Workshop 2018

Hello all!

My name is Sorin Mitrea, I am the project manager for the Austerity and its Alternatives SSHRC Partnership Development Grant (PDG) and I look very forward to welcoming you all in Ottawa for the second workshop of this grant.

This post will remain at the top of the blog until and during the event (March 23 & 24, 2018) and is meant to compile all relevant information about the workshop.

For the most detailed information on the workshop, transportation, accommodation, reimbursement, and dining, please see the welcome package. At the end of that package is a map which highlights relevant locations for the duration of the workshop. Alternatively, you can reference this digital version (which has a few more features!).

Transportation: Please take a taxi from the airport or train station to the hotel. Remember to keep your receipts so that we may reimburse you!

Accommodation: for those coming from out of town, we have booked the nights you requested at the Business Inn & Suites (180 MacLaren St.). When you arrive at the hotel, mention your name, present photo ID for confirmation, and provide a credit card (you will not be charged unless you partake in incidentals – we have everything else covered!) to be given a room reserved for the workshop.

Public Event: On Thursday, March 22nd we will host a public event with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) from 5:30 – 7:30 PM at 251 Bank St., 2nd Floor. It will be a panel discussion on ‘the role of government today’. All workshop participants are of course welcome!

Venue: the Embassy Hotel & Suites – 25 Cartier Street, the 101 Diplomat Room. You can find the program at this link. The schedule for the days is as follows:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

  • Arrive in Ottawa;
  • 4:00 PM – Earliest check-in time at the Business Inn;
  • 5:30 PM – If able and interested, attend the public event (above).

Friday, March 23, 2018 

  • 7:00 AM – Breakfast is served at the hotel;
  • 8:30 AM – Meet in the lobby of the hotel with the PDG staff member;
  • 8:45 AM – Arrive at the venue ahead of the welcome remarks;
  • 5:00 PM – Return to the hotel to refresh before dinner, if you’d like;
  • 6:30 PM – Make your way to the Lieutenant’s Pump for dinner.

Saturday, March 24, 2018 

  • 7:00 AM – Breakfast is served at the hotel;
  • 8:30 AM – Meet in the lobby of the hotel with the PDG staff member. If you are not staying the night on the 24th, check out of your room (11:00 AM is check-out time);
  • 8:45 AM – Arrive at the venue ahead of the welcome remarks;

WiFi at the Venue: password ‘mcmaster’

Dinner: The Lieutenant’s Pump, 361 Elgin St., Ottawa, Ontario at 6:30 PM on Friday, March 23rd, 2018.

Things to Remember:

  • Breakfast will be served at the hotel starting 7:00 AM each day.
  • Physical programs and reimbursement forms will be provided at the venue.
  • If you have a PowerPoint Presentation, please bring it on a USB as we will have a computer connected to the venue’s audio-video system.
  • Reimbursement instructions are detailed in the welcome package, and we will provide forms at the workshop venue. **Please keep all receipts and boarding passes (whether physical or digital!)**
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me by email ( or phone (416-558-7872).

Program: please find the full program at this link. Below is a list of the panels with links to the full papers and other content by each individual.

Day 1 – Friday, March 23, 2018

9:30-11:00 AM: Session 1 KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE

  • Brendan O’Rourke & John Hogan (DIT) – Ireland Austerity Addiction: Challenges & Opportunities (Paper/Presentation)
  • Moritz Neujeffski (WZB) – Economic advisors in German economic ministries and their position on austerity (Paper/Presentation)
  • Bryan Evans (Ryerson), David Macdonald (CCPA), JZ Garrod (Ryerson) – More than Good Ideas: Politics, Power and Policy Alternatives
  • Bryan Evans (Ryerson) & Marcel Goguen (McMaster) – Knowledge and Expertise in the Manufacturing of Policy Advice (Paper/Presentation)


  • Stephen McBride (McMaster) & James Watson (McMaster) – Neo-corporatism in the age of austerity (Paper/Presentation)
  • Dennis Howlett (Canadians for Tax Fairness) – Underlying causes of austerity
  • Nour Afara (University of Ottawa) – Progressive Possibilities Amid the Spectre of Austerity
  • Sorin Mitrea (McMaster) – Austerity, Policy Design, and Cognition in Canadian Labour Market Policy (Paper/Presentation)


  • Robert Hebdon (McGill) – The Tension between Public Sector Restraint and Restructuring and the Canadian Charter of Rights: The Cases of Nova Scotia and Manitoba 2017 (Paper/Presentation)
  • Carlo Fanelli (York) – Fiscal Distress and the Local State: Neoliberal Urbanism in Canada (Paper/Presentation)
  • Heather Whiteside (Waterloo) – Surplus and Scarcity: Public Land disposal and austerity (Paper/Presentation)
  • Simon Lee (Hull) – Austerity in England


  • Richard Woodward & James Silverwood (Coventry University) – From Maggie to May: 40 Years of UK (De)Industrialisation Policy
  • Marc-André Gagnon (Carleton) – Reducing Labour Costs While Improving Health Outcomes: The Pharmacare Alternative
  • Meghan Joy (Concordia), Siu Mee Cheng (Ryerson), and John Shields (Ryerson) – Social Innovation Labs as Tools of Austerity (Paper/Presentation)
  • Jesse Whattam (Carleton, possibly with David Macdonald) – Child Care in Canada: Crawling Out of Austerity

Day 2 – Saturday, March 24, 2018


  • Laura Macdonald (Carleton) & Nadia Ibrahim (CCPA) – Gendered Impacts of Trade and Austerity: Canada’s ‘Progressive Trade Agenda’
  • Peter Graefe (McMaster) – Engaging Communities Around Austerity and Alternatives in Quebec: Lessons from Thirty Years of Consultations (Paper/Presentation)
  • Eric Pineault (UQAM) – Degrowth or regrowth? Socioecological alternatives after austerity

11:15-1:00 PM: Session 6 GRANT BUSINESS

  • GRANT BUSINESS Grant members and invitees only
  •  2019 conference
  •  Partnership Grant discussion
  •  Nour Afara (Ottawa), Knowledge Mobilization Officer & Sorin Mitrea (McMaster), Project Manager – current activities of the PDG and discussion on future