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Tag Archives: budgets

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 three months.  The previously announced 10% wage subsidy was only available for smaller employers.  There’s no question about it: this is a massive commitment that is likely to be the most...

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Making the COVID19 Wage Subsidy Program work better for workers

With the federal government is increasing its temporary wage subsidy to 75%, other reforms are needed to ensure the public funding goes to maintain workers, and not pad the profits of businesses.  In the face of the COVID19 crisis, the Canadian government has done a very good job of both limiting the spread of the virus and putting in place measures to prevent a health pandemic from also turning into an economic pandemic. On the economic side, Prime Minister Trudeau and Finance...

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Affordable housing, homelessness and the upcoming federal budget

I’ve written a ‘top 10’ overview of things to know about affordable housing and homelessness, as they relate to Canada’s upcoming federal budget. The overview is based on the affordable housing and homelessness chapter in the just-released Alternative Federal Budget. A link to the ‘top 10’ overview is here. Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant. He has a PhD in public policy.

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Federal Support Package: The Pros, the Cons, and the Next Shoe to Drop

Here are some quick thoughts on the extensive package of emergency measures announced today by Prime Minister Trudeau, Finance Minister Morneau, and Bank of Canada Governor Poloz: The Pros: The government has worked quickly and creatively to find ways to deliver support to Canadians, and fast – using the infrastructure of existing benefits, and developing new channels where needed. The government has recognized the gaping holes in the existing social safety net: in particular,...

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the 2020-21 Alberta budget

Thank you, as always for your succinct and cogent analysis. Consider that increased taxation to support provincial government spending, while entirely justified, is essentially a shift in spending, not an increase, and its stimulative effect will be small. Particularly with the collapse of oil revenues, Alberta must receive substantial federal support. The federal gov’t which owns a central bank with sovereign currency has the fiscal capacity to fight long wars, bail out the whole...

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Cost savings associated with Housing First

I’ve written a summary of a recent study I co-authored on savings to the health and justice sectors associated with Housing First (i.e., the immediate provision of subsidized housing, along with social work support, to persons experiencing long-term homelessness). The study, based on a large sample size from Calgary, finds that every $1 spent on Housing First is associated with more than $2 of savings to the public system (i.e., the health and justice sectors). The...

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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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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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