Alberta planting the seeds for a tech boom but care required

Alongside investing and funding, the government of Alberta must emphasize entrepreneurship and keep co-operating with the private sector

Alberta planting the seeds for a tech boom but care requiredTechnology companies have emerged as clear winners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jurisdictions without a traditional tech imprint – like Alberta – have funnelled funds to facilitate startups. That’s a good diversification strategy, but they should be careful not to veer into protectionism and favouritism. It came as no surprise that in 2020 retail sales through…

The best response to more lockdowns? Civil disobedience

Lockdowns can't be the new normal

The best response to more lockdowns? Civil disobedienceIn Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and elsewhere, churches are pushing back against COVID-19 lockdowns, staying open and advising people to practise civil disobedience. Such behaviour must be replicated across Canada. The draconian pandemic response from the provincial and federal governments has paved the way for a permanently expanded state. Imposing strict restrictions on the economy a…

How to put Canada’s post-pandemic recovery on the right track

Four areas of focus – now and in the coming years – are interprovincial trade, streamlined taxation, immigration and innovation

How to put Canada’s post-pandemic recovery on the right trackSocial engineers are eager for Canadians to buy into the same madness touted across the globe for post-pandemic recovery: more government spending. Now is precisely when technocrats must take a back seat and let markets take the wheel. On Nov. 30, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented the 2020 Fall Economic Statement to Parliament. The report…

Central banks should stay clear of cryptocurrencies

Central banks should stay clear of cryptocurrenciesAmong the many races the pandemic has accelerated, none is so pointless as the issuance of central-bank digital currencies. The Canadian government, which should know better, has jumped into the fray despite earlier opposition. Reversing comments made in February 2020, Bank of Canada deputy governor Timothy Lane now believes state involvement in cryptocurrencies is a…

Pandemic exposes flaws in our health-care system

Competition and entrepreneurship allow medicare to budget wisely and patients to get the attention they deserve

Pandemic exposes flaws in our health-care systemOnce again, the U.S. presidential election elevated Canadian health care – colloquially known as medicare – as a role model. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed its many shortfalls and triggered a public debate over allowing private alternatives. A chief concern – though not the only one – among reform advocates is waiting times for…

Alberta’s rising crime rate begs more policing, not less

'Defund the police’ movement does nothing to address the root causes of criminality

Alberta’s rising crime rate begs more policing, not lessThe year is not yet over, and Calgary has already recorded more than 26 homicides, after 20 in 2019. Edmonton has witnessed a 90 per cent spike in assaults with weapons or causing bodily harm. Unbelievably, rather than tackling this escalating violence head-on, officials have joined a utopian crusade against police. Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson…

Women bear the brunt of COVID-19 shutdowns

Women bear the brunt of COVID-19 shutdownsWomen across the world know a silent truth: they’re bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s economic fallout. These hectic months have placed an extra burden on women’s shoulders and persistent lockdowns threaten to erase decades of gender equality earned in the labour force. Although COVID-19 kills slightly more men than women, the labour market impact…

How Canada’s mining sector has thrived during the pandemic

Canadian miners don’t venture haphazardly into the wild; they’re known for their careful planning and stable dividend yields

How Canada’s mining sector has thrived during the pandemicBy Paz Gomez Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Canadian mining companies have proved sustainable economic growth is compatible with the safe handling of a pandemic. Their financial acumen and business resilience show the rest of the country the way forward. A PwC report released in June demonstrates Canadian miners are weathering the COVID-19…

How to recoup revenue from international students

How to recoup revenue from international studentsBy Paz Gomez Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy The finances of universities in Canada – which ranks among the world’s top five nations as a study destination – are in a tailspin due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, new student visas were almost half of what they were in 2019. Canada’s higher education…

Feds reject Fintech help to SMEs during Covid-19 crisis

Trudeau government siding wth traditional banking over the interests of small companies looking to survive the pandemic

Feds reject Fintech help to SMEs during Covid-19 crisisBy Paz Gómez Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy The Liberal government has blocked financial technology (fintech) companies from distributing aid to businesses affected by the pandemic. In the age of cryptocurrencies and investment services like Robinhood, the government clings to banks and relics such as cheques by mail. PayPal, Wave and the Canadian…

We’re not ready for the four-day work week yet

In Canada’s highly diversified economy, pushing for a one-size-fits-all solution is a fool’s errand

We’re not ready for the four-day work week yetBy Paz Gomez Frontier Centre for Public Policy The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a wave of demands to fix every inconvenience of life by government decree. The four-day work week, an old darling of social engineers, has made a comeback as governments pick up the pieces of locked-down economies. On June 15, the rural…

Taking technological disruption to the next level

5G has the potential to leapfrog societies into more sophisticated business models and multiply jobs, and improve the quality of our lives

Taking technological disruption to the next levelBy Paz Gomez Research Associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Despite concerns ranging from health risks to espionage, the fifth-generation technology for mobile connectivity (5G) has prompted a global adoption race – and there’s no going back. Contrary to conspiracy theories, it’s a necessary and positive step toward a fully digital economy. In Canada, the…

Why Canada’s gun ban won’t stop shootings

Addressing the more complex problems of narcotics, smuggling, and terrorism will yield more effective and durable results

Why Canada’s gun ban won’t stop shootingsBy Paz Gómez Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy A prohibition is the easiest way out of a policy problem. In enacting one to target gun violence, the federal government has admitted failure to find a solution that preserves both rights and lives. The deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history took place in Nova…

Traditional media faces uphill battle

Social media account for more than half of ad revenue not because of content but because of superior marketing tools

Traditional media faces uphill battleBy Paz Gómez Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Over the years, the legacy press has gone from arrogance to hysteria as social-media firms eat up its advertising lunch. Rather than adjust to modern trends, the once-feared fourth estate is now begging from the institution it’s supposed to watch. Canadian newspapers have joined global…

Rise of shadow banking a victory for consumers

Hedge and private-equity funds, mortgage lenders, and money-market funds provide accessible sources of credit

Rise of shadow banking a victory for consumersBy Paz Gómez Research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Shadow banking is growing by leaps and bounds in Canada. It’s a C$1.5-trillion industry that expanded by 30 per cent between 2015 and 2017, according to a recent Bank of Canada report. The banking establishment fears a challenge to its power, but consumers benefit from greater…