Open the door to more affordable housing in Calgary

Calgary’s new city council must encourage secondary suites, remove parking requirements and streamline the housing permit process

Open the door to more affordable housing in CalgaryBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi won a third term last month, giving him four more years to address the city’s most pressing issues, including housing. Many Calgarians – like many Vancouverites, Torontonians and other Canadians – worry about housing affordability as the city continues to grow. Among…

Courting Amazon: the ends don’t always justify the means

Incentive packages often include tax breaks on property, income or permit exemptions – and taxpayers pay the freight

Courting Amazon: the ends don’t always justify the meansBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur Fraser Institute Amazon’s recent announcement that it plans to open a second North American headquarters has sparked a mad scramble by communities seeking a huge economic payoff. But some notes of caution need to be sounded. The new Amazon headquarters are expected to house up to 50,000 “high-paying jobs” and add…

Ontario housing measures offer short-term gain but long-term pain

As much as rent control could benefit some existing renters, in the long run it reduces the incentive to build new rental housing

Ontario housing measures offer short-term gain but long-term painBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute The Ontario government introduced a raft of measures this summer aimed at reining in the price of buying or renting a home in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The goal is laudable and the approach may create some temporary reprieve – but the long-term consequences could be…

Ontario government’s focus on foreign buyers misses the point

Focus instead on reducing the time it takes to obtain a building permit and the per-unit costs to comply with regulations, which amounts to almost $50,000

Ontario government’s focus on foreign buyers misses the pointBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Rather than targeting a small group of foreign home buyers to stop pricing escalation, the Ontario government should focus on ensuring that regulations don’t prevent the supply of new housing from meeting demand. According to a recent announcement from Ontario government, 4.7 per cent of properties…

Alberta’s dangerous debt binge isn’t over yet

The burden foisted on future generations of Albertans is staggering. By 2019-20, Alberta’s net government debt is expected to reach $45.2 billion

Alberta’s dangerous debt binge isn’t over yetBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Big debt accumulation is becoming the new normal in Alberta – a province that could once boast of being debt free. It’s a significant problem that apparently will get worse before it gets better. The Alberta government recently published its annual report on the state of…

Alberta is the engine that drives Canadian growth

What would Canada’s economy and public finances look like without Alberta? It wouldn't be pretty

Alberta is the engine that drives Canadian growthBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute During his Canada Day speech, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accidentally caused a stir by forgetting to mention Alberta when listing all of Canada’s provinces and territories. It was surely an oversight rather than intentional and the prime minister immediately apologized. Nevertheless, his slip provokes an interesting…

How an NDP-Green government can free up B.C.’s housing supply

If housing affordability for average British Columbians is the goal, local and provincial governments should reduce barriers to development

How an NDP-Green government can free up B.C.’s housing supplyBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute In the wake of last month’s election in British Columbia, the NDP and Green Party appear poised to form the next government in Victoria. And yet, in their 10-page agreement, they make only brief mention of one of this province’s hottest issues: housing affordability. The agreement…

Alberta finance minister fear-mongers after credit rating downgrade

Rather than raise the spectre of massive disruptions to public services, Ceci should look to Saskatchewan for an example of productive spending discipline

Alberta finance minister fear-mongers after credit rating downgradeBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Standard & Poor’s recently announced it was once again downgrading Alberta’s credit rating – this time, by two notches, from AA to A+. No surprise, given that ratings agencies warned this could happen after the latest provincial budget was unveiled in March. And yet, rather than addressing the long-term…

Alberta’s run of deficits tower over Ontario’s worst

The silver lining for Albertans is that until last year it was the only province with no net debt. But that’s changing quickly and the burden falls on taxpayers

Alberta’s run of deficits tower over Ontario’s worstBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Over the past decade, Ontario emerged as the poster child for poor fiscal management in Canada, due largely to the province’s deep run of deficits. However, thanks to a decade of rapid spending growth and painful decline in oil prices, Alberta’s run of deficits is even…

Living frugally won’t improve millennial housing woes

More money to spend on housing could push prices higher if not accompanied by an increase in the housing supply

Living frugally won’t improve millennial housing woesAn Australian real estate developer recently stoked fury on social media by claiming that millennials might be able to afford to buy homes in Australia’s biggest cities if they cut out excesses such as “fancy toast.” Canadian commentators were quick to note that you’d have to forego a lot of avocado toast to scrape together…