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Ending homelessness in St. John’s: Ten things to know

I’m co-author of a recent blog post about the fight to end homelessness in St. John’s (Newfoundland and Labrador). Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Recent increases in federal funding for homelessness have made a very important difference to St. John’s homeless-serving sector. I’m referring here to increases brought in by the Trudeau government. -The corrections sector in Newfoundland and Labrador contributes to the homelessness problem in...

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Canadian Political Economy on Staple Thesis

In an impressive overview of the state of Canadian Political Economy, a new book Change and Continuity ed. by Mark P. Thomas et.al. includes two important articles on the continuing relevance of the staple thesis. On the one hand, Jim Stanford’s “Staples Dependence Renewed and Betrayed: Canada’s Twenty-First Century Boom and Best” does just as its title tells because of the reversion to dependence on petroleum as a staple export since 2000 and the deindustrializing effect on the national...

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The use of homeless shelters by Indigenous peoples in Canada

I’ve written a blog post about the use of homeless shelters by Indigenous peoples in Canada. The post is inspired by recently-accessed, internal analysis done by staff at Employment and Social Development Canada. One point raised in the blog post is that there is no clear indication from the presentation of the analysis that Indigenous peoples or groups were engaged in any way in the analysis (aside from the fact that their data was used). Another is that Toronto had to be omitted from...

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A Warning from Australia on Scheer’s Climate Non-Plan

Andrew Scheer argues carbon pricing is the wrong way to limit GHG emissions. He has pledged to eliminate the federal carbon pricing system, promising that scrapping it will bring down the cost of living and unleash more business investment. Most economists disagree. And all of the other major parties include carbon pricing of some form in their respective plans to meet Canada’s Paris commitments. So Scheer’s approach is a clear outlier, both intellectually and politically. Scheer...

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Trudeau’s proposed speculation tax

Posted by Nick Falvo under BC, bubble, cities, economic thought, foreign investment/ownership, globalization, housing, inequality, interest rates, investment, Liberal Party policy, monetary policy, municipalities, Ontario, party politics, prices, private equity, regulation, Role of government, taxation, Toronto, wealth. September 25th, 2019Comments: none I’ve written a blog post about the Trudeau Liberals’ recently-proposed speculation tax on residential real estate owned...

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Taxing Wealth to Create a More Equal Canada

This is a longer, wonkier version of a piece I wrote for National Newswatch. As part of a broader fair tax agenda, Jagmeet Singh and the federal New Democratic Party have proposed a wealth tax. This is intended to fight obscene and rising levels of economic inequality by limiting the concentration of wealth in the hands of the very rich, who can well afford to pay more, and by generating new fiscal resources to be invested in equality-promoting programs such as expanded public health...

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My review of Eric Weissman’s book on intentional homeless communities

I’ve just reviewed Eric Weissman’s book on intentional homeless communities. Points made in the review include the following: -Intentional communities in general are communities built around specific goals. But in the case of this book, I mean small communities of housing sometimes made from discarded, donated and recycled material, and sometimes purpose-built, to address homelessness. -Intentional communities are not the same thing as tent cities or tiny home communities. The former...

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Alberta must find alternatives to cutting social spending

I have an opinion piece in today’s Edmonton Journal about Alberta’s current fiscal situation. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The Jason Kenney government will almost certainly announce cuts to social spending in the near future. -Yet, more than 80% of Alberta’s kindergarten through Grade 3 classes currently exceed the provincial government’s own class-size targets. -Tuition fees as a share of university operating revenue have roughly tripled in Alberta...

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Electrification and Climate I: Scale of the Challenge

Many elements have to come together if Canada is to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. There is now a technical consensus that “electrification” – the replacement of fossil fuels with electricity as an energy source – is a necessary condition for decarbonization, and that electrification will require that zero/low-emission electricity generation double or triple by 2050. In this first of a series of electricity-oriented climate-related posts, I summarize the...

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Ten things to know about affordable housing in Alberta

I’ve just written a ‘top 10’ overview blog post about affordable housing in Alberta. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -On a per capita basis, Alberta has far fewer subsidized housing units than the rest of Canada -Some Alberta cities have much more low-cost rental housing (per capita) than others. -Going forward, the impact of the federal government’s National Housing Strategy will be modest. -There are considerable cost savings to be realized when investing...

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