Unemployment spike may trigger rethink of EI program

As the system increases in generosity and accessibility in Atlantic Canada, it may perpetuate the nation’s problems with EI

Unemployment spike may trigger rethink of EI programBy Alex Whalen and Fred McMahon The Fraser Institute The spike in unemployment across Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered changes in the employment insurance (EI) program. And those changes could lead to significant problems. When unemployment grows in any of the country’s 62 EI regions, eligibility and benefits change along with it.…

Invest in social infrastructure rather than handouts

It not only generates jobs in the short term, but results in greater productivity, employment and tax dollars in the future

Invest in social infrastructure rather than handoutsHow the economy will be rebuilt in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is a major concern for us all. There are many unknowns, making the near future and the years ahead even murkier than usual. So uncertain is Canada’s federal government about economic and financial prospects that it’s not producing a budget, or even…

Mortgage misery awaits too many Canadian families

At the heart of the COVID-19 crisis sits the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. and its low-income borrowers

Mortgage misery awaits too many Canadian familiesThe shutdowns ordered by Canadian governments to slow the spread of COVID-19 have caused unemployment to leap. And put mortgages in peril. Many of the millions of workers laid off have been low-income and lower-middle-income earners. They’re just the sort of people who qualify for home mortgages insured by the federal Canada Mortgage and Housing…

Human cost high from pandemic-driven joblessness

As government responds to COVID-19, it needs to think about the non-financial consequences of being out of work

Human cost high from pandemic-driven joblessnessGovernment needs to keep the non-monetary aspects of work in mind while supporting those rendered jobless by the COVID-19 pandemic. Concern about COVID-19 has ravaged Canada’s labour market. Staggering unemployment numbers and the number of applicants for federal aid for laid-off workers dominate headlines. The unprecedented effort to make up for lost wages has been admirable and…

Put the Canadian economy back to work

Not every home should be isolated. Not every business should be shut. The harm is too great to society. We need better solutions

Put the Canadian economy back to workAs Canada enters its fifth week of restrictive measures as a result of COVID-19, money is starting to flow from governments to individuals and businesses. Yet, despite these measures, businesses are struggling and many won’t reopen after the lockdown ends. A survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business published on April 5 found that…

Will the economy ever recover?

The economy will bounce back, even if some businesses don’t. But don’t expect a rapid recovery after COVID-19 recedes

Will the economy ever recover?What will happen to the economy once we get through this pandemic? We’re coping day to day with social isolation and, for those of us lucky enough to still have work, the challenges of working from home or being out there in an infected world. First, we want to know when all this will end.…

Ease temporary layoff laws during COVID-19 crisis

Allowing employers to adjust quickly will improve the chances jobs are waiting for returning workers when the crisis subsides

Ease temporary layoff laws during COVID-19 crisisBy Alex Whalen and Niels Veldhuis The Fraser Institute Aside from the enormous health-related challenges due to the COVID-19 virus, employers and workers are feeling major economic pain with job loss, reduced income and revenue. The ability of businesses to adjust quickly will be key to stabilizing the economy and laying the foundation for recovery.…

Lies, damned lies and statistics

Given the billions of dollars and political agendas at stake, citizens should always take government stats with a measure of reserve

Lies, damned lies and statistics“This is the best number I’ve ever seen in my life!” Jim Cramer told CNBC. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics had just reported a 3.5 per cent unemployment figure in the United States. The November 2019 percentage was the lowest in 50 years. Others would say that might not be the case and that…

Business sentiment in the Prairies still weak

The Prairies remain the exception where economic indicators remain weak as energy sector continues to be challenged these days

Business sentiment in the Prairies still weakResults from the winter Business Outlook Survey from the Bank of Canada suggest that business sentiment in the Prairies remains weak while more broadly positive across Canada. “In aggregate, firms’ outlook is supported by expectations of healthy domestic and foreign sales,” according to the survey, released Monday. Key findings of the survey include: Expectations for…

Is neoliberalism sinful or our salvation?

It’s difficult to know for sure since academics and economists want to hide behind jargon rather than offering concrete analysis

Is neoliberalism sinful or our salvation?As the Buffalo Springfield sang in 1966, “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear. …” They were referring to civil unrest but could have been predicting the current debate about neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is the ill-defined trend to less government, rolling back social programs, downward pressure on wages, fewer union jobs and careers…