduate retention credit into a purely political goodie rather than a program which could conceivably retain Saskatchewan graduates, while at the same time devaluing the very concept of education for its own sake. For further reading…– The province’s explanation (such as it is) can be found ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading. – Eric Reguly opines that the best way to ensure that banks (and other businesses) operate under the law is to make sure that individual executives are held accountable for failing to do so: (I)f fines and the odd firing are no deterrent to bad bank behaviour, what is? ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – In a theme all too familiar based on Brad Wall’s use of millions of public dollars to pay for access to U.S. lawmakers, Simon Enoch discusses the connections between Wall and ALEC: Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough is both a member and State corporate co-chair the American Legislative Exchange ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Linda McQuaig discusses how a renewed push for austerity runs directly contrary to the actual values of Canadians, who want to see their governments accomplish more rather than forcing the public to settle for less: Their formula for achieving small, disabled government is simple: slash taxes (particularly on ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Richard Shillington studies the Cons’ income-splitting scheme for the Broadbent Institute, and finds that it’s even more biased toward the wealthy than previously advertised: • The average benefit of income splitting across all households is only $185, though nine out of 10 households will receive nothing. When ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Alex Usher Needs to Consider Taxation

My debate with Alex Usher on tuition fees continues, over at the Academic Matters web site.  In my latest post, I make the case that Mr. Usher needs to consider Canada’s tax system when suggesting that reducing tuition fees is “regressive.”

The Progressive Economics Forum: Alex Usher is Wrong on Tuition Fees

Earlier today, over at the Academic Matters web site, I addressed the issue of whether Canada’s current system of high tuition fees and means-tested student aid is in fact “progressive.”  My post was a response to a Alex Usher‘s May 9 blog post.  My blog post can be found here.