Long-term funding for domestic violence programs will have lasting impact beyond the pandemic, say experts

COVID-19 has plunged Canada into a state of uncertainty and fear, as people question their ability to pay rent and provide for their families during this crisis. Some vulnerable populations, though, will be forced to live in fear of injury or even death in their own homes. While physical distancing…
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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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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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Some of our most undervalued workers now among our most valuable as pandemic forces rethink of what jobs are critical

In any public emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic, society naturally turns to tried-and-true public service professionals for advice, protection and care. First and foremost, we depend on health-care workers risking their own well-being to care for the ill — even in chaotic and overcrowded conditions. Other first responders provide emergency…
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Bold Action in an Extraordinary Time

The coronavirus has brought about a global public health and economic crisis with breathtaking speed. In Canada we are entering a time of emergency on a scale that is difficult to fully comprehend or anticipate. The pandemic has quickly exposed the gaping holes in our social safety net—particularly with respect…
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