Fracking can lift the Maritimes out of economic doldrums

Fracking can lift the Maritimes out of economic doldrumsThe economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic should include Nova Scotia and New Brunswick lifting restrictions on natural gas fracking. Natural gas prices are low but that won’t last forever. Energy industry observers say the natural gas supply glut existed even well before the pandemic. However, the oversupply problems seem to be worse for American…

COVID crisis opportunity for trade reform in Atlantic Canada

Eliminating trade barriers can help accelerate the economic recovery

COVID crisis opportunity for trade reform in Atlantic CanadaBy Alex Whalen and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Earlier this summer, the four Atlantic provinces formed the “Atlantic Bubble” as the region works toward freer movement of people amid the COVID crisis. And clearly, the pandemic’s effect on the economy underscores the value of free movement of people and goods, which – on the…

Health-care roadblocks stymie patients

The N.S. Health Authority lets an inefficient telephone system act as an important barrier to timely care

Health-care roadblocks stymie patientsIf there’s any way to inconvenience patients and embrace antiquated methods, the Nova Scotia Health Authority will find it. Ask the sick patients who are trying to arrange appointments with specialists, or for imaging tests or for blood work. Most enterprises try to encourage and support increased consumer access to worthwhile services. Not the Nova…

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…

Let private enterprise retail cannabis in Nova Scotia

A private retail model offers more entrepreneurship overall, particularly in rural areas, and better distribution

Let private enterprise retail cannabis in Nova ScotiaAllowing private cannabis retailers in Nova Scotia would be most consistent with the One Nova Scotia Report and good for entrepreneurs. Yet the online survey the Nova Scotia government organized to ‘consult’ the public about cannabis distribution betrayed a preference for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. (NSLC) to monopolize retail. New Brunswick and Ontario will…

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…

Nova Scotia rationing primary health care

Nova Scotia Health Authority insists on deciding who will have primary-care physicians and who will not, leaving seniors and expecting parents in the lurch

Nova Scotia rationing primary health careCanadian seniors are a privileged group. The Conference Board of Canada reports that life expectancy today is 10 years longer than in 1961. And the average Canadian can expect to live three years longer than the average American. According to The Milbank Quarterly, people with better access to primary care have better health and live longer…

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.…

At least Atlantic Canada leads in something

Unfortunately, it's sales taxes

At least Atlantic Canada leads in somethingThree Atlantic provinces now share the country's highest sales tax rate. It is hardly a noteworthy distinction. On July 1, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador raised the tax two percentage points to 15 per cent, joining Nova Scotia, which increased its harmonized sales tax (HST) in 2010. Prince Edward Island joins the club in…

Don’t blame seniors for Atlantic Canada’s economic difficulties

Instead, it has too few young workers due to a slow economy, caused largetly by government policies

Don’t blame seniors for Atlantic Canada’s economic difficultiesOttawa's health-care funding model is failing. That, at least, is what Atlantic Canada's premiers tell anyone willing to listen. They want Ottawa to direct more health dollars to our region because we have an older population and a shrinking workforce. The premiers say we're being shortchanged. Premier Brian Gallant believes federal health transfers, distributed based…