image created by csslackdesign
created by cslackdesign and can be found at their website


Vivic Research is an economic and public policy research firm dedicated to supporting actors working towards systems change with evidence-based research.

Our Services

Economic Research & Intersectional Data Analysis

Policy Design & Recommendations

Advocacy Support & Guidance

Our Work

Alternative Municipal Budget for the City of Ottawa 2021

Vivic Research and the Ottawa Coalition for a People’s Budget collaborated to cost out a progressive and ambitious vision for the City of Ottawa and its finances. The Alternative Budget explores how the city could meaningfully invest in social infrastructure, housing, transit, and climate by divesting from policing and fossil fuels. This fully balanced budget includes $662.8M in additional spending on programs and services and $215.5M on infrastructure. The collaborative nature of the project is intended to capture the diverse needs of Ottawa residents while raising public awareness about the biases that the City’s actual budget reinforces. Read More

Employment Insurance in Canada: A Literature Review of Current Internal Government Studies

Vivic Research summarized findings from 13 studies developed by Employment and Social Development Canada on the state of the Canadian Employment Insurance (EI) Program. The studies explore different aspects of the EI program, such as apprenticeships, training, the compassionate care benefit, the work-sharing program, eligibility barriers, and the program's impact on poverty and income redistribution. Building on the program’s demonstrated ability for income redistribution, we proposed recommendations to bolster the program’s potential to prevent poverty. Read More

Towards Equitable Post-Secondary Education in Canada: A Literature Review on Tuition and Student Debt in Canada and Beyond

Vivic Research worked with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) to review trends in Canadian higher education tuition from the 1970s onwards, with comparisons to education funding policies from other jurisdictions. The research highlighted how approaching higher education policies in isolation from their wider societal context can reinforce larger systemic barriers in education. To support CFS’s advocacy for progressive change in Canada’s approach to funding education, we explored how policy recommendations aimed at easing the burden of student debt and tuition prices could prioritize the needs of low-income and otherwise marginalized students. Read More

Key Performance Indicator Roadmap: A Path Forward for Measuring Fort Calgary's Impact

Vivic Research worked to develop six key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the success of the Fort Calgary Society in advancing their reconciliation and cultural heritage goals, based on a logic model and visitor survey. The KPIs developed were heritage, reconciliation, tourism impact, seniors, interaction, and affordability. The use of KPIs facilitated a clear correlation between activities and outcomes, enhancing stakeholders' understanding of the value the Fort brought to the community. Furthermore, these KPIs empowered the Fort to make data-informed decisions, maximizing its impact. Read More

Reforming the Competition Act: Suggested Changes to Enhance Competitiveness and Equity of the Canadian Economy

Vivic Research testified to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology on April 6th and 20th, 2021 to highlight potential changes to the Competition Act to enhance its effectiveness as a tool for promoting and protecting competition in our economy. Vivic put forward eight policy proposals, including re-establishing the Economic Council of Canada to advance further research, adding a provision in the Competition Act that requires the Act to be reviewed every five years, and abolishing the efficiencies defense for mergers. This briefing note outlines proposed changes in greater detail. Read More

Monopoly and the Covid Recovery

Vivic Research presented at the 2021 Canadian Economics Association conference on how to create a more just and resilient economy post-pandemic. The presentation highlighted how monopolies create the conditions for market power, which in turn enables businesses to extract income and wealth from others further down the wealth distribution. Due in part to weak competition laws, underenforcement of the law in labour markets, and limited access to data, the Competition Bureau does not have the tools to promote a just economy. Read More

Alternatives for a Safer Ottawa: Non-Police Mental Health Crisis Response

Vivic Research collaborated with 613-819 Black Hub to produce a comprehensive report that would explore the feasibility and cost of a non-police response model to mental health crises in Ottawa. The final report is a combination of extensive community consultations and a thorough review of other crisis response models in jurisdictions across North America. We explored why co-response models fall short of meeting the needs of people in crisis, and unpacked the social determinants of mental health to incorporate a heavy focus on preventing crisis through adequately supporting all residents and transforming systems that cause harm. Read More

Check and Balance: The Case for Improving Canada’s Competition Act to Protect Workers

In partnership with Ana Qarri, Vivic Research explored how the design of the Competition Act allows for extensive corporate dominance and contains significant loopholes that enable corporations to establish monopolies, resulting in the exploitation of consumers and workers. The report recommended that Canada revise its competition law to incorporate a strong anti-monopoly focus. Additionally, the annex includes a guide on how to effectively engage with the Competition Bureau during the process of merger investigations. Read More

No One Left Behind: Strategies for an Inclusive Recovery

Vivic Research co-authored Campaign 2000’s annual report card on the status of child poverty in Canada. The report examined child poverty through a human rights lens and applied a social determinants of health framework to the analysis. Income data from the T1 Family File demonstrated that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated poverty, which will continue to have an impact on children and families in the coming years. Over 60 recommendations were put forward across all levels of government, reaffirming the importance of community input and incorporating trauma-informed principles into policymaking. Read More

Ottawa Coalition for a People’s Budget: Alternative Municipal Budget 2022

Vivic Research collaborated with the Ottawa Coalition for a People’s Budget for a second consecutive year to create a progressive alternative budget for the City of Ottawa. Building on and learning from the previous year’s experience, this budget puts forward policies that would improve the lives of all community members, rather than continue to allow developer influence to run the city. An exercise in participatory budget-making, part of this project included holding community conversations on topics related to housing, climate, transit, and policing. Read More

Study of Competition Issues in Data-Driven Markets in Canada

The Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada commissioned this study of Competition Issues in Data-Driven Markets in Canada in the fall of 2021. This independent expert report takes a case study approach, exploring nine business behaviours that occur in a digital context and testing how they may or may not be currently contemplated under the Competition Act. It concludes with a cross-cutting policy approach that will aid in preserving and encouraging competition in data-driven markets. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada. Read More

Seven Reasons Why Privatization of Public Services is the Wrong Answer

Vivic Research worked with Simon Enoch from the Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) to unpack seven common myths about privatization in the CCPA’s The Monitor. The article critiques the idea that privatization will lead to cost savings, generate more jobs, improve service quality, reduce debt, and introduce competition and efficiency. Evidence from previous privatization schemes, data from the Labour Force Survey, and Modern Monetary Theory are used to explain how privatization is likely to produce counterproductive outcomes contrary to commonly held beliefs. Read More

Playing the Long Game: Keeping Newfoundland and Labrador’s Economy Diverse and Sustainable

In the CCPA’s The Monitor, Vivic Research examined the possible short and long-term economic effects of the Premier’s Economic Recovery Team report, which emphasizes debt reduction and suggests significant cuts to Newfoundland and Labrador’s public services. Vivic's analysis suggests that privatization could potentially lead to an overall decrease in provincial income and heighten reliance on oil and gas revenue. In light of these findings, it would be wise for the provincial government to adopt a long-term perspective and walk away from the proposed sale of public assets. Read More

Making Ontario a Safer Place to Work: Funding and Safety Outcomes of Ontario’s Health and Safety Associations

Vivic Research worked with the Ontario Compensation Employees Union (OCEU) to investigate trends in funding for Ontario's Health and Safety Associations (HSAs). Vivic analyzed shifts in the total funding and funding mix of the HSAs from 2013 to 2020 and examined how claim rates, injury rates, and fatalities changed over the last decade. These shifts in lost-time injury rates and fatalities have occurred against a backdrop of decreased core funding to HSAs. To improve workplace safety, Vivic recommends that provincial governments restore funding for prevention initiatives that were cut by previous governments. Read More

Competition Policy in Labour Markets: Towards a More Just Society

Vivic Research presented at The Western Law Economics Research Group and ASCOLA Canada's panel Labour Markets and the Competition Act on the intersection of competition and labour policy and the relevance of monopsony power for workers. The most direct intervention for poverty and social exclusion is to develop inclusive economies and markets. To improve intervention efficacy and equity, Vivic suggests that competition policy in labour markets be considered as an alternative approach to transfer programs. Read More

Labour Shortages, Monopsony, Power and their Role in our Current Labour Markets

Vivic Research presented at the 2022 Canadian Economics Association on the role of labour market monopsony in our current labour shortage and the importance of competitive labour markets in supporting current social programs, like the Canada Child Benefit. To address labour market power through competition law and policy, a deeper understanding of the specific behaviours that enable firms to undermine competition in labour markets, and a broader definition of abuse of dominance that encompasses exercises of market power, are needed. Read More

How to Reduce the Depth of Single Adult Poverty in Canada: Proposal for a Canada Working-Age Supplement

In partnership with the Maytree Foundation and Community Food Centres Canada, Vivic Research developed a microsimulation model of a new federal tax credit targeted to low-income, working-age single adults. Programmed in R and using SPSD/M data, several custom and industry-standard metrics were implemented to evaluate program efficiency and effectiveness. In total, Vivic modelled eleven scenarios to understand their cost and impact. The Vivic team also undertook an international jurisdictional scan of programs that target working-age single adults to inform a literature review of existing and proposed models. Read More

Pandemic Lessons: Ending Child and Family Poverty is Possible

Vivic Research co-authored Campaign 2000’s annual report card on the status of child poverty in Canada for the second consecutive year. Data analysis revealed that the 40% reduction in child poverty from the previous year was due in large part to temporary pandemic transfers from the federal government to families and individuals. This showed the extent to which governments can end poverty through policy choices that impact children and families' access to income security, housing, decent work, childcare, and healthcare. Read More

Job Creation Through Transformational Climate Investments: Assessing the Impact of Proposed Climate Investments in Canada

Vivic Research was retained to estimate the potential employment impacts of the proposed investments in Spending What it Takes: Transformational Climate Investments for Long-term Prosperity in Canada, published by the Climate Action Network Canada and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. In this report, the potential employment effects of the proposed investments are estimated using an input-output (I-O) model of the Canadian economy. The results suggest that the proposed investments could result in an average of an additional 145,900 – 176,000 jobs over the next five years. Read More

Pedianomics: The Social Return on Investment in Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Children and Adolescent

Vivic Research supported Children First Canada’s research team to estimate the economic costs of the tripledemic paediatric crisis. Using Statistics Canada’s Public Use Microdata Files (PUMFs) for the Labour Force Survey from 2016-2022, a time-series decomposition with locally weighted regression determined mothers of children under 12 incurred the largest productivity loss due to caregiving, resulting in an economic loss of nearly $50 million for the Canadian economy. The findings showed immigrant, working-class, and single mothers faced additional challenges that made it difficult for them to take time off during the peak of the crisis. Read More

Views of the Divide: An Investigation into Canada’s Wireless Divide, Commissioned by TELUS Communications Inc.

Vivic Research was commissioned by TELUS to investigate Canada’s wireless divide. Vivic found that approximately 4.3 million people in Canada fall into the wireless divide, having either no mobile device or cellular data plan. To better understand the wireless divide in Canada, this report combines quantitative data from Statistics Canada’s 2020 Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS) with qualitative interviews with organizations working with individuals experiencing the wireless divide in Canada, using a framework of access, affordability, and digital skills. Read More

How Much Do We Care? An Assessment of the Canadian Paid and Unpaid Care Policy Landscape

Vivic Research used Oxfam’s Care Policy Scorecard Tool to evaluate the federal government’s care policies across health and child care, employment protections, immigration policy, and infrastructure investments. Based on a literature review and focus groups facilitated by Oxfam Canada, the research revealed advances in recent federal investments in child care, long-term care, and public transportation and also highlighted several areas of concern around access to clean water for First Nations, and worker protections in the care economy. Recommendations from the report focused on investments in healthcare and education, gender equity in labour protections, and public education campaigns around gender norms in care work. Read More

Police-Free Transit is Safe Transit: Co-Creating Safety on Ottawa’s Public Transit Through Community-Based Design, Planning, and Collaboration

Vivic Research and Courage Ottawa put forward 15 recommendations for how safety on transit can be improved in Ottawa without relying on punishment and exclusion. This report explores a variety of approaches that can enhance safety on transit, including eliminating fares, repealing loitering by-laws, substituting Special Constables with Transit Ambassadors, improving the efficiency and reliability of the service, retrofitting stations, and changing social norms. These recommendations were co-developed with transit riders in focus groups while being anchored in evidence-based best practices. Read More

From Punishment to Prevention: Reframing the Narrative on Street-Based Youth Violence in Ottawa

Vivic Research conducted focus groups and surveys in collaboration with the Centre for Resilience and Social Development (CRSD) and the Ottawa Coalition of Community Houses (OCCH). These efforts aim to recontextualize the conversation surrounding gun violence and youth street-level violence, with the central objective of untangling policing narratives from community voices. Through these consultations, Vivic Research sought to centre perspectives from youth, adults, and service providers concerning the underlying causes of youth violence and potential non-carceral, community-based solutions to address it. Some key findings include the perception of police as an additional danger by youth, the importance of non-carceral approaches like employment opportunities and reduced police presence, and the need for community-based solutions and independent data analysis to address youth violence effectively. Read More

Rethinking Youth Violence: Understanding and Unpacking the Structural Causes of Youth Street-Based Violence

Vivic Research, in collaboration with the Centre for Resilience and Social Development and the Ottawa Coalition for Community Houses, examines the underlying causes of community-level street-based violence, including gun violence. This study explores strategies for preventing youth violence by addressing the social conditions that sustain violence at interpersonal, community, and state levels. Through a comprehensive literature review, the report highlights the impact of social issues such as racism, poverty, and criminalization, while emphasizing how carceral interventions and state violence create and exacerbate these challenges. The report concludes by calling for approaches to these forms of violence that are grounded in Transformative Justice with a specific focus on the context and needs of the individuals involved. Read More

See All Our Work