684 Works

Food for Thought: Neuronal Metabolism and Cognitive Aging

Jonathon Lee
Demystifying brain aging

The Value of Caregiver Time: Costs of Support and Care 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 The true costs of lifelong support for people living with ASD3 are often underestimated and fail to acknowledge the value of caregiver time over the lifespan. Significant gaps in publically provided support systems leave the cost burden to be picked up by families. Relying on...

Energy Literacy in Canada: A summary

Dale Eisler
Surveys among the general population, business and policy leaders, and aboriginal Canadians reveal that, among all three groups, there is ample general knowledge about the way Canadians use energy and the costs related to it. But when they think about economic and social policy issues of importance, Canadians tend to consider energy a low priority. While this may be the consequence of living in an energysecure country, given that the economy’s strength, growth and resilience...

What Do We Know About Improving Employment Outcomes for Individuals 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 Adults living with ASD3 have the poorest employment outcomes of those with disabilities. Most earn less than the national minimum hourly wage, endure extended periods of joblessness and frequently shuffle between positions, further diminishing their prospects. These poor employment outcomes result in lower quality 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 False Panacea of City Charters? A Political Perspective on the Case of Toronto

Andrew Sancton
Toronto is unlike any other city, as its local boosters will not hesitate to point out. That was the basis, after all, of the “charter movement” that demanded special rights for a mega-city that the movement’s backers insisted was so vital that it even warranted a status similar to that of an entire province. Their efforts culminated in the province’s passage in 2006 of the City of Toronto Act, which appeared on its face to...

Into the mire: A closer look at fossil fuel subsidies

Threatened by climate change, governments the world over are attempting to nudge markets in the direction of less carbon-intensive energy. Perversely, many of these governments continue to subsidize fossil fuels, distorting markets and raising emissions. Determining how much money is involved is difficult, as neither the providers nor the recipients of those subsidies want to own up to them. This paper builds on a unique method to extract fossil fuel subsidies from patterns in countries’...

The Theory and Evidence Concerning Public-Private Partnerships in Canada and Elsewhere

Anthony Boardman, Matti Siemiatycki & Aidan R. Vining
The popularity of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), as a way for governments to get infrastructure built, continues to grow. But while the public is often led to believe that this is because they result in a more efficient use of taxpayer funds and a more streamlined process, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, the clearest advantage that PPPs offers is to politicians, who are able to transfer to private partners the risks of miscalculated...

Efficient Metropolitan Resource Allocation

Richard Arnott
Over the past 30 years Calgary has doubled in size, from a population of 640,645 in 1985 to 1,230,915 in 2015. During that time the City has had five different mayors, hosted the Winter Olympics, and expanded the C-Train from 25 platforms to 45. Calgary’s Metropolitan Area has grown too, with Airdrie, Chestermere, Okotoks and Cochrane growing into full-fledged cities, ripe with inter-urban commuters.* And with changes to provincial legislation in the mid-’90s, rural Rocky...

Tax-Assisted Approaches for Helping Canadians Meet Out-of-Pocket Health-Care Costs

J.C. Herbert Emery
Canadians are not saving for the inevitable costs of drugs and long-term care which they will have to pay for out of pocket in their old age, and these costs could potentially be financially devastating for them. Later in life, when out-of-pocket health-care costs mount, those who previously enjoyed the security of a workplace insurance plan to cover such expenses will face a grim financial reality. Many aspects of care for older Canadians aren’t covered...

Who is Getting a Carbon-Tax Rebate?

Jennifer Winter & Sarah Dobson
With its 2016 budget, the Government of Alberta laid out the basic details of the carbon tax rebate. The rebate is constructed to increase based on household size, and will decrease with income after a pre-set cutoff. The government has stated six in 10 households will be eligible for a full rebate, with an additional six per cent receiving a partial rebate. This paper examines the income distribution of Albertans, to determine how the rebate...

The Very Poor and the Affordability of Housing

Ronald D. Kneebone &
A considerable momentum has developed around the perceived need for a national affordable housing strategy. The design of any such strategy should recognize who is in need, the size of the need, and where that need is greatest. This report presents facts on the affordability of housing for those at risk of the most serious form of housing crisis, namely, the threat of homelessness. The facts span the period 1990-2014 to better understand if housing...

A Practical Guide to the Economics of Carbon Pricing

Ross McKitrick
Canadian economists, politicians and even environmentalists are lining up enthusiastically behind pricing carbon as the solution to controlling greenhouse gas emissions in this country. Pricing carbon (or, more accurately, pricing carbon dioxide) is not just a fashionable policy approach; it is the most efficient way we have to ration emissions, as it allows emitters — businesses and consumers — to make the most rational decisions about where it makes economic sense to curtail carbon and...

How a Guaranteed Annual Income Could Put Food Banks Out of Business

J.C. Herbert Emery, Valerie C. Fleisch & Lynn McIntyre
The federal Conservative government recently began phasing in a plan to raise the age of eligibility for Old Age Security from 65 to 67. But a more sensible move for improving the effectiveness of Canada’s social safety-net system may be to actually lower the age below 65 and rely strictly on an income test instead, regardless of age. The government could go a lot further toward the reduction of poverty in Canada by building on...

Diplomacy, Globalization and Heteropolarity: The Challenge of Adaptation

Daryl Copeland
Globalization is the defining historical process of our times, conditioning, if not determining, outcomes across vast swathes of human activity. At the same time, a heteropolar world is emerging, one in which various and competing sources of power and influence are based more on difference than on similarity. In the face of these transformative forces, diplomacy is struggling to evolve. To date, none of the key elements of the diplomatic ecosystem – the foreign ministry,...

Income Adequacy Among Canadian Seniors: Helping Singles Most

Philip Bazel & Jack M. Mintz
Canadians have heard a great deal of discussion in the national media about expanding the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), driven by concerns that many will retire without having made proper arrangements to adequately replace their incomes with pensions and savings. But the proposed remedies have been targeted at the retirement-income shortfalls potentially faced by relatively comfortable middle-class and well-off retirees. A far more pressing concern is the disproportionate vulnerability of one particular group: Single retirees...

Keeping the Genie in the Bottle: Grading the Regulation of Canadian Financial Institutions

John F. Chant
The Canadian financial sector made it through the recent global credit crisis in better shape than most. Still the government undertook extraordinary measures to support the soundness of Canadian financial institutions. Fortunately, Canadians learned the lessons of the world banking crisis at lower cost than others. They may not be so lucky the next time. Canada’s approach to regulation includes many features that have been effective in insulating its financial sector from major shocks. Its...

The Impact of Foreign Investment Restrictions on the Stock Returns of Oil Sands Companies

Eugene Beaulieu & Matthew M. Saunders
In December 2012, prompted by the proposed purchase of Nexen by the Chinese SOE CNOOC, the federal government announced revised guidelines for investments by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the oil sands. Declaring the sale marked “the end of a trend and not the beginning of a trend,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper explained how the government would approach such decisions in the future, including placing the onus on foreign investors to demonstrate how deals would be...

“It’s all about the Money”: Crime in the Caribbean and Its Impact on Canada

Cameron Ross
For most Canadians, the Caribbean is a place to take an idyllic break from winter. Sandy beaches and warm temperatures lure Canadians to the islands. Interaction with the local population is mostly limited to those who work in hotels and bars. What actually happens in the local communities is generally lost on the average Canadian. Appreciating the large Caribbean diaspora in Toronto and Montreal, the connections are dynamic between those sun-baked Caribbean communities and Canadian...

The Future of Energy Regulation and Policy Development: A Summary Paper

Shantel Beach, Andrew Wilkins & Jennifer Winter
In September 2013, The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary hosted 19 speakers and 55 delegates in Calgary for a full-day symposium entitled “The Future of Energy Regulation and Policy Development: Conflict, Compromise or Cooperation?” Participants included current and past regulatory officials at the federal and provincial or state levels in both Canada and the United States, academics, lawyers active in regulatory matters, and representatives from industry and non-governmental organizations. Symposium chair...

Four Studies on the Canadian Equalization System

Bev Dahlby, Jim Feehan, Ergete Ferede & Marcelin Joanis
On January 28 and 29, 2014, the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy (SPP) sponsored a conference on equalization reform. The event provided a forum for current and former federal and provincial officials, academics from Canadian, Spanish and German universities, as well as students from the Master of Public Policy program at the SPP, to explore the issues surrounding this often-contentious program. Four leading Canadian academics in the field, Bev Dahlby, Jim Feehan, Ergete...

The Incentive Effects of Equalization Grants on Fiscal Policy

Ergete Ferede
The equalization system has long been considered a vital underpinning of the Canadian federation: a means to create some purported fairness or justice among the provinces, by redistributing the wealth of provinces with larger fiscal capacities to allow those with weaker fiscal capacities to provide roughly equivalent services to their citizens. However, the mechanics of the equalization formula have long been suspected of being flawed. Since grant-receiving provinces can adjust the way their fiscal capacities...

Tax-Assisted Approaches for Helping Canadians Meet Out-of-Pocket Health-Care Costs

J.C. Herbert Emery
Canadians are not saving for the inevitable costs of drugs and long-term care which they will have to pay for out of pocket in their old age, and these costs could potentially be financially devastating for them. Later in life, when out-of-pocket health-care costs mount, those who previously enjoyed the security of a workplace insurance plan to cover such expenses will face a grim financial reality. Many aspects of care for older Canadians aren’t covered...

The Disability Tax Credit: Why it Fails and How to Fix It

Wayne Simpson & Harvey Stevens
When the government establishes a social program whose primary purpose is to help provide support to low-income people with disabilities, its success should be measured on how well it achieves that purpose. Unfortunately, there are reasons to seriously question the usefulness of Canada’s disability tax credit since it is helping so very few of the people it is intended to support. In fact, the credit is helping only a small number of Canadians with disability...

Infrastructure, Attitude and Weather: Today’s Threats to Supply Chain Security

Stephen Blank
The global economy can be viewed today as a myriad of border-crossing supply chain networks of production, supply, distribution and marketing systems. Given the enormous value embodied in these systems, and an environment increasingly characterized by uncertainty and vulnerability, it is not surprising that concern about supply chain security has intensified. Concern takes many forms. For example, how supply chains might be used as vehicles for criminal activity (smuggling, trafficking of narcotics and importing counterfeit...

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