The Conservative party in the Canadian House of Commons debate on Bill C 20 has raised some constructive suggestions about how to fine tune the wage subsidy and income support measures in Bill C20. But unfortunately some of their speakers in parliament, notably Pierre Poilievre from Ontario, has spoken out against the rising deficit and the role of the Bank of Canada in helping to keep interest rates low and supply liquidity to the capital markets by expanding its purchase of Treasury bills, government bonds and corporate bonds. What was perfectly acceptable in the era of the financial crisis of 2008-2009 is now suddenly unacceptable in financing the war against Covid -19. Deficit hysteria is now once again loose among the Conservative party . This is a pity, since it is ill-informed and illogical considering all of the current circumstances and the fact that John Maynard Keynes was published by the great British Conservative politician and publisher Harold Macmillan who defended Keynes‘s work throughout the 1930s and 1940s.( Alister Horne, Macmillan 1891-1956 vol.1 ,pp.63,103,107 and 290,London:Macmillan, 1988)
Winston Churchill once said that the greatest mistake of his political career was returning to the gold standard against the advice of Keynes in 1925. It is unclear exactly who M.Poilievre is listening to but he should think about getting a different advisor. There is no danger of inflation at the present and foreseeable future . The current danger rather lies in disinflation and even deflation.
I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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