The Ides of March

We live in interesting times. The financial crisis of 2008 led to rounds of central bank quantitative easing and interest rate cutting which were intended to bail out the financial system, increase spending and employment, and devalue currencies to make exports more competitive.

The competitive currency devaluations or ‘currency wars’ which began in 2009 now appear to be metastasizing into trade wars. As students of history will be aware, looking at the dark days of the 1930s, we should now be looking for signs on the horizon of an honest-to-goodness shooting war.

Certainly, the evidence coming from the Korean peninsula and Syria, where the U.S. and its allies are engaged in proxy conflicts with allies of China and Russia, is not encouraging in this regard.

If you want to learn more about such issues, please have a look at some recent articles I have written for the Pembroke, Ontario Daily Observer which have also been carried on the Mises Canada and Zerohedge websites.

All the best, and thank you for using the book.

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Why use “Economics for Canadians?”

As an educator and as a writer and publisher, the decline of educational publishing is of great concern. Many school districts (and even entire provinces) have instructed teachers to move away from printed textbooks and workbooks in favour of using online teaching and learning resources. I find this tendency troubling for two reasons.

First, while cost-cutting is often presented as a justification for moving away from printed books and towards online materials, this is only true if the online materials are available for free on the internet. Sadly, free resources are rarely of high quality or well-aligned with curricular objectives. On the other hand, high quality publisher-produced online resources often end up being more expensive than printed books, because while a textbook, once purchased, can be used for a number of years, quality online learning resources generally require an annual subscription.

Second, I have observed a persistent preference for physical books over online resources on the part of students. When I taught at the college level, students could buy either a hard copy of their textbook or, for a discount, an electronic copy. They always plumped for the hard copy. When asked why, they told me they liked being able to highlight and underline the text in the physical textbook. Put simply, they preferred the tangible to the intangible.

Economics for Canadians, as a printed student textbook and workbook, serves students and schools on a number of levels. First, it is a high-quality resource that offers students an accessible and systematic introduction to the discipline. Second, despite being a printed resource, it is nonetheless very affordable. Lastly, as a workbook and textbook, students are encouraged to mark up the text and thereby make it their own.

So, if you are looking for a resource which meets the needs of teachers, students and administrators looking for a comprehensive, engaging and affordable introduction to economics, I encourage you consider adopting Economics for Canadians. If you have any questions, you are welcome to get in touch with me via email at

All the best for a great 2017-2018 school year.

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Summer is just around the corner…

First of all, I hope this school year has been a good one and that you are looking forward to enjoying a well-deserved summer vacation.

If, though, you anticipate needing additional copies of Economics for Canadians for the upcoming academic year, I would ask you to order them in the next few weeks so that I can get them shipped out over the summer. Just write to me at with the number of copies you would like, the address where you would like them sent, and your preferred method of payment (cheque or credit card). Alternatively, you may prefer to order copies from

I am pleased to see the book making its way into more schools in Ontario, British Columbia and PEI and even, this past year, into a B.C. curriculum school in China.

Overall, the book continues to be the most rigorous, accessible and affordable introductory economics textbook/workbook in Canada. Almost 3000 copies have been distributed to schools across the country over the past 5 years and I expect the remaining 1000 copies to be distributed over the course of the next 2 to 3 years. With this in mind, I plan to produce a successor book over the 2018/2019 school year that will be printed and ready for adoption for beginning of the 2019/2020 academic year.

As both the Ontario and B.C. curricula will have changed since the first edition was published in 2012 the new book will reflect these changes not just in its content but in its organization. While the existing book meets the curricular objectives of the updated Ontario course (and presumably will do so for the updated B.C. one as well) the new one will be organized according to the new curricula as well.

Thank you for your continued support, and again, best wishes for a great holiday.

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Happy New Year!

As we move into 2017 I would like to wish everyone a healthy and prosperous new year. Thank you for using the book and please pass on word of it to other economics teachers when you have a chance. While it is coming up on 5 years old, it remains, sadly, quite current as we remain mired in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

Besides teaching and publishing economics textbooks, I am also a regular columnist with the Pembroke Daily Observer and the website. If you would like to read my columns, please go here.

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Economics for Canadians now available on

I am sorry I have not published an update in so many months, but since the revised curriculum was released last summer the only news has been additional school orders.

As well, I was pleased to learn of a curriculum review now taking place in British Columbia which seems likely to result in a ‘big question’ approach to the subject which, I think, would be interesting for students. Anything that may encourage more students to take up economics is a positive development.

One new development is that the books (both the student book and teachers’ guide) are now available on, albeit at a slightly higher price. If your school or board’s purchasing policies make it easier to order from Amazon than to order books directly, I invite you to do so.

Thank you for your continued support and all the best for a great year ahead.

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Continued Good News

I am pleased that so many teachers requested inspection sets of the book in response to the postcards sent in August. I am even more pleased that a few school boards are piloting use of the book for board-wide adoption and that the Ministry of Education in PEI has made additional orders this year that are much larger than in previous years.

If you still have not seen a copy of the book, a list of the inspection copies distributed throughout Ontario is available here:

If a school in your board is listed as having received an inspection copy, you should be able to have them share the book with you.

On the same page, please also find the document listing the new CIA4U curriculum’s learning objectives against the lessons found in the book and a list of the schools which have already ordered class sets for student use.

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The new curriculum is here!

I was happy to learn of the release of the updated senior Canada and World Studies curriculum a couple of weeks ago and am very happy to announce that the book covers everything in the updated CIA4U course.

Below please find a document listing the expectations for the course against the lessons in the book which satisfy them.

2015 CIA4U Curriculum Objectives and Corresponding Lessons in Economics for Canadians

All the best for the remainder of your summer holidays.

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Why doesn’t the Bank of Canada behave in the public interest?

I came across a news item a couple of weeks ago about a lawsuit that is working its way up the court system that really piqued my interest. The Committee for Economic and Monetary Reform is suing the Government and Bank of Canada over the Bank’s abandonment of its traditional role (as still spelled out in its charter) to provide low-interest loans to Canadian governments for infrastructure and human resource development.

I recommend you have a look at the following article to learn more:

Liberate the Bank of Canada

I also commented on this lawsuit in my own article, published this past Saturday in the Pembroke Daily Observer, which you can see here:


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Is it spring already?

Wow – I hadn’t realized it had been so long since I had last posted an update! I am still waiting for the updated Ontario CIA4U curriculum to be released to see if Economics for Canadians will continue to be a good fit for the course. When I do see the curriculum, I will let you know whether the book covers the required 85% of curricular objectives or whether it will need updating, which could take the form of an additional booklet that would ship with the books or perhaps an entirely new edition. At this point, it is all conjecture.

In other news, I am pleased that additional schools continue to adopt the book for their students. I am also pleased that many teachers who currently have single copies of the student book and teachers’ guide are looking forward to adopting the book once they learn more about the new course. I was touched to receive the following email from a teacher in Burlington:

Hello, I LOVE your book for CIA4U.  You explain concepts so thoroughly.  And further more, your chapters are appealing and written in a language that students can comprehend!  I am looking forward to the changing of the curriculum so that we can order your text.

For the most recent list of schools using the book, please click on the appropriate link above.

Lastly, I would like to share my most recent articles (written for publication in the Pembroke Daily Observer) from this past December and February. Hold the Frankincense and Myrrh was picked up by the Mises Canada website while Time For Some Mattress Padding was picked up by both Mises Canada and Zerohedge.

All the best as we move into spring and towards the summer holidays.

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A re-imagined Phillips Machine schematic

I came across this creative re-imagining of the graphic found inside the front cover of Economics for Canadians today and felt compelled to share it. The artist is WilliamBanzai7.

I am still waiting for the new senior Canada and World Studies curriculum to be released. As soon as it is made public I will line up the new curricular objectives with the lessons in the book. I remain confident that Economics for Canadians will continue to be suitable for the CIA4U course.

As well, over the holidays I will be adding resources to the website as I have created a number of new ones recently. I will also create solution keys for some of the tests and post them on the Canadian Teachers of Economics resource sharing site hosted on (for more details about this site, please refer to the post from this past May).

All the best for a great end of term and happy holidays.


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