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Progressive Economics Forum

income support for low-income households in Alberta

Next week, Jason Kenney’s UCP government will table its second budget. With that in mind, I’ve written a blog post titled “Ten things to know about income support for low-income households in Alberta.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Low income is associated with lower food expenditures, including fewer purchases of milk, fruits and vegetables. -Lone-parent families in Alberta experience very high rates of poverty. -Child poverty dropped...

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Ten things to know about subsidized rental housing in Alberta

In anticipation of next week’s Alberta budget, I’ve written a ‘top 10’ overview of subsidized rental housing in the province. Points raised in the blog post in include the following: -On a per capita basis, Alberta has far fewer subsidized housing units than the rest of Canada. -In 2017, BC’s provincial government funded more than 15 times as many housing units than Alberta, despite having a roughly similar overall population, and despite Alberta having an NDP...

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My review of Robert Clark’s book on Canada’s prisons

Robert Clark has written a very good book about Canada’s prison system. Mr. Clark worked from 1980 until 2009 in seven different federal prisons, all located in Ontario. The book is a compilation of personal accounts based on the author’s various assignments. Since prisons can be a pipeline into homelessness, I’ve reviewed the book with great interest. My review is available here. Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant. He has a PhD in public policy....

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Assessing progress on St. John’s Plan to End Homelessness

I’ve written an assessment of the 2014-2019 St. John’s Community Plan to End Homelessness. The full assessment can be found here. Points raised in the assessment include the following: -Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest unemployment rate of any Canadian province. This pulls people into homelessness, while also making it more challenging for the provincial government to finance policy asks (such as subsidized housing with social work support). -People...

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Ten things to know about the 2019-20 Alberta budget

I’ve just written a ‘top 10’ overview of the recent Alberta budget. Points raised in the post include the following: -The budget lays out a four-year strategy of spending cuts, letting population growth and inflation do much of the heavy lifting. -After one accounts for both population growth and inflation, annual provincial spending in Alberta by 2022 is projected to be 16.2% lower than it was last year. -Alberta remains Canada’s lowest-taxed province. It also...

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Ten things to know about poverty measurement in Canada

I’ve written a blog post providing an overview of poverty measurement in Canada. Points raised in the post include the following: -One’s choice of poverty measure has a major impact on whether poverty is seen to be increasing or decreasing over time. -Canada’s federal government recently chose the make the Market Basket Measure (MBM) its official poverty measure. -According to the MBM, Canada has seen a major decrease in poverty over the past decade. -Also...

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Behind Chile’s political crisis

More than one million people marched in Santiago on October 26 to protest the Government’s security response to Chile’s current political crisis and to demand structural economic reforms to reduce inequality and increase social services. In this post I analyze these grievances from a quantitative perspective and explore what it would take to translate them into policy. This is my fourth inequality-related post. I use the same sources of data and framework of analysis as in my initial...

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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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