Pan-Canadian Perspectives – April 11, 2018

Hello PPGR enthusiasts and welcome to a special edition of the Morning Brief!

This week, we will be looking at five commentary articles from students at public policy and public administration schools across Canada! From the Trans-Mountain pipeline in BC to car-sharing regulation in Regina, these articles touch on policy issues of national importance and local issues that hold lessons for other jurisdictions across the country.

This week’s Morning Brief was prepared by Cindy Liu. Sign up here to receive the Morning Brief directly to your inbox.

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  • Kinder Morgan’s Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion has been in the news this week as the company announced it will be suspending all non-essential activity for the project in the face of mounting opposition. Scarlett Kelly from Dalhousie University highlights the drawbacks of ongoing pipeline opposition and how it affects all Canadians. She argues that politics, rather than concerns about Indigenous people and the environment, is the real reason behind the NDP government’s tough stance on pipelines. [Kelly/PPGR]
  • In mid-sized Canadian cities with less developed public transit systems, you often need a car to get around. But what if you don’t have one of your own? More and more people are starting to rely on car-sharing services, and with the rising popularity of car-sharing comes the question of how local governments should respond. Drawing from Regina’s experience in car-sharing, Anna Lozhkina from the University of Regina argues that local government should be proactive in encouraging and regulating car-sharing services. [Lozhkina/PPGR]
  • Poverty is a national problem that’s felt in every corner of the country. A basic income guarantee may seem like the answer to reducing the likelihood of poverty, and Ontario has recently undertaken a basic income pilot to test this approach. However, Rehnuma Jahan Islam from Simon Fraser University argues that factors such as political infeasibility, negative work incentives and unresolved questions about cost make a Canada-wide basic income approach unrealistic. Instead, she writes, Canada should target programs for those most vulnerable to poverty. [Islam/PPGR]
  • The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change represents long overdue climate leadership at the federal level. But has the federal government actually achieved tangible results on the climate change file? Mavis Chan from Ryerson University writes that even with the current policy framework, Canada still falls short of meeting GHG emissions targets, meaning further actions are needed in order to fulfill our climate commitments. [Chan/PPGR]
  • As Canadian provinces contemplate clean energy sources, Ontario’s experiences may provide lessons on what not to do. Electricity rates in Ontario have skyrocketed since 2005, and Sarah Edmunds from Ryerson University points to recent energy policies such as the phase-out of coal and poorly implemented components of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act as reasons for the higher costs. To successfully transition Ontario towards a green economy, she writes, the provincial government must carefully balance affordability and intergenerational equity. [Edmunds/PPGR]

We’re proud to publish these articles from bright young policy minds from coast to coast, and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading their perspectives on some of Canada’s key policy issues. The next edition of the Brief will be making its way to your inboxes on April 18th, 2018.