Parliament is being asked to authorize massive amounts of spending to mitigate the economic damage of COVID-19. To best represent the interests of Canadian taxpayers, who some day will foot the bill, parliamentarians need the best picture possible of the underlying context. That should include a fiscal update. The Prime Minister rejected the idea of a fiscal update last week, arguing that “in this situation any prediction we make will be widely unreliable from one week to the next.” Many past updates and budgets, vital to the parliamentary process, would have failed the reliability test. The infamous 1995 budget, widely viewed as tackling a fiscal crisis and putting the country on a sustainable fiscal path, overpredicted the 1996-...
Qu’est-ce que peut bien voir la Bourse pour regagner si rapidement le terrain perdu, alors que l’économie réelle se contracte comme jamais dans une profonde récession ? Comme se plaisait à répéter mon ancien collègue de La Presse Alain Dubuc, « la Bourse, ce n’est pas l’économie ! ». Elle est plutôt le reflet d’opinions variées quant à l’évolution future des bénéfices des seules entreprises cotées en Bourse. Ici, le mot clé est futur. La Bourse est un marché qui met un prix sur le futur, diablement difficile à prévoir, surtout au beau milieu d’une crise sans précédent. Ce prix est rajusté au fur et mesure que le marché digère de nouvelles informations, parfois contradictoires, d’où la...
One of the tragedies of the COVID-19 crisis is its devastation of arts and culture organizations in this country. Even with emergency support by the federal government, the future for many of these groups is uncertain. As the economy slowly opens up, crowd restrictions and social distancing will mean galleries, museums and the performing arts generally (theatre, music, dance), will face tremendous challenges. Many see a dim and uncertain horizon ahead as revenues shrink or disappear. Financial struggles were a long-standing a fact of life for the arts community well before the pandemic crisis. Notwithstanding pre-pandemic increases in public funding, including the injection of new money for the Canada Council, public financing for arts...