Economy and economic indicators

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Halifax—With the looming federal government deadline for provinces to institute their own carbon pricing scheme or have it imposed, the next Nova Scotia government will have a small window to move forward. Today, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia released a backgrounder that outlines a progressive policy on carbon pricing that it urges should be adopted instead of the one being currently proposed.  
With the looming federal government deadline for provinces to institute their own carbon pricing scheme or have it imposed, the next Nova Scotia government will have a small window to move forward. This backgrounder urges the next provincial government to prioritize the transition to a greener economy and outlines a progressive policy on carbon pricing that should be adopted instead of the one being currently proposed.
Today, 11 communities across BC released their local living wage rates. A living wage is the hourly amount that two working parents with two young children must earn to meet their basic expenses.
For those seeking to calculate the living wage in other BC and Canadian communities, you can download the living wage calculation guide and spreadsheet (below). And please let the Living Wage Campaign know what you come up with — they're working on keeping track of amounts across the province and across Canada: info@livingwageforfamilies.ca. You can also contact the campaign if you want to become a living wage employer or to participate in the work of the campaign.
(Vancouver) The wage needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver is virtually unchanged in the past year, however, child care and housing costs are major challenges for many families, a report released today finds.
In the Fall 2016 Monitor, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives  (CCPA)Saskatchewan’s Simon Enoch penned Getting to Know Brad, introducing Canada’s most popular premier – Brad Wall - to the country. He ran down Wall’s list of “accomplishments”. What made Simon’s analysis so interesting (and at the same time, disheartening) was how Wall has rolled out such a regressive agenda while remaining so popular.  He noted that the rest of Canada needed to pay attention to Wall as he was beta-testing a number of conservative policy experiments that we could see replicated elsewhere.
First published in the Winnipeg Free Press, Dec 6, 2016 Those of us who were hoping that the Throne Speech would have details about a strategy for Manitoba’s North were disappointed.   There seems to be a deliberate effort to not mention the Port of Churchill or the Hudson Bay Rail Line in any mention of the North. The absence is odd given the necessity of both for the regional economy and in the case of Churchill’s deep-water port, Arctic sovereignty.
The instinct of governments across the political spectrum when faced with economic contraction has been to cut public spending as a means to reduce deficits and restore growth. This instinct for austerity is certainly shared by the Saskatchewan government, which has recently announced large spending cuts in health ($63.9 million), education ($8.7 million) and social services ($9.2 million).
A version of this was first published in the Winnipeg Free Press Friday November 25, 2016   If the new provincial government had shown a certain amount of restraint up until now, it seemed much more willing to show its hand in Monday’s Throne Speech.  A few strong messages emerged: public-sector workers are in for a rough ride; there’s going to be a strong push towards privatization on several levels; and there’s nothing concrete for Manitoba’s northern communities. It all adds up to a strong austerity agenda.

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