Municipalities, utilities on the front lines of extreme weather

Smart Energy Communities are not only more resilient, they also create new opportunities for local economic development, lower energy costs and a cleaner environment

Municipalities, utilities on the front lines of extreme weatherBy Aida Nciri and Eddie Oldfield QUEST Canadian municipalities and energy utilities are on the front lines of the impacts of climate change. A recent report by the Insurance Bureau of Canada highlights the financial costs of climate change, with insured damage for severe weather events reaching $1.3 billion in 2019. Of the top 10…

Consumer trust in agriculture is waning

Organized, well-funded groups condemning farming practices on social media are winning the consumer trust battle

Consumer trust in agriculture is waningThe public uses social media every day to express concerns about farming practices. And it’s getting worse. Farmers are criticized for a variety of reasons – for example their environmental stewardship and their ethical behaviour in how they treat livestock. In survey after survey, Canadians generally say they trust farmers, regardless of headlines, social media…

Municipalities must take the lead in getting the lead out

The astonishing levels of lead in Canada’s drinking water requires action. That means taking simple measures at the local level, aided by federal incentives

Municipalities must take the lead in getting the lead outBy Paz Gómez Research Associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Canadians have been exposed to a silent health hazard for more than 40 years: high levels of lead in tap water. Although a clear case of municipal mismanagement, Toronto shows the issue can be handled at the local level with minimal federal oversight – given…

Rethink restrictions on private health insurance

Rethink restrictions on private health insuranceIn its sole reliance on government providing first-dollar coverage of medically necessary services, Canada’s health-care system is unique among high-income countries with universal health care. It also offers inferior service as a result. Virtually all high-income countries – including Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands – allow residents to use private insurance to pay for…

Trudeau tax relief plan will do little for economic growth

Trudeau tax relief plan will do little for economic growthBy Jake Fuss and Finn Poschmann The Fraser Institute According to a Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) report released this week, the federal government’s plan to increase the basic personal income tax deduction will cost nearly $7 billion annually when fully implemented. This is not only higher than what the Liberals anticipated during last fall’s election…

Third of Canadians face some degree of financial stage fright

Households with an average income of $50,000 worry twice as much (2.25 hours) a day than households with an average income of more than $100,000

Third of Canadians face some degree of financial stage frightThere’s no question that Canadians these days are worrying a lot more about their personal finances, according to new surveys from Scotiabank. The surveys indicate 65 per cent of Canadians with debt struggle to save or invest money while paying down debt and 67 per cent said they find the amount of information about investing overwhelming.…

Tolls the fairest way to fund P.E.I.’s Confederation Bridge

The bridge is a prime example of a private-public partnership gone right. Shifting the burden to taxpayers and non-users is simply unfair

Tolls the fairest way to fund P.E.I.’s Confederation BridgeThe recent campaign to remove tolls on the Confederation Bridge is a popular policy topic where rhetoric has become misguided. Prince Edward Island Sen. Percy Downe has pushed to remove the toll from the bridge, while P.E.I. Premier Dennis King has pledged to work on lowering the toll on the island’s primary connection to the…

Gigging it in the free world

The gig economy is gaining traction, for better or worse. Who needs benefits or job security when you can work on a high wire?

Gigging it in the free worldAre you weary of your reliable job? Do your paid vacation, company pension plan and full medical coverage leave you cold? Are you pining for the sort of precarious work that only self-employment can promise? Well, friend, you’ve come to the right place. Here, at GigsRUs, we won’t bore you with bromides about workplace security,…

Tear down Canada’s interprovincial trade walls

The annual national price tag for maintaining internal barriers may top $130 billion

Tear down Canada’s interprovincial trade wallsInterprovincial free trade, the lowest hanging fruit on the tree of Canadian economic policy, never fails to raise the federal government’s thirst for marvellously empty rhetoric, especially during the toastmaster circuit of every election cycle. So it was earlier this year when New Brunswick’s very own Dominic LeBlanc – minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs…

If P.E.I. goes Green, Trudeau could be singing the blues

Canadians are gradually accepting Green politicians as worthy of support. That will drain yet more support from the federal Liberals

If P.E.I. goes Green, Trudeau could be singing the bluesVoters in Prince Edward Island choose a new government today. They could end up making history in provincial politics and lead to a potential realignment on the federal scene. P.E.I. has only had Liberal and Conservative governments since it joined Confederation in 1873. Liberal Premier Wade MacLauchlan was consistently ahead in popular support from 2015,…

Atlantic Canada should abandon government liquor monopolies

It’s time to focus on preserving public safety while permitting a market system to thrive through the entire supply chain, from producer to consumer

Atlantic Canada should abandon government liquor monopoliesBy Alex Whalen and Ian Madsen Atlantic Institute for Market Studies In October 2012, Gerard Comeau left his home in Tracadie, N.B, and drove to Quebec to buy alcohol. Comeau, a retired power lineman, knew he could buy the same alcohol for less in Quebec. However, upon returning to New Brunswick, Comeau was stopped by…

Minimum wage prices low-skilled workers out of a job

Governments should abolish the fruitless minimum wage if they want to do right by young and low-income persons

Minimum wage prices low-skilled workers out of a jobHigh unemployment in Atlantic Canada is a longstanding problem. For over four decades, unemployment rates have consistently exceeded the national rate. It is critical for the provinces to reduce barriers to work. Yet governments do the opposite when they raise the legislated minimum wage, as all four Maritime provinces did last April. With each increase,…