July 9, 2020 – The C.D. Howe Institute’s Monetary Policy Council (MPC) recommends that the Bank of Canada keep its target for the overnight rate, its benchmark policy interest rate, at 0.25 percent until at least July of 2021. The MPC provides an independent assessment of the monetary stance consistent with the Bank of Canada’s 2 percent inflation target. William Robson, the Institute’s CEO, chairs the Council. Council members make recommendations for the Bank of Canada’s upcoming interest-rate announcement, the subsequent announcement, and the announcements six months and one year ahead. The Council’s formal recommendation for each announcement is the median vote of members attending the meeting. The eight members of...

June 23, 2020 – Ottawa should use the Canada Emergency Response Benefit’s eight-week extension to update its Employment Insurance administrative architecture and roll out a training benefit program, says the C.D. Howe Institute’s Crisis Working Group on Household Income and Credit Support. At their recent meeting, working group members discussed the proposed amendments to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Act. The group also identified the need for training support benefits for CERB recipients, management of uncertainties to improve decision-making by households, and increased coordination with provincial governments to ease the transition back to work.  The group recommends: Removing the penalty of...

June 22, 2020 – Governments and regulators should set out guidelines to allow for creativity in encouraging investments, such as a “sandbox” where innovative approaches can be tested, according to a new C.D. Howe Institute working group report. The C.D. Howe Institute Crisis Working Group on Monetary and Financial Measures argues such measures would increase the confidence of lenders and investors when engaging with businesses. The group, co-chaired by David Dodge, former Governor of the Bank of Canada, and Mark Zelmer, former Deputy Superintendent, OSFI, also tackled issues such as the underwhelming uptake of certain support measures offered by governments, uncertainty on future policy responses to the pandemic, strategies to...

June 17, 2020 – Accelerating productivity-enhancing infrastructure projects could provide much-needed stimulus and help Canada’s economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis, according to a C.D. Howe Institute Crisis Working Group. The Crisis Working Group on Business Continuity and Trade, in its most recent meetings on May 26 and June 2, 2020, also emphasized the need for adapting Canada’s bankruptcy and restructuring process to cope with the potential for widespread insolvencies. The group of industry experts and economists, co-chaired by Dwight Duncan, Senior Strategic Advisor at McMillan LLP and former Ontario Minister of Finance, and Jeanette Patell, Vice-President of Government Affairs and Policy for GE Canada, considered a number...

June 8, 2020 – Better data is required to make informed decisions about an income support transition model, says the C.D. Howe Institute’s Crisis Working Group on Household Income and Credit Support. At their recent meeting, working group members discussed options for providing continued income support to Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) recipients who, after exhausting their maximum eligibility period, may remain unemployed and without access to Employment Insurance (EI). The group also explored a solution for getting real-time pay information to tackle the administrative challenge of using income-tested support programs, and discussed the potential impact of working from home on young employees and the gender wage gap...