The federal deficit will become whose surplus?

On July 8th, the federal government will release its first fiscal update since December 16, 2019. The aborted spring budget, which was set to be released on March 30th, 2020, was swept away in the need for emergency action to support Canadians as COVID-19 forced the shut down of our…
Read more

Post-pandemic: Towards a more equitable, inclusive, sustainable society

We live in unprecedented times. The global community has been broadsided by a pandemic that has upended our lives socially, physically, psychologically, and financially. As Canadian provinces begin re-emerging from the shutdown, it’s important to appreciate that the world as we know it will never be the same. We can’t…
Read more

You can’t re-open an economy without workers

Yesterday, the Saskatchewan government revealed its plan to “re-open the Saskatchewan economy.” I will leave critiques about whether the plan adequately addresses testing and the public health needs of the province to those more qualified to make them. Suffice it to say I, like many others, was relieved just to…
Read more

The coronavirus crisis: Wake-up call for an economic paradigm shift¹

This article was originally posted on National Newswatch The Trudeau government recently signed an agreement with Amazon to distribute essential medical supplies across Canada in partnership with publicly owned Canada Post and Purolator. Its dependence on Amazon at time of crisis—a corporation with dangerously unsafe workplaces, and an aggressive anti-union…
Read more

Early Warning: Who’s bearing the brunt of COVID19’s labour market impacts?

March Labour Force Survey Key Facts: 1 million lost jobs, but another 2.1 million had a majority of their hours cut. 3.1 million Canadians lost work or a majority of their hours. 1 in 5 women (1.8 million) lost jobs or a majority of their hours. 1 in 4 youth…
Read more

Canada joins the QE club: What is quantitative easing and what comes next?

With the COVID-19 recession getting deeper by the day, the Bank of Canada has joined other central banks in quickly reducing its target interest rate to near zero and implementing “quantitative easing” (QE) measures to suppress other interest rates and support credit flows, including borrowing by government. Starting April 1,…
Read more

What kind of return to normal do we want?

In a column published on the IRIS blog (and translated for Behind the Numbers), Guillaume Hébert says that the COVID-19 crisis marks a point of no return on a global scale that could definitively change “our relationship to the community, to public services, to governments, to supply chains, to borders and…
Read more

A return to normal is not an option

It is reasonable to think there will be no return to normal after this crisis. First of all, because the health crisis is already changing our relationship to the community, to public services, to governments, to supply chains, to borders and to relations among nations. And then because, even before…
Read more