Is the Canada Child Benefit an effective policy? Impacts on earnings and incomes

In 2016, the government of Canada introduced the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), a large income-tested transfer to families with children. Our research shows it works well for low-income Canadians but causes a significant decrease in hours worked by secondary earners in middle-income families. We argue the CCB could be better-targeted toward low-income households. Read this articleIs the Canada Child Benefit an effective policy? Impacts on earnings and incomes

COVID — not Alberta’s referendum — should motivate changes to the equalization program

Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

Economic and fiscal disruptions from the pandemic may soon reveal an unintended quirk in Canada’s equalization program: falling resource revenues in Saskatchewan or Newfoundland and Labrador may cause Ontario to become a recipient province. The case for changes to equalization is growing stronger. It would be unfortunate if Alberta’s referendum distracted from that. Read this articleCOVID — not Alberta’s referendum — should motivate changes to the equalization program

Does Canada need a central bank digital currency?

The Bank of Canada (BoC) says it has been researching the idea of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for several years to prepare for the future of money and interbank payments. A CBDC would allow individual Canadians, not just chartered banks, to open accounts with the BoC. I remain relatively agnostic on the proposal. It’s not essential at a retail level but I see merit in it at the wholesale level. Read this articleDoes Canada need a central bank digital currency?

Increased immigration cannot solve Canada’s aging issues because immigrants have parents, too

Immigrants wave Canadian flags

That fact that the phrase “immigrants have parents” needs to be said reveals something about the framing of Canadian immigration policy: the tendency to see immigrants as production units, bits of human capital to slot into the Canadian economy and to fill Canadian skill shortages or to provide top talent. Read this articleIncreased immigration cannot solve Canada’s aging issues because immigrants have parents, too

The Conservative Party’s innovation platform: a mixed bag of good, bad, and indifferent policies

Stock image innovation, idea

Canada’s innovation policy framework could be changed for the better. Unfortunately, not all the measures proposed in the Conservative platform offer clear-cut improvements. Read this articleThe Conservative Party’s innovation platform: a mixed bag of good, bad, and indifferent policies

There are better ways to help student loan borrowers than zero-interest loans

Student Loans

The NDP and the Liberals have both announced promises to set a zero interest rate on student loan debt. The idea is to help former students who are struggling to repay their loans. But this will not help those most in need — borrowers in the Repayment Assistance Program (RAP) who already pay zero interest, as well as borrowers in default who are at risk of financial penalties. Read this articleThere are better ways to help student loan borrowers than zero-interest loans

The Liberals’ plan for first-time homeowners is a good start but should be more equitable

Housing

The FHSA would cost up to $1.4 billion annually, but much of the benefit would likely go to high-income households. Changes to the proposed program would make it more fair and more likely to encourage private savings by prospective first-time homebuyers. Read this articleThe Liberals’ plan for first-time homeowners is a good start but should be more equitable

The Conservative plan for a GST tax holiday in December should be expanded to help the recovery

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole proposes a GST holiday in December.

Cutting the GST for a short time won’t do much to make life more affordable for families, and it will do nothing to beat inflation. But a GST holiday would get consumers spending more. That would give the economy a boost it might well need, as the recovery faces headwinds this fall from a possibly resurgent coronavirus and from economic shocks in the rest of the world. Read this articleThe Conservative plan for a GST tax holiday in December should be expanded to help the recovery

Unpacking the Conservative Party’s proposal to boost health transfers to the provinces

Erin O'Toole unveils the Conservative Party's platform for the 2021 federal election.

The Conservative Party of Canada proposes to increase the growth rate of the Canada Health Transfer to at least six per cent per year for a decade. We explore the implications of this for overall health transfers and for provincial governments. Read this articleUnpacking the Conservative Party’s proposal to boost health transfers to the provinces