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Archive for the ‘Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Category

All in a Day’s Work? CEO Pay in Canada

January 14, 2014 Comments off

All in a Day’s Work? CEO Pay in Canada
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Five years after a global recession knocked the wind out of Canada’s labour market, throwing tens of thousands of workers onto the unemployment line and sidelining a generation of young workers, the compensation of Canada’s CEO elite continues to sail along.

This paper takes a snapshot of the 240 publicly listed Canadian corporations on the TSX Index, ranks the highest paid 100 CEOs on that list, and determines their average total compensation.

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CETA and Pharmaceuticals: Impact of the trade agreement between Europe and Canada on the costs of patented drugs

November 11, 2013 Comments off

CETA and Pharmaceuticals: Impact of the trade agreement between Europe and Canada on the costs of patented drugs
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

This study finds that the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada will further tilt the balance towards the protection of brand-name drug manufacturers and their profits and away from Canadian consumers—resulting in significantly higher drug costs for Canadians. The study also examines the latest revelations about the tentative trade agreement, and asserts that the CETA will seriously impact the ability of Canadians to afford quality health care.

Making the case for postal banking in Canada

October 10, 2013 Comments off

Making the case for postal banking in Canada
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

A new CCPA study finds that the traditional financial banking sector is not meeting the needs of all Canadians. According to the study there are many Canadians in large regions of the country not served by banking institutions, and an estimated 3% to 15% of Canadians do not have a bank account.

The study, by independent researcher John Anderson, suggests that the reintroduction of postal banking in Canada would offer access to financial services not now available to many Canadians. Anderson looks at five successful postal banking models in industrialized countries with relevance to Canadian options and demonstrates how postal banking would succeed in Canada and help improve and stabilize Canada Post’s services and revenues.

CA — Is tuition affordable in your province?

September 17, 2013 Comments off

Is tuition affordable in your province?
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

A new report from the CCPA’s Education Project tracks the affordability of university education across Canadian provinces. The study looks at trends in tuition and compulsory fees in Canada since 1990, projects fees for each province for the next four years, and ranks the provinces on affordability for median- and low-income families using a Cost of Learning Index.

Average tuition and compulsory fees in Canada have tripled since 1990, and according to the study, Ontario is the province with the highest fees and will see its tuition and other fees climb from $8,403 this fall to an estimated $9,517 in 2016-17. Newfoundland and Labrador remains the province with the lowest compulsory fees of $2,872 this fall, rising to an estimated $2,886 in 2016-17.

Canada — Violence against women: the absence of data and a national strategy costs us all

July 18, 2013 Comments off

Violence against women: the absence of data and a national strategy costs us all
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

A study released today, authored by CCPA research associate Kate McInturff, says that progress on ending violence against women in Canada is stalled by the absence of a coherent national policy and consistent information about the levels of that violence. The study estimates the combined cost of adult sexual assault and intimate partner violence is $334 per person per year in Canada—which puts the cost of these crimes on par with the cost of the use of illegal drugs in Canada (an estimated $262 per person) or the cost of smoking (an estimated $541 per person). Federal public spending to address violence against women, on the other hand, amounted to $2.77 per person for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

Canada — Indigenous children face deplorable poverty

June 19, 2013 Comments off

Indigenous children face deplorable poverty

Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

A new study, released by the CCPA and Save the Children Canada, finds that 40% of Indigenous children in Canada are living in poverty. The report, authored by CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald and Indigenous rights advocate Daniel Wilson, finds that Indigenous children in Canada are over two and a half times more likely to live in poverty than non-Indigenous children—and that they trail the rest of Canada’s children on practically every measure of well-being, including: family income, educational attainment, water quality, infant mortality, health, suicide, crowding and homelessness.

The Path to Better Child Care in Ontario

October 4, 2012 Comments off

The Path to Better Child Care in Ontario

Source: Candian Centre for Policy Alternatives

This primer on child care in Ontario, co-authored by child care expert Martha Friendly and CCPA Ontario Director Trish Hennessy, makes the case for the government to take leadership and commit to public, non-profit, affordable, regulated child care.

Too big to fail? Canadian banks are not immune from global crises

July 6, 2012 Comments off

Too big to fail? Canadian banks are not immune from global crises
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

A new report released by CCPA says that Canada is not immune to the banking problems we see abroad, and cautions that like all banks worldwide, Canadian banks are structurally vulnerable to instability.

The report, No More Swimming Naked: The Need for Modesty in Canadian Banking, examines how banks work, why they are inherently prone to instability, and how banking crises spread—even to banks and banking systems that appear to be stable.

According to the report, overconfidence is part of the problem. Complacency tends to encourage risk-taking among banks, while it deters Canadians from asking tough questions about banking. Yet this overconfidence ignores the fact that banking problems are often not apparent until systemic instability is growing.

The report cautions that current regulations have not eliminated these problems, and since governments have no alternative but to support large banks when systemic stability is threatened, this additional security creates a perverse incentive for banks to increase their appetite for risk.

The Big Banks’ Big Secret: Estimating government support for Canadian banks during the financial crisis

June 8, 2012 Comments off

The Big Banks’ Big Secret: Estimating government support for Canadian banks during the financial crisis
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
From press release:

A study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) estimates the previously secret extent of extraordinary support required by Canada’s banks during the financial crisis.

According to the study, by CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald, support for Canadian banks reached $114 billion at its peak—that’s $3,400 for every man, woman, and child in Canada.

“At some point during the crisis, three of Canada’s banks—CIBC, BMO, and Scotiabank—were completely under water, with government support exceeding the market value of the company,” says Macdonald. “Without government supports to fall back on, Canadian banks would have been in serious trouble.”

Between October 2008 and July 2010, Canada’s largest banks relied heavily on financial aid programs provided by the Bank of Canada, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the U.S. Federal Reserve—all at the same time.

Over the entire aid period, Canada’s banks reported $27 billion in total profits between them and the CEOs of each of the big banks were among the highest paid Canadian CEOs. Between 2008 and 2009, each bank CEO received an average raise in total compensation of 19%.

Canada — New report lifts fog on government job cuts

June 8, 2012 Comments off

New report lifts fog on government job cuts
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Due to the opaque reporting methods used by the federal government to detail its spending and employment projections, getting a clear picture of core public service job losses is unnecessarily complicated. However, CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald has analyzed data from recently released 2012-13 Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPP) as well as the 2012 federal budget to assess the impact of several rounds of spending cuts on federal employment.

The report, Clearing Away the Fog: Government Estimates of Job Losses, finds that the total number of federal core public service job losses over the next three years will be 29,600—far more than the 19,200 estimate that is now commonly cited. The Departments of National Defence, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and Public Works and Government Services Canada will be particularly hard hit.

The analysis also notes that a significant number of positions at Crown corporations, non-profit agencies, and private sector firms who do business with the government outside of the core public service will also be lost, although it is difficult to determine just how many.

The Three Amigos: How Income Inequality in Mexico is different than Canada and the U.S.

May 31, 2012 Comments off

The Three Amigos: How Income Inequality in Mexico is different than Canada and the U.S.
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

An examination of income inequality in North America reveals that Mexico is the only part of the continent where the middle class has been gaining from growth, according to a new study by internationally respected economist Lars Osberg, Dalhousie University professor and CCPA Research Associate.

Mexico’s middle class has benefited from urbanization, greater female employment, improved education and better social programs. Although similar trends in Canada and the U.S. maintained growth in middle class incomes until the 1970s, Osberg says, they have since run out of steam. Globalization, technological advances, a drop in unionized work, and a deregulated labour market have contributed to stagnant real incomes for most in Canada and the U.S. since the 1980s.

Meanwhile, income growth at the top has accelerated in both Canada and the U.S.

Canada — CCPA releases Alternative Federal Budget 2012

April 2, 2012 Comments off

CCPA releases Alternative Federal Budget 2012
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Today, the CCPA releases the Alternative Federal Budget 2012: A Budget for the Rest of Us. This year’s AFB presents a public investment plan that promotes a better quality of life for all Canadians, not just an elite few. The AFB is designed to:

  • tackle poverty and income inequality by investing in public programs like education, affordable housing, public pensions, universal pharmacare, and national child care;
  • get Canadians working again by creating jobs and lowering the unemployment rate;
  • close tax loopholes for the wealthy, and put an end to the federal government’s failed corporate tax cut experiment;
  • get serious about environmental leadership with a forward-looking green strategy;
  • repair our cities and build sustainable communities with a long-term physical infrastructure program.

Documents available in English and French.

CA — Stranded in suburbia: Planning for aging populations

February 23, 2012 Comments off

Stranded in suburbia: Planning for aging populations
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

One of the most significant demographic changes in modern history is on the verge of occurring. Children born during the baby boom of post World War II are coming around full cycle, and we do not appear to have a well thought out plan to deal with this phenomenon. The first of the baby boom generation will be reaching age 65 within the next decade, doubling the current population of seniors by 2036. How does Manitoba intend to prepare for these dramatic changes? Our provincial health care system will be pushed to the limits, as will our ability to provide the services that will be needed.

The aging baby boomers, largely living in Winnipeg’s suburbs, will likely want to continue to live there. Suburban regions are characterized by low-density development and land use separation; buildings are spread out, and homes are completely segregated from the vast majority of services. This poses significant problems for delivering services, ensuring appropriate housing and providing transportation. Are Manitoba’s policies and strategies for addressing the aging population sufficient?

This report examines these trends, and provides some policy options for the Government of Manitoba to address these issues.

+ Full Report (PDF)

CA — Old Age (In)Security

February 10, 2012 Comments off

Old Age (In)Security
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Old Age Security (OAS) is the basic building block of Canada’s retirement income system. Canadians build on that foundation, saving for their retirement with benefits from the Canada or Quebec Pension Plan, a workplace pension if they’re lucky enough to have one, and private savings.

But now Prime Minster Harper says OAS is unsustainable and will not be able to accommodate the retirement of the baby boom generation over the next 20 years. Subsequently, the government is now considering controversial reforms to pension programs—including raising the age of eligibility for OAS from 65 to 67.

Pension experts don’t agree. Old Age Security: Can We Afford It?, a new CCPA technical paper by Monica Townson, sheds some light on the negative impact of cuts to Canada’s pension programs and also addresses its sustainability, given government claims that OAS costs will be soon be “unaffordable.”

+ Full Report

Canada — Resources on pension reform and Old Age Security

February 8, 2012 Comments off

Resources on pension reform and Old Age Security
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Last week Prime Minister Harper signaled possible cuts to Canada’s pension programs, namely Old Age Security benefits for middle- and lower-income seniors. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has produced several resources on pension reform, including analysis of the possible plan to raise the age for OAS eligibility…”

Canada’s Incomplete, Mediocre Recovery

January 30, 2012 Comments off

Canada’s Incomplete, Mediocre Recovery
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
From press release:

The twin claims by political leaders that the damage done by the recession to the Canadian economy and labour market have been repaired and that Canada survived the recession much better than other countries are both false, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

The study, by economist and CCPA Research Associate Jim Stanford, finds that, after adjusting for population growth, neither GDP nor employment growth have yet to recoup the ground lost during the 2008-09 downturn.

“In the labour market, in particular, the pace of employment-creation has lagged far behind the pace of population growth. After adjusting for population growth, less than one-fifth of the damage from the recession has been repaired, and things have gotten worse in the last 18 months, not better,” says Stanford.

“No wonder most Canadians think we’re still in a recession. From the perspective of the labour market, we still are.”

According to the study, real per capita GDP remains 1.4% lower as of the third quarter of 2011 than it was at the beginning of 2008—and several thousands of dollars per person below where it could be today on the basis of pre-recession growth trends.

CA — There’s no contest when it comes to CEO compensation

January 4, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ annual look at CEO compensation looks at 2010 compensation levels for Canada’s highest paid 100 CEOs and finds they pocketed an average of an average $8.38 million in 2010 – a 27% increase over the average $6.6 million they took in 2009.

Even in these turbulent economic times, the average of Canada’s CEO Elite 100 make 189 times more than Canadians earning the average wage.

Full Report (PDF)

CA — Pooled plans won’t solve pension crisis

December 8, 2011 Comments off

Pooled plans won’t solve pension crisis
Source: Candian Centre for Policy Alternatives

A new CCPA report finds that the government’s proposed Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) program will do nothing to solve Canada’s pension crisis. The report, by Monica Towson, concludes that rather than proposing yet another voluntary savings scheme, the government should instead focus on expanding the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). Improving CPP benefits would address the two key issues in the pension system causing concern: the lack of coverage in workplace pension plans; and the fact that individuals are not saving for retirement on their own. An expanded CPP would provide better retirement pensions to virtually all Canadians.

+ Pension Breakdown: How the finance ministers bungled pension reform (PDF)

Canada — Carbon footprints increase with income

November 17, 2011 Comments off

Carbon footprints increase with income
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

A new CCPA report finds household carbon footprints increase with income. In fact, the richest 20% of Canadian households are responsible for almost double the greenhouse gas emissions of those in the lowest-income group. The study, by Marc Lee and Amanda Card, concludes that GHG reduction policies must take inequality into consideration in order to be effective.

+ Full Report

Climate change and the Canadian energy sector

October 28, 2011 Comments off

Climate change and the Canadian energy sector
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

A new CCPA study argues that we need a fundamental rethinking of where Canada is going in its energy policy.

Climate Change and the Canadian Energy Sector: Implications for Labour and Trade Unions, by John Calvert and Marjorie Griffin Cohen, makes the case for a comprehensive strategy that would base its priorities on the urgent need to address global warming. The strategy should include a much stronger government role in shaping Canada’s energy future. It should also include a larger role for industrial policy and a comprehensive training and employment program. Trade unions, as well as environmentalists and civil society have much to contribute. They need to be included in the development of a more environmentally responsible approach to addressing climate change, one that does not rely simply on furthering the individual market-based decisions of the corporate sector.

+ Full Report (PDF)

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