Gasoline price-fixing harms Atlantic Canada

Controls were intended to ease consumer anger over rare but large price fluctuations. But government isn’t meant to be an anger management therapist

Gasoline price-fixing harms Atlantic CanadaGasoline price controls are a major burden for the minor benefit of having less mercurial cost fluctuations. Government policies are often contradictory. This isn’t directly the result of conspiracy or ill intent. Governments are no different than individuals. We all embrace beliefs that sometimes contradict others we hold. To eliminate these contradictions, Atlantic Canadian governments…

Minimum wage prices low-skilled workers out of a job

Governments should abolish the fruitless minimum wage if they want to do right by young and low-income persons

Minimum wage prices low-skilled workers out of a jobBy Marco Navarro-Genie and Matthew Lau Contributors High unemployment in Atlantic Canada is a longstanding problem. For over four decades, unemployment rates have consistently exceeded the national rate. It is critical for the provinces to reduce barriers to work. Yet governments do the opposite when they raise the legislated minimum wage, as all four Maritime…

Canada 150 a time for reflection and renewed commitment

We have much to be proud of: a multilingual and cosmopolitan democracy, strong international friendships and a generous view of others. But challenges await

Canada 150 a time for reflection and renewed commitmentOn its 150th birthday this weekend, Canadians celebrate their peaceful and prosperous country. It’s also special occasion for those of us who were born elsewhere and have adopted Canada as our home. We especially know the gifts of Canada in contrast to less stable places. Canada 150 is a time to appreciate our accomplishments: the…

Atlantic Canada’s oversized public sector

Money can be saved by paring the size of the public sector, finding efficiencies, privatizing some services and controlling wages

Atlantic Canada’s oversized public sectorBy Marco Navarro-Génie and Jackson Doughart Contributors Atlantic Canada employs public sectors larger than the national average, to the detriment of the region's economies. Public policy choices mean that provincial and municipal governments have large commitments in civil servants' salaries and benefits. The task of shrinking provincial government expenditures will be difficult without addressing this problem.…

Lack of bias an admission of intellectual poverty

The notion that anyone can be completely unbiased is a benevolent fiction

Lack of bias an admission of intellectual povertyA recent editorial in the Prince Edward Island Journal-Pioneer has resurrected the old boogeyman of bias at Canadian research institutes. The editorial was inspired by a New York Times article, which called into question the Brookings Institution, one of the most-influential think tanks in the United States. Accusing someone of bias has long been a…

Atlantic provinces should join western free-trade deal

An east-west trade confederation would harmonize a variety of standards, saving time and money and removing roadblocks to economic growth

Atlantic provinces should join western free-trade dealThe recent court decision acquitting Gérard Comeau portends well for free trade in Canada. According to the judge, the law that Comeau was accused of breaking – transporting liquor into New Brunswick – violates the constitutionality of free trade between the provinces, going back to 1867. Unfortunately, it is not only restrictions on the trading…

There is no silver bullet to economic prosperity

No single project or government program will miraculously rescue Atlantic Canada from its depressed economy

There is no silver bullet to economic prosperityBudget season prompts us to reflect on basic economic questions. A good life rule is: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In public finances, balance is a sign of good management when the objective is a stronger economy and job creation. The same economic wisdom also teaches there are no silver bullets. This…

New Brunswick sinking further into debt

New Brunswick needs a long-term strategy for growth and a reform of its spending model if it is to reverse course

New Brunswick sinking further into debtThe recent New Brunswick budget shows that a series of tax increases and modest spending measures to tackle the province's dire fiscal situation will not mean less provincial debt. Rather, debt will continue to grow under the fiscal plan unveiled last week. To reverse course the province needs to adopt a strategy to grow its…

Atlantic Canada facing an economic crisis

The level of support from other regions of the country has created a dangerous sense of entitlement

Atlantic Canada facing an economic crisisBy David McKinnon and Marco Navarro-Genie Contributors A time of economic reckoning is at hand for Atlantic Canada. Deficits are growing and threaten to become solvency crises. Regional out-migration has slowed down but continues. Remittances from Western Canada are almost certain to fall rapidly. It is time to consider how to rescue Atlantic Canada from the disastrous…

Healthcare reform needs citizens’ voice

Even those who are health literate are stymied because information about the potential benefits and harms of care is difficult to find

Healthcare reform needs citizens’ voiceCanadians want better healthcare, but participation in health system reform is difficult. Ordinary citizens and governments are left in the dark because there is a shortage of useful information about health system performance. Citizens are unable to get timely information about waiting times for care, the results of care, or the rate of preventable mistakes…