The American Economics Association (AEA) adopted guidelines for the disclosure of potential conflicts of interests by economists. Please find my disclosure information below.
I am employed by the University of Calgary in the following capacities:
- Associate Professor (with tenure), May 2018- present
- Scientific Director, Fiscal and Economic Policy, School of Public Policy, May 2018-present
I was recently employed by the University of Victoria in the following capacities:
- Associate Professor (with tenure), 2013-2018
- Assistant Professor, 2007-2013
I was employed by the University of Manitoba as an Assistant Professor (2005-2007) and McMaster University as a Sessional Instructor (2005). I was also appointed as an Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba, 2007 – 2011.
I was a visiting professor in the School of Public Policy (SPP) at the University of Calgary during the 2015-2016 year, while I was on sabbatical from the University of Victoria and on a reduced salary. I was also an unpaid visiting professor in SPP for the period January-April 2018, while I was on my research semester from the University of Victoria.
Past non-academic Professional Employment
- Research Contractor, Software Balm Consulting, 2007-2015
- Research Assistant , McMaster University, 2002 – 2005
- Contract Analyst, Government of Canada, 2002 – 2005
- Senior Analyst, Treasury Board Secretariat, 2001 – 2002
- Policy Advisor, Department of National Defence, 2000 – 2001
- Economist, Department of Finance, 1998 – 2000
- Research Economist, HRDC, 1997
- Teaching Assistant, University of Victoria, 1996 – 1997
- Research Assistant, University of Victoria, 1995 -1996
- Formal Wear Consultant, Western Tuxedo, 1994-1998
- Law &Risk Management Clerk, City of Gloucester, 1991 – 1993
- Accounts Receivable/Payable Clerk, Employment News, 1989-1991
- Cashier, Various Employers, 1986-1989
Academic financial support (not including expense (e.g. travel) reimbursement)
- University of Calgary: salary/stipends (2018-present)
- University of Calgary: $10,000 Annual research allowance (2018-2023)
- University of Victoria: salary/stipends (2007-2018)
- University of Manitoba: salary (2005-2007)
- McMaster University: employment remuneration
- Ontario360: $500 for the production of a 30 on 30 report related to a piece on Income Support for low-income Workers.
- EcoFiscal Commission: Professional Services Honorarium for participation in events, meetings, and for providing expert advice on reports.
- Deloitte Canada: Hourly Compensation related to submit matter expertise on the Underground Economy (2016)
- School of Public Policy, University of Calgary: $5000 for contributions to educational Services (e.g. teaching) during the 2015-2016 year related to aforementioned visiting position
- Government of British Columbia: BC Basic Income (16 research projects), $1.07M. (2018-2021)
- School of Public Policy, University of Calgary: Strategic Research Initiative, $20000 for GBA+ and Inclusive Growth project. (2018-2019)
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Connections Grant, $25,000 for a conference on Funding the Canadian City to take place in Toronto, ON on Feb. 6-7, co-sponsored by the Canadian Tax Foundation and the Institute on Municipal Finance & Governance (2017-2018)
- School of Public Policy, University of Calgary: $10000 for the production of Do Insiders Comply with Disclosure Rules (2015-2016)
- Kijiji Canada: $20000 for the production of The Kijiji Second-Hand Economy Index 2016 Report and associated promotion/media work. (2015-2016)
- Institute on Municipal Finance & Governance: $5000 for the production of Municipal User Fees in Western Canada (2015-2016), included as a chapter in Financing Infrastructure: Who Should Pay published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.
- Northern Policy Institute: $10,000 for participation in a workshop on Basic Income Guarantee and production of Implementing a Basic Income Guarantee Through the Personal Income Tax System (2016-2017)
- Canadian Tax Foundation: $42,000 for monograph User Fees in Canada and online guide (2012-2014)
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Standard Research Grant, $87456 for Options Backdating project.(2009-2013)
- Tobacco Control Program, Health Canada: $4725 for Review of the Econometric Model for the Evaluation of Tobacco Control Initiatives in Canada (2007-2008)
- Human Resources and Skills Development: Canada Summer Jobs Grant, $2560 (2007)
- University of Victoria: Internal Research/Creative Project Grants for various research activities and projects (2007-2018)
- University of Victoria: Scholarly Research/Artistic Performance Travel Grants for various conferences (2007-2018)
- University of Victoria: SSHRC Top-Up Grant (2009-2013)
- University of Victoria: Work Study Program Grant, $3000 (2008-2009)
- University of Victoria: New Faculty Start-up research grant, $10000 (2007)
- University of Manitoba: Research Grants Program for various activities and projects (2005-2007)
- University of Manitoba: New Faculty Start-up research grant, $10,000 (2005-2007)
- Canadian Tax Foundation: $20,000 for monograph Taxes and the Canadian Underground Economy (1998-2002)
Relevant paid or unpaid activity
My objective is to make both an academic contribution and to have an impact on Canadian policy-making and policy-implementation. As a result, it is important that my research be accessible to broader audiences including academics outside the traditional narrow boundaries of economics, decisions makers, practitioners, and the general public and for it stimulate broader conversations about public policy beyond the academic community. I do this by publishing in a wide range of outlets, including academic peer-reviewed journals across a several disciplines, through a variety of knowledge-mobilization efforts, and by forming strategic partnerships that lead to technical reports for decision makers and the general public. I genuinely believe that research and the communication of research and expert knowledge can positively influence a range of policies, and its ability to do so increases when you work across disciplines, institutions, and perspectives.
For the period of 2019-2020, I am a member of the City of Calgary's Financial Task Force. I am providing academic expertise to the committee regarding developing a new framework for property taxes in the City to address the collapse of valuations of commercial property in the downtown core and advising on additional revenue sources for the City. The terms of reference of this work can be found here.
For the period 2018-2021, I am a member of the BC Basic Income project. I am providing general input and advice regulatory to the BC government on this project as well as working closely with my two other committee members to define, develop, coordinate, and manage research projects that will guide the committee as we develop recommendations to the government. I am not receiving any direct compensation for this work, instead the project is funding research support (project coordination, research assistance and training) for myself and a number of researchers in Canada. The University of Calgary is receiving funds to offset my University salary during this work. Further information is available from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Government of British Columbia.
During the 2017-2018 academic year, I chaired the Government of British Columbia’s MSP Task Force. We provided a written interim report on 1 February 2018 and submitted our final report on 29 April 2018. Members of the task force received compensation for this work, as set out by Government compensation policy. The compensation recognizes the opportunity cost of this work which, as most of the work will be during my research semester (January-April, 2018), will be research productivity and consulting work. The compensation included a retainer to cover all non-official meeting work (e.g. drafting of report), and compensation for official meetings that varies depending on the length of the meeting. Direct travel costs were also reimbursed. Further information on the compensation is available from the Ministry of Finance, Government of British Columbia.
I am a regular non-partisan public commentator, writing for print media, appearing on a variety of T.V., radio, and podcasts, and providing testimony to the political committees. I also write regularly on my blog and tweet regularly on a variety of public policy issues. I am a member of the research advisory board for the Northern Policy Institute and was a member of the editorial Board for the Mowat Centre. I am a Commissioner on the EcoFiscal Commission. I also freely take calls/emails/DMs/texts from all types of government and political officials for advice on policy matters. I have, to this date, not been paid for this advice or work.
In terms of compensated media or review work:
- Macleans, occasional contributions (paid) 2015-2016
- Globe and Mail, occasional contributions (paid) 2015-2017
- Ottawa Citizen, occasional contributions (paid) 2014
- Huffington Post, occasional contributions (unpaid) 2013
- Globe and Mail Economy Lab, regular contributions (paid and unpaid), 2011-2014
- Fraser Institute, (paid) honorarium received for peer review of work completed on income inequality in Canada, 2011.
- Peer review (unpaid) for many economic journals, SSHRC, and the Research Data Centre Network.
I have had, during my time at the University of Victoria and University of Calgary, representatives from the public and non-profit sector and many others speak in my classes. I have never offered compensation beyond accommodation and travel expenses for speakers, either directly or in-kind, with the exception of a small token of appreciation from the class. I have also spoken in others’ classes, upon request, and under the same compensation conditions.
Family conflicts of interest
To the best of my knowledge, no members of my immediate family have personal or financial relationships which would be viewed by a reasonable individual to constitute a conflict of interest with either my research or public commentary.
I do not directly hold shares of any corporation, except for Software Balm Consulting. I do hold shares in companies through broadly diversified Exchange Traded Funds.
My spouse holds diversified mutual funds as well as direct shares in various corporations. I have no knowledge of the shares held by my spouse or any say in the purchase or sale of these shares.
I am currently not a member of any political party at the municipal, provincial, or federal levels. I have, in the past, been a member of a federal political party. In the 1990s, I was an active member of the federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. My spouse is not a member of any municipal, provincial, or federal political party.
*Thanks to Kevin Milligan, UBC, and Andrew Leach, UofA, for letting me borrow form and substance from their conflict disclosure statements.
**This is a best efforts disclosure. I am a very publicly engaged scholar and have nothing to hide regarding my activities, however, given the breadth of these activities, I may have inadvertently omitted activities that some may feel should be individually disclosed.