The tables have turned in the climate change debate

Work on risk assessment, and policy choices that follow, needs to be examined with a more realistic eye

The tables have turned in the climate change debateNow that the federal election is over, the government of Justin Trudeau (perhaps now in closer concert with parties across the aisle) will continue its climate policy program. It’s therefore worth noting the recent tragic death of Harvard economist Martin Weitzman has underscored his work on climate risk assessment, which many climate activists use to…

Local taxes suck the life out of many businesses

Property tax imbalance erodes political accountability, discourages business investment and ultimately hurts employment

Local taxes suck the life out of many businessesBy Josef Filipowicz and Steven Globerman The Fraser Institute In many cities and towns across Canada, residential properties are increasing in value, while some local businesses are struggling to survive. There are different reasons for this development, including factors well beyond our borders. But in most of those municipalities, business property tax rates are higher…

Small class sizes no guarantee of quality education

To listen to the teacher unions and their supporters, the sky is about to fall if class sizes for secondary schools get bigger. The evidence shows they're dead wrong

Small class sizes no guarantee of quality educationClass war may soon break out in Canada. More than half of Canadian high school students are in Ontario or British Columbia. Teacher negotiations continue in both provinces with secondary school class sizes a central issue that could trigger strike action. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation wants to retain or lower high school class size limits…

‘Eat local’ food movement doomed to fail in Ontario and beyond

The “local food” movement is mostly about connecting producers of expensive niche products with middle- and upper-middle class patrons

‘Eat local’ food movement doomed to fail in Ontario and beyondAcross Ontario, “local food” activists continue to promote the economic, social and environmental virtues of small local alternative farms, community gardens, backyard henhouses and older, less efficient and more expensive ways to produce food. In response, the Ontario government – directly or through organizations such as Foodland Ontario, the Greenbelt Fund and the Trillium Foundation…

Coalition government may open door to dire electoral changes

Among the possible consequences are higher deficits, bigger government, a rise in regional tensions and a fractured nation

Coalition government may open door to dire electoral changesIn the final days of election 2019, talk of minority government and the possibility of a Liberal/NDP coalition has dominated the headlines, with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh declaring that, “People should know that New Democrats aren’t going to work with putting in a Conservative government. We’re not going to do that.” Of course, whether the…

Economic growth should be a key election topic

Prolonged slow economic growth begets social and political turmoil, as the expectations of many for a better standard of living are frustrated

Economic growth should be a key election topicIn this federal election campaign, the parties have proposed numerous taxpayer-funded programs to address various ostensible social problems. But no major party has made economic growth a significant focus of its election campaign. The social problem areas cited include unaffordable education from preschool to post-secondary, a tax system that’s insufficiently progressive and provides too many…

Federal parties’ tax plans range from bad to naive

Higher taxes discourage business investment, business startups, entrepreneurialism and investment in education

Federal parties’ tax plans range from bad to naiveBy Jake Fuss and Tegan Hill The Fraser Institute Before Canadians go to the polls on Oct. 21, they should understand each party’s tax plan, which unfortunately range from bad to worse to downright naive. Let’s start with the NDP and Green Party, which have similar plans. Both propose a new “wealth tax” and would…

Next federal government should target corporate income taxes

Liberal and Tory proposed tax cuts insufficient to improve Canada’s diminishing tax competitiveness

Next federal government should target corporate income taxesBy Tegan Hill and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute With less than a week before Canadians go to the polls, there has been little focus on Canada’s tax competitiveness, which is unfortunate given the major real-life impact of tax policy on Canadians. Yes, both the Conservative and Liberal party have pledged to cut personal income…

Fiscal risks of potential recession await next PM

Any voluntary increase in spending by the federal government would further exacerbate the deficit

Fiscal risks of potential recession await next PMBy Jake Fuss and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute Many economists have warned of a U.S. recession in the near future, in part due to the rise of trade protectionism, political turmoil and market volatility. Of course, a U.S. recession will also harm the Canadian economy and create significant problems for federal finances. So when…

Slow economic growth is the new normal

Unnaturally high growth rates were driven by post-war reconstruction, the baby boom and rising female labour force participation

Slow economic growth is the new normalThe single biggest determinant of long-term economic well-being is the rate of economic growth, but our expectations for modern growth may be misplaced. The industrial era, since the early 19th century, has seen powerful economic growth and unprecedented increases in living standards. Growth rates reached their peak in the postwar economic boom from 1945 to…

China threatens Hong Kong’s economic, personal freedoms

The rule of law and its protection of property form the bedrock of economic freedom, but pressures from mainland China put those attributes in peril

China threatens Hong Kong’s economic, personal freedomsBy James Gwartney and Fred McMahon The Fraser Institute In the Fraser Institute’s latest Economic Freedom of the World ranking, Hong Kong again tops the list as the world’s freest economy. It has occupied this position almost without exception through the past half century – but will it remain there? The foundation for Hong Kong’s…

Trudeau pharmacare could limit drug access, hurt patients 

Canada must cautiously approach any policy change that puts patients, innovation and innovative industries at risk

Trudeau pharmacare could limit drug access, hurt patients Justin Trudeau has promised, if re-elected, to introduce a national pharmacare program. But some cautionary notes must be sounded. The recent announcement was light on details but Trudeau cited his government’s advisory council on national pharmacare. In June, the council released its final report recommending Ottawa provide universal coverage for pharmaceuticals through a national formulary…

Ruling exposes Ottawa’s Indigenous consultation failure

Ruling delaying the Trans Mountain pipeline once again makes it clear we need legislation to clarify what indigenous consultation means

Ruling exposes Ottawa’s Indigenous consultation failureBy Ashley Stedman and Elmira Aliakbari The Fraser Institute In yet another example of the federal government’s failure to get Indigenous consultation right, the Federal Court of Appeal recently ruled that six of 12 legal challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion can proceed. The result? Canada’s energy sector will continue to face transportation constraints,…

Low-income Canadian families squeezed from both ends

When a dollar earned triggers higher taxes and simultaneously reduces benefits, what’s left to spend or save?

Low-income Canadian families squeezed from both endsA look at effective tax rates across provinces shows that many low-income families in Canada take home 40 cents or less on the additional dollars they earn. The marginal effective tax rate – which accounts for how much you pay in additional income taxes and lose in federal and provincial transfer benefits when you earn…

Canada can learn from Swiss and Dutch drug coverage

Both countries partner with the private sector and expect patients to share the cost of treatment

Canada can learn from Swiss and Dutch drug coverageBy Bacchus Barua and Kristina Acri The Fraser Institute The Liberal federal government seems poised to propose a national pharmacare plan in time for the Oct. 21 federal election. Many proponents note that Canada is the only industrialized country featuring a universal health-care system that doesn’t provide universal coverage for prescription drugs. However, those same…
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