Council Reports

June 9 – The government missed key opportunities to consult with various constituencies affected by proposed amendments to the Competition Act in the Budget Implementation Act. While agreeing with Minister Champagne regarding the critical role of the Competition Act in promoting dynamic and fair markets, the Competition Policy Council does not think that such consequential changes to the legislation intended to improve its operation can, or should be, done without input from stakeholders. In all cases, the Council is of the view that greater consultation before implementing the changes would, and still could, improve them to the betterment of Canadians and the Canadian economy. This is the consensus of the C.D. Howe Institute…

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,…

April 23, 2020 – Between early March and mid-April, the Bank of Canada’s balance sheet more than doubled, dwarfing anything seen in 2008. Moreover unlike 2008, this increase has serious implications for future inflation, because the Bank’s increased liabilities are not the result of government deposits, but rather increased “settlement balances” or deposits by financial institutions, which increases the monetary base.

Once the pandemic and economic crisis passes there is no easy solution to the potential inflation problem arising from more money chasing fewer goods and services. Trying to unwind the Bank’s balance sheet by selling longer-term assets is fraught with political risk. Alternatively, while a floor system could help…