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Ten points in Canada's real economic update

The minister of finance has made his Fall Economic Update. We wanted to hear what he had to say about government spending -- but we didn't. Why? Because the real story is one of austerity.

The federal finance minister promised Canadians a look at what is happening with the economy. On the surface, the job is fairly straightforward. James Flaherty has to say whether the economy is growing, or not; and he has to say what he intends to do about it.

Columnists

Waiting for the writ to drop

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty at the International Monetary Fund's headquarters April 23, 2010 in Washington, DC.  Photo: IMF/Flickr

Parliament is back this week, and its focus this fall will be on what to do about the economy. The first order of business should be reducing unemployment, but the Conservatives are more interested in reducing the deficit.

Want to reduce the government deficit? Raise business investment? Improve the standard of living? Moving to full employment -- a job for everyone who wants one -- is the way to go. Putting more Canadians back to work will ensure the economy improves.

Budget delivers cuts not jobs

The 2010 federal budget stuck predictably to the Conservative dogma that there is no need for a fundamental change of course. One we get past the temporary hiccup of global and national recession, we must return to a world of ever-smaller government to be achieved through continued tax reductions and deep spending cuts.

Despite the fact that unemployment is and will remain very high -- forecast in the budget itself to average 8.5 per cent this year and 7.9 per cent next year -- temporary extensions of EI benefits will expire in September of this year and some 500,000 unemployment claims filed during the Great Recession will be exhausted before claimants can find a new job.

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| December 8, 2014
Columnists

The problem with Stephen Poloz's advice for Canadian youth

Photo: Metro Centric/flickr

In a superbly ill-phrased, ill-timed, ill-advised recommendation to young, unemployed Canadians, the Bank of Canada's governor, Stephen Poloz, has told them to "Get some real-life experience even though you're discouraged, even if it's for free." He's all heart, he's pushing this because he knows how "scarring" unemployment can be. It's no gaffe. He's since "doubled down." He's especially infatuated with the term, "scarring," as if it shows how sensitive he is.

Columnists

Study finds no link between minimum wage levels and employment outcomes

Photo: Russ Allison Loar/flickr

Last week my Unifor colleague Jordan Brennan and I published a study through the CCPA Ontario office examining the historical empirical evidence regarding the link between changes in minimum wages and employment outcomes. We find there is no robust evidence in Canadian historical data that increases in real minimum wages cause either lower employment or higher unemployment, even when we focus on key segments of the labour market that are most reliant on low-wage labour (including youth and the retail and hospitality sectors).

| October 10, 2014
Source: CANSIM 282-0087
| September 8, 2014
| September 8, 2014
| June 6, 2014
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