Finances of the Nation regularly hosts research seminars focusing on Canadian policy issues. Find other upcoming events and past events hosted by Finances of the Nation below.

Upcoming Events

Cross-border Issues in Carbon Pricing

Finances of the Nation Panel Discussion
Thursday, June 16, 2022
1:00 – 2:15PM EST

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In 2020, Canadians emitted on average 14.2 tonnes of CO2 per capita, more than three times the world average of 4.47 tonnes. As a relatively rich country and a relatively heavy emitter, Canada has a moral and—given its Paris Agreement commitments—a legal responsibility to do its part to help limit climate change. Yet actions aimed at reducing emissions can have a high pain:gain ratio if there is carbon leakage – if production moves elsewhere to avoid carbon taxes.

In this session, the panelists will discuss cross-border issues in carbon pricing, drawing on their recently published papers in the Canadian Tax Journal. The panelists will discuss questions such as: what are border carbon adjustments, and why are they so hard to get right? Are border carbon adjustments compatible with Canada’s trade agreements? Is it possible to incorporate carbon pricing into Canada’s corporate tax system? What are the implications of carbon pricing for equalization payments?

Chair: Rachel Samson, Vice President of Research, Institute for Research on Public Policy (biography)


Ken Boessenkool, Max Bell School of Public Policy, McGill University (biography), “Border Carbon Adjustments – Four Practical Challenges” (paper)

Meredith Lilly, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University (biography), “Trade Policy Pain for Marginal Climate Gain? The Complex Case for Border Carbon Adjustments in Canada” (paper)

Tracy Snoddon, Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University (biography), “Carbon Taxes and Fiscal Federalism in Canada – A New Wrinkle to an Old Problem” (paper)

Previous Events

Using the Tax System to Support Post-Secondary Education

Finances of the Nation / Canadian Tax Foundation Panel Discussion
Thursday, May 12, 2022
1:15 – 2:30PM EST

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Does tax-filing hinder access to the Canada Learning Bond for low-income families? How did switching from a tax expenditure to a spending program affect outlays on post-secondary education in Ontario?  What are the challenges involved in replacing the current system of student loan repayment with a CRA-managed income-contingent system? 

Join our panelists as they discuss using the tax system to support post-secondary education, and present papers prepared for a forthcoming volume of the Canadian Tax Journal. 

Moderator: Marc Frenette, Research Economist, Statistics Canada


Christine Neill, Wilfrid Laurier University & Saul Schwartz, Carleton University, “Repaying student loans through the tax system: design issues for Canada”

Jennifer Robson, Carleton University “Does tax-filing hinder access to the Canada Learning Bond for low-income families?”

Christine Neill, Wilfrid Laurier University & Tracy Snoddon, Wilfrid Laurier University, “Tax expenditures vs. up-front spending: lessons from the elimination of Ontario’s tuition and education tax credits”

Capital Gains Tax Reform: Issues and Options

Finances of the Nation/Canadian Tax Foundation Panel Discussion
Friday, February 11, 2022
1:15 – 2:30PM EST

Registration link will be provided mailing list subscribers.

Canada’s low rates of capital gains taxation raises issues of fairness and neutrality in the tax system. Should the capital gains inclusion rate rise? Which more fundamental reforms to the system should be considered? Join our expert panel for a discussion of the data and the economic and legal issues in capital gains tax reform.


Heather Evans, CEO of the Canadian Tax Foundation (Chair) Luc Godbout, Chaire en fiscalité et en finances publiques at the University of Sherbrooke (slides)
Brian J. Arnold, Senior adviser at the Canadian Tax Foundation and a frequent author on tax issues (slides) Michael Smart, Professor of Economics at the University of Toronto and Co-Director of Finances of the Nation (slides)
Judith Freedman, Emeritus Professor of Taxation Law and Policy at Oxford University (slides) François Vaillancourt, Emeritus Professor of Economics at l’Université de Montréal (slides)

Click here to watch a recording of the event.

To learn more about the panelists’ views, see their recent publications in the Canadian Tax Journal and in The Arnold Report (gated) and Perspectives on Tax Law & Policy.