What does entrepreneurship contribute to health care? Despite the example of Europe, where companies have long had a large role to play within universal systems, simply posing this question in Canada can elicit strong reactions. And even when European successes are mentioned, other reasons are always suggested to explain their better results. Is it possible to isolate the “entrepreneurship” variable? The example of Quebec’s CHSLDs can help us in this regard.
The technologies behind telemedicine are available, and more Canadians could receive remote care, at home or at work, thereby saving themselves trips and avoiding long waits. Unfortunately, our governments are slow to remove obstacles that prevent patients from benefiting from virtual consultations, and doctors from providing this care.
When it comes to education, successive Quebec governments have rarely been shy to brag about their “investments.” Especially in recent years, education has often been one of the favourite themes of the various political parties. Knowing that this file represents the second largest item in the province’s budget, and that education spending is expected to keep growing, two questions arise: Is this growth sustainable, and is there a way to do things differently?
Earlier this year, the media reported that the situation in Quebec emergency rooms had improved in 2018-2019. Yet when we take a closer look at the Department of Health and Social Services data, we see that the opposite has happened, despite a reduction in the number of patient visits.
Canada has avoided the great die-off of public companies afflicting American business especially since the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which imposed new, more restrictive accounting and financial transparency rules. But with trends reversing somewhat since 2012, much work remains to be done in Canada to promote access to investment opportunities for the middle class. This would not only further democratize wealth-building for regular Canadians, but also give start-ups even greater ability to raise funds to grow their business.
Montrealers may soon suffer the “unintended consequences” of two municipal policies likely to produce effects that are just the opposite of their stated purpose. This is in line with a dynamic that is well known to economists but often overlooked by politicians.
Since the 1920s and the work of A.C. Pigou, economists have generally agreed that imposing a price on pollution emissions is the most efficient way to reduce those emissions while minimizing the drawbacks associated with interventions aiming to limit pollution. This way of doing things usually yields better results than regulation or other government interventions that do not rely on market mechanisms.
With Air Canada seeking to acquire Air Transat, many public figures have made comments to the effect that this consolidation would lead to price increases. This argument is based on the premise that competition in a given market is determined by the size and the number of firms that are active in that market.
According to the International Energy Agency, the global demand for hydrocarbons is expected to keep increasing at least until 2040. Yet in Canada, during the past year or so, an unusually large number of major events—essentially all negative—affected the oil and gas industry. The departure of international companies, pipeline project delays, and unprecedented discounts on Western Canadian Select (WCS) are just some of the signs that the country’s oil and gas sector is facing serious challenges.
The latest reports on freedom of the press are worrisome. This freedom has declined over the past decade, and 54 journalists were killed on the job in 2018 alone. Several factors explain the level of press freedom of a given country: the nature of the political system, its level of development, or the presence of armed conflicts on its territory, for example. Another important factor, too often ignored, is its degree of economic freedom.
The Canadian government is planning to change the way prices are set for new patented drugs and cut the maximum prices at which these drugs can be sold by up to 70%. But this reform could prove very costly for patients. If it goes forward and fails to take into account the adverse effects of reference pricing systems, which have been well documented by various international bodies, Canadians could see their access to new drugs slowed down or even compromised.
Taxpayers always meet the months of March and April with some apprehension, as they will have to devote precious hours of their time to completing their income tax returns, or pay someone else to do it for them. Is it possible to make life easier for taxpayers by simplifying the tax system?
We are constantly told that there is a shortage of labour in Canada. In 2018, the economy added 163,000 full-time jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.6%, a historic low that can be qualified as full employment. The participation rate for people of prime working age, 25 to 54 years, is 87%. The winds are shifting on the labour market. Employers used to have the upper hand; now, it’s workers who have it.
In Quebec, as in many other places in the world, a permit is required to provide taxi services. For a long time, this has led to a lack of competition and the resulting effects. The Quebec government will soon table a bill to modernize the taxi industry. On which principles should new regulation be based if it is also to serve as a framework for future innovations in the sector?
Policy Paper for the One Country, One Market collaborative campaign showing how Canada can progress toward a true common market
A New Canadian Partnership for domestic free trade could produce economic benefits for Canadians that rival those of international free trade agreements. That’s the conclusion of Professor Ian Brodie, political scientist at the University of Calgary, in a new public policy study for the Montreal Economic Institute, the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) and the Canadian Constitution Foundation.
Quebec’s Health Minister recently announced that she wanted specialized nurse practitioners (SNPs) to be able to make diagnoses, as is the case everywhere else in Canada. The Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ) ended up making peace with the idea, while the Fédération des médecins omnipraticiens du Québec (FMOQ) is still not on board, claiming that this act must be reserved to physicians. Is this resistance justified?
Quebec Premier François Legault has often stated his desire to attract foreign investment into the province and to increase Quebecers’ standard of living. An essential precondition for this is to create an economic environment that is more favourable to productivity growth, considered by economists to be the main determinant of rising living standards in the long term. This can be achieved by reducing the amount of room taken up by the government in the economy, through a decrease in public spending.
In its last Fall Economic Statement, the federal government included a chapter on regulation. It intends to review and remove outdated or duplicative regulatory requirements, keep an eye on our regulatory burden’s effect on our competitiveness, and innovate when it comes to rule-making. While this is a welcome admission that the Canadian regulatory burden is weighing down our competitiveness, with the United States as an easy alternative destination for investment, it still leaves open the question of how exactly to proceed with effectively reducing the regulatory burden.
Booklet containing short biographical essays that tell the story of the evolution of classical liberal thought over the past century and a half
This booklet contains short write-ups on the lives and ideas of eighteen classical liberal thinkers from the past century and a half. Together, these short biographical essays tell the story of the evolution of classical liberal thought as the benefits of freedom have spread, though haltingly and unevenly, around the world. And they point the way forward to a future of greater and more widespread wealth and well-being for all.
The Quebec government has on many occasions signalled its commitment to fighting climate change. The province has set several targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, aiming to have them disappear almost completely by 2050. Yet Quebec’s share of global GHG emissions is so tiny that achieving the provincial objectives would have an insignificant impact on the evolution of the temperature of the planet.