Quebec’s ailing health-care system

More than 20 per cent of Quebecers currently don’t have a family doctor

Quebec’s ailing health-care systemBy Krystle Wittevrongel and Maria Lily Shaw Quebec’s health-care system is suffering from poor accessibility. More than 20 per cent of Quebecers currently don’t have a family doctor. The overcrowding of hospital emergency wards and the long wait times that result are also notorious. A key to improving the health system’s capacity is to address…

It’s time for Canada’s protectionist barriers to fall

Supply management pushed up to 190,000 Canadians into poverty

It’s time for Canada’s protectionist barriers to fallBy Krystle Wittevrongel and Gabriel Giguère New Zealand had never launched a dispute under a free trade agreement until two weeks ago, on May 12, when it launched a trade dispute against Canada under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),  accusing our government of breaking its promises on dairy imports. This was also the first dispute launched…

Without carbon capture, we will not meet our climate goals

CCUS prevents the release of CO2 and reduces overall accumulation

Without carbon capture, we will not meet our climate goalsScrapping the federal government’s investment tax credit for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies would undercut efforts to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 – a goal that Ottawa reaffirmed in November in the COP 26 Glasgow Climate Pact. Yet recently, a group of scientists, academics, and energy system modellers urged just…

Taxing homes the wrong way to cool the housing market

For many Canadians, the dream of home ownership is slipping away

Taxing homes the wrong way to cool the housing marketThe housing market has been red hot lately, which has been raising concerns about affordability. While the volume of sales has been high, so have prices. Canada-wide, the average home price rose nearly 20 per cent between November 2020 and November 2021, to the highest level on record: $720,850. For many Canadians, the dream of…

The new drug-price reform not what the doctor ordered

The well-being of patients is at risk

The new drug-price reform not what the doctor orderedBy Krystle Wittevrongel and Maria Lily Shaw Montreal Economic Institute A highly-contested drug-price reform is set to come into effect in Canada in January 2022. Critics of the major overhaul, including patient groups, doctors, and academics, are hopeful that the new federal cabinet will take their concerns to heart and rather than stifle pharmaceutical innovation,…

Expanding eligibility will do little to increase blood supply

The voluntary model isn't working: time to look at a better way

Expanding eligibility will do little to increase blood supplyRecently, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) made the news for allowing the donation of blood plasma from gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) in two cities. While broadening eligibility redresses an exclusionary policy, it does little to increase the supply of plasma available for Canadians who need it. Given that a…

Alberta leads the way in cutting labour mobility red tape

Making it easier for professionals certified in over 100 occupations to move to the province

Alberta leads the way in cutting labour mobility red tapeWhile nearly one in three Canadian businesses is reporting labour shortages, Alberta is taking steps to make it easier for professionals certified in over 100 occupations to move to the province. Currently, these professionals wait between six and 12 months for their credentials from other provinces to be recognized. Thus, highly proficient Canadian-trained professionals like…

Let’s be smarter on carbon capture. We won’t get to net-zero without it

There is a real opportunity to reduce GHG emissions through decarbonization

Let’s be smarter on carbon capture. We won’t get to net-zero without itCOP26 in Glasgow is likely to call for even more ambitious GHG emission reduction targets than the ones that have been consistently missed by virtually all countries. Canada’s existing target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 is daunting enough as is. Strangely, much of the focus of carbon policy has been on reducing the amount…

Canada’s plan for climate change needs to use all the tools in its artillery

Why not use carbon emissions as a building block for other industrial processes and products?

Canada’s plan for climate change needs to use all the tools in its artilleryClimate change demands immediate action, and there’s no shortage of discussion about emissions reduction. Indeed, climate policies and pledges flowed left and right leading up to the federal election. However, largely absent from the mainstream dialogue on the shifting energy landscape is any pragmatic talk about the productive use of carbon emissions. That’s right –…

Rather than defund the police, rethink its core functions

Less of an officer's time should be spent on functions that don’t involve protecting the public

Rather than defund the police, rethink its core functionsRising crime rates have required Canadian police forces to reconcile managing their budgets with fighting crime. It’s not an easy balance to strike. Yet there is a simple way to save hundreds of millions of dollars: re-think the division of labour for police. Modern police officers receive extensive training to carry out tasks requiring an…

How to reduce our emissions without penalizing rural regions

Policies should be fair for all Canadians, regardless of where they happen to live

How to reduce our emissions without penalizing rural regionsBy Miguel Ouellette Olivier Rancourt and Krystle Wittevrongel Montreal Economic Institute Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is one of the big concerns of our age. The numerous diverging interests pitted against each other on this issue make it a real puzzler for policy-makers, though. After many years of public policies aimed at reducing GHGs, layered…

Canada’s clean energy future must include nuclear

Ignoring its potential would be a missed opportunity

Canada’s clean energy future must include nuclearIn 1950, Canada faced a difficult choice between the desire to be a leader in the development of nuclear energy technology and the fear that such technology would bring the end of the world a little closer. Despite concerns related to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Canada elected to be in the vanguard. As…

Let’s have permanently quicker drug approvals

On average, drug approvals take three months longer in Canada than in the U.S. and one month longer than in Europe

Let’s have permanently quicker drug approvalsBy Maria Lily Shaw and Krystle Wittevrongel Montreal Economic Institute The past year has shown us beyond the shadow of a doubt that human ingenuity is a match for the greatest of challenges. The rapid development and mass production of several COVID-19 vaccines are proof of our remarkable capacity for innovation. Pharmaceutical innovation, one of…

Changes to royalties could super-charge upgrading in Alberta

Fixing the royalty structure seems like low-hanging fruit

Changes to royalties could super-charge upgrading in AlbertaWith news of the official termination of the Keystone XL project, the Alberta government is out approximately $1.3 billion. What’s more, the province is left with unrefined bitumen that it doesn’t have the capacity to upgrade to higher-value products like gasoline and diesel. Why, then, does the province not look to develop its own capacity…

Regulatory quicksand holds back clean tech in Alberta

Sitting on an enormous economic opportunity that could address current financial and environmental issues and help diversify the economy

Regulatory quicksand holds back clean tech in AlbertaWith Alberta’s economy still sputtering and not expected to rebound until 2023, the knowledge that we are sitting on an enormous economic opportunity is music to the ears of most Albertans. The fact that this opportunity not only addresses current financial and environmental issues but also helps diversify the energy sector is a veritable symphony.…