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Jun 15 2021

CABE Webinar: Who will Pay for the Economic Lockdown?

The global economic lockdown implemented to contain the COVID-19 virus has caused the most severe economic downturn in Canada since the Great Depression in the 1930s. However, while production has plummeted, the overall income of Canadians is little changed because of the federal government’s aggressive debt-financed policy response. Most of the current discussion around the additional debt focusses on its fiscal sustainability. Many politicians and economists seem to be assuming that if the debt is fiscally sustainable, it can be rolled over indefinitely without imposing any economic costs. But is it really possible to escape the economic cost of the recession by issuing debt?

The analysis in John Lester’s C.D. Howe paper indicates that the income loss arising from the recession can only be deferred, not eliminated, by issuing debt. How far into the future should this loss be shifted? How should the recession-induced output loss be shared among the current generation? John will discuss his recommendations for a fair and efficient debt-repayment policy.

John Lester Executive Fellow, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary John Lester

John Lester is an Executive Fellow with The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. He is a former federal government economist who writes on public policy issues. John’s last public service assignment was Director of Research for the Expert Panel Review of Federal Support to Research and Development. Prior to that, he managed the Tax Evaluations and Research Group at Finance Canada. Since leaving the public service, John has published papers with The School of Public Policy, the Canadian Tax Journal, Canadian Public Policy, the C.D. Howe Institute, and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. His research interests include cost-benefit analysis of tax incentives for business investment, particularly those related to R&D and innovation, government support for small business and entrepreneurship, tax expenditure analysis, and the burden of the public debt.

Event Details

Jun 15, 2021 1:00pm - 2:15pm EST

Event Registration

Public Attendee List

  • Keelan Dagdick - Western Economic Diversification
  • Vijay Gill - Ministry of Infrastructure, Infrastructure Research and Planning Division, Infrastructure Research Branch
  • Lana Asaff - Department of Finance and Treasury Board - Province of Nova Scotia
  • Jane Walpole - Walpole Enterprises
  • Ming Her - Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
  • Paul Jacobson - Jacobson Consulting Inc.
  • Zohra Jamasi - Financial Accountability Office
  • Antonia Prlic - BC Financial Services Authority
  • Miles White - Service Canada
  • Rebekah Young - Scotiabank
  • Michael Dobner - PWC
  • D. Christopher Lawless - CABE Board
  • Melville McMillan - University of Alberta
  • David West - Retired
  • Keyvan Eslami - Ryerson University
  • Todd Godfrey - Ministry of Advanced Education