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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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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Blockades aren’t the crisis. It’s the crumbling legitimacy of Canada’s democracy

Our democratic institutions are in crisis. Their very legitimacy is in question, and Canada’s national leaders appear ill-equipped to respond. The Indigenous re-occupation of Wet’suwet’en land and nationwide actions in support have sparked debate and deliberation about the causes, consequences, complications and solutions. The debate has been emotional and traumatic…
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First steps and leap years:

Not everyone is comfortable leading a march, or organizing a protest (though anyone who’s hosted a birthday party probably has more experience in this area than they realize!). But the most effective and inclusive movements rely on different kinds of meaningful contributions that allow people to join in where and…
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Inconvenience and indifference

Indifference, said Antonio Gramsci, is “the mainspring of history.” By that he meant it is not the active few who determine what comes to pass, for better or worse, but “the absenteeism of the many.” The indifferent masses, he said, “allow the knots to form that in time only a…
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Reflections on my big Obama moment

In January, I joined more than 6,000 people at the Toronto Convention Centre to hear former U.S. president Barack Obama speak about “the future of work.” Seeing him in person for the first time got me reflecting on the past, and what remains my most impactful Obama moment. I was…
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The battle for the heart of globalization: Seattle, November 30, 1999

Twenty years after the Battle of Seattle, the need for fairer and more sustainable international trade could not be clearer. To mark the protest’s anniversary, CCPA Monitor editor Stuart Trew interviewed global justice activists on the legacy and future of the alter-globalization movement. View the story Menu Scott Maude Steven…
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Canada’s lackluster performance under CETA should be a lesson

In July, several members of Parliament—including NDP and Green leaders Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May—sent a letter to French legislators urging them not to ratify the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). “We agree that trade between our countries and continents is important,” it read. “However, we believe in…
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