Amid continued economic uncertainty, income inequality continues to be at the forefront of the public affairs agenda in Ottawa. A shrinking middle class and the need to address growing inequality in Canada was a cornerstone of the 2015 Liberal election platform. On January 26, join Hill Times publisher Jim Creskey and our distinguished panel as we explore this important issue from both a national and international policy perspective.
Income inequality has reached its highest levels since The Great Depression. The divide has impacted all income groups, resulting in the decline of the middle class and an increase in poverty. Income inequality also impacts crime levels and quality of life. A growing group of leading economists, including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, that claim income inequality is hurting the economy. The International Monetary Fund suggests "the trade-off between efficiency and equality may not exist.” And The Economist notes, “Some of today’s inequality may be inefficient rather than growth promoting.”
Traditionally, skill biased technical change and globalization are cited as the largest contributors to inequality. However, institutional forces such as rent extraction, policies that favour the wealthy, a decline in union rates, and deregulation are also playing a significant role.
On January 26, Hill Times Events hosts "A Disappearing Middle Class: Poverty, Growth and Income Inequality", featuring a diverse panel of experts who will examine these themes and the government’s role in reducing this gap both domestically and internationally. Hill Times publisher Jim Creskey will moderate the discussion. This event is designed for a wide range of senior-level decision makers from the private, public and third sectors who have a vested interest in economic growth domestically and abroad.