4,983 Works

The Canadian Manufacturing Sector, 2002-2008: Why Is It Called Dutch Disease?

Stephen Gordon
High-profile complaints about so-called Dutch disease have led many to question if industry in some parts of the country is suffering due to the success of the natural resources sector in others. This paper considers changes in manufacturing employment from 2002- 2008, a time of increased commodity prices. At first glance, the figures appear alarming — Canada shed 328,000 manufacturing jobs during that period — but the decline wasn’t entirely commodity-driven. Canada is the sole...

Canada’s World Can Get A Lot Bigger: The Group of 20, Global Governance and Security

Paul Heinbecker
This paper examines the Group of 20 (the G-20)* in the context of international relations, especially the G-20’s impact on global governance and international security, and the G-20’s significance for Canada and the conduct of Canadian foreign policy. It will show that the G-20 embodies the changing way the world interacts and it will argue that the group works and is needed, but that it can work better and become a more important and more...

Is This the End of the Tory Dynasty? The Wildrose Alliance in Alberta Politics

Anthony M. Sayers & David K. Stewart
The Alberta Tory dynasty begun by Peter Lougheed is now 40 years old. With only four leaders across four decades, the party has managed to maintain its hold on the political imagination of Albertans. It has weathered a number of storms, from minor party assaults during the tumultuous 1980s to the Liberal threat of 1993 and the stresses associated with the global financial crisis. Now it confronts a new challenge in the form of the...

The New Security Perimeter with the United States

Brian Flemming
After 9/11, several decades of success in building a more open US-Canadian border came to an end due to rising security concerns. To ameliorate this trend, both countries are now attempting to make their border more permeable. This paper attempts to predict how a new security perimeter agreement will be negotiated and what subjects will be covered by any new agreement or series of agreements. Sensitive issues such as privacy, civil rights and harmonization of...

Homelessness in Alberta: The Demand for Spaces in Alberta’s Homeless Shelters

Ronald D. Kneebone, J.C. Herbert Emery & Oksana Grynishak
Homelessness in Alberta is overwhelmingly concentrated in Calgary and Edmonton, with almost two-thirds of total provincial shelter usage in the former. Calgary also experiences much greater fluctuations in shelter use. Three interconnected economic factors — the supply of rental accommodations, the state of the labour market and the inward flow of jobseekers — go a long way toward explaining both Calgary’s unusually large share of Alberta’s homeless as well as the swings in shelter use....

PIIGS “R” US? The Coming U.S. Debt Crisis and What Can Be Done About It

Stephen R. Richardson
The U.S. is beset by weak economic growth, ballooning debt and stubbornly high unemployment but the collapse of the housing bubble that spurred the 2008-2009 global financial crisis was more a consequence than a cause of what is wrong. The real culprit was and remains poor policymaking in the areas of taxation, finance and economics, which helped bring on the crisis by encouraging Americans to engage in counterproductive behaviour. This paper warns that without meaningful...

Housing Subsidies and Homelessness: A Simple Idea

Brendan O’Flaherty
Reducing homelessness is an indisputable social good, and housing subsidies offer one way to do so. However, subsidies come in many different varieties and are intricately bound up with economic and social policies. This paper, written by one of North America’s leading urban economists, cuts through the tangle and argues that the simplest approach is the best. The ideal way to deter people from harmful acts is to reward them for abstaining. Thus, to combat...

Reforming the Tax Mix in Canada

Bev Dahlby
Periodically, tax systems need major reforms to remove the “barnacles” that accumulate under the short-term pressures of political expediency and to adapt to the long-term forces of technological and economic change. The current fiscal and economic problems that confront the provinces require an assessment of much-needed reforms. Raising tax revenue imposes large costs on our society, not only because of the administration and compliance costs of collecting taxes, but because taxes distort economic decisions in...

The Big and the Small of Tax Support for R&D in Canada

Kenneth J. McKenzie
Innovation is critical in the knowledge-based economy. It is generally accepted that governments have an important role to play in promoting innovative activity and R&D. Both the federal and provincial governments in Canada provide tax subsidies, and other forms of support, for R&D. Changes to various programs offered by the federal government were introduced in Budget 2012, most particularly related to the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit program. This paper analyzes the...

Energy Literacy in Canada

André Turcotte, Michal C. Moore & Jennifer Winter
Energy plays an important role in everyday activities, whether at a personal, institutional, corporate or social level. In this context, an informed or literate public is critical for the longterm conservation, management, pricing and use of increasingly scarce energy resources. A series of surveys were used to probe the literacy of Canadians with regard to energy issues ranging from relative ranking and importance of energy compared to other national issues, preference for various fuel types...

A Profound Tax Reform: The Impact of Sales Tax Harmonization on Prince Edward Island’s Competitiveness

Duanjie Chen & Jack M. Mintz
Prince Edward Island’s decision to harmonize its provincial sales tax with the federal GST next year will bring Canada’s smallest province huge benefits; consumers and businesses will reap the rewards. While services will be taxed higher, the removal of PST on purchases of goods and services used in operations will keep more money in consumers’ wallets as lower production costs cascade from business to the general public. Businesses, faced with a lower cost of capital,...

Food for Thought: Neuronal Metabolism and Cognitive Aging

Jonathon Lee
Demystifying brain aging

Taxing Feedlots in Alberta: Lethbridge County's Tax on Confined Feeding Operations

Bev Dahlby, Melville McMillan & Mukesh Khanal
Lethbridge County introduced a new business tax on confined feeding operations (CFO), notably feedlots, in 2016. It was expected to bring in $2.5 million for county road maintenance in 2017. However, the tax could have a detrimental impact on feedlot owners and is not the fairest way to amass revenue for road repairs. Four criteria can be used to evaluate a particular form of taxation. They are fairness, efficient resource allocation, compliance and administration costs,...

Social Policy Trends – The Trade-Off Between Employment and Social Assistance Caseloads, Alberta, 2005-2017

THE TRADE-OFF BETWEEN EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL ASSISTANCE CASELOADS, ALBERTA, 2005-2017 As employment falls, social assistance caseloads typically rise. Caseloads have recently increased considerably more than in the past, which may suggest a new trend Social assistance is part of a social safety net that “catches” individuals who have lost their jobs. In this issue of Social Policy Trends we plot monthly data on the number of employed persons per 100 adults aged 15-64 years, versus...

Social Policy Trends – Asylum Claimants Processed in Canada

ASYLUM CLAIMANTS PROCESSED IN CANADA Number of asylum claims processed in Ontario, Quebec, rest of Canada and the entire country, over the period of 2000 to 2017 Recently, the number of asylum-seekers – people applying for refugee status at the Canadian border (as opposed to individuals claiming refugee status from their country of origin) – has attracted a great deal of media attention. The focus has been on the recent unexpected influx of asylum-seekers crossing...

Social Policy Trends: Federal and Provincial Contributions to Social Assistance

& Ronald D. Kneebone
FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO SOCIAL ASSISTANCE Since 1997, the federal government has contributed a growing share of the total support provided to families receiving social assistance Persons receiving social assistance are given support in a number of ways by both the government of the province in which they live in and, increasingly, by the federal government. Support is provided in the form of basic social assistance, a GST and other tax credits, and, when...

Indigenous Policy Conference Summary Report: Beyond Reconciliation

Sophie Lorefice, Brendan Boyd & Gaétan Caron
The School of Public Policy (SPP) at the University of Calgary organized a conference to announce the establishment of its Indigenous Policy program and to share knowledge and stories about policy issues critical to Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The conference, titled “Beyond Reconciliation,” was held at the University of Calgary Downtown Campus on Nov. 21, 2016 and was attended by 73 participants. This included Indigenous elders, chiefs and leaders, and members of Indigenous organizations, including...

Social Policy Trends – Asylum Claimants Processed in Canada

ASYLUM CLAIMANTS PROCESSED IN CANADA Number of asylum claims processed in Ontario, Quebec, rest of Canada and the entire country, over the period of 2000 to 2017 Recently, the number of asylum-seekers – people applying for refugee status at the Canadian border (as opposed to individuals claiming refugee status from their country of origin) – has attracted a great deal of media attention. The focus has been on the recent unexpected influx of asylum-seekers crossing...

Social Policy Trends: Emergency Shelter Stays, Calgary, 2008-2017

& Ronald D. Kneebone
EMERGENCY SHELTER STAYS, CALGARY, 2008-2017 Number of stays in emergency homeless shelters provided for single adults: Total, and the number of stays as a percentage of Calgary’s adult population In 2008, Calgary embarked on a 10-year plan to address homelessness. The chart provides measures of the progress made in that regard. The jagged black line records the nightly number of stays in those of Calgary’s emergency shelters allocated for single adults from January 1, 2008...

Tax Policy Trends: Small Business Tax Cut not Enough – U.S. Tax Reforms will make U.S. more Attractive for Start-Ups

Jack M. Mintz & V. Balaji Venkatachalam
SMALL BUSINESS TAX CUT NOT ENOUGH U.S. TAX REFORMS WILL MAKE U.S. MORE ATTRACTIVE FOR START-UPS Big businesses start small. With the proposed Republican tax reform announced on September 28th, small business taxes will be dropped sharply making it attractive for start-up companies to locate and grow in the U.S. This is in sharp contrast to the recent debate in Canada whereby small businesses will be taxed more heavily under the recent proposals despite a...

Improving our understanding of unmet needs among adults with a developmental disability

Jonathan Lai, Stephanie Dunn & Jennifer Zwicker
Labour force participation is lowest for persons with developmental disabilities (DD) compared to any other disability in Canada, even though many are ready, willing and able to work. Those who are employed often work for below minimum wage and have minimum protection by labour legislation. Yet little detail is known about employment outcomes for persons with DD in a Canadian context. Using national population survey data, this study explored the unmet employment, education and daily...

Social Policy Trends- Labour Force Participation Rate of Women with Young Children

& Ronald D. Kneebone
LABOUR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE OF WOMEN WITH YOUNG CHILDREN In Alberta, the percentage of women with young children and an employed spouse, who are active in the workforce has remained unchanged since the early 1990s. The labour force participation rate is a measure of the percentage of a well-defined group of individuals that is an active participant in the labour force. That is to say, they are either employed or actively seeking employment. The graph...

Whether it is the U.S. House or Senate Tax Cut Plan – It’s Trouble for Canadian Competitiveness

Philip Bazel & Jack M. Mintz
In the past two weeks, Senate and House Republicans have put forward parallel mark-up bills in a step toward reform of the U.S. personal and corporate tax systems. The respective bills titled, “TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT” (TCJA) are based on previous proposals put forward by Congressional Republicans, most notably their recent “UNIFIED FRAMEWORK FOR FIXING OUR BROKEN TAX CODE” released in September.

Energy, trade and geopolitics in Asia: The implications for Canada

Jeffrey B. Kucharski
Canada’s growing interest in trade with countries in the Indo-Pacific region corresponds with an ominous growth in geopolitical instability and insecurity in that part of the globe. With Indo-Pacific hunger for oil expected to soar – especially in China, where demand will translate to 80 per cent of imports in 10 years – Canada needs to develop policies to deal with the region’s turbulent realities. The Indo-Pacific comprises countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia,...

Energy, trade and geopolitics in Asia: The implications for Canada

Jeffrey B. Kucharski
Canada’s growing interest in trade with countries in the Indo-Pacific region corresponds with an ominous growth in geopolitical instability and insecurity in that part of the globe. With Indo-Pacific hunger for oil expected to soar – especially in China, where demand will translate to 80 per cent of imports in 10 years – Canada needs to develop policies to deal with the region’s turbulent realities. The Indo-Pacific comprises countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia,...

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