Image credit: Avr Melissa Gloude - Garrison Imaging Petawawa

RIP SSE: What the COVID-19 Pandemic Means for Defence Funding

 

Authored by Eugene Lang,  Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University and Fellow, Canadian Global Affairs Institute

(Originally published by Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)  – May 13, 2020)

Over the past 30 years, Canada has faced two major recessions and in both cases two different governments followed the basic pattern described.

In 1990, the Canadian economy fell into a slump that lasted about four quarters, with gross domestic product (GDP) shrinking by 2.8 per cent.  Going into the downturn, the federal government was running a big deficit, which grew through the recession and peaked at $39.7 billion – about six per cent of GDP – by 1994-95 when the Liberals under Jean Chrétien were in power.  This amounted to a fiscal crisis, with a debt-to-GDP ratio of nearly 70 per cent, interest on the federal debt eating up over 30 cents of every tax dollar, Continue Reading »

The Federal Government can handle the post-pandemic debt hangover, but it will not be easy

The Federal Government Can Handle the Post-pandemic Debt Hangover, But it Will Not be Easy

 

Authored by Don Drummond, Stauffer-Dunning Fellow in Global Public Policy and Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University.

(Originally published as an Intelligence Memo from C.D. Howe Institute  – May 5 , 2020)

From: Don Drummond
To: Canadian debt watchers
Date: May 5, 2020

Re: The Federal Government can handle the post-pandemic debt hangover, but it will not be easy

The Parliamentary Budget Office estimates the federal deficit will hit $252.1 billion and the net debt-to-GDP ratio is set to shoot up about 20 percentage points to almost 50 percent of GDP. The sharp deterioration in both fiscal metrics raises questions about whether and how the federal government can manage so much debt.

Will the government have to pay back a good part or even all the debt being racked up this year? Continue Reading »

Change Accelerator: COVID-19

Change Accelerator: COVID-19

 

Our business is at an inflection point. We can continue down the path we’ve been on … or we can make the significant and difficult changes necessary…”,[1] and so it may be with healthcare after COVID-19. Many crises have been predicted to produce lasting changes to society’s status quo ante, changes subsequently proven minimal to ephemeral[2]. It is just possible, however, likely even, that some long-advocated changes to healthcare’s organizational structure and ways of working will have been shown to be so effective that they will remain imbedded in the ‘new normal’ when the crisis is over. Normally a slow evolutionary process, often in the face of determined resistance, the pace of change in healthcare may prove to have been accelerated by tiny RNA virus particles infecting their new human hosts.

A telling example is the use of ICT[3] to supplement if not replace face-to-face with virtual contacts between people and their care-givers. Continue Reading »

The era of gigantic government is upon us

The era of gigantic government is upon us

 

Authored by Eugene Lang,  Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University and Fellow, Canadian Global Affairs Institute

(Originally published by IRPP Policy Options  – April 17, 2020)

We are in a paradigm shift around the size and role of government. It will lead to a post-COVID model that better protects our health and economy.

“This is the largest economic program in Canada’s history,” proclaimed Prime Minister Trudeau on April 1.  It was not an April Fool’s joke. 

In the battle against COVID-19, the federal government is acting on a scale and at a pace that was unimaginable even a few weeks ago. Unprecedented increases in government spending, record-breaking speed in the creation and launching of new government programs and initiatives, and new regulations on people and the economy the likes of which we have not seen in peacetime, Continue Reading »

Release EI Data Fast to Track the COVID-19 Damage

Release EI Data Fast to Track the COVID-19 Damage

 

Authored by Don Drummond, Stauffer-Dunning Fellow in Global Public Policy and Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University.

(Originally published as an Intelligence Memo from C.D. Howe Institute  – April 17 , 2020)

From: Don Drummond
To: Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Date: April 17, 2020
Re: Release EI data fast to track the COVID-19 damage

Many economists and policy authorities appear to have initially underestimated the economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic, just as health authorities missed the depth of the blow to public health.

A consensus is emerging, however, that the economic damage will be sharp and prospects for quick and forceful recovery by no means certain. Yet this shift in economic opinion is to a large extent occurring in the absence of reliable information. Continue Reading »

After the oil shock: Canada’s energy producers need support from Ottawa

After the oil shock: Canada’s energy producers need support from Ottawa

 

Authored by David Detomasi  Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies; Associate Professor, Distinguished Faculty Fellow In International Business, Queen’s University

(Originally published by The Conversation   – April 15, 2020)

 

Buried underneath today’s coronavirus headlines is another shock that may, over the long term, be more consequential to the Canadian economy: the shaky collaboration between OPEC and Russia on the amount of oil they collectively dump on the global energy market.

Their former production alliance — cobbled together to help manage global oil prices upon which their respective economies desperately depend — broke down on March 9.

Saudi Arabia began dumping 10 million barrels per day (mbd) on the export market, sparking an all-out price war. Oil prices subsequently dropped between 20 and 30 per cent,  Continue Reading »

There are more than 2 million university and college students in Canada. Their face-to-face classes were among the first casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 and University and College Students

 

Authored by Don Drummond, Stauffer-Dunning Fellow in Global Public Policy and Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University.

(Originally published as an Intelligence Memo from C.D. Howe Institute  – April 6, 2020)

From: Don Drummond
To: Post-secondary policymakers
Date: April 6, 2020

Re: COVID-19 and University and College Students

There are more than 2 million university and college students in Canada. Their face-to-face classes were among the first casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As students and instructors quickly adapt to remote learning platforms, their attention will increasingly turn to what is next.

The timing of the pandemic could not be worse for student incomes. Normally about half a million graduating students would be joining the work force in what might have been the beginning of careers. Continue Reading »

Image credit: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

A War Plan to Fight the Pandemic

 

Authored by Barbara Martin former diplomat, Fellow with Canadian Global Affairs Institute, (CGAI) and Adjunct Professor in the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University

(Originally published by Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI) – March 30, 2020)

This work was written on March 30, 2020. Due to the rapid evolution of the situation, some numbers might no longer reflect those at the time of reading.

What to do? This is the fundamental question facing global leaders as a devastating COVID-19 pandemic spreads at exponential rates around the globe. UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, says the world is at war with a virus, with 100,000 cases after three months, 200,000 in the next 12 days, 400,000 in the next four days, and 500,000 in the next day and a half.1 At time of writing, Continue Reading »

Photo: At a January 1995 press conference in Ottawa, Finance Minister Paul Martin talked about how his federal budget for that year would be available on the Internet. The Canadian Press/Tom Hanson

Is the “business liberal” extinct?

 

Authored by Eugene Lang,  Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University and Fellow, Canadian Global Affairs Institute

(Originally published by  IRPP Policy Options  – March 18, 2020)

 

C.D. Howe. Mitchell Sharp. Donald Macdonald. Charles “Bud” Drury. Edgar Benson. Don Johnston. Robert Winters. Bob Andras. Paul Martin. John Manley. Doug Young. Roy MacLaren. Anne McLellan.

Some of these names are long forgotten; others remain in our collective political memory. All were once prominent members of a species known as “business Liberals” or “blue Liberals”; Don Johnston once described himself as a “blue Grit.” Business Liberals flourished and occasionally dominated in the governments of Louis St. Laurent, Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin.

The breed seems to be extinct in Ottawa today. And this is a problem.

The federal Liberals are often considered the archetypal brokerage party, Continue Reading »

Caring for the Elderly: A Health Human Resource Problem

 

Authored by Rosalie Wyonch, Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe Institute, and Don Drummond, Stauffer-Dunning Fellow in Global Public Policy and Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University

(Originally published as an Intelligence Memo from C.D. Howe Institute  –March 10, 2020)

 

From: Rosalie Wynoch and Don Drummond
To: Healthcare policy planners

Re:  Caring for the Elderly: A Health Human Resource Problem

 

Canada’s population is aging and there is a shortage of specialists trained to provide healthcare to elderly patients. One in six Canadians are over 65 years of age and these older individuals have higher need and utilization of healthcare services.

While most physicians gain some experience with the complex and interrelated healthcare needs of seniors, there are only 304 geriatric specialists to provide care for Canada’s more than 6.1 million seniors. Continue Reading »