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Strong among the political parties

Governments, at least in Canada, have lost their appetite for broad wealth redistribution through fiscal policy, said Gherson, a former newspaper editor and now deputy minister in Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Employment, during a panel on progressive economics Thursday. The taxes and royalties from the resource and manufacturing sectors just weren’t there anymore to back it up, he said.

But the conviction that the state can provide growth where the market fails is strong among the political parties with a sizable ‘progressive’ contingent; the Liberals, the New Democrats and the Greens. Where in this new climate of leaner times and slower growth do they fit?

The panel was part of the Canada 2020 conference being held this week at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

Throughout the hour-long discussion, a tension began to appear over what progressive economics meant.

On one end of the spectrum, the solution was to adopt the ethos of the private sector in policy-making and turn the government into a kind of publicly-funded seed investor.

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