September 22, 2020 – The COVID-19 crisis has left Ottawa’s finances vulnerable to significant downside risks, meaning little room for major post-crisis spending initiatives without tax increases across the board, says a new report from a C.D. Howe Institute Working Group. The Institute’s Fiscal and Tax Working Group, co-chaired by John Manley, former federal minister of finance; and Janice MacKinnon, former minister of finance of Saskatchewan, debated the question of whether the federal government’s fiscal trajectory is sustainable, given already announced plans. The discussion took place at the group’s second meeting on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Many members of the group of experts from the private sector and academia see...

September 14, 2020 – Ottawa must adopt a clear fiscal anchor to guide and control expenditure choices, says the C.D. Howe Institute’s Fiscal and Tax Working Group. The group of experts in both the private sector and academia is co-chaired by John Manley, former federal minister of finance; and Janice MacKinnon, former minister of finance of Saskatchewan. At their recent meeting, working group members discussed the importance of fiscal sustainability in ensuring government’s ability to provide public services, and the appropriate fiscal anchor to impose discipline over budgetary decisions. If left unanchored, public debt can eventually be monetized, as the central bank buys up government bonds, leading to higher inflation and...

September 3, 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 at least until September of 2021. Most MPC members also recommended that the Bank of Canada continue its quantitative easing program through the period until its next overnight rate announcement on October 28th. 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. The Council’s principal recommendations are about the overnight rate target. Members make recommendations for the Bank of Canada...

August 20, 2020 – Canada should provide additional supports for businesses facing the costs of digitizing operations due to the pandemic, says a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute. The report from the Crisis Working Group on Business Continuity and Trade also emphasized a need to reduce barriers to interprovincial trade and mobility, accelerate private sector capital spending, and clarify confusion around Canada’s foreign investment regime. 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, held its final meetings on June 16 and July 14, 2020...

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...