Federal government signals important changes in throne speech, but may buckle to demands of elites

As it should, the coronavirus pandemic took centre stage in the Liberal government’s speech from the throne. Getting through this global crisis, which affects us all, must take precedence. With some notable gaps and a last-minute push from the NDP to ensure workers affected by COVID do not see their incomes reduced…
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John Loxley: a personal reflection

  Two giants have left us—Mel Watkins a few months ago, and now John Loxley. John (pictured, left, with Andrew Jackson and Watkins, his John Kenneth Galbraith Prize co-winners in 2008) was an inspiring and fiercely dedicated leader. His scholarly work, though impeccable, was not of an ivory tower vintage,…
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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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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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