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Macleans

Martin's 1998 Budget

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 9, 1998. Partner content is not updated.

There were still three weeks remaining before budget day when Finance Minister Paul Martin sat down one afternoon for a strategy session in his fifth-floor office in the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings.

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Employment Insurance

Employment insurance (renamed from Unemployment Insurance in 1996) refers to government benefit payments during a period of UNEMPLOYMENT. In Canada, the employment insurance system is financed by premiums paid by employers and employees and by federal government contributions.

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Unemployment Relief Camps

During the Great Depression, the federal government sanctioned the creation of a system of unemployment relief camps, where in exchange for room-and-board, single men did physically demanding labour. The government was criticized for establishing the camps rather than addressing the need for reasonable work and wages.

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Fiscal Policy

Fiscal policy is the use of government taxing and spending powers to manage the behaviour of the economy. Most fiscal policy is a balancing act between taxes, which tend to reduce economic activity, and spending, which tends to increase it — although there is debate among economists about the effectiveness of fiscal measures.

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Canada-US Auto Pact

The Automotive Products Trade Agreement of 1965, better known as the Canada-US Auto Pact, led to the integration of the Canadian and US auto industries in a shared North American market. While it brought great benefits to Canada, it was eventually found to be contrary to international trade rules and was cancelled in 2001. By then it had accomplished its biggest goal — an integrated North American industry with a much stronger Canadian presence.

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Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Programs

Temporary foreign worker programs are regulated by the federal government and allow employers to hire foreign nationals on a temporary basis to fill gaps in their workforces. Each province and territory also has its own set of policies that affect the administration of the programs. Canada depends on thousands of migrant workers every year to bolster its economy and to support its agricultural, homecare, and other lower-wage sectors. In 2014, there were 567,077 migrant workers employed in Canada, with migrant farm workers making up 12 per cent of Canada’s agricultural workforce. A growing labour shortage is projected to increase, with a study by the Conference Board of Canada projecting 113,800 unfilled jobs by 2025.

Macleans

Manley's 2003 Budget

YOU COULDN'T BLAME John Manley for not seeing it coming. He rises in the House of Commons making like a department-store Santa handing out goodies like there's no tomorrow - yet everybody's mad at him.

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Monetary Policy

Monetary policy refers to government measures taken to affect financial markets and credit conditions, for the purpose of influencing the behaviour of the economy. In Canada, monetary policy is the responsibility of the Bank of Canada, a federal crown corporation that implements its decisions through manipulation of the money supply.

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Sustainability in Canada

Sustainability is the ability of the biosphere, or of a certain resource or practice, to persist in a state of balance over the long term. The concept of sustainability also includes things humans can do to preserve such a balance. Sustainable development, for instance, pairs such actions with growth. It aims to meet the needs of the present while ensuring that future people will be able to meet their needs.