Freer cross-Canada trade will most benefit Atlantic provinces

A number of restrictions inhibit labour mobility, as well as the free trade of goods and services. And trade barriers add regulatory burdens on businesses

Freer cross-Canada trade will most benefit Atlantic provincesBy Ben Eisen and Alex Whalen The Fraser Institute When many people think about threats to free and open trade to Canada, they immediately consider the protectionist outlook of departing U.S. President Donald Trump. In 2020, another obstacle to the free movement of products and people across boundaries has been the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even…

Alberta’s debt was unsustainable even before COVID-19

Analysis shows Alberta must significantly reduce spending relative to the size of the economy or raise taxes

Alberta’s debt was unsustainable even before COVID-19By Tegan Hill and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute The Alberta government will release a three-year fiscal update later this month, and will be tempted to blame the province’s fiscal challenges on COVID-19. In reality, Alberta’s finances were unsustainable long before the pandemic hit. While the COVID-19-induced recession has certainly contributed to the province’s eye-popping…

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…

Corporate tax cuts aren’t just a handout to the rich

Higher corporate income tax doesn’t just impose costs on people who own corporations, but also people who work for them

Corporate tax cuts aren’t just a handout to the richThe Alberta government recently announced plans to help encourage economic recovery and growth in the province, including a plan to accelerate corporate income tax reductions that were already in the works. The corporate tax rate will drop from 10 per cent to eight per cent immediately instead of gradually over the next two years. Critics…

Government debt piling up for Ontarians

Blame economic contraction due to COVID-19 and increased government spending at the provincial and federal levels

Government debt piling up for OntariansOntario’s provincial government now carries more net debt per person than any province except Newfoundland and Labrador. In a reversal of historical norms, Ontario carries significantly more debt – almost $4,000 more per person – than Quebec. Of course, debt (financial assets minus total liabilities) means interest payments. But Ontarians aren’t just responsible for interest…

Ontario’s lost decade of job creation

Toronto and Ottawa are thriving but as long as large regions of Ontario struggle, the province and the country won’t meet their full economic potential

Ontario’s lost decade of job creationBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Ontarians have suffered more than their share of economic pain over the past 15 years. For much of the 2000s, the province’s manufacturing sector was struggling and then the 2008-09 recession made things much worse. In the years that followed, the province’s recovery was unfortunately tepid.…

Economic stagnation plagues Canada despite G7 rank

The notion that leading the G7 is evidence of strong economic performance or rapid growth in living standards is not simply off base, it’s dangerous

Economic stagnation plagues Canada despite G7 rankBy Ben Eisen and Finn Poschmann The Fraser Institute Recent forecasts suggest Canada may compete with the United States for the top spot in the G7 in 2020 for economic growth. Those forecasts include one from the International Monetary Fund. Political partisans have since flooded social media with the impressive-sounding factoid that Canada may lead…

How to make provincial education spending pay off

Providing greater educational diversity through independent schools helps B.C. and Quebec achieve better student performance – at a lower cost

How to make provincial education spending pay offBy Tegan Hill and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute One of the great advantages of Canada’s federation is that subnational governments can experiment with ways of providing public services and adopt the best system. In the case of public education (a provincial responsibility), the provinces can look to Quebec and British Columbia to learn about…

More money won’t necessarily solve health care problems

Instead of asking for more money and all the strings that come attached, the provinces should ask for more freedom to try new delivery models

More money won’t necessarily solve health care problemsBy Bacchus Barua and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Despite their differences, it seems Canada’s premiers are united in one thing: demanding more federal health-care dollars. But nobody talked about the price the premiers must pay for the money from Ottawa: the freedom to design and implement policies that could actually improve care. At the…

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…

Alberta government must cut taxes to restore economy

It’s time to reform the tax code, eliminate exemptions and cut corporate subsidies, while significantly reducing spending

Alberta government must cut taxes to restore economyBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Alberta’s recovery from the recent recession has been slow and, for many, painful. More than four years after oil prices plummeted in late 2014, private-sector employment in the province still hasn’t recovered to pre-recession levels. Although there will always be factors outside the provincial government’s control…

Reckless rhetoric is no way to debate public policy

The basic presumption of democracy requires us to try to understand one another rather than calling opponents murderers

Reckless rhetoric is no way to debate public policyDennis Raphael, a professor of health policy and management at York University in Toronto, recently penned an opinion piece that represents a low point for discourse about public policy in Canada. Raphael describes the policies of the new Conservative government in Ontario, and specifically the decision not to increase the minimum wage next year, as “social…

Alberta can’t blame the equalization system for its economic mess

Undisciplined spending by successive governments is responsible for Alberta’s fiscal problems

Alberta can’t blame the equalization system for its economic messBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, one of the conspirators encourages his ally not to blame fate for his misfortunes, but rather to recognize his own responsibility. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves,” says Cassius. When it comes to the state…

Alberta sinks deeper into a sea of red ink

The more the government spends on servicing its debt, the less is left over for priorities that Albertans value such as health care

Alberta sinks deeper into a sea of red inkBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute When people think of the long lost “Alberta Advantage,” they often think first about the province’s tax advantage over other provinces. Specifically, the 10 per cent single rate personal and corporate income taxes that prevailed until 2015. But Alberta enjoyed another fiscal advantage – all other…

No ray of sunshine in Alberta’s fiscal forecast

Rachel Notley seems intent on duplicating the deep-diving debt performance of former Ontario NDP leader Bob Rae

No ray of sunshine in Alberta’s fiscal forecastBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute When Rachel Notley’s NDP shook Alberta’s political landscape by winning a majority government in 2015, the similarities to the Ontario’s Bob Rae-led NDP government in the 1990s were striking. Both cases marked the first NDP government in provincial history, and both brought an end to Progressive…