National Newswatch

Reining in Drug Prices, Before Pharmacare Slips Away

Sep 2 2021 — Danyaal Raza — To the dismay of many, this election thus far has had little mention of pharmacare. The NDP has re-iterated their support for a universal, public program to start as early as next year, while the Conservatives have no platform mention of it at all, and the incumbent Liberal’s absence of timelines in this week’s platform […]

COVID-19 results in historic rollbacks of Canadian environmental protections

Jun 17 2020 — Rick Smith — Though it’s difficult to measure these things, we may well be witnessing the most widespread rollbacks of environmental protections in Canadian history. If you don’t recall reading anything about this, that’s no accident. While provincial governments scrambled to respond to the COVID 19 crisis, many have also kept busy quietly stripping away vital environmental laws […]

Corporate Bailouts or a Long Term Post COVID Strategy?

May 12 2020 — Andrew Jackson — The federal government has just announced a new program to expand loans to struggling non financial corporations – the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility. It’s role  deserves serious debate. The entirely legitimate intent is to save threatened jobs with Canada’s largest employers due to the COVID-19 crisis. Clearly, some corporations face huge financial losses which […]

Completing the promise of Medicare

Apr 16 2020 — Bill Blaikie — In the early 1960’s, a CCF government (the CCF was the precursor to the NDP) in Saskatchewan successfully lit the path towards what we now know nationally as Medicare, a transformative event in Canadian history. This was done in the face of fierce and often bitter resistance from political opponents, from the medical community and […]

The environmental lessons of COVID-19

Apr 8 2020 — Rick Smith — Given the bleakness of the news these days, it’s understandable that some people have been searching for a silver lining in the current COVID outbreak.  From clearer waters in Venetian canals and coyotes roaming empty city streets, to better air quality in Italy and China and record low global GHG emissions, there have been a […]

Canada’s Response to the Coronavirus: Better than the US, Worse than EU

Mar 30 2020 — Marshall Auerback — How does Canada’s fiscal response to the coronavirus  stack up so far relative to the rest of the world? Data compiled by the IMF suggests that the totality of Ottawa’s announced measures rank somewhere in the middle among major western economies. Part of the measurement challenges involve disaggregating the direct spending component (e.g., extending unemployment […]

Media Representation Needed for a Healthy Democracy

Feb 26 2020 — Jared Walker — From 1501 to 1867, 12.5 million Africans were snatched from their homes, and packed like cattle into ships headed for the Americas.1 Of that number, only 10.7 million people survived the hellish journey across the Atlantic Ocean to be sold into slavery. More than two centuries after the last British slave ship docked in North […]

Reasons for hope in 2020

Jan 1 2020 — Rick Smith — From a progressive point of view, the last days of the year were…less than ideal.  Between Conservative re-election and Brexit in the UK, climate change-linked fires in Australia and a failure of global leadership at the Madrid climate change conference, Jason Kenney and his minions on a rampage and Trump and more Trump, I’m not […]

Green Fantasy Land

Oct 2 2019 — Andrew Jackson — The Green Party platform is full of good intentions.  It calls for robust measures to address catastrophic climate change while also tackling major social challenges such as big gaps in our public health care system and the lack of affordable housing.  These are indeed laudable priorities. The problem is that the plan just not add […]

Taxing Wealth to Create a More Equal Canada

Sep 17 2019 — Andrew Jackson — As part of a broader fair tax agenda, Jagmeet Singh and the federal New Democratic Party have proposed a wealth tax, to be applied at a rate of 1% on wealth above $20 million.  This is intended to generate new fiscal resources from those who can well afford to pay more, to invest in equality-promoting […]

Big Data and Criminal Justice – What Canadians Need to Know

Jun 18 2019 — — Every Google search, credit card purchase, social media interaction, and doctor’s visit leave traces of information about you, where you’ve been, who you’ve interacted with, and what you like. What’s more, advertisers, data brokers, and government agencies can collect and analyze the digital breadcrumbs you leave behind as you go about your day. Welcome to […]

Tackling Climate Change in Canada Requires Global Action

Apr 23 2019 — — In the face of compelling evidence that climate change is actually occurring, and that certain human activities are the cause, what is holding the world back from decisively responding to this threat? Two primary challenges are first, changing mindsets to support a more aggressive response to climate change; and second, solving the problem of collective […]

Gig Economy Demands Social Policy Re-think

Dec 1 2017 — Rick Smith — The November 30 release of labour data from the 2015 Census confirmed that jobs have become much more unstable and precarious as many workers find it very hard to find stable, full-time employment. Less than one half of even so-called core age Canadians age 25 to 54 (49.8%) now work full time, on a full […]

The Brass Tax

Jun 5 2017 — — Every June, the Fraser Institute proclaims a “Tax Freedom Day” to make the misleading claim that Canadians face an ever growing tax burden. The Brass Tax investigates this claim, and finds that the average tax rate is only about half what the Fraser Institute claims. The report demonstrates that far from overtaxing, Canada’s ratio of […]