Post-pandemic: Towards a more equitable, inclusive, sustainable society

We live in unprecedented times. The global community has been broadsided by a pandemic that has upended our lives socially, physically, psychologically, and financially. As Canadian provinces begin re-emerging from the shutdown, it’s important to appreciate that the world as we know it will never be the same. We can’t…
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You can’t re-open an economy without workers

Yesterday, the Saskatchewan government revealed its plan to “re-open the Saskatchewan economy.” I will leave critiques about whether the plan adequately addresses testing and the public health needs of the province to those more qualified to make them. Suffice it to say I, like many others, was relieved just to…
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The coronavirus crisis: Wake-up call for an economic paradigm shift¹

This article was originally posted on National Newswatch The Trudeau government recently signed an agreement with Amazon to distribute essential medical supplies across Canada in partnership with publicly owned Canada Post and Purolator. Its dependence on Amazon at time of crisis—a corporation with dangerously unsafe workplaces, and an aggressive anti-union…
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Early Warning: Who’s bearing the brunt of COVID19’s labour market impacts?

March Labour Force Survey Key Facts: 1 million lost jobs, but another 2.1 million had a majority of their hours cut. 3.1 million Canadians lost work or a majority of their hours. 1 in 5 women (1.8 million) lost jobs or a majority of their hours. 1 in 4 youth…
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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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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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Much stronger conditions needed on federal wage subsidy program

The federal government has announced it is prepared to pay wages subsidies of up to 75% of employee wages for all private businesses and other employers, including non-profits, partnerships and charities that expect a 30% drop in revenues, up to a maximum of $847/worker per week and $11,011 over the…
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