Economy

A wealth tax on the super rich is within reach

Jun 15, 2020
If anything is clear in this pandemic, Canada needs a wealth tax on the super rich to rein in extreme inequality and contribute to crucial public investments in the wake of COVID-19. A wealth tax is economically and technically feasible, but it requires breaking with a status quo that often too narrowly serves Bay Street… View Article

BC Budget Consultation Presentation June 2020

Jun 8, 2020
The BC government is holding its annual public consultation on Budget 2021 this June, inviting British Columbians to share their priorities for government investment next year. BC Budget 2021 will have to tackle the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis—the full extent of which are still largely unknown. It is hard to predict where we as… View Article

Flatten the myth: Don’t fear government debt after COVID-19

May 11, 2020
Myth: Government debt rising from the COVID-19 crisis is a big problem. Reality check: Large-scale public spending to support people and invest in long-term public goods is prudent not only on a human level, but also in economic terms. The size of government debt compared to our economy (our debt-to-GDP ratio) will rise substantially through… View Article

Comparing provincial economic responses to COVID-19

Apr 23, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital importance of collective responses via governments at all levels. The Canadian context of federalism, with a division of powers between federal and provincial/territorial governments, also highlights key differences in approaches to the pandemic. At its best, federalism is an advantageous arrangement, with the federal government addressing national issues,… View Article

Time to extend financial supports to local governments

Apr 15, 2020
Local governments and regional authorities like TransLink have been missing from federal and provincial economic responses to COVID-19. Local governments are facing collapsing revenues, and unlike federal and provincial governments, they are not allowed to run deficits to cover their operating costs. As a result they are already staring into the abyss of painful austerity… View Article

Food insecurity and hunger during COVID-19

Apr 7, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed holes in our social safety net and significant inequality across BC households. Much of the recent focus has been on workers facing unemployment and renters unable to pay for their housing, with new federal and provincial supports enacted to try to address these needs. In this post I want to… View Article

Taking stock of COVID-19 economic policy measures in BC

A multitude of measures have been tabled by the provincial and federal governments to prop up workers and an economy reeling from mandated closures of businesses brought about by physical distancing measures. Spring 2020 will be a period economic historians will be writing about for decades to come. Most economists were encouraging significant fiscal and… View Article