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February 17th, 2023

NDP’s Singh launches economic consultation series ahead of federal budget

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is launching a series of economic roundtables with prominent Canadian economists to pinpoint actions the federal government can take in the spring budget, and beyond, to help families with the skyrocketing cost-of-living.

The tour follows months of Singh sitting down with workers to hear directly from them on what’s frustrating their household budgets, preventing them from getting ahead.

“I envision an economy where a good job means you can afford a home, and still have savings left over after the bills are paid,” said Singh. “But that’s not what’s happening right now. The cost of everything is getting worse, and the choice to hike interest rates is making people’s loans, mortgages and rent more expensive. People’s paycheques aren’t keeping up.

“Working Canadians are doing everything right. I want the next budget to do right by them.”

On Friday, Singh will kick off the consultation series by meeting with Michael Veall, a McMaster University professor and co-investigator in the research program on the Socioeconomic Dimensions of an Aging Population; Heather Scoffield, senior vice-president, strategy, at the Business Council of Canada; Armine Yalnizyan, the Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers; Craig Renney, the Economist and Director of Policy at New Zealand Council of Trade Unions; and Angella MacEwen, senior economist at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and a policy fellow with the Broadbent Institute.

Singh said the group will discuss the economists’ ideas for smart and immediate actions that the federal government can take to help Canadians with the cost-of-living and the housing crisis, including a look at what’s effective in other jurisdictions.

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau believes everything is fine — because for his friends, they are. Pierre Poilievre rages that everything is broken, because he wants to tear it all down. I believe the truth is that times have been getting worse for everyday working folks — but we can turn things around,” said Singh.

“The next Canadian budget will be all about choices and priorities. My priority is to make sure everyday folks pay less and get more.”

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Roundtable participants
Feb. 17, 2023

Armine Yalnizyan
Armine Yalnizyan is the Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers and a leading voice on Canada’s economic scene. Most recently, she served on a high-level task group on women in the economy convened by the federal Ministers of Finance and Middle Class Prosperity. From 2018 to 2019, she served as a senior economic policy advisor to the federal Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada. Armine was senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Inequality Project from 2008 to 2017.
Armine writes a bi-weekly business column for the Toronto Star. She is also a frequent contributor to Maclean’s, CBC Radio, TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, BNN’s Bloomberg Markets. She contributed economics columns for The Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab from 2010 to 2013, and from 2012 to mid-2018 she provided weekly business commentary for CBC Radio’s Metro Morning and CBC TV’s premier business show On The Money (formerly the Lang and O’Leary Exchange).
Angella MacEwen
Angella MacEwen is the Senior Economist at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and a Policy Fellow with the Broadbent Institute. Her primary research focus is understanding the Canadian labour market, broader economic trends and the impacts of social policy on workers.
She regularly represents the CUPE at parliamentary committees and in the national media. Ms. MacEwen has been a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives since 2006, and contributes to the annual Alternative Federal Budget. She is on the steering committee of the Progressive Economics Forum, as well as the Trade Justice Network. Ms. MacEwen holds an MA in Economics (Dalhousie University) and a BA in International Development Studies (Saint Mary’s University).
Craig Renney
Craig Renney is the Economist and Director of Policy at New Zealand Council of Trade Unions. His specialties are around economics, especially economic evaluation and economic geography, labour market analysis, skills and education data analysis, local government, especially finance, governance, and central/local relations. Prior to this role, Craig was the Senior Economic Advisor for the New Zealand Minister of Finance.
Heather Scoffield
Heather is the Senior Vice President, Strategy, at the Business Council of Canada. She joined the BCC after an extensive and distinguished career in journalism, most recently as Ottawa bureau chief and economics columnist for the Toronto Star. She was previously Ottawa bureau chief for The Canadian Press and prior to that spent 12 years with The Globe and Mail. She has covered a wide range of issues including fiscal, monetary and social policy, trade, Indigenous affairs, environment and energy.
Michael Veall
Michael R. Veall obtained his doctorate in Economics from MIT in 1981. He taught at the University of Western Ontario, the University of Mannheim and Queen's University and was a Visiting Fellow at Australian National University and the University of Western Australia, Honorary Visiting Professor at York University and an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at both the University of Mannheim and at SELAPO, University of Munich.
He is currently professor at McMaster University and co-investigator in the research program on the Socioeconomic Dimensions of an Aging Population. He was a Research Fellow at IZA Bonn from April 1998 to September. His research interests include computationally-intensive methods such as bootstrapping and their application in econometrics and the microeconometric analysis of saving for retirement.