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Opinion

The post-COVID-19 economy: financing Canada’s leadership in sustainable energy

By Jatin Nathwani and Raynier Ramasra       

The challenges brought on by COVID-19 present a unique opportunity to pivot the country away from dependence on the oil and gas sector for our economic well-being.

To hand over to current and future generations a legacy of well-thought-out investments in clean-energy technologies would be a decision of minimum regret. By ensuring investments are directed toward deployment of sustainable, low-carbon energy resources and the necessary supporting infrastructure, we can exploit our collective innovation capacity to become global leaders in sustainable energy in the long run, write Jatin Nathwani and Raynier Ramasra. Photograph courtesy of Pexels.com

WATERLOO, ONT.—Conventional wisdom would suggest that government budgets should alternate with economic cycles: surpluses during economic expansions and deficits during contractions. In the past, deviations from this approach have led to subsequent fiscal challenges for Canada; profligate federal and provincial spending through the 1970s and into the early 1990s led to debt in excess of 100 per cent of GDP and necessitated significant spending cuts in the mid-1990s to reduce the debt and associated servicing costs. The current federal government returned to deficit spending while the economy was still expanding, which reduced the available fiscal capacity when the COVID-19 pandemic began. With interest rates already near historic lows, current monetary capacity to stimulate the economy is also diminished. Yet while no serious voice would suggest the government stop its current efforts to sustain the economy, the politicians and policy-makers who will be tasked with addressing Canada’s future fiscal situation likely have not yet begun their careers.

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WE Charity highlights loopholes for ‘celebrity’ and secret lobbying, warn observers who call for long overdue review

'I’m of the opinion that organizations understand the rules so well that we have seen that they will make sure they don't have to report if they don't want to,' says ethics scholar Ian Stedman.

Public services too ‘stretched’ to deliver student-grant program, says employment minister

Small Business Minister Mary Ng says the extent of her interactions with the organization was limited to that initial pitch, and did not extend to the since-cancelled contract for the student-grant program.

‘Weak’ trade growth in 2019 caused by ‘trade policy uncertainty’ and ‘mixed economic signals’, Global Affairs report suggests

News|By Neil Moss
Canada's export growth with China declined by 16 per cent in 2019 and growth in exports to the United States slowed to 2.5 per cent.

Fundraising amid pandemic ‘incredibly difficult’ for Green leadership hopefuls as Paul takes clear lead

The second- and third-place fundraisers are hitting the road, holding socially distanced campaign events across the country as they try to close the gap with leader Annamie Paul.

Venezuela winter elections will be fraudulent, warns envoy, calling for continued support

Last November, Canada officially recognized Orlando Viera-Blanco, a representative of interim president Juan Guaidó, as the country’s ambassador.

Official Languages Committee to probe WE Charity deal

News|By Palak Mangat
Liberal MP Sherry Sherry Romanado, who voted along party lines to oppose the motion, says the probe falls outside the scope of the committee's mandate.

‘Extraterritorial reach’ of national security law in Hong Kong could have chilling effect on freedom of speech in Canada, say activists

News|By Beatrice Paez
Cherie Wong of the Alliance Canada Hong Kong says Canada’s intelligence and police agencies appear to be ill-equipped to respond to the 'malicious and sophisticated' ways in which Beijing allegedly suppresses criticism.

WE was ‘at no point’ creating a program for feds, says top bureaucrat

News|By Palak Mangat
'There were many sources. Public servants wanted to help; ministers wanted to help. A problem had been identified and a multitude of ideas were put forward,' says Privy Council Clerk Ian Shugart.

Upper Chamber staff harassment ‘more widespread,’ and could happen again, say former Don Meredith Senate employees

Sexual harassment is ‘more widespread’ in the Senate than the Don Meredith case, says one of his former staffers.
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