Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – James Wilt argues that the labour movement should be putting its weight behind green housing which will produce both social and environmental benefits along with jobs: Workers need affordable homes. Workers also need stable and properly compensated jobs, especially those transitioning from work in oil, gas and ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: A tale book-ended by 2 Trudeaus: Canada’s foreign aid since 1970

Soon after the 2015 federal election, Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau affirmed that Canada was “back” as a “compassionate and constructive voice in the world” after a decade of Conservative governments. One of the most important means by which any industrialized country interacts with the developing world is via the amount, composition and effectiveness of its ...

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 Progressive Economics Forum: The introduction and evolution of child benefits in Canada

Allan Moscovitch and I have co-authored a blog post that looks at the history of child benefits in Canada. Points made in the blog post include the following: -Child benefits can reduce both poverty and homelessness. -When child benefits began in Canada after World War II, one major motivating factor for the federal government was ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Gillian White highlights Peter Temin’s work on poverty and inequality – including the standard which a person trapped in poverty needs to meet in order to have any meaningful hope of escaping: Temin then divides workers into groups that can trace their family line in the U.S. back ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Christian Cooper discusses how poverty is like a disease in its effect on a person’s mental and physical well-being. And Andre Picard highlights the reality that in order to address the damage done by centuries of systematic discrimination against Canada’s indigenous people, we need to start making up ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Advocacy in Canada’s Affordable Housing and Homelessness Sectors

I’ve just written a blog post on advocacy in Canada’s affordable housing and homelessness sectors. In the post, I define advocacy as “a collective effort to bring about changes to political priorities, funding levels, legislation, regulations or policies.” I also discuss seven approaches to advocacy in Canada’s affordable housing and homelessness sectors. The full blog ...

Michal Rozworski: Four (more) arguments against real-world basic income

With the Ontario Liberals rolling out their basic income pilot project to much fanfare this week, it’s an opportune time to dive into the debates around BI once again. 1 Political aspects of unemployment A few weeks ago I attended a debate on basic income and left in Toronto hosted by The Leap. During the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Andre Picard talks to the Current about the need to start demanding more from our universal health care system, rather than being persuaded to put up with less. And Canadian Doctors for Medicare offers its support to the Ontario NDP’s pharmacare plan, while Chris Selley writes that ...

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – The Star’s editorial board writes that it’s long past time for governments to stand up for people facing precarious work: (P)recarious workers, many of them millennials, have been largely left behind by legislators who say the shift is inevitable and there’s nothing much that can or ought to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Katha Pollitt reviews Matthew Desmond’s Evicted, and identifies the problem that profiteers have a vested interest in perpetuating poverty: What if the dominant discourse on poverty is just wrong? What if the problem isn’t that poor people have bad morals – that they’re lazy and impulsive and irresponsible ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten Things To Know About The 2017 Federal Budget

I’ve just written a blog post in which I review the recent federal budget. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The federal government is projecting deficits in the $20B-$30B range for roughly the next five years. -This was likely the most important federal budget for housing since 1993. -The budget contains important ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Mark Holmgren writes that there’s no reason why we should allow poverty to continue in a country which has plenty of wealth to reduce it, while Patrick Butler notes that the conservative view of poverty as being solely the result of personal (lack of) merit is oblivious ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Ed Finn reminds us how the economy as a whole – including the private sector – suffers when austerity is inflicted on public services: The public and private sectors have become so interdependent that one cannot be attacked or diminished without hurting the other. Public expenditures often stimulate ...

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: New book on the history of Canadian social housing policy

One of Canada’s foremost authorities on Canadian social housing, Dr. Greg Suttor, has just authored a book on the history of Canadian social housing policy. Titled Still renovating: A history of Canadian social housing policy, it’s published by McGill-Queen’s University Press and covers the period from the end of World War II to 2013. I’ve ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Nick Falvo, Janice Chan and Chidom Otogwu point out that housing is just one of the areas where federal action is needed to reduce poverty and its social harms in Canada. And Falvo also reviews Greg Suttor’s “Still Renovating” as a worthwhile look at housing in Canada. – ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Julia Smith argues that one of the primary responses to the recent reports about banks exploiting consumers (and pressuring staff to carry out their plans) should be a drive to organize workers: Banking is often viewed as an industry offering secure white-collar jobs with good wages. In ...

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Jordon Cooper writes that the Saskatchewan Party’s slash-and-burn budget confirms that for them, the poor don’t matter. CBC reports on the devastating effect the budget will have on municipalities, while Courtney Markewitch reports that Saskatoon’s city council is fighting back. And Joel Senick notes that the planned shutdown ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – David Olive offers his take on what a basic income should look like – and is optimistic that Ontario’s ongoing experiment should hit the mark: A UBI would be pointless in the absence of existing supports. In the Ontario pilot projects, the payout for a single person ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – In the wake of a thoroughly disappointing budget day at both the provincial and federal levels, it’s worth taking note of Ivan Sigal’s view on the importance of building trust – rather than limiting citizens to either fake news or fake policies: How do we begin to ...

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 ...

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 ...