School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

Inequality, Social Policy, and the Election

Keith Banting 

October 8, 2015,  12:00 pm - 1:00 pm 
Robert Sutherland Hall, 138 Union Street, Room 202

** Light lunch starts at 11:30 AM             All are Welcome

Keith Banting | Professor Policy StudiesKeith Banting
Stauffer-Dunning Fellow in the School of Policy Studies 
and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Studies, Queen’s University


In Canada, redistributive politics have been stuck for several decades. Inequality in market incomes has grown, and Canada has been on the leading edge of the new inequality, as represented by the 99/1 phenomenon. But actual redistribution by government has faded, with the biggest changes coming between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s. Until recently, political reaction to these two trends has been muted. There has been considerable commentary about growing inequality, but the buzz has not translated into serious political engagement by governments or major political parties. This seems to be changing. On the surface, the current election is all about the middle class. But underlying this debate are different understandings of inequality, whether it matters, and how governments should respond.