The decade long petro-boom has caused major distortions in the Canadian economy, and has driven growing interpersonal and interprovincial inequality.
The flood of petro-revenue into Alberta— the source and destination of the vast majority of petro-wealth— pushed up its per capita GDP from 10% above the Canadian average in 2002, to 49% above the Canadian average in 2010.
Petroleum revenues are recycled throughout the Canadian economy through federal and provincial tax and transfer systems; personal earnings and income from petroleum-related investments; and through inter-provincial trade and employment shifts. These mechanisms, as currently constructed, are recycling petro-dollars in a highly unequal manner. ...Read more
Tags: interprovincial inequality·Poverty and Income Inequality
For the first time in Canadian history, an election is being waged on this question: Which political candidate do you trust to reduce income inequality?
Welcome to the Toronto-Centre by-election, where voters go to the polls on November 25.
Two Toronto-Centre political candidates are stealing the show in this by-election for one simple reason: they’re the first Canadians to put income inequality front and centre during an election-time political campaign.
The candidates are: Journalist Chrystia Freeland (Liberal), who wrote a book called The Plutocrats, and journalist Linda McQuaig (NDP), who recently wrote a book called The Problem With Billionaires. ...Read more
Tags: Ontario·Poverty and Income Inequality·Toronto
The Fraser Institute would like to remove compassion from the policy debate about poverty in Canada. Why? Because, according to the author of this report, Christopher Sarlo, compassion is causing us to confuse those who have lower income with those who do not have enough income to sustain life. For Sarlo, those who use relative measures of poverty, which set a poverty line relative to, for example, the median income in Canada, are being misled by emotions. He writes: “Poverty, like disability, is an emotional issue, laden with strong feelings of sadness and disapprobation, but there is surely some value in setting emotion aside in order to measure the phenomenon as objectively as possible.” ...Read more
Tags: Economy & Economic Indicators·Poverty and Income Inequality
It seems everywhere I turn people are talking income inequality. Whether it’s on the pages of the current Globe and Mail series, The Wealth Paradox, or in the Toronto-Centre by-election where both front-runners claim to be experts on the subject, the issue finally seems to be taking up space in the public consciousness.
But conversations don’t necessarily translate into the kind of political interventions needed to meaningfully reduce income inequality. What is actually being done to correct the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us right here in Ontario? ...Read more
Tags: Economy & Economic Indicators·Employment and Labour·Jobs·Poverty and Income Inequality
The Throne Speech had a lot to say about Canadian families. The Government promised to make “the right choices” for Canadian families. Just like the choices it has made so far. The Government promised safety and security for Canadian families. Not to mention lower cable bills.
How do those promises measure up against reality?
First, let’s be clear about which Canadian family we are talking about. The Throne Speech, like the 2013 Federal Budget, claimed that the “average family” was now saving an additional $3220 in taxes as a result of specific tax measure introduced in the past 5 years. Measures like the reduction in GST and new child tax credits. However, the Government’s math on this one is a little tricky. So is their definition of “average.” ...Read more
Tags: crime·families·Gender Equality·Poverty and Income Inequality·Throne Speech
This piece was first published in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab.
Five years after a global economic crisis unleashed chaos on markets everywhere, income inequality has become an inescapable political and economic issue, in Canada as elsewhere. That’s because of mounting evidence that the increasingly skewed distribution of gains from economic growth slows future growth potential, and erodes trust that a democratically governed system is working for the benefit of the majority. ...Read more
Tags: Economy & Economic Indicators·Poverty and Income Inequality
It seems all that fuss being kicked up about tuition fees rising faster than inflation, significant levels of student debt, dismal employment prospects for young people, and parents having to postpone retirement to help shoulder some of the burden under which their kids are struggling has not gone unnoticed.
As we discuss in Degrees of Uncertainty, the average cost of tuition and compulsory fees for Canadian undergrads will rise by 13% over the course of their degree, from $6,610 this fall to an estimated $7,437 in 2016-17. Since 1990, average tuition and compulsory fees, even adjusting for inflation, have tripled since 1990. ...Read more
Tags: Democracy·Economy & Economic Indicators·Education·Poverty and Income Inequality·Youth
So, am I the only parent of small children struck by the familiar tone of RBC’s Temporary Foreign Worker damage control message fiasco? In a CBC interview that was basically a clinic for how not to do PR, Chief Human Resources Officer Zabeen Hirji’s attempt at banksplaining sounded suspiciously like a Sharon, Lois and Bram singalong: “Who, me? Yes, you. Couldn’t be! Then who? iGate hired temporary foreign workers from the global labour market cookie jar!”
(Although kudos to CBC for reminding those of us who haven’t seen one in a while what a tough interview—of a Corporate Canada spokesperson, anyway—actually looks like.) ...Read more
Tags: Economy & Economic Indicators·Income Inequality·Poverty and Income Inequality·satire
Amidst the reluctant media coverage of Idle No More exists a particularly irritating contradiction that centres on how wealth and inequality are examined.
The Occupy movement was roundly criticized by the elite’s media handmaids for going after the 1%. “Why are you punishing ingenuity and hard work,” the 99%ers were asked. “Why are you jealous of people who have ‘made it’?”
After all, success is to be emulated, not vilified. Right?
But tweak the situation—and the target—and the elites (and their mouthpieces) turn into veritable class warriors. In an “eat the rich” kind of way. ...Read more
Tags: Aboriginal Issues·Income Inequality·Media·Poverty and Income Inequality·satire
“As an ordinary Canadian I feel deeply that this wonderful country is at a crucial, and very fragile, juncture in its history. One of the major reasons for this fragility is the deep sense of alienation and frustration felt by, I believe, the vast majority of Canadian Indians, Inuit and Métis. Accordingly, any process of change or reform in Canada — whether constitutional, economic or social — should not proceed, and cannot succeed, without aboriginal issues being an important part of the agenda.”
The Right Honourable Brian Dickson
Report of the Special Representative
respecting the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1991) ...Read more
Tags: Aboriginal Issues·Democracy·Human Rights·Poverty and Income Inequality