Wake up Canada, you have a business investment crisis

There’s been no growth in years in the corporate assets that help make companies more efficient and profitable

Wake up Canada, you have a business investment crisisCapital investment is the lifeblood of economic growth and, therefore, of higher living standards. So the collapse of business investment growth in Canada in recent years is cause for alarm. Increased capital, both tangible (machinery, equipment) and intangible (software, for example), boosts the productivity of workers and enables organizations to produce new products and implement…

Before implementing national pharmacare, look at what provinces already offer

Instead of using scarce health-care dollars broadly, we should identify and support those Canadians falling through the cracks

Before implementing national pharmacare, look at what provinces already offerModern medicines can improve health outcomes and quality of life for those stricken with illness. As a result, policy-makers and ordinary Canadians are understandably concerned about patient access, affordability and insurance coverage for prescrip­tion drugs. However, recent calls for a national pharmacare program would have many believe that Canadians without private drug insurance – about…

Fix Ontario’s disastrous power strategy

By subsidizing wind and solar power, the government put its green agenda ahead of Ontarians

Fix Ontario’s disastrous power strategyThere is still much work to be done on behalf of Ontario’s energy consumers and taxpayers. In 2005, I released a study called Pain Without Gain with two co-authors (University of Guelph professor Ross McKitrick and air quality analyst Joel Schwartz). The subtitle of the piece was that shutting down coal-fired power plants would hurt Ontario.…

New trade deal increases American sway over Canada

The purpose of the USMCA is to first promote the economic and trade interests of the U.S. within North America

New trade deal increases American sway over CanadaThe great vociferous North American trade negotiations are finally over. And while the deal could still be derailed by the coming November mid-term elections in the United States, it’s very likely that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will be the new framework for conducting trade on the continent. There has been a lot of ink…

Reckless rhetoric is no way to debate public policy

The basic presumption of democracy requires us to try to understand one another rather than calling opponents murderers

Reckless rhetoric is no way to debate public policyDennis Raphael, a professor of health policy and management at York University in Toronto, recently penned an opinion piece that represents a low point for discourse about public policy in Canada. Raphael describes the policies of the new Conservative government in Ontario, and specifically the decision not to increase the minimum wage next year, as “social…

There’s nothing ‘affordable’ about B.C. tax increases

Higher carbon, personal income, payroll, business and residential property taxes will hit B.C. families and make the province less attractive for business

There’s nothing ‘affordable’ about B.C. tax increasesBy Niels Veldhuis and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute “Making your life more affordable” has been a dominant rhetorical theme of British Columbia’s government – so much so that its 2018 budget uses the word “affordable” 76 times. Finance Minister Carole James mentioned “affordable” 26 times in her latest budget speech. While making life more affordable…

The magic carbon dividend plan is too good to be true

A Clean Prosperity report says Canadian households will be better off with such a plan. Looking at all the evidence suggests otherwise

The magic carbon dividend plan is too good to be trueWill households be better off under a carbon tax and dividend plan? A new report from Canadians for Clean Prosperity, a pro-carbon pricing advocacy group, claims they will, based on an analysis by David Sawyer of Enviroeconomics.org. It suggests that across income levels and provinces, households will pay less in carbon taxes than they receive…

The Canadian economy is at the precipice

From uncertain trade talks to lack of affordable housing to rising interest rates to government debt, the warning signs are rising

The Canadian economy is at the precipiceAny projection of the Canadian economy’s trajectory depends heavily upon one’s outlook for the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations. If the United States and Canada renew NAFTA, the outlook for Canada’s economy will obviously improve relative to the current state of uncertainty. Conversely, a collapse of bilateral negotiations, and imposition of tariffs…

Groundhog Day, Trans Mountain pipeline style

Once again, the National Energy Board will review the contentious project. It's paralysis by analysis

Groundhog Day, Trans Mountain pipeline styleOn Groundhog Day on Feb. 2, Punxsutawney Phil in the United States and Wiarton Willie in Canada ceremonially emerge from their dens. If they see their shadows (meaning it’s a sunny day), they return to their dens for an additional six weeks of winter. And who can forget the classic movie Groundhog Day? Bill Murray…

Trade, deficit reduction and tax reform critical as recession looms

The federal government must act quickly on 3 fronts if it is to head off economic disaster

Trade, deficit reduction and tax reform critical as recession loomsWith the resumption of Parliament, Canada’s policy-makers face a turbulence. The United States and China are waging an economic Cold War armed with tariffs. And Ottawa continues negotiating with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with an American deadline looming on Sept. 30. Alongside all this,…

Canada’s labour markets weaker than federal government suggests

Every Canadian province significantly underperformed relative to U.S. states – they all rank in the bottom half

Canada’s labour markets weaker than federal government suggestsBy Charles Lammam and Brennan Sorge The Fraser Institute Touting Canada’s relatively low unemployment rate is a common refrain from the current federal government. For instance, Finance Minister Bill Morneau repeatedly states that “Canada’s unemployment rate is now the lowest it's been in over 40 years” and “these are the real results of a plan…

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…