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Lisa  Philipps - Osgoode Hall Law School of York University. Toronto, ON, CA

Lisa Philipps

Professor | Osgoode Hall Law School of York University

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Professor of Law, specializing in taxation law and fiscal policy





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We Teach Ontario: Lisa Philipps Research Byte: Income Splitting York Circle - Why are Canadians ranting and raving about income splitting?




Professor Lisa Philipps teaches and writes about taxation law and fiscal policy. She is known for incisive expert commentary on budgets, taxes, law, gender and social policy, and higher education policy.On faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School since 1996, Philipps has published widely on topics such as registered savings plans, tax expenditures, income splitting and family taxation, balanced budget laws, judicial approaches to tax law, taxes and disability, and charitable donation tax incentives. In her scholarship and in the classroom, she explores the basic values and policy choices at play in designing a fair and efficient tax system.Professor Philipps has provided commissioned research and advice to a number of bodies. In 2015 she was appointed as Special Counsel to Ontario’s Ministry of Finance. She practised tax law with the firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon prior to embarking on her academic career, and taught at the Universities of Victoria and British Columbia before joining York University.She has held a number of leadership roles at the Law School and University levels, most recently as Interim Dean of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University (fall 2015), and Associate Vice-President Research at York University from 2011-14. An active volunteer, she serves as Director of Research Policy on the Board of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, a national non-profit organization. She is also appointed as a member of the Provincial Judges Pension Board.Professor Philipps received her LLB from the University of Toronto and her LLM from York University. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1988.

Industry Expertise (6)


Legal Services



Public Policy


Areas of Expertise (6)

Budget Laws

Fiscal Policy

Gender and Economic Equality

Tax Policy

Income Splitting

Work-Integrated Learning

Accomplishments (1)

Bar (professional)

Called to the Bar of Ontario, 1988

Education (2)

York University: LL.M., Law 1992

University of Toronto: LL.B., Law 1986

Affiliations (3)

  • Member : Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada
  • Member : Canadian Tax Foundation
  • Member : Canadian Association of Law Teachers

Media Appearances (10)

Op-ed: The downsides of post-secondary co-op work placements

Globe and Mail  print


Op-ed co-written with Joseph Turcotte and Leslie Nichols. "Canadian higher education is entering a new age of “work-integrated” learning. More and more students are seeking a co-op placements, internships or other hands-on work experience as part of their postsecondary program."

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Op-ed: The principal-residence exemption is a fixable piece of the housing puzzle

Globe and Mail  print


There is no one simple strategy, no silver bullet, to make houses more affordable in some of Canada’s overheated markets. The problem has multiple causes, including ultralow interest rates, low supplies of housing for rent or purchase, and speculation.

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We need Canadian courts to uphold the spirit of our tax laws

The Globe and Mail  


The Panama Papers have refocused attention on how Canada can protect its tax base in a world of mobile capital and abundant tax planning. Who is responsible for closing the legal loopholes that enable tax avoidance? The essential role of the courts is often overlooked...

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Norton Rose donation to aid disadvantaged students

Canadian Lawyer Magazine  online


“We are so thrilled, it is quite historic, in the sense of the scale of the gift,” says Lisa Philipps, interim dean at Bora Laskin Faculty of Law in Thunder Bay...

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Deficits: Past, Present and Future



When did "deficit" become a dirty word for politicians? The debate between deficit hawks and those who support stimulus spending is part of a larger philosophical and economic question. The Agenda looks at how deficits have affected Canada's economic growth and fiscal health, and asks what is best going forward: to stimulate our sagging economy or focus on paying down the nation's debt?...

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Osgoode Professor Lisa Philipps appointed Interim Dean of Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law

York University  online


Professor Lisa Philipps will serve as Interim Dean at Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law from July 1 to December 31, 2015, Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin said in a message to the Osgoode community on June 26. Philipps will be on a leave of absence from Osgoode during this period and will return in January 2016.“I know you will join me in congratulating Lisa on taking up this important role – and I have no doubt Lakehead’s law school will thrive during this period under her leadership,” Sossin said.

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Why A Balanced Budget Law Could Mean More Debt For Consumers

Huffington Post  online


Reining in government spending during times of slow growth could actually worsen a bad situation, while easing monetary policy allows more Canadians to add to their growing debt loads, said Lisa Philipps, professor of taxation law and fiscal policy at Osgoode Hall Law School. “Once they commit themselves to a balanced budget they inhibit themselves from doing what is economically sensible to shorten a period of economic weakness rather than worsen it,” she said...

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Five reasons to stop obsessing about balanced budget

The Globe and Mail  online


As the 2015 government budget season rolls out across the country, what should Canadians really be watching for? So far the bottom line is hogging too much of the attention...

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Why balanced budgets aren't always good budgets

CBC Radio, The 180  


But people who watch budgets closely say there's something we need to remember-- balanced budgets aren't always a good thing. Lisa Philipps is one of those people. She's a professor at York University's Osgoode Hall Law School, specializing in tax law and fiscal policy. We gave her 180 seconds to explain why balanced budgets aren't always best...

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Good luck, EU, with that budget resolution

The Globe and Mail  


Just in time for the holidays, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy announced a new “fiscal compact” among European Union members (aside from Britain, which so far has refused to play). The deal is meant to secure the value of the euro by imposing tough new budget limits in each country. We hate to spoil the party, but this is probably no more binding than a New Year’s resolution...

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Articles (5)

Silent partners: The role of unpaid market labor in families

Feminist Economics

2008 The term “unpaid market labor” refers to the direct contributions of unpaid family members to market work that officially belongs to another member of the household. Thus one individual may be construed legally as an owner or entrepreneur, but relatives may ...

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Fiscal Transparency: Global Norms, Domestic Laws, and the Politics of Budgets

Brook Journal of International Law

2008 Since the early 1990s, the issue of fiscal transparency has attracted increasing attention from international institutions, governments, and nongovernment actors concerned with budgets and fiscal policy reform. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and ...

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Tax law and social reproduction: the gender of fiscal policy in an age of privatization

Privatization, Law and the Challenge to Feminism

2002 The drive towards privatization in Canada has at its heart one central claim: that private choice is better than public regulation as a mechanism for allocating resources and ordering social affairs. The main job of the state, according to neo-liberal wisdom, is just to get out ...

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There's only one worker: Toward the legal integration of paid employment and unpaid caregiving

New Perspectives on the Public-Private Divide

2003 The object of this essay is to imagine how law might look if it took seriously the idea that unpaid caregiving is an economic activity, a work process that generates human capacities without which markets could not function. Instead of warm, fuzzy statements about how ...

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The Rise of Balanced Budget Laws in Canada: Legislating Fiscal (Ir) responsibility

Osgoode Hall Law Journal

1996 Fiscal restraint and deficit reduction have become virtual mantras for all levels of Canadian government in the 1990s, regardless of geographic or political affiliation. An attitude of skepticism toward government spending, borrowing, and taxing has established ...

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