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Virtual Jack Layton Lecture

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Should Canadians Worry About Inflation? 

Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?

Like many countries, Canada has experienced a sharp increase in consumer price inflation since mid-2021. The rising costs of transportation, home heating, groceries, and much more has been especially harmful to low- and middle-income families; some governments have responded to these concerns with targeted financial assistance.

How big a problem is inflation, for Canadians and for policymakers? What can and should our governments be doing to reduce inflation or to reduce its harmful effects, or both? Will such policy actions be effective at reducing inflation, and at what cost? Is the cure of battling inflation with higher interest rates and/or lower public spending even worse than the inflationary disease?

Our panelists are renowned for their commentary on this issue (and many others as well!) and also for their engaging and lively style. 

Armine Yalnizyan is a leading progressive voice in Canada’s economic scene. Based in Toronto, she is a weekly business columnist for CBC Radio’s #1 local morning show, Metro Morning. She also appears weekly on the Big Picture panel, a popular feature of CBC-TV’s On the Money, Canada’s premier business-news program. Her columns often appear in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the National Post and Maclean’s Magazine. Armine was a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ National Office, helping define the Inequality Project from 2006 to 2016, and has been involved with the CCPA since 1993. Armine obtained her MA in Industrial Relations from University of Toronto and has a bilingual BA in economics from Glendon College, York University and the Université de Bordeaux, France.

Frances Donald is the Global Chief Economist and Strategist for Manulife Financial. She forecasts global macroeconomic and financial trends, analyzes the economy and capital markets for potential opportunities and risks, and serves as a thought leader. As a senior member of Manulife’s multi-asset solutions team, she coordinates global macro research, assists in the team’s return forecasting process, and contributes to portfolio positioning views. Prior to joining Manulife, Frances worked as a financial economist for Scotiabank in Toronto, and before that as a global macro analyst for Pavilion Global Markets in Montreal. Earlier in her career, she held various positions at Deloitte, Roubini Global Economics, and Bank of Canada. Frances is a frequent public speaker and regularly appears in the media.

Moderated by Chris Ragan, economics professor and Director of the Max Bell School of Public Policy.

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