Our results show that the removal of restrictions enabled the Region of Waterloo to “bounce back” toward its original competitive state. The removal of restrictions led to a greater numbers of bids, more bidders, more unique firms bidding, and decreased bid gaps indicating downward pressure on municipal construction costs.
As Canada emerges from the COVID-19 crisis and accompanying recession, governments, the construction sector, and communities alike look to massive infrastructure spending to reignite the economy and promote lasting community benefits across the country. This report addresses, from the perspective of the builders’ community, the concept of community benefits agreements (CBAs)—an often poorly understood and ill-defined concept that is gaining prominence in Canada and other Western democracies.
Building financial security for all Canadians, but especially for the most vulnerable, is widely recognized as an important policy priority. Governments have a unique opportunity to kick gambling addiction to work for, not against, low-income households.
The Government of Ontario is considering establishing new protections for users of alternative financial services (AFS). AFS are high-cost financial services provided outside of traditional financial institutions like banks and credit unions. Common AFS offerings include payday loans, instalment loans, lines of credit, and auto title loans. Ontario currently regulates payday loans. The government recently invited consultation on draft proposals and options intended to strengthen protection for borrowers and improve the regulation of high-cost credit agreements, other than payday loans.
This consultation is in addition to Ontario’s comprehensive review of the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 (CPA), the law governing many personal and household transactions by consumers. The CPA’s rules support a fair and competitive marketplace where consumers make their own choices without being subject to unfair business practices.
Cardus submitted the following responses to the questions posed in the consultation.
How can policy-makers ensure that the burden of climate action is broadly distributed, and not disproportionately affecting low- and mid-skilled workers? This paper argues that the focus should be on lowering the emission intensity of the sector rather than abandoning resource development altogether.
Canada’s charitable sector will prove to be pivotal in helping Canadians through these challenging times. But the revenues of charitable organizations have been falling. For Canadian charities to continue carrying out their important missions in helping to provide those in need with food, clothing, shelter, and emotional support, Canadians are going to have to increase their giving.
The Atlantic provinces disproportionately taxes the poor though gambling to pay for government programs
Alberta disproportionately taxes the poor though gambling to pay for government programs
B.C. disproportionately taxes the poor though gambling to pay for government programs.
Canada’s charitable sector will prove essential in helping those in need through the economic, social, and emotional hardships of the pandemic. But the sector is reeling from the effects of COVID-19 on its revenues, and this is why government partnership is needed. Cardus has proposed an innovative matching-funds initiative to help sustain charities through these times. Such a program need not be viewed as entirely new spending by the federal government.
The shortage of personal support workers, the most numerous group of frontline workers in LTC homes and the group responsible for the majority of hands-on care, is acute. But why is this happening?
There is a large hole in our public talk about work and wages. Reviewing the latest research, "Work is About More Than Money" uncovers the personal, social and psychological costs of unemployment. It identifies the missing pieces in our thinking and policymaking about labour to show why it is urgent to attend to the non-monetary benefits of work.
Workers in Ontario’s long-term care homes provide care and support for thousands of seniors every day—but there are not nearly enough of them.
The demand for long-term care beds is rising, yet care workers' wages have fallen. Increased regulation, meanwhile, is forcing these workers to spend more time filling out paperwork, taking time away from hands-on care for residents.
This report examines the labour market challenges facing Ontario's long-term care workers and urges government to join long-term care employers and labour in implementing solutions.
In this paper, Cardus continues its multi-year study of the payday loan market in Canada and evaluates which policies are working, which are not, and what yet remains unknown about payday loans, consumer behaviour, and the impact of government regulation on the supply and demand for small-dollar loans.
A review of the municipal budgets of the affected cities in Ontario shows that over $2 billion worth of public construction work in Ontario is subject to oligopolies annually. And a survey of estimated costs that come as a result of these municipalities being forced to work outside of procurement best practice show that these restrictions are costing Ontarians on average $370 million per year.
Our research shows that closed tendering remains an ongoing challenge for Ontario municipalities that are struggling to build and maintain the infrastructure that serves its citizens in their daily lives, and that is necessary for sustainable economic growth in the province.
The evidence is in: Restricted contract bidding based on union affiliation is not in the public interest. Skimming off the Top uses industry benchmarks and best practices to evaluate procurement policy for public infrastructure construction. This paper explores the cost implications, but also goes beyond those numbers to consider the effects that the diversion from best practices can have on the construction industry, workers, and the public good.
Ontario’s new payday lending laws provide municipalities with both opportunities and responsibilities. This paper presents guidelines for addressing the challenges that accompany payday lending in cities.
While the issue of restrictive tendering is the result of provincial law made in Toronto for the whole province, it is local communities, and the citizens, workers, and companies living and working there, that are affected. This paper focuses on data from one particular municipality, the Region of Waterloo, which, because of its relatively recent certification as a construction employer, did not have data that fit within the time frame studied by our previous papers.
Ontario’s new payday lending rules kicked in this year. They’re supposed to strengthen the hand of consumers who borrow less than $1500 for terms of less than 60 days. But will the rules succeed?
Cardus graded the new regulations according to research drawn from our report “Banking on the Margins: Finding Ways to Build an Enabling Small-Dollar Credit Market”. Here are the results:
The empirical results of this paper, which compiles bidding data from a variety of Ontario municipalities over time, suggest that restricting tendering to a select group of firms on the basis of their workers’ affiliations will lead to higher costs for municipalities than if they tendered their projects to all qualified bidders, with the strong possibility that municipalities will pay a substantial magnitude more.
Program Director Brian Dijkema responds to a recent article by John Rapley and asks: Why can't economics be more like religion?