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  • Writer's pictureOLIP Interns

Meeting with Dr. Chris Ragan

In April, we sat down with notable Canadian economist, professor, and Director of the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University, Dr. Chris Ragan. Dr. Ragan is also chair of Canada's Ecofiscal Commission. We were excited to learn more about Dr. Ragan's thoughts on Canada's Covid-19 economic recovery plans, environmental policy, and the skills public policy grads need to be successful and impactful in their careers.

On top of his many years teaching at McGill, Dr. Ragan also took time during his career to work with public servants and politicians at Finance Canada and the Bank of Canada. These experiences seem to have shaped his perspective on policy making and his thoughts on how best to introduce policy changes to politicians. We learnt more about the Ecofiscal Commission, a group of economists who support putting a price on pollution, with the intention of balancing economic and environmental policies. We were reminded that, while not all environmental policies are good for the economy, Canada's environmental policy has very little to do with the world's demand for non-renewable energy sources such as oil.

It wouldn't have been an economics discussion without the mention of monetary policy, interest rates and inflation, and a cliff-notes version of Dr. Ragan's prognosis of Canada's post-Covid economy. We were also interested to hear about his experience as the inaugural Director of the Max Bell School and how he helped design the program.

The interns left the conversation with lots to think about, especially as we consider Canada's future and how we may play a role in shaping it as potential policymakers. Thank you, Dr. Ragan!

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