Canada’s COVID-19 lockdown: Are we approaching the point where the cure is worse than the disease?

The past three months have shown that with major sacrifices, the community transmission of COVID-19 can be slowed down considerably. In Canada, we can rightfully say that we were able to “flatten the curve” to avert a northern Italy, Madrid or New York City scenario. This is something to celebrate. Now we face the collateral damage of the lockdown: delays in medical care for non-COVID patients, harmful educational impacts on our young people due to...

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Canada 2.0: Creating the Canada we want

Even when they recede, pandemics and other great crises seldom leave social and economic arrangements as they were. It is now up to Canadians to decide what the legacy of the COVID-19 will be. What kind of economy will emerge from the crisis? Will it be one that honors the dignity of work, rewards contributions to the real economy, gives workers a meaningful voice and shares the risks of ill health and hard times? We...

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Canadians are tired of isolation and want a return to normal: Here are four things the government can do now to get us there

After a solitary Easter Sunday, Canadians entered another week in social isolation confronted by two contradictory facts. The lockdowns that have transformed daily life across the country are working, slowing the spread of the virus and saving lives. The western provinces are seeing a significant decline in new cases from their peak, while the number of new cases has flattened in Ontario and Quebec. But the lockdowns have brought commerce to a shuddering halt, forcing...

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Canada needs to get employment programs out the door fast to prevent mass job loss

Canada has shut down all non-essential services to stop the spread of the Covid-19. This action has had massive economic consequences which require an equally massive jobs response by our governments. On Friday, April 9, Statistics Canada reported that more than one million people in Canada lost their jobs in March reflecting the first wave of layoffs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ontario experienced the largest job losses in raw numbers, with the number of...

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Protecting the most vulnerable from the coronavirus pandemic must be government’s highest priority

In neither the US nor Canada is there any evidence that we are "flattening the curve" in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. This is a very dangerous situation that risks overhwelming health facilities in the hardest hit regions in both countries. In the US, there were more than 31,000 new cases reported Friday. In Canada, roughly 1,140 new cases were reported. The US numbers are the highest one-day totals since the pandemic started and...

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The Ontario election: Why Doug Ford is the enemy of the “little guy”

Introduction A previous post made the argument that the core appeal of Doug Ford populism (much like Trump populism) is a cultural resentment against the professional class as opposed to an economic populism in which working and middle class resentment is directed against the wealthy and large corporations. In other words, the "elites" that Ford rants against are professionals such as bureaucrats, academics, lawyers, journalists and teachers who Ford portrays as "looking down" on average...

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Reining in Canada’s Financial Giants – Are Consumers Getting a Fair Break?

Introduction In an important piece in the July 31 issue of the New Yorker Magazine on the decline in the prosecution of white collar crime in the U.S., author Patrick Radden Keefe cites a telling 2002 incident involving ex-FBI director James Comey. Keefe relies on the description of the incident contained in the journalist Jesse Eisinger's recently published book, "The Chickenshit Club". Keefe writes: When James Comey took over as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of...

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Federal News Highlights and Parliamentary Business for October 26

Trudeau holds out hope for CETA but is a change in strategy called for?       Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is holding out hope for a last-minute breakthrough that will allow Canada’s trade deal with the European Union to be signed, despite objections from Belgium that have put the agreement in doubt. But the signing ceremony planned for Thursday appears in jeopardy as Belgium appears to be unable to endorse the trade agreement because...

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Federal News Highlights and Parliamentary Business for October 21

Federal News Highlight: Advisory Council on Economic Growth A panel led by a consultant with close ties to the Liberal government is calling for the government to create a national infrastructure bank capitalized with $40-billion in federal funds. The Advisory Council on Economic Growth released three reports calling for the national infrastructure bank, a new agency to attract foreign investment and a massive increase in immigration. The council is chaired by Dominic Barton, managing director of McKinsey & Co., a business...

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Bay Street and the Hydro One Sale

Of the many options available to the Ontario government to finance its $130 billion infrastructure plan, selling 60% of Hydro One is pretty much the worst. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Ontario government is making a serious mistake in its plan to sell off a majority interest in Hydro One. According to a report from Ontario’s new Financial Accountability Officer, the province will be in even worse financial shape after the planned sale...

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