Unemployment spike may trigger rethink of EI program

As the system increases in generosity and accessibility in Atlantic Canada, it may perpetuate the nation’s problems with EI

Unemployment spike may trigger rethink of EI programBy Alex Whalen and Fred McMahon The Fraser Institute The spike in unemployment across Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered changes in the employment insurance (EI) program. And those changes could lead to significant problems. When unemployment grows in any of the country’s 62 EI regions, eligibility and benefits change along with it.…

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…

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…

Ease temporary layoff laws during COVID-19 crisis

Allowing employers to adjust quickly will improve the chances jobs are waiting for returning workers when the crisis subsides

Ease temporary layoff laws during COVID-19 crisisBy Alex Whalen and Niels Veldhuis The Fraser Institute Aside from the enormous health-related challenges due to the COVID-19 virus, employers and workers are feeling major economic pain with job loss, reduced income and revenue. The ability of businesses to adjust quickly will be key to stabilizing the economy and laying the foundation for recovery.…

Growing debt a clear and present danger to Canadian economy

Canada’s debt has grown faster than the economy. That dangerous pattern casts a shadow over the nation’s long-term financial health

Growing debt a clear and present danger to Canadian economyBy Alex Whalen and Jake Fuss The Fraser Institute Just before the holidays, the federal government released its fall economic update. It revealed that Canada’s federal debt-to-gross-domestic-product ratio increased in 2019, meaning Canada’s debt has grown faster than the economy. This is particularly important because the government chose the debt-to-GDP ratio to guide federal fiscal…

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…

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…

P.E.I. premier speaks truth on internal trade in Canada

The federal government has three legal avenues to ensure trade liberalization between provinces. It should take them

P.E.I. premier speaks truth on internal trade in CanadaBy Alex Whalen and Jackson Doughart Contributors Lowering barriers to Canadian internal trade is a serious priority for commerce and opportunity. Yet provincial governments have impeded the cause for decades. It's time for Ottawa to take charge. In July, the premiers met in Whitehorse to deal specifically with interprovincial trade. We won't know the details…

Atlantic Canada could lose Supreme Court seat

New selection process would upend constitutional convention and an important principle of federalism: regional voices matter

Atlantic Canada could lose Supreme Court seatThe federal government's new selection process for Supreme Court of Canada justices means that Atlantic Canada will lose its assured seat on the court. This decision violates a long-standing constitutional convention: to gain the consent of the members of Confederation, the provinces. It favours one form of diversity (bilingualism, for example) over others and could exclude the Atlantic region…