Buy Canadian economics carry a steep cost

While Canadians may embrace buying Canadian food products in retaliation for the trade dispute with the U.S., it won't come cheap

Buy Canadian economics carry a steep costCanadians are encouraging one another to go “Trump-free” – that is, to shop for groceries without buying a single American product. Even restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon by serving “Trump-free” dishes. These are interesting reactions in the face of Washington’s somewhat contradictory foreign trade policies. In a nutshell, here’s what happened following the G7…

Canada’s push for unfettered trade should begin at home

Supply management is protectionism by another name. And domestic protectionism shouldn’t be ignored as we seek freer trade

Canada’s push for unfettered trade should begin at homeA significant amount of ink is being dedicated on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border to the trade conflict that President Donald Trump precipitated at the end of the G7 meetings in Charlevoix, Que. Trump wants a better trade footing for the United States, pointing out that tariffs of around 270 per cent are slapped…

Dairy industry finally showing signs of common sense

Supply management 2.0 is finally here. To survive, farmers who see the writing on the wall will need to develop new skill sets

Dairy industry finally showing signs of common senseIt was not the G7 most expected. Not even close. But should we be surprised? As U.S. President Donald Trump lashes out on Twitter against Canadian dairies, Canada is beginning to realize that there may be no North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 2.0 after all. Washington is apparently aiming for two separate deals. But over…

In this trade war, mustard and ketchup are weapons

Ottawa seems to want to send a clear message to Washington, while offering Canada’s food industry an opportunity to grow

In this trade war, mustard and ketchup are weaponsWe are now officially at war with the United States – in a trade war, that is. In response to U.S.-imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, Canada intends to do the same on other goods. So like any trade war, it could escalate. Canada will unlawfully implement counter measures that will take effect on July…

Shrinkflation: to control costs, food companies shrinking packaging

When costs rise, a food company has three options: raise the price, make smaller packages or change the ingredients

Shrinkflation: to control costs, food companies shrinking packagingRough estimates suggest that anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent of packaged food products in Canada have shrunk over the last five years. Consumers find this irritating, but given the economics of the food industry, the industry can hardly be blamed. Most consumers worry about the cost of food. We constantly look for bargains…

The economy is doing well, so why can’t Canadian grocers hike prices?

Grocers need to find a way to make inflation work for them and that means competing in the online market

The economy is doing well, so why can’t Canadian grocers hike prices?Retail food prices aren’t moving much. They’re barely higher than last year, up a modest 0.5 per cent. And according to Statistics Canada, prices dropped by 0.7 per cent over the winter months. U.S. grocers are dealing with the same issue. Since Canada's economy has some momentum, you would expect food retail prices to inch…

Nova Scotia increases health system complexity at the cost of actual care

Strangely, the health authority seems to believe that increasing the administrative burden on clinicians won’t decrease care

Nova Scotia increases health system complexity at the cost of actual careThe latest missive from the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) – sent to some doctors but not to the community at large – acknowledges the responsibility of the health authority for the sad state of primary care. In an April Department of Family Practice Update we see a development that imposes a costly and inefficient…

Comeau ruling defies economic – and common – sense

A Supreme Court ruling that there’s no ‘constitutional guarantee of free trade’ will stifle both competition and lower prices for consumers

Comeau ruling defies economic – and common – senseThe Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that provinces have the right to erect interprovincial tariff barriers. That’s bad news for Canadian consumers and the health of the national economy. It is, however, a relief for provinces that for years have allowed fiscal priorities to supersede consumer choice and common economic sense. In 2012, Gerard…

The decline … and fall … of Tim Hortons

How an iconic brand lost its Canadian identity and why its corporate masters probably don't care

The decline … and fall … of Tim HortonsThe bad news keeps piling up for Tim Hortons. Leger and National Public Relations recently released their annual report ranking Canada’s most admired companies. Google and Shoppers Drug Mart topped the rankings of most respected companies, regardless of where the company resides. Google has been No. 1 for six years. Kellogg’s, in eighth place, is…

Market principles offer solutions to teacher shortage

One way to increase the applicants is to make the job more desirable, particularly by paying more

Market principles offer solutions to teacher shortageNova Scotia doesn’t have enough substitute teachers. The shortage is so severe that school boards are hiring people without teacher’s certificates to fill substitute positions. In many cases, regular teachers must use prep time to cover for absent colleagues. To make things worse, there’s an ongoing shortage of specialty teachers, particularly in French immersion. In…
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