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Policy Options is a digital magazine published by the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) in Montreal, Quebec. It features daily articles on issues of public policy by contributors from academia, research institutions, the political world, the public service and the non-profit and private sectors. We’re committed to introducing our listeners to a diversity of viewpoints on the important public policy challenges of our time. Twitter: https://twitter.com/IRPP Facebook: https://www.f ...
 
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Debates around fiscal arrangements are always at the heart of federal-provincial relations in Canada. These days, health care funding and the Canada Health Transfer are even front-page news. Just a few months ago, equalization and Alberta’s demand for a fair deal that were making waves. In this episode, we do a deep dive into fiscal federalism: the…
 
Countries around the world are increasing their ambition on climate policy, and low-carbon technologies across a range of sectors are reaching maturity. This is creating the conditions for rapid change in the energy system and, as a major producer and exporter, Canada will be particularly impacted. Policy-makers must prepare for a period of volatil…
 
Tensions within a federation are a frequent, normal occurrence. In Canada, one only has to think about recurrent debates over health care funding to equalization payments.But recently, Canadian federalism has been experiencing more tension than usual. Alberta’s new premier is proposing a Sovereignty Act, Saskatchewan’s premier expressed a desire fo…
 
Adult education provides skills development opportunities to help Canadians find better jobs and improve well-being. Yet it remains a “poor cousin” of compulsory and higher education, disconnected from social policy and the education system at large, with its learners and teachers stigmatized.In this episode of the PO Podcast, UBC Education Profess…
 
In June 2022, we organized a special lecture at the McCord Museum in Montreal. This is a recording of the lecture Queen’s University Professor Emeritus Keith Banting and McGill University Professor Debra Thompson delivered.They explore why Canada’s robust welfare state – which includes universal health care and myriad employment and training progra…
 
In this special crossover episode with the Humans, on Rights podcast, Policy Options copyeditor and contributor Shannon Sampert, a political analyst and media specialist, speaks to host Stuart Murray about her career in journalism and the intersections of media, politics, and gender. From covering high school sports as a teenager to critiquing repo…
 
For the 50th anniversary of the IRPP, we are exploring the biggest public policy challenges facing Canada through a series of panel discussions held at some of Canada’s major policy schools. This episode is a recording of our discussion on political polarization held March 30, 2022, in collaboration with the University of Toronto’s Munk School of G…
 
As Russia’s attack on Ukraine carries on, nearly two-thirds of Ukrainian children have fled their homes. 2 million have gone to other countries while 2.8 million are internally displaced, and dozens have been killed or injured. The war also disrupted crop production and shipment from Ukraine and Russia, the largest exporters of wheat, putting milli…
 
L’IRPP célèbre son 50e anniversaire en s’associant aux principales écoles de politiques publiques du pays pour une série de tables rondes, intitulée « Sur le radar des priorités politiques », qui nous aideront à identifier les prochains défis qui occuperont nos décideurs. Cet épisode du balado d’Options politiques porte sur l’impact de la pandémie …
 
For the 50th anniversary of the IRPP, we are exploring the biggest public policy challenges facing Canada through a series of panel discussions held at some of Canada’s major policy schools. This episode is a recording of our discussion on shifts in regulatory governance held on March 22, 2022 in collaboration with Carleton University’s School of P…
 
The federal government tabled the 2022 budget on April 7. Coming in the third year of the pandemic, hot off the Liberal-NDP agreement, and the escalating Russian invasion of Ukraine, the federal budget responds both to immediate needs and long-term priorities. On this special crossover episode, we share a conversation from the Voice Above podcast, …
 
Le gouvernement fédéral a dévoilé le 29 mars son plan très attendu de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES). Le plan détaille entre autres comment le Canada prévoit atteindre son objectif de générer 40 % moins de GES en 2030 par rapport à 2005.Pour parler de ce projet complexe et certainement ambitieux, le directeur du Centre d’exce…
 
The past few years have been extremely disruptive for Canada’s labour market. In a period of considerable economic change, we have also been facing a pandemic that has shaken the labour market to its core. Some sectors of the economy were shedding jobs and others were frantically searching for workers. It has become clear that workers’ ability to t…
 
Over the past few years municipal budgets have been strained. In addition to the regular costs, the pandemic has created new and unpredictable expenses, climate-related disasters are increasing in number and scale, and municipalities are on the front lines as first responders supporting their citizens.That’s where provincial-municipal equalization …
 
In the last few decades, Canada’s economy has changed. We have seen a massive shift in how online enterprises conduct business and how Canadians purchase goods, and these changes have altered the way business is done in Canada. While this is no surprise to many, some may not know that one of the most important laws governing these businesses – the …
 
How Ottawa police treat white protesters compared to others including Black and Indigenous people reveals an entrenched Canadian double standard.Read the full article here: https://options-po.li/3gx7vMKBy: Anna DrakeFrench version read by Ricardo MontroseBởi IRPP
 
At the onset of the pandemic, it was difficult to predict how the virus would impact our lives. We understood that hospitals were at risk of overflowing, and we knew we needed to prepare for that. There were also a million other things that we didn’t or couldn’t predict would happen due to COVID-19, but if we have learned anything, it’s to expect t…
 
When a snap election was called in August, Canadians had a little over a month to prepare for a federal election and digest the platforms put forward by the political parties vying for their votes.Each party focused on what they thought would get them the most seats in the House. The New Democrats talked about affordability writ large, the Conserva…
 
Over the past few years, the need for governments to work with one another has been ramping up. Canada is facing a long and unpredictable pandemic, a changing economy and high expectations from Canadians. 2022 is upon us, and with the new year come new policies for governments to fight over and old disagreements to revisit. So, what issues are on t…
 
Over the summer of 2021 the world saw what can only be described as the fall of Afghanistan. Taliban offensive forces rapidly overtook the country in a matter of weeks, causing chaos within its borders and concern from the international community about what would happen to its citizens.There was a collective understanding that these individuals nee…
 
In 2020, 5.5 million Canadian workers lost their jobs. In that same year, 47 Canadian billionaires saw their wealth increase by 78 billion dollars. But rising inequality did not start during the pandemic. In fact, since the 1980s, the richest Canadians have increased their wealth, while middle- and low-income Canadians saw theirs diminish. Between …
 
The Canadian federation was built on a compromise between two linguistic communities, anglophones and francophones. This compromise still exists today and is now part of our national fabric and identity, in addition to being enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.Read the full text here: https://on-irpp.org/37oFnb6By: Stéphanie Ch…
 
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more and more common in our everyday lives. The technology is being used in a wide range of areas, such as advertising, health care, banking and manufacturing, to name a few. It is a massive advance in the tech sector that can benefit almost all levels of society. But with the benefits, there are also risks.…
 
Alberta has spoken! On October 18, as Albertans voted in municipal elections, there were two additional questions on the ballot. One was fairly inconsequential and asked people if they preferred doing away with daylight savings. It was narrowly rejected, with just 50.2 per cent of the vote.The second was more weighty and could end up changing the C…
 
Over the course of the pandemic, largely due to the increase in cases due to workplace transmission, there were calls to improve the current regime of sickness and caregiving leaves across Canada. Over a year later, almost all of those calls have been ignored. Federal, provincial and territorial governments had to enact emergency measures to addres…
 
At the onset of the pandemic, in March 2020, there was an (unconfirmed) collective idea that in a few weeks or months we would be able to go back to our lives as usual, and the pandemic would be a thing of the past. Now we recognize that it wasn’t that simple, that the regular functions of the country must continue, and that we would, at least for …
 
A young dentist’s ideals led him to Afghanistan as an infantry officer. After two tours, he began to question what was ultimately achievable.***Mû par ses idéaux, un jeune dentiste s’est engagé comme soldat d’infanterie. Deux séjours en Afghanistan l’ont amené à douter de la mission.Read the full article here: https://options-po.li/3mDZ9HhLisez l'a…
 
There is no doubt that social media has changed politics. It has connected politicians and constituents, making it easier for them to speak more freely with one another than ever before. But these sites have also changed the way people communicate with politicians. If you look at the replies to any tweet, by any politician, you will see a series of…
 
The pandemic, combined with working from home, has challenged our perceptions of how we work. People are now able to “work from home” from anywhere, and the concept of a disaggregated workforce is gaining acceptance. The idea that being employed means staying in one place and following the same rules that we have followed for generations is crumbli…
 
The last year has been a reckoning for so many aspects of our society, revealing that we need fundamental reform in the way the country operates. However, one piece of news that has been shocking to many Canadians is the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at residential schools across the country, with thousands more expected to be found.Whil…
 
The conversation surrounding the COVID-19 recovery has been almost entirely centred on the economy. Governments have allocated countless resources to protecting people from economic hardship and keeping businesses afloat. But there is one aspect of Canada’s recovery that has received little attention from policy-makers: How do we heal people and ci…
 
En dépit de nombreux rapports qui préconisent depuis plus de 20 ans une réforme majeure des soins de longue durée au Québec, aucun gouvernement n’est véritablement passé à l’action. L’indignation en réaction aux défaillances systémiques révélées par la pandémie entraînera-t-elle un véritable changement ? Quelles politiques faut-il prioriser pour la…
 
COVID-19 has shaken the Canadian labour market to its core, and it has revealed that our Employment Insurance system is not well equipped to handle a major disruption to the economy.In the first half of 2020, roughly 2.4 million Canadians were laid off or had permanently lost their jobs. By January 2021, roughly 511,000 individuals had been unemplo…
 
The story of western alienation runs parallel to the story of Canada. Both stories have their roots in 1867, when a country was born out of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. At the time those two provinces were leaders in business and population numbers. But in the western part of the country, a different story was started – one of alienation – …
 
COVID-19 has been one of the largest disruptions in the Canadian labour market in the country’s history. Not only were some sectors like tourism nearly decimated, the economy as a whole took a hit - making it extraordinarily difficult for laid-off Canadians to find jobs that they could easily transfer their skills to. Retraining workers who have lo…
 
Canada has vaccinated nearly 40 per cent of its citizens, an important milestone in the fight against COVID-19. But underlying this success is a concerning aspect of the global vaccine rollout: wealthy countries like Canada have taken the lion’s share of vaccines – 87 per cent, leaving medium- and low-income countries with just 0.2 per cent of the …
 
On April 19, 2021, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented the first federal budget in two years. Among the many new and updated policies, one stood out especially – the promise of affordable universal childcare for all Canadians. Universal child care had been promised in the past and never come to fruition, not for lack of political will or p…
 
This special episode of the Policy Options Podcast is a recording of our recent webinar on the 2021 federal budget. The webinar can also be found online at IRPP.org, or on YouTube. This budget came with high expectations. Public debate around such issues as reforming long-term care, helping displaced workers transition back into the labour force, r…
 
In March 2020, Canada saw a major “office-drain,” as office workers made the sudden switch to working from home. Most were told that this would be a temporary solution to the social distancing orders and lockdown measures put in place to lower the spread of COVID-19. But just a few weeks later, COVID-19 was named a full-blown pandemic, and talk of …
 
Indigenous treaties are enormously significant for both First Nations groups and Canada. These treaties are constitutionally recognized agreements that lay out the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canada, where Yukon is a leader in treaty-making. Out of the 14 Indigenous groups that live in the territory, 11 hold signed treaties with the…
 
Last Fall, Joyce Echaquan, an Indigenous woman, died in a Quebec hospital after posting videos online of the hospital staff insulting her. The tragedy was seen by many as the latest example of the systemic racism that Indigenous people often face when dealing with the Canadian health care system. It’s not the first time systemic racism in health ca…
 
COVID-19 has put many Canadians out of jobs. But even after the pandemic ends, there’s no indication the labour market will go back to the way it was. Automation, climate change, and the rise of gig work will all have very real consequences for the nature of work.In light of these disruptions, giving job seekers and employers the support they need …
 
It’s just over a month into Canada’s vaccine rollout, and every day seems to bring new federal-provincial bickering or logistical nightmares. It’s difficult and confusing at a time when Canadians just want to get needles into arms.The problem is, it’s not just a Canadian issue – as recent disruptions to vaccine supply have reminded us, the pandemic…
 
This week we’ve got a special, bilingual episode of the podcast. To celebrate 40 years of Policy Options, and the end of a truly terrible year, we’re joined by Jennifer Ditchburn, Policy Options’ editor-in-chief. She takes us back to 1980 to discuss what policy concerns of the time still resonate today. And we chat about what the future holds for p…
 
COVID-19 has tested Canada’s intergovernmental system. With the stakes as high as they are, it’s crucial that all levels of government continue to meet, communicate, and try to work together. To make that process a little easier, this week’s podcast has lessons for policymakers on successful cooperation in the face of complex intergovernmental chal…
 
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