Canadian Mining and Manufacturing Stumble

Statistics Canada reported today that the economy shrank in February, driven by declines in resource extraction and manufacturing. Oil and gas extraction as well as hard-rock mining decreased due to temporary shutdowns. However, the most dramatic decline was in potash production, down 19% due to mine closures in Saskatchewan. The…
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Canada’s Secret Bank Bailout

The conventional narrative about the performance Canada’s big banks during the financial crisis goes as follows: while American banks bet heavily on sub-prime real estate and had extensive shadow bank holdings, Canadian banks did not. However, the details of exactly how much each Canadian bank received, when they received it,…
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The Opacity of Tory Transparency

“The time for accountability has arrived.” These were the first words written by Stephen Harper in the Conservatives’ 2006 Election Platform, “Stand Up for Canada.” Indeed, if there is an animating theme in what would become the Conservative’s winning election message in 2006, it was the Tories insistence that they…
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PBO Strikes Again

I wanted to tip my hat to the hard working folks at the PBO for a particularly revealing Economic and Fiscal Outlook that was published today. While the PBO has more than once eaten my lunch on various issues, they’ve done a superb job of looking at Canada’s economic and…
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Beetles, forests, and climate change: Exchanging old mistakes for new?

Many sectors of Canadian society are still in shock, reeling from the recent budget cutbacks announced by the Harper Conservatives. The CBC, the National Film Board, Elections Canada, Canadian Border Services, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Veterans Affairs, and Fisheries and Oceans have all been slashed. While the government has said…
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Can Wildrose remove its thorns?

With the Alberta Tories proving so many pollsters and pundits wrong after their convincing win last night, one might be forgiven for writing off the ultra-conservative Wildrose Party as an otherwise historic footnote in the annals of Alberta’s Tory dynasty. That, I argue, would be a mistake. First, let’s look…
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McGuinty Budget Would Cut Over 100,000 Jobs

Last week, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union released an interesting report by the Centre for Spatial Economics on the economic impact of proposed provincial budget cuts. It provides a timely reminder that the public sector is a crucial component of the economy, with public spending also supporting many private-sector…
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