Council Reports

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...

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...