39,759 Works

Prioritizing Defence Industry Capabilities: Lessons for Canada from Australia

J. Craig Stone
A number of Canadian acquisition announcements over the past few years have generated significant debate about a variety of issues like whether or not Canada should have a separate procurement agency, whether or not industrial and regional benefits are appropriate and whether or not Canadian companies should be given preference over international companies. In discussions about improving our procurement process Australia is often used as an example because the nations are generally considered to be...

Potash Taxation: How Canada’s Regime is Neither Efficient nor Competitive from an International Perspective

Duanjie Chen & Jack M. Mintz
Saskatchewan — and by extension, Canada — is the largest producer of potash in the world, accounting for over 30 per cent of global production. Perhaps the good fortune of having an abundance of such a valuable natural resource has engendered an approach whereby tax policy has not been considered a top priority. That would at least be one explanation for the alarmingly inefficient and uncompetitive potash regime that currently exists in Saskatchewan. New Brunswick’s...

The Siren Song of Economic Diversification: Alberta’s Legacy of Loss

F.L. Ted Morton & Meredith McDonald
Former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed is celebrated for his defence of the province and Western Canada during the energy wars of the 1970s, and deservedly so. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was a formidable opponent. He was able and willing to use the full arsenal of federal powers to redirect soaring western energy revenues away from Alberta to Ottawa. For those of us in Western Canada, it is unpleasant to imagine what the outcome of this...

Addendum to “Bending the Medicare Cost Curve in 12 Months or Less”: AHS Analysis for Sample of Pure North Seniors (55-plus)

Daniel J. Dutton & J.C. Herbert Emery
As part of our analysis in the paper published in January 2015, “Bending the Medicare Cost Curve in 12 Months or Less: How Preventative Health Care Can Yield Significant Near-Term Savings for Acute Care in Alberta,”1 we had carried out analyses of sub-groups of interest, such as workers at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) and seniors (participants aged 55-plus) that, for reasons of length, we did not include in the published paper. The details for...

The Recession’s Impact on Canada’s Labour Market

Philip Cross
Canadians have heard concerns from news reports and economists that the last recession accelerated the rise of a contingent labour force made up of precarious part-time, contract, temporary or self-employed workers. But the evidence contradicts that. The share of those jobs has not increased significantly and, anyway, the vast majority of people who work part time do so voluntarily, not for lack of other options. Meanwhile, self-employment is growing as a lifestyle choice among older...

Taxing Feedlots in Alberta: Lethbridge County's Tax on Confined Feeding Operations

Bev Dahlby, Melville McMillan & Mukesh Khanal
Lethbridge County introduced a new business tax on confined feeding operations (CFO), notably feedlots, in 2016. It was expected to bring in $2.5 million for county road maintenance in 2017. However, the tax could have a detrimental impact on feedlot owners and is not the fairest way to amass revenue for road repairs. Four criteria can be used to evaluate a particular form of taxation. They are fairness, efficient resource allocation, compliance and administration costs,...

The Case of Canadian Bulk Water Exports

Rhett Larson
Canada has twenty per cent of the planet’s total fresh water supply. Canada’s water wealth raises the possibility of shipping water in bulk, through tankers or pipelines, to regions suffering from drought. On the one hand, bulk water exports could be an economic boon for Canada and a possible solution to the rising concerns over global water security. On the other hand, bulk water exports could deplete Canada’s water supplies and thereby impact the environment,...

The Impact of Converting Federal Non-Refundable Tax Credits Into Refundable Credits

Wayne Simpson & Harvey Stevens
With economic inequality on the rise in Canada, the federal government needs to consider innovative solutions. One possibility for improving the tax-transfer system involves refundable tax credits (RTCs). Making all tax credits refundable wouldn’t require Ottawa to introduce new tax measures; the Canadian tax system already contains a mix of RTCs and NRTCs, so the government could simply continue its practice of designing tax credit programs to be refundable. Using Statistics Canada’s Social Policy Simulation...

How is Funding Medical Research Better for Patients?

Jennifer D. Zwicker & J.C. Herbert Emery
With rising health care costs, often health research is viewed as a major cost driver, calling to question the role and value of provincial funding of health research. Most agree that the quality of healthcare provided is directly linked to our ability to conduct quality research; however currently there is little empirical evidence supporting the link between engagement in health research and healthcare performance. In Canada this has resulted in funding for health research that...

Taxing Stock Options: Efficiency, Fairness and Revenue Implications

Jack M. Mintz & V. Balaji Venkatachalam
The federal Liberals and the NDP are right about this much: There is a more sensible way to tax the stock options that are granted as compensation by corporations than the approach the federal government takes now. But both parties are wrong about how much revenue an appropriate change in current tax policy will add to the treasury. Far from the half-billion dollars or more that both parties claim they will raise in federal tax...

Mind the Gap: Transportation Challenges for Individuals Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Carolyn Dudley & Jennifer D. Zwicker
WHY IS THIS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE? An estimated 1 in 86 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)1 making it the most commonly diagnosed childhood neurological condition in Canada.2 Transportation challenges for those with ASD are a growing issue in Canada. People living with ASD3 and others who live with neurodevelopmental disability (NDD)4 rely almost exclusively on public transit and caregivers for transportation. The current transportation options are insufcient in meeting the needs of...

Laying the Foundation for Policy: Measuring Local Prevalence for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Carolyn Dudley & Jennifer D. Zwicker
WHY IS THIS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE? Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)1 is the most common neurological condition diagnosed in children in Canada. Estimates of prevalence are reported as national numbers but may not reflect local numbers and consequently local needs. Local and provincial ASD prevalence estimates can be used by policy makers to inform local service delivery, resource allocation and future planning. WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US? ASD prevalence is on the rise Estimates of...

The Question of Social Licence and Regulatory Responsibility

Michal C. Moore
The School of Public Policy convened a roundtable with former energy regulators to discuss the impact and implications of broader use of the term social licence. This report offers a summary of recommendations from that meeting that highlight conclusions regarding needed legislative clarity on the relevance and role of the term in the future. Energy in a variety of forms from liquid hydrocarbons to electricity is vital for modern society. Useful, affordable and dependable energy...

The Costliest Tax of all: Raising Revenue through Corporate Tax Hikes can be Counter-Productive for the Provinces

Ergete Ferede & Bev Dahlby
Raising taxes can come at a serious cost. Not just to the taxpayer, of course, but to the economy. Every tax hike naturally leads people or companies to reallocate resources in ways that are less productive, resulting in a loss of income-generating opportunities. At a certain point, raising taxes becomes manifestly counterproductive, with the revenue lost due to the negative economic effects outweighing any tax gains. In cases like that, a government would actually raise...

Macroprudential Policy: A Summary

Mahdi Ebrahimi Kahou & Alfred Lehar
The 2007 global financial crisis brought sharply into focus the need for macroprudential policy as a means of controlling systemic financial stability. This has become a focal point for policy-makers and numerous central banks, including the Bank of Canada, but it has its drawbacks, particularly here in Canada. As a counterbalance to microprudential policy, the idea of a macroprudential outlook reaches beyond the notion that as long as every banking institution is healthy, financial stability...

Support for Business R&D in Budget 2012: Two Steps Forward and One Back

John Lester
The federal budget contains some sensible changes to the SR&ED investment tax credit, but the decision to reduce support for large firms to provide additional support for small firms is a step in the wrong direction. The Jenkins Panel* expressed concern about excessive subsidization of small and medium-sized firms and recommended cutting back on the enhanced SR&ED credit in order to finance more targeted support for these firms. Following that advice would have improved the...

Dancing with the Dragon: Canadian Investment in China and Chinese Investment in Canada

Josephine Smart
While Canadian trade and investment with China is today relatively modest, with China well on track to displace the United States as the world’s largest economy, Canada must make it a priority to prepare for a future characterized by dramatically increased trade and investment between our two countries. This paper sheds light on some the issues and measures Canadian governments will have to consider as they look to establish safe and prosperous relationships with China....

Energy Literacy in Canada

André Turcotte, Michal C. Moore & Jennifer Winter
Energy plays an important role in everyday activities, whether at a personal, institutional, corporate or social level. In this context, an informed or literate public is critical for the longterm conservation, management, pricing and use of increasingly scarce energy resources. A series of surveys were used to probe the literacy of Canadians with regard to energy issues ranging from relative ranking and importance of energy compared to other national issues, preference for various fuel types...

Instruments for Forest Habitat Connectivity

Elizabeth A. Wilman
In places such as the boreal forest of Northern Alberta, where demands for energy and forest products are growing, it is necessary to balance economic development activities on the land with the environmental services the land can provide. Wildlife habitat for species such as woodland caribou is one such service. If adequate habitat for species such as woodland caribou is to be maintained, both the quantity of habitat and its configuration matter. Woodland caribou are...

Labour Shortages in Saskatchewan

J.C. Herbert Emery
The predictions in the media and from think tanks sound altogether alarming: Saskatchewan, with its booming economy, could be facing a worker shortage so severe that it could drastically hobble the province’s ultimate economic potential. While the world craves only more of Saskatchewan’s abundant natural resources, the province won’t possibly be able to keep up, due to a scarcity of workers that could be as significant as one-fifth of the labour supply by 2020. The...

Sovereign Wealth and Pension Funds Controlling Canadian Businesses: Tax-Policy Implications

Vijay Jog & Jack M. Mintz
In a world without taxes, investors that take over companies would do so because they expect to be able to operate the business efficiently and at a high rate of return. But in Canada today, some acquirers enjoy tax advantages over others. And that could mean that certain buyers, who may not be best suited to owning a particular company, are able to outbid those who are better positioned to run that company at optimal...

Export Pipelines and Provincial Rights: How Best to Get to the West Coast and Asian Markets

F.L. Ted Morton
The passing of former premier Peter Lougheed provided an occasion to remember not just his fierce defense of Alberta against the predatory policies of then prime minister Pierre Trudeau, but the substance of that defense: strong provincial rights based on the constitutional principle of equality of the provinces.

Pacific Basin Heavy Oil Refining Capacity

David Hackett, Leigh Noda, Susan W. Grissom, Michal C. Moore & Jennifer Winter
The United States today is Canada’s largest customer for oil and refined oil products. However, this relationship may be strained due to physical, economic and political influences. Pipeline capacity is approaching its limits; Canadian oil is selling at substantive discounts to world market prices; and U.S. demand for crude oil and finished products (such as gasoline), has begun to flatten significantly relative to historical rates. Lower demand, combined with increased shale oil production, means U.S....

All the Workers We Need: Debunking Canada’s Labour-Shortage Fallacy

Kevin McQuillan
When the Royal Bank of Canada was recently caught up in a maelstrom of bad publicity over its use of temporary foreign workers, it led politicians and pundits to scrutinize and question the growing use by Canadian firms of imported, short-term labour. The Royal Bank was accused of misusing a system designed to help employers who could not find Canadian workers by using it, instead, to find cheaper foreign labourers to replace higher-cost Canadians. But...

Repairing Canada’s Mining-Tax System to Be Less Distorting and Complex

Duanjie Chen & Jack M. Mintz
The province of Ontario ended its most recent fiscal year with a $12 billion deficit and the Fraser Institute has calculated that the province is in worse financial shape than even the fiscally appalling state of California. One would think that a province so financially debilitated would want to avoid giving unnecessary and wasteful tax breaks to resource companies. Yet, a review of the mining-tax regimes across the country finds that Ontario’s system — specifically...

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