Proportional representation breeds unstable governments

B.C.’s electoral reform referendum could lead to more shaky coalitions and less effective government

Proportional representation breeds unstable governmentsSome see the upcoming B.C. referendum on electoral reform – whether the province should switch to a proportional representation (PR) voting system – as a blatant attempt by the B.C. Green Party to secure more power. While it’s clear that under any form of PR, the Greens could increase their seat share, there would also…

Canada’s trade hurdle is all about supply management

The federal government has not explicitly stated that supply management is non-negotiable

Canada’s trade hurdle is all about supply managementBy Steven Globerman and Gary Hufbauer The Fraser Institute As North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks continue, much remains undecided. The United States and Mexico have already reached an agreement in principle on a new free-trade arrangement. But in light of Trump’s complaints about Canadian dairy tariffs, the highest hurdle for Canada will be…

Stark contrast between U.S. energy boom, Canada’s lethargy

Canada’s energy sector is struggling primarily because of poor government policies. The U.S. shows a way out of this mess

Stark contrast between U.S. energy boom, Canada’s lethargyBy Elmira Aliakbari and Ashley Stedman The Fraser Institute Over the past few years, the governments of Canada and the United States have taken markedly different approaches to energy development, particularly with oil and gas. Consequently, the U.S. energy industry is booming while Canada’s continues to struggle despite increases in oil and natural gas prices.…

The right of women to choose their own futures

Saudi Arabia’s anti-women laws require a swift dose of economic freedom, and they’re not alone

The right of women to choose their own futuresThe Canada-Saudi Arabia diplomatic dispute appears to have calmed – for now – but the issue at the heart of the dispute remains. The dispute peaked in August after Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted her support for women’s rights activist Samar Badawi. That prompted Saudi Arabia to pull its students from Canadian colleges and universities…

Canada’s crude oil profit margin is being railroaded

Shipping crude by rail means lost revenue for oil producers and hampers the broader Canadian economy

Canada’s crude oil profit margin is being railroadedBy Elmira Aliakbari and Ashley Stedman The Fraser Institute When Canada's Federal Court of Appeal quashed the federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, citing inadequate consultation with First Nations and concerns over marine tanker traffic, it was the latest blow in a bad few months for Canada’s heavy oil producers. Crude…

A tale of two cities and their wildly different spending habits

Vancouver taxes and spends far more than neighbouring Surrey. But do Vancouverites get value for their greater investment?

A tale of two cities and their wildly different spending habitsBy Josef Filipowicz and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute With three levels of government delivering a wide array of services to British Columbians – paid for by an equally wide array of taxes, fees and transfers – it can be difficult for citizens to understand and assess government taxation and spending – especially at city…

Ontario workers have little to celebrate this Labour Day

The problems are widespread: a low private-sector employment rate, too many part-time jobs, below average productivity

Ontario workers have little to celebrate this Labour DayBy Charles Lammam and Brennan Sorge The Fraser Institute Labour Day is a time to celebrate workers. Unfortunately, when you compare Ontario’s labour market to other North American jurisdictions over the past three years, Ontarians have little to cheer about. Premier Doug Ford’s government has an opportunity to help turn things around. But it will…

Alberta’s job recovery brings its own set of problems

Instead of a recovering private sector economy, Alberta has simply expanded its government sector

Alberta’s job recovery brings its own set of problemsBy Charles Lammam and Brennan Sorge The Fraser Institute Premier Rachel Notley’s government has repeatedly pointed to total employ­ment figures as a sign that Alberta has recovered from the recent recession. For instance, the premier recently said “our economy is recovering … and created 90,000 new jobs last year.” But to better understand the state…

Canada needs to become more densely populated

We need a larger internal market that would create economies of scale and further economic productivity growth

Canada needs to become more densely populatedFormer prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King once quipped, “If some countries have too much history, we have too much geography.” This has always been evidenced in Canada’s low national population density, estimated at about four people per square kilometre. Nevertheless, we’re still a highly urbanized country with more than 80 per cent of our…

Denying hope and health to Canadians with rare disorders

Manufacturers must overcome several federal government hurdles before patients have access to drugs

Denying hope and health to Canadians with rare disordersThe federal government has proposed major changes to the role of the Patent Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB), whose primary function is to ensure that maximum Canadian prices for patented medicines aren’t excessive. The changes, due to come into effect in 2019, will impact all new drugs but especially those for patients with rare disorders…

Average workers will ultimately pay B.C.’s new payroll tax

Health tax will reduce wages and job opportunities, and further erode the province’s investment climate

Average workers will ultimately pay B.C.’s new payroll taxBy Charles Lammam and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute B.C. Finance Minister Carole James called Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums “unfair” and argued in a news release that her government’s replacement Employer Health Tax (EHT) is a “much fairer and progressive approach.” More broadly, Premier John Horgan government’s rhetoric about the new tax suggests it…

Inflated employee pay at the heart of Alberta government’s debt

From wages to benefits to job security to early retirement, government employee compensation must be constrained

Inflated employee pay at the heart of Alberta government’s debtBy Charles Lammam and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Alberta’s public finances are in rough shape. The government of Premier Rachel Notley expects to run another budget deficit this year (estimated at $8.8 billion) and has no plan to balance the books until at least 2023-24. Since 2014-15, the province has added more than $33…

Canada needs a bold response to U.S. business tax cuts

Reducing corporate taxes doesn’t distort economic decisions or add complexity to the tax system. It does spur the economy

Canada needs a bold response to U.S. business tax cutsBy Charles Lammam and Brennan Sorge The Fraser Institute According to a recent statement by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the fall federal budget update will finally outline the government’s response to major business tax changes by the Trump administration in the United States. Unfortunately, Ottawa took a long time to even acknowledge we have a…

Resolving Canada’s trade quagmire in the age of Trump

We must make a major concession to protect the auto sector and that may mean phasing out our farm supply management system

Resolving Canada’s trade quagmire in the age of TrumpThe North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations continue to roller-coaster. The United States administration is now in senior level one-on-one NAFTA talks with Mexico. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump threatens Canada with new auto tariffs, and inflicts the silent treatment. And a Democratic governor calls on the president to cease his “childish” tweets at Prime…

Ontario should look to B.C. as a model for education reform

The province needs to remove religious schools from the public system while introducing partial funding for independent schools

Ontario should look to B.C. as a model for education reformProfessors from Western University recently renewed calls for the Ontario government to change the way kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education is delivered. Most Ontarians live in areas served by four distinct public school boards – English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic. If you live in Penetanguishene on the Georgian Bay, a fifth school board operates…
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