The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten proposals from the 2018 Alternative Federal Budget

I’ve written a blog post about this year’s Alternative Federal Budget (AFB). Points raised in the blog post include the following: -This year’s AFB would create 470,000 (full-time equivalent) jobs in its first year alone. By year 2 of the plan, 600,000 new (full-time equivalent) jobs will exist. -This year’s AFB will also bring in ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Homelessness in BC

In anticipation of tomorrow’s provincial budget in British Columbia (BC), I’ve written a blog post about the state of homelessness in that province. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Public operating spending by BC’s provincial government has decreased over the past 20 years. -Even after controlling for inflation, average rent levels across ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Panel discussion at federal NDP policy convention

Yesterday I spoke on a panel discussion on economic inequality, along with Andrew Jackson and Armine Yalnizyan. We were guests at the federal NDP’s policy convention in Ottawa. The panel was moderated by Guy Caron. Topics covered included the minimum wage, basic income, affordable housing, the future of jobs, gender budgeting, poverty among seniors, Canadian ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Anna Coote discusses some of the potential problems with a universal basic income on its own – particularly to the extent it takes momentum away from the prospect of universal basic services. – Scott Sinclair examines how little has changed – and how many substantial dangers haven’t – ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Robert Jago comments on an all-white jury’s acquittal of Gerald Stanley for the shooting death of Colten Boushie. Shree Paradkar notes that the issue of non-representative juries is far from a new one. Scott Gilmore recognizes that Boushie’s death and its aftermath are just one more story ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Michelle Chen takes note of the influx of young energy into the U.S.’ labour movement: (I)n contrast to the myth of millennials’ being economically and politically adrift, they’re stepping in readily to fill the union ranks that have hemorrhaged middle-aged workers over the years—2017 actually saw an ...

Accidental Deliberations: On stopping the cuts

I’m less surprised than some by Scott Moe’s ascent to the Saskatchewan Party’s leadership in an extremely close, four-way leadership race. But it will particularly be worth keeping an eye on one aspect of the campaign which looks to have been crucial in propelling him into the Premier’s office. Unlike the other last two candidates ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Evening Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Wanda Wyporska discusses why we can’t expect a group of cloistered elites to do anything to solve the changeable dimensions of inequality. – Jonathan Ford and Gill Plimmer write that the UK is beginning to learn its lesson about the dangers of privatizing public services. And PressProgress offers ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Carillion’s collapse points out one of the most important failings of Brad Wall’s tenure in office. For further reading…– Plenty of others have also weighed in on the Carillion story and the dangers of putting corporate interests in charge of public services, including Simon Jenkins, Will Hutton, Jonathan Freedland and  John Crace.  ...

Alberta Politics: Fallout from Klein Government mismanagement two decades ago drifts in on the winds of the Carillon collapse

PHOTOS: Winter driving in Alberta (Photo: Wikimedia Commons). Below: Alberta Transportation Minister Brian Mason and Opposition Transportation Critic Wayne Drysdale. That Carillon bankruptcy … did it ring any bells with you? It certainly should have. The spectacular collapse of the U.K. construction giant Carillon PLC has not just shaken the British government, it’s rattled other ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ontario’s Electricity Sector IV: Pre-Election Update

My first, second and third posts on the Ontario electricity sector described how policy and administrative decisions by different Liberal Governments gave rise to excess electricity generation with an inflated cost structure, leading to higher electricity prices. In anticipation of June 2018 elections, the Liberal Government recently implemented a costly and first-in-Canada financial scheme to ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Why Toronto needs a national housing strategy

Dr. Colin Phillips is an up-and-coming scholar in Canada’s homelessness sector. He has an opinion piece in today’s Toronto Star titled “Why Toronto needs a national housing strategy.” Points made in the opinion piece include the following: -The City of Toronto has worked hard to develop good practices on the ground to address homelessness. -But, ...

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 ...

Michal Rozworski: Confused about universality? So are NDP leadership candidates

There some pretty confused stuff on universality and means-testing during last night’s NDP leadership debate. Here are some thoughts that might help clear things up a bit. First, Singh’s attack of Caron on means-testing early in the debate was a bit bizarre seeing as both of them have major new means-tested transfers among their policy ...

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, ...

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: On selective sacrifice

Brad Wall’s definition of shared sacrifice: Public service workers are expected to do their jobs plus more to cover for a hiring freeze, while also getting hit with a 3.5% pay cut. At the same time, specially-selected Saskatchewan Party MLAs get handed new titles without any accompanying work, plus $3,000 free to go with it. ...

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 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 ...

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. – ...

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 ...

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 ...