National Newswatch

The expensive truth about a universal basic income

Sep 11 2021 — Tegan Hill and Jake Fuss — Since the beginning of the pandemic, with its lockdowns and restrictions, the idea of government providing a universal basic income has gained greater interest. Indeed, the idea surfaced (albeit briefly) in the federal election’s English-language debate Thursday night. A universal basic income (UBI) is one type of guaranteed annual income (GAI). A GAI broadly refers […]

Trudeau and O’Toole muddy their spending plans

Sep 3 2021 — Jason Clemens and Jake Fuss — During an election campaign, voters must weigh the costs and benefits of the promises made by each political party. As such, voter decisions rely on the transparency—or lack thereof—of the parties. When it comes to government spending, there are legitimate concerns about how transparent the two front-running parties are being about the costs of their […]

Muskrat Falls project illustrates problem with public ownership of large-scale projects

Aug 21 2021 — Jairo Yunis and Elmira Aliakbari — A couple of weeks before the election began, the federal government offered a multi-billion-dollar aid package to Newfoundland and Labrador to help the province complete the stagnant over-budget Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project. Ottawa will buy an equity stake in the project and provide loan guarantees as part of a $5.2 billion aid package. This represents […]

Learn from ‘Nixon shock’—control central bankers, limit ability to debase currency

Aug 14 2021 — Robert P. Murphy — This Sunday, Aug. 15 marks the 50th anniversary of the so-called “Nixon shock” in 1971 when the President Richard Nixon ended the convertibility of the U.S. dollar into gold. Although Nixon said the suspension would be temporary, and reassured Americans that the surprise move would “stabilize the dollar,” these were false promises. The closing of […]

Ottawa must exercise more control over borrowing and spending

Jul 27 2021 — Jake Fuss — During the pandemic, government budget deficits have grown substantially across Canada—at a time when interest costs are at historical lows. If interest costs return to the slightly higher levels of 2019, deficits would increase by billions for governments across the country. And yet, several governments (including the Trudeau government) show little concern over their high […]

Freeland doubles down despite dismal pre-COVID economic numbers

Jun 19 2021 — Jason Clemens, Milagros Palacios and Niels Veldhuis — In a recent interview, federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland explained the need to focus on economic growth to deal with many of Canada’s fiscal issues including our high debt levels. Minister Freeland is correct that higher rates of economic growth would solve many of the country’s issues. Unfortunately, her policy prescription for higher growth is […]

Post-COVID housing squeeze will hurt lower-income residents

May 14 2021 — Steve Lafleur — Obviously, the pandemic has changed many things in a relatively short period of time, including housing demand in municipalities across Canada. Consider the Greater Toronto Area, where the detached housing market is red hot while the market for smaller apartments and condos is not. But as apartment renters enjoy this new landscape of lower prices […]

B.C. government imposes travel restrictions while COVID numbers fall

Apr 30 2021 — Niels Veldhuis — Last week, Premier John Horgan imposed travel restrictions in British Columbia under the province’s Emergency Program Act. Specifically, the order restricts people from travelling outside their “region” (i.e. Lower Mainland, Interior or Vancouver Island) for non-essential purposes to help stop the spread of COVID-19. And yet, according to the government’s own data, new and active […]

Trudeau government should scuttle stimulus spending plans

Mar 6 2021 — Matthew Lau — This spring, the Trudeau government will table its first budget since 2019. It’s expected to be an expensive one. In its last fiscal update in November, the government projected $620 billion in net debt accumulation over four years, driven by high levels of spending. On top of this new $620 billion in debt was another […]