Behind the Numbers

Entries Tagged as 'Federal Budget'

Alternative Federal Budget 2015: Delivering the Good

March 19th, 2015 · · Alternative Federal Budget, Economy & Economic Indicators, Federal Budget, Poverty and Income Inequality

The following remarks are excerpted from the 2015 Alternative Federal Budget press conference on March 19, 2015 on Parliament Hill, featuring David Macdonald and Kate McInturff.


This year is the 20th anniversary of the Alternative Federal Budget. Our first was in 1995. Over the years, we’ve proposed policies that have been successfully implemented, like the creation of a Parliamentary Budget Officer. Other ideas, like affordable childcare, we continue to advocate for.

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Bad Math: Why Budget 2014 fails to add up for women

February 21st, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Federal Budget, Gender Equality

256px-Ampelmadchen_DresdenI like playing monopoly as much as the next girl. But I know the difference between monopoly money and what’s in my wallet. Not so Federal Budget 2014—at least not when it comes to public spending to improve the lives of women.

Status of Women Canada, the federal organization tasked with just this, has always had a laughably small budget. Consider that Status of Women Canada is mandated to promote “equality [and the] full participation in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada” of half the population. All that with an operating budget that amounts to $1.67 per woman and girl in Canada.

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Young Workers Left Behind in Budget 2014

February 11th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Federal Budget, Youth

Recessions are always harder on young workers, but we are nearly five years out from the end of the last recession and there is still no recovery in sight for young workers.

The paid internships announced in this budget (some of which is previously announced spending) will only reach a maximum of 2,500 individuals per year, less than 0.5% (half of one percent) of unemployed young workers, and addresses a fraction of the need.

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Missing In Action: Federal Budget 2014

February 11th, 2014 · · Federal Budget, public services, Taxes and Tax Cuts

Here’s the first section of the budget summary and analysis I’ve prepared for CUPE. The full version is on-line on CUPE’s website together with our press release .

Missing In Action: Federal Budget 2014  CUPE Federal Budget 2014 Summary and Response  

Conservatives ignore pressing economic needs with a Do-little budget

Using more of their doublespeak, the Harper government calls the 2014 federal budget “The Road to Balance: Creating Jobs and Opportunities.” Little could be further from the truth.  Instead it’s a budget that glosses over the problems facing Canadian workers and continues to kill jobs and stifle economic growth. ‘Missing in Action’ are significant positive measures needed to improve the lives of Canadians by increasing good job opportunities, improving public services or ensuring decent retirement incomes

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Les priorités fédérales 2014 : chars, nucléaire et ski-doo

February 11th, 2014 · · Federal Budget

Après un autre 14 G$ de compressions budgétaires, nous voici de retour à l’équilibre budgétaire. Bien-sûr, si vous questionnez Jim Flaherty, le ministre des Finances, il répliquera au contraire qu’il lui faut toujours résorber un déficit de 0,1% du PIB avant d’y parvenir. Mais lorsqu’un déficit est aussi petit, il vaut mieux parler d’un déficit volontaire… Tout porte à croire que des stratèges conservateurs tiennent à retenir d’une année la bonne nouvelle du déficit zéro et ainsi cueillir le fruit de la « responsabilité fiscale » en contexte préélectoral.

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Youth employment measures in #bdgt14 do little to fix a big problem

February 11th, 2014 · · Alternative Federal Budget, Federal Budget

It’s not unreasonable to say that Canada has a youth employment crisis.

The employment rate for youth in January was at one of its lowest points since the start of the recession, at 50.6%[i]. That’s only 0.1% higher than it was two years ago and down by a tenth compared to pre-recession levels. The unemployment rate for youth is nearly 2-and-a-half times higher than non-youth[ii], and the “recovery” in youth unemployment can be attributed to the number of youth who have actually dropped out of the labour market because of the recession.

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Who will they come for next? Charities and the federal budget

February 11th, 2014 · · Federal Budget

The federal government has been attempting to silence NGOs with charitable status from speaking out on issues that matter to all Canadians. This initiative to intimidate and otherwise silence voices that challenge its policies—goes to the heart of Canadian democracy.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Conservative government is attempting to rewrite or reinterpret the rules on what constitutes “political activity” to prevent organizations from saying things it does not want to hear.

The CRA Minister claims these audits are random, but this claim lacks credibility. The claim that they are arms-length and not subject to government interference—is highly questionable.

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Budget 2014: Let stagnation reign

February 11th, 2014 · · Alternative Federal Budget, Federal Budget

As Canada slogs through its anaemic recovery, the federal government again appears to be happy to drive down growth.  In fact since the last budget, economic growth for 2014 was revised down by a full point.  The future two years out looks rosy until we get there and then—surprise!—stagnant growth continues to be the norm.

The labour market, despite a whole booklet on it in the budget documents, is in much worse shape than advertised. Of the decline in the unemployment rate since the worst of 2009, 20% was due to Canadians finding jobs, obviously a positive thing, but 80% was due to Canadians giving up their search.  In fact the situation is much worse for youth where 100% of the drop in their unemployment rate was due to young people giving up their search.

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Canada’s Job Market: Slower, Lower, Weaker

February 8th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Federal Budget

The following commentary on yesterday’s job numbers is quoted in today’s National Post (page FP4):

The Olympic motto may be “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” but Canada’s employment growth is slower, lower and weaker going into the winter games.

Of the 29,000 Canadians who supposedly gained employment in January, 28,000 reported being self-employed. Only 1,000 found jobs paid by an employer.

While self-employment includes some high-income professionals and entrepreneurs, the jump in self-employment in the context of a poor job market suggests that many Canadians are trying to eke out income through contract work because employers are not offering paid positions.

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Alternative Federal Budget 2014: Striking a better balance

February 5th, 2014 · · Alternative Federal Budget, Economy & Economic Indicators, Federal Budget, Income Inequality

The following remarks are excerpted from the 2014 Alternative Federal Budget press conference, featuring Armine Yalnizyan, David Macdonald and Bruce Campbell (February 5th, Parliament Hill).

This year is our 19th Alternative Federal Budget (AFB).

From the beginning, we’ve developed a rigorous economic and fiscal framework for our Budget; and we have acquired an enviable reputation for more accurately forecasting fiscal balances than the  Department of Finance. Organizers of a recent international conference in Berlin recently called our alternative budget the leading example of its kind in the world. Former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page has praised it, as have many academic economists.

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