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 ...

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 Political Road Map: A Shivering Premier in a Hot Housing Market

I am watching Premier Kathleen Wynne and Charles Sousa introduce their Fair Housing Plan and I must say I am both impressed and skeptical. Wynne has mentioned a few times already how she is shivering, while approaching the microphone to answer questions in both English and kindergarten French. Premier Wynne Praying this plan doesn’t further ...

The Political Road Map: Great Canadian Pot

Yesterday, after a much anticipated election promise, Justin Trudeau and his administration officially announced that marijuana will become legal for sale and consumption throughout all of Canada…In July of 2018…. While some may have begun partying and cheering at the announcement, others like myself are still scratching their head a little. Why has it taken ...

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Martin Lukacs argues that the way to avoid a Canadian Donald Trump is to ensure people have a progressive challenger to the corporate establishment: Trudeau’s social liberalism has been partnered with the very economic policies that have cemented inequality and savaged people’s quality of life—and which are now ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Terry Glavin argues that Canada’s response to Donald Trump’s Muslim ban needs to consist of more than the platitudes offered by Justin Trudeau, while Tom Parkin and Chantal Hebert point out that even Trudeau’s words to date have unduly downplayed Trump’s dangers. And Andrew Coyne writes about ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Branko Milanovic offers his take on how the U.S.’ version of liberalism paved the way for Donald Trump and his ilk both by buying into corporatist assumptions about success, and by treating electoralism as the basis for political organization: In economics, liberalism espoused “neo-liberalism” which was the ...

A. Picazo: On Homeopathy, Health Canada Must End The Double Standard

This column appeared on the CBC on December 11, 2016. Until recently, homeopathic remedies sold in the United States enjoyed many of the same privileges — including the freedom to claim they could treat or cure specific ailments or diseases — as real, science-based medicine. The difference? Peddlers of homeopathy weren’t required to provide the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Substandard

There’s plenty of ugly news coming out about the continued problems with Brad Wall’s pet carbon capture and storage project – including thoroughly unimpressive output numbers, and payouts to Cenovus to make up for a failure to deliver the carbon dioxide it’s supposed to be capturing. But perhaps even more worrisome than the project’s well-known ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Hassan Yussuff and other labour leaders offer their take on how we can develop a more equitable global trade system: The next challenge before us is to build on and improve all post-CETA trade and investment deals to ensure they meet a progressive trade model. We suggest several ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Andrew Nikiforuk highlights how Donald Trump’s election is just one more predictable consequence of the end of shared growth – even as it figures to perpetuate that reality. And Andrew Coyne argues that Trump’s win under the U.S.’ warped electoral rules should thoroughly debunk the theory that ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Michael Harris argues that it’s long past time for the Trudeau Libs to start living up to their oft-repeated promise of real change – rather than merely slapping a friendlier face on the same old regressive Con policies. – Tom Parkin notes that Canada’s working class has been ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Erika Hayasaki surveys the developing body of research on how poverty and deprivation affect a child’s long-term brain development: Early results show a troubling trend: Kids who grow up with higher levels of violence as a backdrop in their lives, based on MRI scans, have weaker real-time neural ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Erika Hayasaki surveys the developing body of research on how poverty and deprivation affect a child’s long-term brain development: Early results show a troubling trend: Kids who grow up with higher levels of violence as a backdrop in their lives, based on MRI scans, have weaker real-time neural ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Nora Loreto slams the Wynne Libs’ “red tape” gimmick, while highlighting the need for people to claim a voice in rules largely intended to protect them as workers and consumers: One person’s red tape is another person’s health and safety, but Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne hopes that ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Central Agencies in Canada

Do you ever sit in bed late at night wondering what it is that Finance Canada, the Privy Council Office and Treasury Board Secretariat actually do?  Well, wonder no more my friends!  Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Ten things to know about central agencies ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Melisa Foster points out why millennials should be strongly interested in a national pharmacare program: Today, young Canadians are searching for jobs in an economy with high levels of precarious employment, unemployment or underemployment. According to a recent Statistics Canada labour force survey, approximately 39% of workers 15 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Mariana Mazzucato discusses (JPG) the importance of an intelligent industrial strategy. And David Kotz argues that neoliberal capitalism has reached the point where there’s no plausible path toward sustainable growth without a new economic model: For several decades, neoliberal capitalism was able to bring a series of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Bjarke Skærlund Risager interviews David Harvey about the history and effect of neoliberalism: I’ve always treated neoliberalism as a political project carried out by the corporate capitalist class as they felt intensely threatened both politically and economically towards the end of the 1960s into the 1970s. They desperately ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Lana Payne comments on the combination of low wages and nonexistent security attached to jobs for younger workers. And Catherine Baab-Muguira examines the spread of the side hustle economy as a means of bare survival. – Roderick Benns discusses how the isolation of remote communities represents a ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Alana Semuels examines new research showing a decline in U.S. social mobility within an individual’s working life: Carr and Wiemers used earnings data to measure how fluidly people move up and down the income ladder over the course of their careers. “It is increasingly the case that no ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Jeremy Smith argues that the Brexit vote result should serve as a compelling reminder of the dangers of neoliberalism. John Hood focuses on inequality in particular as a driving force behind the willingness of voters to leave the European Union, while Mike Carter points out the connection between ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – In the wake of yesterday’s Brexit vote, David Dayen points out how the failure of technocratic policy left many voters believing they had nothing to lose in abandoning the European Union. Dawn Foster highlights the role Conservative-driven austerity played on that front. And Owen Jones comments on what ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Andrew Coyne argues that the Senate’s role in overruling elected representatives – which only seems to be growing under the Trudeau Libs – represents an affront to democracy. And Duncan Cameron has some suggestions beyond proportional representation as to how our electoral system can better live up ...