National Newswatch

Great Power Competition in the Pacific: Charting Canada’s Path Under the Biden Administration

Jan 18 2021 — Zach Paikin — In recent years, the core foundations underpinning Canada’s foreign policy have shifted from being coherent to contradictory. As Joe Biden enters the Oval Office, Ottawa’s principal task will be to bring its foreign policy in line with a new international context shaped by great power competition. However, the imperative for Canada over the coming years […]

Ontario’s new finance minister must recognize the importance of budget balance

Jan 16 2021 — Steve Lafleur and Jake Fuss — With the resignation of Rod Phillips, Ontario’s incoming finance minister Peter Bethlenfalvy inherits a difficult job. The province’s fiscal challenges long pre-date the global pandemic. Queen’s Park has mostly run uninterrupted budget deficits since 2008/09. Both the McGuinty and Wynne governments sketched out long paths to budget balance, neither of which came to pass. The […]

A New Innovation Mandate for a New Innovation Minister

Jan 13 2021 — Robert Asselin — You are taking on your new role at a challenging time. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a brighter economic future for all Canadians will require a long-term plan and strategic investments in our productive capacity. Greater productivity drives economic growth, business investment and employment, which in turn will generate higher living standards, more […]

Health-care wait times in Canada hit record high in 2020

Dec 23 2020 — Bacchus Barua and Mackenzie Moir — As we continue our battle against COVID-19, another separate health-care crisis rages on. Wait times. Patients in Canada face the longest wait time for elective surgery on record—22.6 weeks (between referral from a family doctor to receipt of medically necessary treatment). Of course, the pandemic and the pre-emptive cancellations of procedures have influenced this historic […]

The Party That Failed

Dec 7 2020 — — When Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, I was full of hope for China. As a professor at the prestigious school that educates top leaders in the Chinese Communist Party, I knew enough about history to conclude that it was past time for China to open up its political system. After a decade of […]

Trudeau government shows no interest in properly targeting assistance—despite deficits

Dec 5 2020 — Jason Clemens and Milagros Palacios — Since its election, the Trudeau government has consistently demonstrated its disinterest in targeting spending to those in need and limiting debt accumulation. Despite expected deficits of $381.6 billion this year and $121.2 billion next year, and the national debt (adjusted for financial assets) on track to reach $1.5 trillion by 2025-26, the federal government announced […]

Trudeau government’s approach to federal finances anything but ‘prudent’

Dec 3 2020 — Jason Clemens and Jake Fuss — Since coming to power in 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau—and his finance ministers—have characterized their management of federal finances as “prudent,” an adjective meaning to act with or show care and thought for the future. In other words, acting prudently would mean being judicious about borrowing and debt. And yet, based on this government’s performance pre-COVID, […]

Trudeau government continues to dodge democratic accountability

Nov 29 2020 — Jason Clemens and Jake Fuss — According to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, next week the Trudeau government will provide an “update” on its 2020 spending. But in fact, the government has not delivered a full federal budget since March 2019, more than 20 months ago, demonstrating little regard for democratic accountability. The democratic tradition calls for annual budgets with the government […]

Ep.33: 5G on the Horizon

Nov 26 2020 — — With a Canadian workforce of 50,000, Bell Canada is a major player in Canada’s telecom industry and the cornerstone of so many of our work-from-home setups during the pandemic. President & CEO Mirko Bibic is at the helm of this historic company, and he joins Policy Speaking to discuss what’s on the horizon with key […]

New Brunswick government finances officially unsustainable

Nov 21 2020 — Jake Fuss and Alex Whalen — Due to the pandemic and economic downturn—and subsequent increased government spending, shrinking economy and lower projected government revenues—the Higgs government in New Brunswick, like other provinces across Canada, faces a large budget deficit and rising provincial debt. More important than this year’s deficit, however, are the long-term fiscal challenges looming over the province. The Parliamentary […]

Ep.31: Will the U.S. See a Normal Transition from One Government to Another?

Nov 13 2020 — — Nixon conceded to John Kennedy. Al Gore conceded to George W. Bush. Will Trump concede to Biden? Anxieties are increasing as a transition becomes increasingly contentious and politicized. Host Edward Greenspon is joined by Maryscott “Scotty” Greenwood and PPF Fellow Sean Speer to discuss how the Democrats and Republicans did, the polarization of this U.S. […]

Alberta’s government debt was unsustainable—before COVID

Nov 12 2020 — Tegan Hill and Ben Eisen — The Kenney government will release a three-year fiscal update later this month, and will be tempted to blame Alberta’s fiscal challenges on COVID-19. While the COVID-induced recession has certainly contributed to the province’s eye-popping budget deficit—projected to be $24.2 billion (2020/21)—and rapid debt accumulation, it represents a relatively small part of Alberta’s fiscal problems. In […]