Economics

17 Sep 2020 Recovering Fiscal Responsibility

For the last quarter-century, red and blue Canadian governments have both prided themselves on their dedication to “fiscal responsibility” or, in more Christian parlance, fiscal stewardship. Previous administrations were committed to some version of the ideal of not further indebting (future) Canadian taxpayers. Jean Chretien and Paul Martin set the stage for ten years of consecutive budgetary surpluses. That was fiscal responsibility. Stephen Harper, even while opting to spend billions of deficit-financed dollars for recovery from the Financial Crisis, always had a balanced budget in his mind’s eye. That also...

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08 Jul 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part IV: Forecasting our Financial Future

by Levi Minderhoud In the last two blog posts on the financial effects of COVID, I compared the current deficit to past deficits and critiqued government spending in response to government-mandated lockdown. Now it is time to anticipate the future financial impacts of COVID. Will this recent spending bankrupt our country? The short answer is… no. At least, not yet.Will this recent spending bankrupt our country? The short answer is… no. At least, not yet. This year’s federal deficit is currently projected to be $343 billion or 15.9% of GDP, although that number will...

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02 Jul 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part III: Evaluating Canada’s Current Deficit

Updated July 8, 2020 by Levi Minderhoud My previous blog post in this series compared Canada’s current deficit to the deficits in Canada’s past. At $343 billion, or 15.9% of GDP, Canada is spending more money to combat COVID than any other war or major disaster in Canada’s history except for during the Second World War. This begs the question, should the federal government spend so much to combat this virus? A Couple of Caveats Before answering the question of how much money the government should spend, I must address a couple of caveats. First,...

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25 Jun 2020 Ruth the Can Collector: The Case for Restoring Old Testament Gleaning Principles

  By Mark Penninga If Ruth the Moabite lived today, she would probably have resorted to collecting empties from recycling bins and on the sides of roads to feed herself and her mother-in-law, Naomi. Few Bible stories warm my heart like that of Ruth. When Ruth moved to Israel from Moab with her mother-in-law Naomi, she was vulnerable on a number of levels: widowed, without children, a foreigner, and the caregiver of her mother-in-law, who was also widowed.If Ruth the Moabite lived today, she would probably have resorted to collecting empties from recycling...

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24 Jun 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part II: Comparing to Past Crises

Updated July 8, 2020 by Levi Minderhoud In the first blog post in this series, I delved into the wisdom and morality of government debts, deficits, and aid from a Christian perspective. I concluded that incurring debt is often unwise and sometimes even immoral, but as long as the government has the ability to repay their debt, and the norm is a balanced budget, debt can justifiably be incurred. The Bible also teaches that individuals, families, and churches – not just governments – have significant roles to play in assisting the financially...

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17 Jun 2020 Counting the Cost of COVID Part I: A Christian Introduction

by Levi Minderhoud  Months after governments declared public health emergencies, COVID still dominates headlines and lifestyles. We at ARPA have tried to respectfully explain the essential nature of worship services and urge respect for fundamental freedoms. We’ve also evaluated the impact of government policies on long-term-care residents and workers. But there is another piece of the COVID puzzle that Christians must address: its monetary cost to our government and country. This blog post initiates a four-part series on the monetary cost of the “COVID Crisis.” This first post aims to articulate a...

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20 May 2020 Professing progressivism for emergency loans?

  by John Sikkema  What is our government doing by requiring small businesses to confirm that they do not “promote hate” or “discriminate” before they can get a loan? Imagine your business partner suffers a serious injury at the construction site. You call 911. The operator asks if you and your business partner respect collective bargaining rights. Or imagine you need cancer treatment, and hospital staff ask if you support the equal right of everyone to publicly funded medical care. Would that ever be appropriate? Does your respect or disrespect for collective bargaining or...

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19 Sep 2017 LN Feature: Got Pulled Over

Jon Dykstra, Editor of Reformed Perspective The State of Colorado is considering a ballot initiative - a referendum - on the idea that traffic ticket revenues (the fines that are paid for things like speeding), should be paid to victims of specific offences, or donated to charities. On the feature this week, we talk with Reformed Perspective editor Jon Dykstra about the proposal. LN: "What if speeding tickets were paid to charities?" That was a headline in a recent edition of Reformed Perspective magazine; a column written by Jon Dykstra. Jon, this...

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28 Mar 2017 Was federal budget 2017 family friendly? An expert weighs in

Andrea Mrozek, Program Director - Cardus Family The Trudeau government unveiled the second budget of its mandate last week. There's still no plan to balance the books. The deficit projection for the current fiscal year is at $23-billion, and that goes up to $28.5 billion next year. There were a couple of initiatives with regard to families. Andrea Mrozek with Cardus Family says one of those family initiatives is worth supporting. It relates to parental benefits and maternity leave, where parents can now take a lower payout over 18 months instead...

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25 Nov 2016 Have Your Say: Liberal Budget 2017 Consultations Now Open

In preparation for their 2017 Spring Budget, the Liberal government is allowing Canadians to participate in the process. From their budget consultation page, “Tell us how we can help your family, strengthen the middle class and grow Canada’s economy. When you have an economy that works for the middle class, you have a country that works for everyone. That’s why our approach to growing the economy puts people first.” Take Action We encourage you to get involved in the budget consultation process. There are three means of getting involved: 1. Take the...

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