Roundup: Not headed for a debt bomb

In light of the fall economic update, and the myriad of concerns about the level of the deficit and lack of a plan to get to balance in the near term, economist Kevin Milligan took us all to school over Twitter yesterday. The main message – that it’s not 1995, and we can’t keep talking about the deficit as though it were.

Later on, Milligan took exception to the notion that the government has backtracked on their tax reform promises and made the situation worse. Not so, he tells us.

So there you have it. Armchair punditry on deficits or tax changes (even from some economists) doesn’t necessarily stack up.

Good reads:

  • While Bill Morneau says he’ll donate any profits his shares made since he was elected, but he insists he didn’t do anything wrong (and he’s probably right).
  • American officials are saying that they’re not offering anything to go along with their NAFTA demands, and Chrystia Freeland is (politely) having none of it.
  • The government settled with three Canadian men tortured in Syria for a total of $31.5 million, but can’t say how it was divided up between them.
  • The government also quietly settled a lawsuit involving the daughter of a victim of a CIA brainwashing experiment conducted in Canada.
  • A shortage of qualified procurement personnel at DND could be the undoing of the government’s military recapitalization plans.
  • Bob Rae has some (pretty justified) concerns about the Supreme Court nomination process (and Emmett Macfarlane notes this should apply to the Senate process).
  • Of the 1200 ISIS survivors the government has planned to resettle, about 800 have arrived, 80 percent of them Yazidis.
  • An Alberta court ruled that the Elections Canada requirement of a $1000 deposit to run in a federal election is unconstitutional.
  • Government officials are worried about major infrastructure hacks – but less than they were a few years ago, since cyber-security is now being taken seriously.
  • The government has announced plans to work with public sector unions on providing other contraceptives to employees than just the pill.
  • The NEB says that 2019 will likely be peak fossil-fuel use in Canada, and we’ll be more energy-efficient going forward. This doesn’t mean peak oil production.
  • Ottawa is running a pilot project of giving addicts pharmaceutical-grade drugs to prevent opioid contamination, but it’s an expensive programme to run.
  • In the wake of the fiscal update, here’s a look at the gap of people who aren’t accessing the benefits that they’re entitled to.
  • Digging into the StatsCan releases this week, here is a look at the immigrant wage gap, and the growth in Métis self-identification in Eastern Canada.
  • Here’s a profile of Jagmeet Singh’s brother, Gurratan, who serves as his “reality check.”
  • Kady O’Malley walks us through the privilege fight in the Senate over the open letter to Andrew Scheer to convince his senators to let the anthem bill go to a vote.
  • Robert Hiltz notes the government’s propensity to step on their own proposals because they can’t get off of their message tracks.

Odds and ends:

This look at “success” in QP from an opposition standpoint highlights just how much clips on MPs social media dominate the reasons for why things run the way they do.

Here’s a look at the news stories around the 1937 statistics releases.

3 thoughts on “Roundup: Not headed for a debt bomb

  1. Typo, Kady O’Malley para: anthem viz anethem.

    More substantively, readers should be aware that Milligan, whom you quote extensively, was a member of the Economic Advisory Council for the Liberal Party of Canada.

    • Typo fixed.
      As for the Council, I’m not taking it as partisanship, as many academics are happy to give their advice to anyone who asks.

  2. Dale
    I thank you so much for being so balanced and lawyerly. ALL the oppo parties are just making themselves look foolish with their ignorance on tax matters. I worked for the Feds from 1993 to ’99 and then for next 5 years as a volunteer for my local MP.
    When it was Rev Can it was a proper Ministry but Mulroney in 89 changed it to an Agency, which seemed to answer more to the politicians than the populace.
    Loved my job. Got a lot of training on the job, including estates and trusts, but not so much corps. So bravo Liberals. They will win next time because of changing demographics (what millennial has a landline, so polls mean nothing). Have a great weekend.

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