Ten Things to Know About Federal Income Support for Low-Income Seniors in Canada

In the latest edition of How Ottawa Spends, we have a chapter titled “The Federal Government and Old Age Security:  Then, Now, and the Future.” The focus of our chapter was the potential impact of the Harper government’s decision to move the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS)…
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How a Russian mining company used a Canadian investment treaty to sue Venezuela for $1.5 billion

Rusoro Mining declared victory yesterday in its four-year legal battle with the government of Venezuela over the nationalization of the gold industry in 2011. The company was awarded US$1.2 billion ($1.5B) by the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The dispute began in 2011, when then-president…
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Ten things to know about central agencies in Canada

From time to time, voluntary sector leaders—and advocates in general—come up with ideas for new spending and new social programs.  When they do this, they often focus too much on influencing elected officials, and too little on influencing senior public servants.  What’s more, it’s important that their proposals be supported by good…
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A tribute to Mel Hurtig

When author, publisher and activist Mel Hurtig died on Wednesday, Canada lost one of its most ardent champions and defenders. Renowned as the publisher of The Canadian Encyclopedia in 1991, Mel devoted most of his life to battling foreign ownership, “free” trade, and the poverty and inequality spawned by neoliberal…
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The role of sharing data in ending homelessness

On May 4, 2016, approximately 40 people attended the First Annual Canadian Homelessness Data Sharing Initiative, sponsored in Calgary by the Calgary Homeless Foundation and the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.  Those attending included government officials, researchers and students.  Here are 10 things to know about the event.  The…
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Progress is about solutions, not scapegoats

If anything’s become clear while watching the star-spangled spectacle unfold south of the border, it’s this: nature—in this case, human nature—abhors a vacuum. The context is evident. Growing inequality. Gutted infrastructure. The rise of the precariat. And in the absence of a clearly articulated plan that will address the disillusionment,…
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Onward and (Next) Upward

There is no question that disillusionment with the electoral process and democratic institutions is approaching a breaking point, on an international scale, and manifesting itself in radically different ways, from deeply progressive to dangerously regressive. We saw it in Greece (when Syriza was elected on a platform based on an…
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Four ways the Fraser Institute is wrong about the need for new export pipelines to tidewater

The Fraser Institute’s new report, The Costs of Pipeline Obstructionism, claims that lack of new export pipelines to tidewater is costing Canada $2.02–$6.4 billion dollars per year (depending on the assumed oil price). The authors offer the following table, based on exports via the proposed Energy East pipeline, as evidence…
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