Economics

29 Apr 2021 Abortion: A Federal Budget Priority

By Daniel Zekveld A government budget tells us what their current priorities are. This year’s Federal budget shows multiple priorities for the government in the upcoming months. Among other details listed, the government includes a section which focuses on ‘Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Information and Services.’ It’s not very long, but there are a number of items in this section that stand out. The government treats abortion (as a part of ‘sexual and reproductive health care') as something which Canada needs to support wholeheartedly and provide unfettered access...

Read More

21 Apr 2021 The Federal Budget Misses the Mark

On April 19, the federal government released its 2021-2022 budget, its first budget in two years and the first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in September, ARPA called on the government and all the opposition parties to craft a fiscally responsible plan aimed at returning Canada to a balanced budget or at least a declining debt-to-GDP ratio. This budget misses that mark by $155 billion dollars – that is the projected size of this year’s federal deficit. As for the debt-to-GDP ratio, that is not projected to decline...

Read More

22 Mar 2021 Conservative Convention Debrief

Last week, the Conservative Party of Canada held its bi-annual policy convention. Due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, this convention was held virtually, enabling a record number of delegates to attend this year. Conventions are opportunities for members of political parties to come together, build the party, and prepare for the next election. At this virtual convention, delegates participated in campaign training, watched Conservative leader Erin O’Toole outline the party’s post-COVID-19 recovery plan, voted for national councillors (who help run and direct the party), voted on changes to the party constitution, and,...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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,...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More