• Commentary,  Inflation

    The Supply Chain, Profits, and Food Prices: Recent Developments and an Excellent New Video

    It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the food inflation debate. Recent developments include: 1. The federal government imposed a $50 million fine (the highest in history) on Canada Bread for its role in a bread price fixing scandal dating back to 2007.  2. The House of Commons Agriculture & Agri-Food committee released a report of its investigations into grocery profits and higher food prices. (See the Centre for Future Work’s submission to that inquiry, documenting the sustained rise in food retail profit margins since the pandemic.) 3. The latest inflation data from Statistics Canada has confirmed that food inflation is continuing at historically high rates, despite the slowdown…

  • Commentary,  Gig Economy,  Labour Standards

    Open Letter on Regulating Platform Work From B.C. Experts in Labour Law, Policy, and Economics

    Last year the B.C. government began the process of developing employment standards and other protections for app-based ride-hail and food-delivery workers. The Ministry of Labour conducted a public consultation on the topic in the fall of 2022, and published a What We Heard Report in April 2023. The Centre for Future Work made a submission to the public consultation.

  • Commentary,  Inflation,  Macroeconomics,  Wages

    At Last, Wages are Growing Faster Than Prices… and That’s Good

    A turning point has recently been reached in the current inflationary upsurge in Canada. Beginning in February, for the first time in two years, the growth in average hourly wages over the previous 12 months finally matched, and slightly exceeded, the corresponding growth in prices. This is a positive development – but doesn’t mean that workers have ‘caught up’ to recent inflation. Because real wages fell so much in 2021 and 2022, wages will need to grow faster than prices for some years to come to repair the damage to workers’ living standards

  • Commentary,  Finance,  Macroeconomics

    House of Cards: Interest Rates, Household Debt, and the Housing Crisis

    Last week the Bank of Canada increased its overnight interest rate, for the 9th time in little over a year, to 4.75%. In making its announcement, the Bank cited a slight increase in year-over-year headline CPI inflation last month. This, the Bank suggested, was one reason why it abandoned a temporary ‘hold’ on further interest rate increases announced in January. The Bank’s rationale is ironic, because the Bank’s rapid run-up in interest rates was the main cause of that small uptick in inflation