COVID-19

Towards a managed wind-down: the conversation we need to have

Nov 26, 2020
An enduring lesson from COVID-19 is that where there’s a will there’s a way. Faced with a pandemic, governments have risen to the challenge and made profound changes that would have seemed impossible mere months before. We now need to shift this out-of-the-box thinking to the existential threat posed by climate change. The need to… View Article

Tax cuts won’t cure what ails us

Oct 2, 2020
Major tax cuts are on the table in BC’s election—namely, cuts to the provincial sales tax (PST) and speculation tax. But these proposals won’t help us meet the challenges the province faces. Whether the goal is economic stimulus, helping households in need or addressing long-term gaps in our social and physical infrastructure, tax cuts are… View Article

New federal sickness benefit falls short

Oct 1, 2020
Workers in Canada will have access to a federal paid sick leave benefit, but it doesn’t go far enough. The new Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit applies to people unable to work because they have or may have COVID-19 or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID. It also applies to people undergoing treatments, people with… View Article

Now is not the time to panic over the federal debt

Sep 22, 2020
Public policy in Canada remains haunted by large deficits that prevailed in the 1980s and early 1990s. With COVID-19 economic response pushing the federal deficit to an estimated $343 billion in 2020/21, some pundits are starting to beat the deficit panic drum again.  Don’t let big numbers scare you. Here’s why we shouldn’t be worried. … View Article

Massive public investment, not austerity, is the answer

Aug 18, 2020
A depression is still around the corner if the Canadian government does not continue to radically intervene in the economy. We have all encountered the dark outlines of the crisis facing us by now. Everywhere there are warnings of mass unemployment unseen in decades, already vulnerable workers—young, racialized, women—hit hardest, entire industries at risk, a… View Article

How are British Columbians doing: COVID-19 economic security & government supports

The economic impact of the shutdown of large parts of BC’s economy in response to COVID-19 has reflected a sharp recession: a massive and rapid increase in involuntary unemployment, including layoffs, job losses and reduced hours; reduced household and business income and expenditure; closures (whether mandated or not) or greatly reduced capacity of many retail… View Article

Mind the gap: Losses in international student tuition shouldn’t lead to teacher layoffs

Jul 23, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended public education around the world, touching every facet of school life. In British Columbia, while some students cautiously returned to classrooms in June, many international students instead returned to their home countries. As school districts across the province anxiously watch international tuition revenues shrink, many are contemplating or even implementing… View Article