National Newswatch

New Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation Provides Key Insights on National Politics and Public Policy

Sep 24 2020 — — Today, the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) officially launches its Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation, a permanent research body that will build a deeper understanding of Canada as a federal community. With the provincial and federal governments focused on their responses to COVID-19, and all eyes turning to Ottawa as Parliament […]

Canada’s Forgotten Poor? Putting Singles Living in Deep Poverty on the Policy Radar

Sep 22 2020 — — Despite federal, provincial, and territorial governments devoting a lot of effort on plans to reduce poverty in recent years, too many Canadians continue to struggle to meet their basic daily needs on incomes that fall far below the poverty line. And, among all household groups, single persons without dependants are most likely to find themselves […]

The Demographics of Automation in Canada: Who Is at Risk?

Jun 29 2020 — — The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a new vulnerability among firms that rely on human labour. In order to comply with public health directives on physical distancing, many businesses have had to completely shut down their operations for months. Others remained functional thanks to teleworking, which many intend to prolong and even adopt permanently. As experts […]

Implementation of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Could Strengthen Reconciliation

Jun 17 2020 — — Policy-makers and officials in Canada have an important international instrument to aid them in the pursuit of Indigenous reconciliation: the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which recognizes the basic human rights of Indigenous people as well as their rights to self-determination. As the standoff over the Coastal GasLink pipeline earlier […]

Relieving the Burden of Navigating Health and Social Services for Older Adults and Caregivers

Nov 6 2019 — — Canada’s aging population faces a harsh reality: growing numbers of older Canadians with chronic illnesses, disabilities and cognitive impairment are regularly discouraged by the efforts required to access and coordinate fragmented health and social care services. These challenges are often most profound for those who cannot rely on help from family members or friends, but […]

Canada’s innovation challenge: Unlocking the demand

Jun 21 2019 — Jakob Edler — Canada faces a triple innovation challenge: decreasing productivity growth, a growing gap in R&D investments and a need to harness innovation more directly for the good of society. Those challenges cannot be tackled if the country remains in its supply-side policy silo. Decades of government-led attempts to promote productivity and innovation through measures like R&D […]

Are Low-Income Savers Still in the Lurch? TFSAs at 10 Years

Apr 9 2019 — — The introduction of Tax-Tree Savings Accounts (TFSAs) in 2009 transformed how Canadians save. One of the main reasons for creating TFSAs was to provide a tax-assisted savings instrument for low-income Canadians to enable them to improve their retirement income. Now, 10 years later, many low-income savers are still not using TFSAs in ways that would […]

Have the Lessons of the Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster been learned??

Dec 7 2016 — Bruce Campbell — The National Energy Board estimated recently that if no new pipelines were built, oil by rail would increase tenfold in coming decades. Prime Minister Trudeau justified, in part, his recent decision to approve Kinder Morgan and Enbridge Line 3, on the grounds that pipelines were safer than rail. With or without these new pipelines, most […]

IRPP Insight: Carbon Pricing and Intergovernmental Relations in Canada

Nov 23 2016 — — The national carbon pricing plan announced in October 2016 reflects federal leadership to reduce emissions and respect international commitments. ■ The plan allows flexibility for provinces that already have a cap-and-trade program or carbon tax as well as those without a mitigation policy. ■ As experience in other policy settings reveals, intergovernmental processes are important […]

Is Canada squandering its diplomatic capital with Cuba?

Mar 23 2016 — Mark Entwistle — A former ambassador to Cuba warns that Canada needs to re-engage with Cuba, or cede its decades-old advantage. President Barack Obama has just finished a visit to Cuba that can only described as historic by any standard. The impact of the Obama visit cannot be judged by the package of announced agreements and deals that […]

What we should ignore in Budget 2016

Mar 21 2016 — Stephen Tapp — My last post on Policy Options Perspectives described what I’ll be looking for in Budget 2016, including things like budget transparency, prudence, clear fiscal policy targets and a better sense of key policy priorities. This article explains something I’m not focused on in the budget — the projected budget balance in a given year. This […]

The Future of Leaders’ Debates

Mar 16 2016 — — Could use the following as an excerpt: “The “debate about the debates” in the last election cycle raised some contentious issues, many of which are still unresolved. What format should the debates take? Which party leaders should participate? And, perhaps most crucially, Who owns the debates? In this Policy Options special feature Paul Adams Elly […]

Round Table Report: Making Better Use of Science and Technology in Policy-Making

Mar 8 2016 — — Amid rapid scientific and technological change and increasing complexity, there is growing concern about the ability of governments to absorb the findings of scientific research and technological advancements; incorporate this new knowledge in the development of legislation, policy and regulation; and conduct the scientific research in support of their missions. Uncertainty surrounding the direction of […]