Generation Squeeze's Hard Truths
By Generation Squeeze
Generation Squeeze's Hard TruthsMay 25, 2022
Canada's housing crisis: facing hard truths to find solutions
For this episode, Paul Kershaw, Aleem Punja (National Operating Officer, Aga Khan Council for Canada), and Ene Underwood (CEO, Habitat for Humanity GTA) wrestle with hard truths Canadians must face to make housing affordable again for younger generations and newcomers:
- the interplay of housing and immigration policy;
- renegotiating Canadians' expectations about home ownership and wealth;
- Habitat for Humanity's innovative adaptations to the GTA's housing market;
- what we can learn from places that are making strides on housing affordability;
- and how we can take action in our own lives.
This episode builds on a three-part discussion series, "Housing in the GTA," organized by Generation Squeeze, the Future Ready Initiative, and Habitat for Humanity GTA this past spring. Their shared goal was to help Torontonians cut through distracting rhetoric about housing, so we could move more quickly to implement solutions. The series received generous funding from the Canerector Foundation and was beautifully hosted by the Ismaili Centre – Toronto, with support from many dedicated volunteers.
- Aleem Punja is the National Operations Officer for the Future Ready Initiative, a flagship community-based, multi-service organization of the Aga Khan Council for Canada. He also holds the position of Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors for the Toronto Lands Corporation and is an Executive Member of Civic Action's Emerging Leaders Network.
- Ene Underwood has been the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area for over a decade. There she leads a team that defies the odds by helping working families build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership in what is characterized as one of most challenging residential real estate markets in North America. Ene was also member of Ontario’s Housing Affordability Task Force which filed its report with the Ontario government in February 2022 setting an ambitious goal of 1.5 million new homes over the next decade.
- Housing in the GTA: Who pays and who gains?
- Immigration and Housing in the GTA: What can we gain?
- Housing in the GTA: What's at stake?
- Ways you can take action
- Toronto Star: Families in the GTA earning six figures now eligible for Habitat for Humanity help
- Seattle Times: First American City to Tame Inflation Owes Its Success to Affordable Housing (Bloomberg)
Wales' Future Generations Commissioner on acting today for a better tomorrow
In this episode, we look overseas for inspiration about improving the wellbeing of younger and future generations. Wales' Future Generations Commissioner Derek Walker describes his role as the watchdog for his country's pioneering Future Generations Act. He talks about Wales' new national healthcare strategy and the difficult task of balancing the needs of people struggling to pay their bills now with the needs of people not yet born. He also reflects on the achievements of his pioneering predecessor, Sophie Howe, who compelled the country to scrap plans for a new highway in favour of greater investment in public and active transportation.
- Derek Walker, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
- Our policy solutions for investing fairly in all generations, which includes appointing a government point person for generational fairness
Fending off climate despair with Elin Kelsey
It's been another rough summer for those of us worried about whether our planet will remain habitable for younger and future generations. So for this episode, we talked to environmental educator and author Elin Kelsey about fighting climate doomism with evidence-based hope.
Elin Kelsey is the author of "Why Hope Matters: Why changing the way we think is critical to solving the environmental crisis." She's penned several children's books and articles for Hakai Magazine and was a co-creator of #oceanoptimism.
Canadians' new right to a healthy environment
The House of Commons recently passed landmark legislation overhauling the Canadian Environmental Protection Act for the first time in decades and recognizing the right of every individual in Canada to a healthy environment. Not only that, Bill S-5 tasked the federal government with upholding the principle of intergenerational equity in the bill’s implementation.
Dr. MacDonald was one of the bill's champions and is Ecojustice’s Healthy Communities Program Director. She’s an environmental engineer who applies her expertise to work related to air quality, water pollution, and toxic substances.
“We need to be protecting the environment for all generations, including future generations. So it really instills a kind of long-term thinking into government decision making,” Dr. MacDonald says. “Even within existing generations…when they're assessing substances for regulation under CEPA, they need to be thinking about all the generations that are currently here, from children to elderly people.”
- Ecojustice: Working to bring CEPA into the 21st century
- From our Substack: A step forward for intergenerational equity
- Government of Canada announces passage of Bill S-5: Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act
- Dr. David Boyd’s book, The Right to a Healthy Environment: Revitalizing Canada's Constitution
- UN passes universal right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment
Jagmeet Singh on generational unfairness harming younger Canadians
- How lowering the voting age could strengthen our democracy
- The need for greater investment in the building blocks of a healthy society--such as safe, stable housing and jobs--which contribute more to our overall wellbeing than the medical care we receive
- How the federal government should apply an intergenerational lens when making decisions, akin to how budgets already must assess the impact of policies and programs on women and gender diverse people
- How we can shine more light on generational unfairness hidden in federal budgets
- Our goal to create a Minister for Generational Fairness
- ... and buckets of pierogi!
PS: If you're interested in the discussion about how long it takes a young person to save a down payment across Canada, check out our Straddling the Gap 2022 report, in which we crunch the numbers for housing affordability in all provinces and many cities.
Join our network to grow our power to tackle generational unfairness!
Highlights: "One of the biggest contributors to us being healthy is the fact that we've got a home, and that we can eat food, or that we are not in poverty," Singh says. "We are better as a community when we take care of each other... If we care about healthcare...we also need to then make sure we care about our neighbours that aren't able to get housed, who can't find a place to rent or to own. We're also really not gonna be a healthy society if people are living in poverty. If people can't get childcare so that they can go to work and then they can support themselves and their families."
"We have to take care of our seniors, but we also need to make sure that young people have a fair shot, young families have a fair shot ,and that there isn't this inequality that exists right now," he says. "The way we do it is we are responsible with where we spend our resources, and we also need to look at increasing revenue in a responsible way as well."
Talking constructively about climate change
While working on our Voters Guide for the Alberta election this month, we've found the province's political parties have been worrisomely quiet about climate change, even in the midst of unprecedented wildfires. That left us wondering: why's it so dang hard to talk about climate change? So for this episode, we invited Amber Bennett, a Calgary-based communications strategist, to reflect on her experience discussing climate change with Albertans. She offers some surprising insights and guidance for all Canadians wanting to have more meaningful, productive conversations about complex, controversial problems like climate change (and generational unfairness). These conversations can sometimes be painfully hard to have, but simply talking about climate is a critical way to tackle the climate crisis.
Has talking about climate change ever made you run screaming for the hills? Or maybe you've found your own ways to cross conversational divides? We'd love to hear about it! Share your experiences and tactics with us at https://www.gensqueeze.ca/contact. And as we start our second season of Hard Truths, we'd also welcome any feedback you have about our show.
- Re.Climate: the centre Amber leads, which provides evidence-based reports, guides, and training to support Canadian climate communicators
- Alberta Narratives Project: the engagement project Amber led that produced a guide to having more respectful and constructive conversations about climate
- Climate Stewardship analysis from our Alberta Voters Guide
- Canada's National Observer: Election ignores greatest threat to Alberta’s kids and grandkids
- Katharine Hayhoe's TEDTalk: The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it
Anything we care about can become a climate conversation
"Climate's super polarized here still. There are very well-funded groups who have worked very hard to make it toxic. But that's not to say that climate doesn't connect to everything we care about. So we can have a conversation about anything really and it can be a climate change conversation. So whether that's about affordability, or if that's about future job opportunities or health or inflation or protection of nature. There's lots of different kind of entry points into those conversations." -- Amber Bennett
Restoring trust through stories
"I believe that if we can tell stories where things worked and where they are working and then draw connections to people's lives, that that helps to address the kind of defensiveness that we are all collectively holding around, 'We are going to hell in a hand basket. Governments are not stepping up and acting quickly enough to protect us and have our best interests in mind.' So that's where you kind of get apathy. If it doesn't feel like it's gonna make a difference, then why bother? But if we can tell stories where it has made a difference, this has been effective. I think that those nuggets help to break through the defensiveness that we have and help us open up with a sense of trust." -- Amber Bennett
Get real about climate and connect it to what we love
"I think as moms and grandmothers and as parents, we need to get real about the fact that we are never, ever going back. Not in our generation or our children or their children. We are locked in for centuries of this. And so I think that that will help when we're faced with decisions -- be it on costs or investment or priorities -- that will help us make choices that are more reflective of where we're really at. And I believe that women and parents and mothers have a very big capacity to have that kind of conversation... We need to get real, and connect it to the things that we love. And that kind of love is what is gonna pull us through the hard conversation and into the motivation to do things differently." -- Amber Bennett
Medical Budgets and Boomers
Economist Kevin Milligan joins us to dig into the Hard Truth about medical budgets. Older Canadians didn’t pay enough in taxes during their working lives to cover the medical care they now use. That means a smaller pool of younger taxpayers are footing the bill for boomers’ ballooning medical needs. Our aging population's medical and long-term-care needs are expected to grow another 50% over the next seven years. All Canadians benefit from a robust medical system, so how can we pay for medical care in a way that's more fair to all generations?
"Whatever problems we have now, they're just growing tremendously...Economists, social scientists, academics, regular folks out there -- they kind of know that the population is aging, but I don't think they know how much that's going to matter over the next 10 years." -- Kevin Milligan
Gen Squeeze on Parliament Hill
This episode features a discussion about our government relations work — specifically about the week we spent in Ottawa directed towards winning a 2023 federal budget that works for all generations.
Have thoughts about our discussion that you'd like to share with us? Send us a voice message: https://www.speakpipe.com/GenSqueeze
The child care staffing crisis w/ Emma Arkell
Yesterday (February 20) was Family Day, so we thought we'd bring you a family-themed discussion.
This episode of Gen Squeeze's Hard Truths podcast features an interview with freelance labour journalist Emma Arkell. We chat about the staffing crisis that plagues the child care sector. Low wages, poor working conditions, lack of opportunities for career advancement, feeling disrespected — these are among the issues that are leading child care workers to leave the sector in high numbers. This, in turn, is putting the promise of $10-a-day child care in jeopardy.
Emma's recent piece on child care staffing crisis: https://www.chatelaine.com/longforms/child-care-staffing-crisis/
Follow Emma on Twitter: @EmmaArkell7
Have thoughts about our discussion that you'd like to share with us? Send us a voice message: https://www.speakpipe.com/GenSqueeze
Reframing the health care debate
Canadians are rightfully proud of our publicly-funded medical care system. Our national self-image is closely associated with the idea that treatment of illness is a social responsibility. In this podcast episode, we make the case that prevention of illness should also be regarded as a social responsibility. Unless we can prioritize illness prevention, it's very likely that our medical care system will continue to be plagued by large patient loads, long wait times, and demoralized doctors and nurses.
The evidence makes clear that social determinants are more important for health and wellbeing than spending on medical care. In other words, without access to decent homes, adequate child care, good incomes, and a clean environment our medical care system will never be able to prevent people from dying early.
That's why, along with a number of partners, Gen Squeeze has launched the Get Well Canada initiative. Our health care system will "get well" — and we along with it — when we start investing where health begins: the places we live, work, and grow. Find out more about GWC at https://www.getwellcanada.ca/.
Have thoughts about our discussion that you'd like to share with us? You can send us a voice message here: https://www.speakpipe.com/GenSqueeze
Hope for change w/ Kareem Kudus
This episode features a discussion about hope — about why we think it's worth it to struggle to change things for the better (even though it can sometimes seem otherwise).
About our guest: Kareem Kudus is a member of Generation Squeeze's board of directors and a contributor to our research.
The article mentioned at the beginning of the episode: https://www.gensqueeze.ca/kareem_kudus_first_year.
You can find Kareem's other writings here: https://kareemk.substack.com/
Have thoughts about our discussion that you'd like to share with us? Send us a voicemail: https://www.speakpipe.com/GenSqueeze
Andrew Tate and our broken intergenerational system
In this episode, we chat about the social media influencer Andrew Tate and make the case that his popularity is partly a symptom of our broken intergenerational system. People like Tate are able to highlight the very real challenges that young men face and channel their frustrations in a toxic, anti-social direction.
We start by asking why Tate attracts an audience much larger than organizations like Gen Squeeze — and we explore a range of other themes, including misogyny, intergenerational technological divides, and populism.
Have thoughts about our discussion that you'd like to share with us? You can send us a voice message here: https://www.speakpipe.com/GenSqueeze
Love Letter: Are we being too nice?
A listener recently sent us a message: "Time to take the gloves off. Stop the kumbaya and love B.S. Time for boomers to pay." So in this episode, Angie Chan and Paul Kershaw explore what we should be asking older Canadians to do in our fight for generational fairness, and how we can have hard conversations about generational injustice with older family members and friends, without just making them feel guilty or defensive. They also tackle a deeper question that many changemakers wrestle with: will love or anger throw the knock-out punch?
Sacrificing the Greenbelt to build homes
Doug Ford's Ontario government recently announced that parts of the province's Greenbelt would be opened up for development of homes. In this episode of the Hard Truth's podcast, we chat about why that's not a good idea — and why, more generally, we shouldn't be trying to solve our wallet problems by neglecting our climate problems.
Our work advising governments
In this episode, we chat about the work Gen Squeeze does in advising various levels and institutions in government. We discussion recent examples of this work, the reasons we think this work is important, as well as the ways in which those who follow us can support us in doing it better.
Celebrating our 10th anniversary - part 2
We continue the 10th anniversary discussion we began in the previous episode — chatting about we've been up to, some of the lessons we've learned along the way, and what we're looking forward to in the next 10 years as we work to preserve the sacred (a healthy home, a healthy childhood, and a healthy planet).
Celebrating our 10th anniversary - Part 1
We registered gensqueeze.ca as our website in November 2012. We figured we'd use this occasion to look back at what we've been up for the last 10 years. So this episode features a discussion about the origins of Gen Squeeze, how we've changed and developed over the years, and where we find ourselves today.
Be sure to tune in again next week to catch the second part of our discussion.
Celebrating stalling home prices
Paul Kershaw chats with Kareem Kudus and Molly Harris about a housing report they co-authored for Gen Squeeze. While home prices have stalled and even declined somewhat, they are still at harmful levels. So what more, aside from interest rate hikes, can be done to address the issue?
The report, titled "Celebrating Stalling Prices for Canadian Homes: Why Canadians Need Statistics Canada to Improve Measurement of Housing Inflation in the Consumer Price Index", can be accessed here: https://www.gensqueeze.ca/straddling_the_gap_2022.
Majority of Canadians support a price on housing inequity
In this episode, we chat about the results of a poll that Gen Squeeze commissioned earlier this year. Among other things, the poll found that the majority of Canadians support a modest surtax for those who live in homes worth more than $1 million. We chat about the implications of the poll's findings, why we need to start closing the home ownership tax shelter, and lots else.
You can download the full results of the poll here: https://www.gensqueeze.ca/housing_wealth_poll_2022
Championing intergenerational fairness w/ Elizabeth May
Former Green Party leader (and current Green Party leadership contestant!) MP Elizabeth May chats with Paul Kershaw about taking our #GenFairnessChampions pledge, the increasing polarization in Canadian society and politics, the importance of addressing the climate crisis, and a whole lot else.
The economic costs of climate change w/ Caroline Lee
Paul Kershaw and Andrea Long interview Caroline Lee, a researcher with the Canadian Climate Institute (CCI). They chat about 'Damage Control: Reducing the costs of climate impacts in Canada" — a report recently published by the CCI. You can access the full report here: https://climateinstitute.ca/reports/damage-control/
Also, you can check out the Gen Squeeze's climate solutions framework here: https://www.gensqueeze.ca/climate
Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' and government budgets: a Halloween special!
This Halloween edition of the Hard Truths podcast features a discussion about government budgets. Mary Shelley's classic novel 'Frankenstein' serves as a backdrop, but we don't just make lazy references to the book—e.g. "Boo! Government budgets are scary just like Frankenstein's monster." No, ours is a deeper engagement. We use some of themes in the book to help illustrate what budgets are, why they're important, and why we should seek to intervene in their creation.
Find out more about our budget analysis work here: https://www.gensqueeze.ca/budget_analyses
Can our elected officials become #GenFairnessChampions?
In this episode of the Hard Truths podcast, co-hosts Umair Muhammad and Angie Chan chat with Paul Kershaw about the campaign Gen Squeeze recently launched to have elected officials pledge to be #GenFairnessChampions. We discuss what the purpose of the campaign is, why an intergenerational lens would benefit our politics, as well as about the short-term tactics and the long-term strategy Gen Squeeze hopes will help to create a political culture in which generational fairness is taken seriously.
Note: The #GenFairnessChampions campaign launched on October 12. We intended to publish this episode on that day but didn't get it out in time.
You can learn more about the campaign (and about the elected officials who've already taken the pledge) here: https://www.gensqueeze.ca/pledge
The good and the bad of Pierre Poilievre's intergenerational analysis
The kind of intergenerational framing and language that Generation Squeeze champions is increasingly making its way into the mainstream of Canadian political discourse. We've chatted in the past about Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland saying that the housing crisis is a form of "intergenerational injustice." In this episode, we talk about the kind of intergenerational analysis the new leader of the official opposition, Pierre Poilievre, has been using. We think it's great that the kind of framing we've helped to pioneer is becoming more common, but we're also wary that it's not always accompanied by the kind of nuance we would hope for.
"Are you saying I did something wrong?": what role regret, blame, and guilt have in restoring generational fairness
To really fix a problem, we need to know the truth about what's caused it. But some truths hurt -- like telling our older family members that the costs of housing and raising a family skyrocketed and our climate deteriorated on their generation's watch. When we point this out, older people often ask, "Are you saying I did something wrong?" They played by the rules of their day -- paid their taxes, worked hard, provided for their families. But those rules were rigged against younger and future generations. The systems that benefited our parents and grandparents are now harming their kids and grandkids. Yet older people did not individually, knowingly do anything wrong. Why implicate them in the damage?
Young and old alike need to be onboard with fixing a systemic problem like generational unfairness. How do we point out what's broken without making older generations feel guilty? How can we inspire them to feel a shared responsibility for being part of the solution? These are some questions hosts Paul Kershaw and Angie Chan wrestle with in this messier, more challenging episode, as they reflect on how Generation Squeeze has evolved and explore what it means to be good intergenerational stewards.
We always end episodes inviting feedback, but this time we really mean it. We would love to hear from listeners about the questions, problems and ideas we explore in this episode. Please reach out to us at info [at] gensqueeze [dot] ca or through our social channels.
In this episode Gen Squeeze's Umair Muhammad and Paul Kershaw chat about the problem of campus affordability—an issue that is increasingly in the headlines, as some students are forced to rely on food banks and homeless shelters to get by. While the issue of campus affordability has many dimensions, the root of it has to do with the housing crisis that is affecting Canadian society more broadly. The discussion focuses in particular on the University of British Columbia and the potential steps institutions like it can take to help address housing unaffordability.
The 'boomer bulge' and better budgeting: interview with Bill Robson
In this episode of Gen Squeeze's Hard Truths podcast Paul Kershaw chats with Bill Robson, President and CEO of the CD Howe Institute. They talk about intergenerational unfairness embedded in Canadian federal and provincial budgets. The existing fiscal reality is that older generations disproportionately benefit from government spending while younger future generations are left holding the bill. Paul and Bill talk about how we got into this situation and how we might find a way out.
As highlighted in this podcast episode, Gen Squeeze just launched a video contest intended to promote generational fairness among elected officials. Find out more about the contest (including details about the cash prizes!) here: https://www.gensqueeze.ca/contest
Celebrating $10aDay child care: interview with Lynell Anderson
The $10aDay child care campaign's success is a huge victory for Canadian families and a reminder that change can happen. Hosts Paul Kershaw and Angie Chan interview child care advocate Lynell Anderson about the campaign's history, why it was so successful, and what work still remains to create an affordable national child care system.
"Taxes are essential for a properly functioning society": an interview with Dr. DT Cochrane
Gen Squeeze's Paul Kershaw sits down to chat with DT Cochrane, lead economist with Canadians for Tax Fairness (C4TF). Their discussion ranges from the personal to the technocratic—including some reflections on DT's complicated relationship with the field of economics, the work C4TF is doing to close tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy few while leaving us all collectively poorer, and the inherently failure-prone terrain of policy-making.
Lots of great stuff in this one!
You can learn more about C4TF by going to their website: https://www.taxfairness.ca/
Inbox insights: responses to our housing surtax proposal
Gen Squeeze's million-dollar-homeowner surtax proposal has garnered lots of responses. As one would expect, there's a fair bit of support for the proposal but also... some people are not all that enthusiastic about it. Who would've thought that asking people to pay a modest surtax on wealth they didn't do any work to create would get them so riled up?
In this episode, we take a look at and respond to a sampling of the emails we've gotten about the surtax proposal. Our favourite email is one accusing us of wanting to force those who own million-dollar homes to live in "a shack on a dead end road with no running water or electricity." How did they figure out that that's been our goal all along?!
Why we need to tax million-dollar-home owners
We've proposed a modest annual surtax on homes valued more than $1 million as one strategy (among many) to tackle the housing crisis. The surtax could generate $5 billion per year to fund affordable non-profit housing. It would also disrupt a cultural problem that fuels the crisis: many everyday Canadians have benefitted from skyrocketing home values, creating wealth windfalls that are largely sheltered from taxation. Meanwhile those same rising values erode housing affordability for younger generations, whose earnings from work are fully taxed. Public opinion supports asking the country's wealthiest homeowners to chip in more to chip away at housing unaffordability, according to new polling data. In this episode, Paul Kershaw and Umair Muhammad chat about Paul's article on the housing surtax in Maclean's Magazine this month.
"Canadians see how harmful this growing gap between home price and earnings has become for society. We have witnessed what it means to lock out literally generations of younger, talented, hardworking, well-educated folks from thinking that home ownership might be in their reach in cities across this country. And they're a bigger part of the electorate," Paul Kershaw says. "Public opinion is changing. Over 60% of Canadians from coast to coast to coast are actually supportive of the idea of putting a modest price on housing inequity."
Taxing empty homes worked in BC: interview with Jen St. Denis
B.C.'s Speculation and Vacancy Tax successfully returned 20,000 vacant homes to the long-term rental market between 2018 and 2020, according to a report released this summer. Gen Squeeze founder Dr. Paul Kershaw interviews journalist Jen St. Denis about her coverage of the empty homes tax and other solutions to the housing affordability crisis.
"It takes a long time to get housing built, but we had all these units that were apparently just hiding under the couch cushions," said St. Denis, The Tyee's Downtown Eastside and "Hot, Hot Housing" reporter.
- Jen St. Denis's article for The Tyee on the empty homes tax
- B.C.'s Speculation and Vacancy Tax Act review report
- Gen Squeeze's housing affordability solutions
- Recap of Gen Squeeze's advocacy for Vancouver's Empty Homes Tax, the first in North America
- "Big Idea" for Maclean's: taxing million-dollar homes
- Full episode transcript
How mismeasuring inflation fuels the housing crisis: an interview with Kareem Kudus
Inflation seems like big news lately, but runaway inflation has been around for decades when it comes to housing prices in Canada. Gen Squeeze volunteer Kareem Kudus joins Umair and Megan to discuss how mismeasuring housing inflation has contributed to soaring home prices. Since 2005, home prices have risen about 300 per cent on average across the country. But the housing component of the Consumer Price Index -- which we use to measure inflation in Canada -- has only gone up 60 per cent. "So it's completely disassociated from reality," Kareem explains. Fixing this faulty monetary policy will help make homes affordable for younger and future Canadians.
Kareem Kudus began his career in finance, where his job involved developing investment strategies by studying financial markets and the economy. Through this experience, he began to recognize that our economic system is both less efficient and less fair than it has the potential to be, oftentimes due to well-meaning policies with unintended consequences. Kareem left finance to study artificial intelligence and its applications to the medical field. He is working with Generation Squeeze to try and apply the knowledge he gained in his former career in order to find solutions to Canada's economic issues.
- Full episode transcript
- Kareem's Gen Squeeze blog posts about inflation:
- Should Canadians concerned about high and rising home prices welcome high gas prices?
- Budget 2022 doesn’t fix the poor job Canada’s inflation measure does at representing our biggest source of inflation
- Statistics Canada proposes sticking with the status quo – no need to change harmful mismeasurement of housing price inflation
- We have tolerated homes becoming more unaffordable by mismeasuring inflation
Cutting Canada's carbon emissions: an interview with Dave Sawyer
Environmental economist Dave Sawyer and Gen Squeeze's Umair Muhammad and Megan Wilde discuss how Canada is cutting carbon emissions to fight climate change, one of the greatest intergenerational injustices of our time. Dave gives us the low down on the federal government's recent proposal to cap and cut carbon emissions from the oil and gas sector, Canada's largest and fastest-growing source of carbon emissions. He also explains the differences between cap-and-trade and carbon-pricing systems and how these strategies have worked across Canada. We then delve into Gen Squeeze's climate solutions framework and voter's guide platform analyses. And we learn what an environmental economist would do with a magic wand.
Dave Sawyer is a leading environmental economist with EnviroEconomics and contributor to Gen Squeeze's climate change work. He has held positions with Environment Canada, Canada's Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and Carleton's School of Public Policy.
- Full episode transcript
- Gen Squeeze's Climate Solutions Framework
- Dave's climate platform analyses from Gen Squeeze's voter's guides: 2021 federal election and 2022 Ontario election
- Government of Canada's proposal for capping and cutting oil and gas emissions and backgrounder on an oil and gas emissions cap
- Gen Squeeze celebrates the Supreme Court decision on pollution pricing
- Planet Money's episode on Pigouvian taxes
Inbox Insights: the angry folder
Gen Squeeze's podcast is called Hard Truths, because we know our research and ideas aren't always popular. Sometimes we even make people mad. In this episode Umair Muhammad talks with Dr. Paul Kershaw and Andrea Long about recent messages Gen Squeeze has received -- some angry, some not. We hope this discussion offers insights into the problems we tackle and our approach to solving them. We also want to learn from our mistakes and believe we can do our work better when we listen and respond to criticism.
The Sofa Session: Democracy needs to work for all generations
Fixing big systemic problems like generational unfairness requires a well-functioning democracy. This episode finds Angie Chan and Paul Kershaw having a bad day, as they grapple with democracy's seemingly grim prognosis after record-low voter turnout in Ontario. They also discuss how and why Generation Squeeze tackles systems change, the heroism of flexing even small democratic muscles, and what citizenship and solidarity really mean.
"Is it a sacrifice to ask people to leave at least as much as they inherited? Is it a sacrifice to ask people to steward what they thought was important, like a good childhood or good home or safe planet, and make sure that those things get left for those who follow? Is it a sacrifice to say, 'Hey, pay for what you want to use? And if you're actually doing relatively well, how about making an investment in the future?' ...I think people are hardwired to think that way in our families. So why can't we bring that to the world of politics? The answer is we can. But we do need to make democracy work better for all generations." -- Dr. Paul Kershaw
Inflation and the Affordability Plan through an intergenerational lens
The new federal Affordability Plan promises to ease the painful effects of inflation. How fairly will these affordability measures work for younger and future generations? Umair Muhammad chats with Dr. Paul Kershaw and Andrea Long about what inflation and the Affordability Plan mean for wellbeing, housing prices, and family affordability.
Making sense of voter apathy
Are you wondering what the heck just happened in Ontario's election? Co-host Umair Muhammad chats with Dr. Paul Kershaw and Andrea Long about why less than half of ON voters turned out and what voter apathy means for generational fairness in Canada.
Umair is Gen Squeeze's new Knowledge to Action Lead; Dr. Kershaw is our founder and regular podcast co-host; and Andrea is our Senior Director of Research and Knowledge Mobilization.
We're experimenting with podcast formats and adding co-hosts to bring you more episodes each month. We'd love your feedback! Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, please share this episode and join our network at gensqueeze.ca.
Interview with Sean Speer: Younger generations aren't getting their fair share of Canada's budget pie
A generational bias in Canadian politics prioritizes seniors in government budgets, leaving younger generations fighting for table scraps. Generation Squeeze founder Dr. Paul Kershaw and host Angie Chan interview Sean Speer about the generational unfairness baked into Canada's budget pie and how it's harming younger and future generations: from unaffordable housing and a diminishing middle class, to not having as many children as parents want. Sean is editor-at-large at The Hub, the PPF Scotiabank Fellow at the Public Policy Forum, and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. He was previously a senior economic adviser to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Ready to learn more and take action?
- Read Sean's article for Politico, "The politics of gerontocracy in Canada"
- Watch our Hard Truths video about Canada's Bad Budget Bunny
- Join Gen Squeeze in our fight for generational fairness
- Read this episode's transcript
- Check out our 2022 federal and provincial budget analysis
- If you're an Ontario voter, take a look at our 2022 Ontario Voter's Guide, in which we've analyzed how fairly the parties are budgeting for the wellbeing of all generations
Bonus: Breaking down budget 2022
It's springtime, when birds sing, flowers bloom and governments strut their stuff in budgets! Budgets shape all of the actions governments take, so if we want progress on housing, child care, climate change and generational fairness, it needs to be baked into our governments' budgets. In this recording of a recent live virtual event, Gen Squeeze founder Dr. Paul Kershaw goes beyond the flashy headlines to explain what the new federal budget really means for younger Canadians.
Check out our in-depth budget analysis of the federal, B.C. and Ontario budgets: https://www.gensqueeze.ca/_budget_season_2022
Busting the myth of the lazy millennial
The myths that young Canadians are lazy and seniors are poor have real power in our lives and the world of politics. These myths fuel our broken generational system and distract us from solving today's most pressing problems. Join Dr. Paul Kershaw and Angie Chan on a myth-busting mission in Gen Squeeze's second Hard Truth. Challenging these assumptions will help make Canada work more fairly for all generations.
Ready to take action or learn more?
- Check out our research-backed solutions: https://www.gensqueeze.ca/solution
- Watch our Hard Truths video about these myths: https://youtu.be/5SudWlISOrs
- Read the episode 2 transcript
- Share your questions, thoughts, and ideas for future episodes with us on social media or info [at] gensqueeze [dot] ca
Bonus: How can Canada stop skyrocketing home prices?
Unaffordable housing is a symptom of generational unfairness that most young Canadians know all too well. Across Canada, it’s a hard and obvious truth that our housing system is completely broken for those of us wanting to buy a home, settle in our communities, and achieve some financial security and autonomy. But for people who own homes, the housing system is actually working fabulously well, making them wealthier while they sleep. Gen Squeeze thinks Canada is culturally and politically addicted to high and rising home values. How can we break this dangerous housing addiction? This special bonus episode is a recording of a live virtual event on March 29 hosted by Gen Squeeze founder Dr. Paul Kershaw.
Ready to take action?
Generational fairness? What the #$@!% is that?
Paul Kershaw and Angie Chan confront Gen Squeeze's first Hard Truth: Canada has a generational fairness problem. If you've never heard the term, you probably know the symptoms of this systemic disease: unaffordable housing, low wages, unaffordable child care, climate change. Listen and learn what generational fairness means and why it matters so much to the lives of younger and future Canadians.
Ready to take action or learn more?
- Add your voice to our movement: https://www.gensqueeze.ca
- Read more about generational fairness and wellbeing: https://www.gensqueeze.ca/intergenerational-fairness-and-wellbeing
- Read this episode's transcript
And please join the conversation! Send your questions, thoughts, and ideas for future episodes to info [at] gensqueeze [dot] ca