June 2, 2020 — While Canada has invested in residential long-term care at similar levels to other countries, it has drastically under-invested in home and community-based care, according to the C.D. Howe Institute’s Crisis Working Group on Public Health and Emergency Measures. Long-term care and retirement homes are the center of the epidemic in Canada, with about 80 percent of COVID deaths having occurred in residential care facilities — a death rate much higher than most other nations. Because a high proportion of seniors in Canada live in an institutional care setting, they are at a much higher risk of exposure, infection and death from COVID-19 than seniors living in the community or in the home. While there is not a...

May 28, 2020 – The C.D. Howe Institute’s Monetary Policy Council (MPC) recommends that the Bank of Canada maintains its target for the overnight rate, its benchmark policy interest rate, at 0.25 percent for at least a year. The MPC provides an independent assessment of the monetary stance consistent with the Bank of Canada’s 2 percent inflation target. Jeremy Kronick, Associate Director, Research, chaired today’s meeting, sitting in for the MPC’s usual chair, William Robson, the Institute’s President and CEO. 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. All ten members attending today'...

May 27, 2020 – The federal government should not legislate any ministerial “public interest” waiver for anti-competitive collaborations, according to a report from a C.D. Howe Institute council. While government intervention in certain economic sectors may be warranted in the near term during the COVID-19 crisis, governments must be conscious of potential impacts on competition, and ensure competitors face the discipline and dynamism of market forces by outlining a clear exit plan for ramping-down support. This is the consensus view of the C.D. Howe Institute’s Competition Policy Council, which held its nineteenth meeting on May 8, 2020. Council members commended governments for taking an active role in economic management and...

May 26, 2020 – With re-opening strategies differing across the country, regional and industry variations need to be considered to create better-tailored income supports, 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 need to apply a risk management lens to the re-opening of the economy and the need to shift away from a national one-size-fits-all income support plan. The group also considered policy options for modifying the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) while maintaining support for families and low-wage earners, and explored longer-term income support plans. The group recommends: A more targeted income...

May 25, 2020 - Ottawa and the provinces need to recommit to fiscal and monetary anchors​ in light of the unprecedented stimulus response provided by all levels of government and the Bank of Canada throughout the COVID-19 crisis. While fiscal anchors, such as debt-to-GDP ratios, were necessarily set aside to finance support programs to cope with the economic shutdown, measures to stabilize finances and restore fiscal sustainability in the medium to long-run are critical. Canada is emerging from the first wave of the pandemic with very high public and private debt loads and is increasingly dependent on domestic and foreign investors to finance them. With the loss of Canada’s fiscal anchor, maintaining investor confidence so that public...