Economy

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

Jul 28, 2020
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

British Columbians approve of province’s COVID-19 response & want more equitable, sustainable economy post recovery—regardless of party affiliation

Jul 20, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has put governments and societies around the world to the test as they confront what is both a public health and economic crisis—one that clearly is not going away anytime soon. BC has fared well to date in containing the spread of the virus, and stands out among Canadian provinces with a… View Article

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