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…
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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,…
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COVID lockdown leads to cleaner air. Could it lower greenhouse gasses too?

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated policy response has caused an unprecedented economic shock in Canada. Millions of workers have lost their jobs, schools and workplaces have closed and everyone who can is staying home. One consequence of this precipitous decline in economic activity has been a reduction in air pollution….
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Face to face with COVID-19: How do we care for care workers? 

In the midst of a global pandemic, are workers in long-term care (LTC) and home care in Ontario getting the support they need to do their jobs and get home safely? No, they’re not. Not by a long shot. These workers are on the front lines of the battle against…
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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…
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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…
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A tribute to Mel Watkins

Mel Watkins was a towering intellect whose body of work shaped the thinking of generations of students, scholars, politicians, journalists and activists, myself included. As a professor of political economy at the University of Toronto, Mel rejected the arcane pose of the economics profession. His writing was lucid, elegant and…
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Which unemployed Canadians will get support?

New federal policies are being created and adapted daily to try and head off the worst-case economic impacts of COVID-19. Many of those modifications are in reaction to advocates pointing out pitfalls in the proposed design of emergency measures. As these programs unfold, I’ve been tracking how well they cover…
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Struggling homeowners not your typical landlord: The case for rent forgiveness 

In the age of COVID-19, where the unemployment rate is now estimated at 13.5% and many are struggling to pay next month’s rent, the necessity of suspending evictions, providing income supports for low-income households, and having a serious conversation about rent forgiveness couldn’t be clearer. A number of government measures…
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COVID-19: It’s time to protect frontline workers

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that a lot of the people we pay the least are the ones we need the most. In the last two weeks, Canadians have come to appreciate the critical role of the workers in the “supply chain” that keeps us alive. From food…
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