- Mariana Mazzucato argues that in deciding how to vote, we need to challenge the Cons' assumptions as to what the federal government can do to encourage development:
Markets are themselves are outcomes of different types of public and private sector investments in new areas. Countries like Italy that have had low deficits but a lack of such investments, end up with high debt/gdp ratios. So, what should we be talking about? Public spending must be seen as part of the co-creation process by which markets are formed. The question should be about what kind of markets Canada wants to lead in, and what kind of actors and interactions are required to get there.- Meanwhile, Jeremy Nuttall reports that even as the Cons have made a show of limiting the use of disposable foreign labour through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, they've opened up new channels to help their corporate buddies drive down wages.
This is key for Canada as it continues to lag behind in key innovation performance indicators and its investment in innovation to date has largely been hands-off and indirect, via tax credits. It could learn lessons from its international peers – including the US – who do this kind of thing better with mission-oriented, direct investments across the innovation chain – not only in basic research. Canada continues to rely too much on tax credits to stimulate R&D, when the real driver of R&D tends to be where the private sector perceives the new exciting opportunities to be. A more courageous public sector could be driving this opportunity creation in the area of renewable energy, also to get Canada out of the trap of the extractive sectors.
- Paula Span writes that inequality only tends to grow with time as the advantages enjoyed early in life perpetuate themselves to increase inequality in health and economic outcomes. And Les Leopold points out that matters are only getting worse as the super-rich try to secede altogether from the world of public goods which most people rely on.
- Ryan Meili reminds us that a lack of housing in Saskatoon (and elsewhere) represents a health emergency, not merely a freestanding policy failure. And Lynell Anderson and Iglika Ivanova discuss the child care promises on offer from Canada's federal parties.
- Finally, Michael Harris anticipates that the Cons' bigotry is about to produce some well-deserved blowback. And both Marie-Marguerite Sabongi and Robert Fisk are appalled to see the Cons' combination of prejudice and wilful ignorance as major themes of a Canadian election campaign.