Notley’s tax hikes compounded a bad year for Alberta

Aside from the approval of two crucial pipeline projects, Alberta didn't have much to celebrate in 2016

Notley’s tax hikes compounded a bad year for AlbertaAlberta Premier Rachel Notley recently claimed that 2016 was a good year for her government. For Albertans, however, it was another very difficult year. Aside from the approval of two crucial pipeline projects, Albertans haven’t had much to celebrate. The economy is no longer in free fall, but with the unemployment rate at nine per…

B.C.’s interest-free loans could hurt new homebuyers

Stoking demand for housing without a significant increase in housing stock will likely do more harm than good

B.C.’s interest-free loans could hurt new homebuyersBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Due to Vancouver’s sky-high housing prices, many residents worry they might never be able to climb the property ladder. Indeed, a recent survey found that housing issues ranked as British Columbians’ greatest concern heading into next year’s election. So it should come as no surprise that the…

Yes, the Alberta tax advantage is gone

The Notley government's decision to undermine Alberta’s tax advantage by increasing tax rates has harmed the province’s growth prospects

Yes, the Alberta tax advantage is goneBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute The Fraser Institute recently released a study documenting the erosion of Alberta’s once substantial tax advantage. Specifically, it showed that, until recently, Alberta benefitted from uniquely competitive and pro-growth personal and corporate income tax systems, but these key advantages have been wiped away by recent tax hikes.…

Toronto needs road tolls to tame gridlock

Congestion costs the area's economy billions of dollars a year, reducing people’s job options, delaying deliveries and increasing emissions

Toronto needs road tolls to tame gridlockBy Steve Lafleur and Ken Green The Fraser Institute Road tolls are essential to ease the gridlock that threatens to strangle Toronto’s economy. Toronto Mayor John Tory wants to introduce road tolls on the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway, and city council has endorsed the move. The provincial government must now approve the tolls…

Vancouver’s tax on vacant homes misses the point

When new homes don't keep up with demand, buyers or renters bid for a dwindling pool of listings, pushing prices up and people out

Vancouver’s tax on vacant homes misses the pointBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Vancouver city council needs a multi-faceted approach to encouraging growth in the supply of housing in the city. It's latest strategy falls far short. Council recently approved an annual one per cent tax on the value of vacant homes. The move was made to encourage owners…

How Texas avoided big deficits when oil prices fell

The narrative that Alberta's big deficits and run-up in debt are unavoidable consequences of a fall in oil prices doesn’t withstand scrutiny

How Texas avoided big deficits when oil prices fellBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute A common myth holds that the deterioration of Alberta’s finances in recent years was inevitable due to falling commodity prices. After all, Alberta is an energy economy and, so the narrative goes, big deficits are inevitable when oil prices decline. This narrative doesn’t withstand scrutiny. Other…

Worst may be over for Alberta’s economy but …

The way to address Alberta’s fiscal problems is to strike at their root – undisciplined spending – but the government seems unwilling

Worst may be over for Alberta’s economy but …By Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Albertans got some welcome economic news recently, when ATB Financial suggested that the worst of the oil price downturn is over and that prices would continue to increase in 2017. However, it’s important to recognize that while an increase in oil prices, and a return to…

Ontario must address housing affordability

Best practices from homebuilder-friendly neighbours can teach municipalities how to allow the supply of new housing to meet demand

Ontario must address housing affordabilityKenneth P. Green Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has announced that the province will not introduce a property transfer tax on foreign buyers, similar to that introduced in British Columbia. The premier and her government should be commended for avoiding an impulsive reaction to high housing prices. It’s…

Red tape in Calgary-Edmonton Corridor stifling housing supply

Encouraging a healthy supply of new homes where they are most needed will help ensure future generations can continue to prosper in Alberta

Red tape in Calgary-Edmonton Corridor stifling housing supplyBy Kenneth P. Green Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Through good times and bad, the cost of housing in Alberta’s biggest cities remains a concern. Consider this. Despite the economic slowdown, compared to 15 years ago average house prices are up almost 140 per cent in Calgary and more than 160 per…

Notley counting on oil rebound to solve Alberta’s fiscal problems

The Alberta premier is crossing her fingers, hoping for an increase in oil prices to save the province's economy

Notley counting on oil rebound to solve Alberta’s fiscal problemsBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute It’s no secret Alberta’s public finances are deteriorating rapidly. The province is hemorrhaging $10 billion per year and poised to rack up debt at record speed. The provincial government urgently needs to repair the province’s battered finances. Unfortunately, despite paying lip-service to the idea that governments…