York hosts a panel to examine the federal budget

On Jan. 27, Jim Flaherty, the federal minister of finance, tabled a comprehensive budget plan which the Harper government says was designed to stimulate economic growth, restore confidence and support Canadians and their families during a synchronized global recession.

Included in Budget 2009 were plans to provide almost $30 billion in support to the Canadian economy this year, a figure that is equivalent to 1.9 per cent of Canada’s total economy.

What are the political, tax and economic ramifications of Budget 2009? What about the long-term consequences associated with moving from a surplus to deficit? Will the massive economic stimulus plan work? Tomorrow, these questions and many others will be addressed during a special panel presentation on the federal budget, from 6 to 8pm at the Osgoode Professional Development Centre, Room B, 26th floor, 1 Dundas St. W. in downtown Toronto.

The panel, organized by York Professor Joanne Magee, director of York’s School of Public Policy & Administration, features Professors W. Neil Brooks of Osgoode Hall Law School; Thaddeus Hwong, Alena Kimakova and Brenda Spotton Visano of the School of Public Policy & Administration, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies; and Robert MacDermid, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts.

"This will be an interesting panel because of what each participant brings to the discussion, including the politics of the budget, views on the economic impact of the stimulus package and the financial crisis to the tax implications of the budget," said Magee. "All perspectives will be examined and discussed."

This event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by York University’s Centre for Public Policy and Law; the Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law Program; McLaughlin College; and the School of Public Policy & Administration and School of Administrative Studies in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies.

More about the panellists

Professor W. Neil Brooks has taught tax law and policy for almost 30 years and is director of the Graduate Program in Taxation at Osgoode Hall Law School. His research interests include tax, tax planning and policy, corporate and international tax, and financing the welfare state. He has published extensively on income tax issues and was the editor of the Canadian Tax Journal from 2001 to 2004. Brooks has been a consultant on tax policy and reform issues to several departments in the government of Canada, and to the governments of New Zealand, Australia and several Canadian provinces. He was co-vice chair of the Ontario Fair Tax Commission, 1991-1994, and has been on several advisory committees for the auditor general of Canada and Revenue Canada. 

Professor Thaddeus Hwong teaches and conducts research on tax and public policy in the School of Administrative Studies in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies. His current collaborative research projects include survey research on tax attitudes and information literacy, tax and welfare state research on tax mix and tax expenditures, and microsimulation of the income distributional outcomes of tax expenditures and flat tax. He also leads a social policy research team of graduate students exploring prior empirical findings on social expenditures.

Professor Robert MacDermid is a political scientist and one of Canada’s leading experts on party financing and elections. He studies voting behaviour in Canada with an emphasis on political parties, election campaigns, and campaign advertising. He is an expert in the concepts and methodologies used in election studies, public administration and democratic administration. MacDermid teaches in the areas of Canadian government and politics, democratic administration and contemporary political analysis.

Professor Alena Kimakova specializes in the analysis of political and economic determinants of public policy. She is cross-appointed between the Economics Department and the School of Public Policy & Administration in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies. She teaches courses in international economics, economic development, political economy and research methods. Her experience with interdisciplinary teaching and curriculum design in the area of law and economics led to her publication in Global Jurist. Her research on the political economy of exchange rate regimes, the implications of globalization for macroeconomic stabilization, and the economics of regulation has been published in both economic and interdisciplinary academic journals.

Professor Brenda Spotton Visano is a professor of economics and a member of the economics, social & political thought, and sociology graduate programs where she teaches and researches in the areas of macroeconomics, monetary theory and policy, banking, and economic sociology. She holds a PhD in economics from McGill University. She is the author of Financial Crises: Socioeconomic Causes and Institutional Context (Routledge, 2006) as well as several articles on financial instability and crises, monetary policy, and the evolution of financial institutions.