The Missing Middle with Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern

The Missing Middle with Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern

Welcome to the Missing Middle, a podcast about why the middle class in Canada is disappearing. We hope to help you understand why life is becoming unaffordable for so many in this country, and what can be done to reverse course.

Episodes

May 22, 2024 17 mins

In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern read a viewer email from Atanas Georgiev of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, who is wondering about potential negative side effects of a deflationary housing market if there is a drastic increase in housing supply. They explore the definition of affordability and the various pathways to achieving it, including reducing expenses, lowering in...

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Housing starts in Canada are falling, particularly in Ontario, and the situation is even worse than predicted. The non-condo ownership market has seen a massive decline over the last 20 years, with high land prices and development charges making it unaffordable for buyers. Yet prices aren’t coming down. Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern discuss this challenge and its effect on getting supply in both the rental and ownership markets.
...

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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern are joined by tax lawyer Bhuvana Rai with Mors Tribute and estate lawyer Birute Luksenaite with Portfolio Estate Law. 

They talk about the  increase to the capital gains tax introduced by the government in the federal budget on April 16, 2024. They explain what capital gains are and how they are currently taxed. They also explor...

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The federal government of Canada is exploring ways to help renters, such as through the introduction of a Renter’s Bill of Rights. This conversation examines the government’s promises, and covers what impact they might have on renters and rental prices. It explores how price transparency affects the rental market and whether the government is doing enough. The rental market in Ontario is broken, but what are the limitations of the ...

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In this discussion, Mike and Cara are joined by the executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness Katrina Miller to discuss the benefits of automatic tax filing and how it can save people money. The conversation explores the concept of automatic tax filing, the groups that would benefit from it, the current status of its implementation in Canada, and the opposition it faces from tax accountants and software firms. 

The conversati...

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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern discuss the federal budget and its impact on housing. They cover new initiatives, such as opening up federal land for development and the deductibility of interest for tax reasons. They also discuss the government's commitment to building 2 million homes and the challenges of labor shortages and productivity in the housing sector. T...

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Guest:  Alex Beheshti, Senior Consultant with Altus Group Economic Consulting specializing in urban planning policy analysis, municipal fee reviews, and fiscal impacts of development.

In this conversation, Cara, Mike, and Alex discuss the latest housing bill from the Ontario PC government. They grade the bill and discuss its impact on housing supply and affordability. They also delve into the streamlining of third-party ap...

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In this conversation, economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern discuss the federal government's new plan to help first-time homebuyers by extending amortization periods on new homes. The conversation explores the reasons behind this decision and the potential impact on housing starts and prices, as well as why this is similar to a policy Mike and Cara suggested in an article in the Hub. The hosts also discuss the impor...

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In this discussion, economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern about the great housing paradox: everyone wants landlords but no one wants landlords.

Cara and Mike also discuss the different perspectives on who should own rental properties, including small-time landlords, big corporations, and government housing. The conversation also touches on the role of conflict of interest rules for politicians who own properties...

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In this discussion, Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern discuss how heritage designation negatively impacts housing supply in Toronto. During this wide ranging conversation  with Globe and Mail's architecture critic, Alex Bozikovic, they touch on the history of urban planning and how it intersects with heritage planning and urban design in unexpected ways. They explore the difference between listed and designated heritage buildings, t...

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March 29, 2024 13 mins

In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern discuss the recent revelation by Ontario Premier Doug Ford that he will be caving to NIMBY objections, and won’t be forcing municipalities to legalize fourplexes across the province.

Hosted by Mike Moffatt & Cara Stern

Produced by Meredith Martin

This podcast is funded by the Neptis Foundation and brought to you by the Smart Prosperit...

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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, Marc Miller. Included in this wide ranging conversation is the recent announcement of new targets for temporary immigration, the need for a decrease in temporary residents, the reasons behind the delay in taking action and the impact of temporary residents on housin...

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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to Pollster David Coletto about  the shifting priorities of millennials and the generational divides in financial stability and housing. He explains that younger Canadians are less likely to prioritize climate change compared to older Canadians. The conversation explores the factors influencing these priorities, including the cost o...

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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern discuss why parking minimums often require developers to allocate a fixed amount of land for parking, regardless of the actual demand for parking in a particular area. This can result in inefficient land use, with valuable urban space being underutilized for parking purposes rather than for housing, commercial, or recreational activities...

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In this discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to Cherise Burda, Director of City Building Research and Innovation at Toronto Metropolitan University and a co-author with Mike of the Blueprint for More and Better Housing: How Federal, Provincial and Municipal Governments can Ensure We Build 5.8 Million Homes that are Affordable, Low-Carbon and Resilient

In this conversation, Ca...

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In this 22-minute discussion, Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to Scott Cameron, an economist formerly with the Parliamentary Budget Officer in Ottawa and now working in government in the Channel Islands.

This conversation explores economic forecasting models and the Bank of Canada's transition to a new model. The chapters cover the purpose of economic forecasting, the c...

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In this conversation, Mike Moffatt and Cara Stern discuss inflation and the Bank of Canada's approach to managing it. They explore the factors that contribute to inflation, such as supply-side disruptions and demand-side spending. They also discuss the challenges of predicting and controlling inflation, as well as the potential impact of inflation on different sectors of the economy. The conversation concludes with a discussio...

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Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to transit expert Reece Martin about the challenges and issues surrounding transit development in Canada. He highlights the decline in the ability to deliver transit projects effectively, the high costs of building subways in Toronto and the impact of NIMBYism on transit development are also discussed. Reece emphasizes the need for transparency, accoun...

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February 23, 2024 20 mins

Smart Prosperity Institute economist Mike Moffatt and journalist Cara Stern talk to Armine Yalnizyan, economist and Atkinson Fellow On The Future Of Workers, about what role the Bank of Canada has played in the housing crisis. In this wide-ranging discussion, they discuss how wages have lagged significantly behind housing prices and how the Canadian Central Bank’s decision to quickly raise interest rates has affected mortgage holde...

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February 21, 2024 3 mins

Because it’s a short week, instead of a full episode, we've got a short extra segment from our conversation with economist Armine Yalnizyan on whether GDP per capita is a good indicator of individual well-being.

Hosted by Mike Moffatt & Cara Stern

Produced by Meredith Martin

This podcast is funded by the Neptis Foundation and brought to you by the Smart Prosperity Institute.

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