Fracking can lift the Maritimes out of economic doldrums

Fracking can lift the Maritimes out of economic doldrumsThe economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic should include Nova Scotia and New Brunswick lifting restrictions on natural gas fracking. Natural gas prices are low but that won’t last forever. Energy industry observers say the natural gas supply glut existed even well before the pandemic. However, the oversupply problems seem to be worse for American…

COVID crisis opportunity for trade reform in Atlantic Canada

Eliminating trade barriers can help accelerate the economic recovery

COVID crisis opportunity for trade reform in Atlantic CanadaBy Alex Whalen and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Earlier this summer, the four Atlantic provinces formed the “Atlantic Bubble” as the region works toward freer movement of people amid the COVID crisis. And clearly, the pandemic’s effect on the economy underscores the value of free movement of people and goods, which – on the…

Health-care roadblocks stymie patients

The N.S. Health Authority lets an inefficient telephone system act as an important barrier to timely care

Health-care roadblocks stymie patientsIf there’s any way to inconvenience patients and embrace antiquated methods, the Nova Scotia Health Authority will find it. Ask the sick patients who are trying to arrange appointments with specialists, or for imaging tests or for blood work. Most enterprises try to encourage and support increased consumer access to worthwhile services. Not the Nova…

Reduce income taxes to spur Nova Scotia’s recovery

Attempting to fight high deficits while maintaining high tax rates will reduce the province’s economic growth prospects

Reduce income taxes to spur Nova Scotia’s recoveryBy Alex Whalen and Tegan Hill The Fraser Institute Due largely to COVID-19, the big banks project negative growth for Nova Scotia’s economy in 2020, ranging from -5.5 per cent to -7.4 per cent. Without a strong rebound, such a steep recession could have a lasting impact on living standards in the province and Maritime…

Half measures won’t solve the problem with police

It’s time to reduce funding to police and reallocate those dollars to more proactive ways to reduce crime

Half measures won’t solve the problem with policeHere’s a couple of questions that might have seemed crazy to many people just a few short years ago but are gaining purchase today. Do we really need as much policing as we have? Or are the ever-growing police budgets actually inadvertently leading to greater violence? A lot of us have believed that police exist…

Nova Scotia government faces debt tidal wave

Rising government debt can dampen economic growth and divert billions of dollars away from important public priorities

Nova Scotia government faces debt tidal waveBy Jake Fuss and Alex Whalen The Fraser Institute Just three months ago, provincial Finance Minister Karen Casey released a budget projecting an operating surplus, which would have been the Nova Scotia’s fifth consecutive balanced budget. However, due to COVID-19, circumstances have changed dramatically and the province now expects to run a large deficit this…

Ottawa’s carbon tax hike out of step with global reality

Ottawa’s carbon tax hike out of step with global realityBy Aaron Wudrick and Franco Terrazzano Canadian Taxpayers Federation Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has chosen to make life more expensive for Canadians by increasing the federal carbon tax by 50 per cent amidst the COVID-19 economic and health crisis. Meanwhile, governments around the world are moving in the opposite direction because hiking taxes during a…

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…

The amazing wild horses of Sable Island

As we approached the island, our anticipation rose and ebbed as we watched the weather. We weren’t sure if, after travelling so far, we could even land

The amazing wild horses of Sable IslandAs a guide, I often get to travel to exciting destinations. For example, I recently participated in an adventure to the Canadian Maritime provinces that took me to Sable Island. I’ve felt the urge, almost the need, to visit this magical place for most of my adult life. I’m not sure really why since it’s…

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.…

Taxpayers are often the losers in the incentive game

When one government offers incentives and another one doesn't, then the comptetion to attract new businesses is no longer a level playing field

Taxpayers are often the losers in the incentive gameWhen Toronto-based Wattpad chose Halifax over Calgary as the site of its second headquarters last month, the question on many people’s minds was: Which of the two cited factors was the deciding one – concerns about Western separatism or cuts to Alberta’s tax credits for tech companies? The answer isn’t quite as simple as either/other.…