682 Works

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

Daniel J. Dutton, J.C. Herbert Emery, Thomas Mullie & Jennifer D. Zwicker
Over the course of more than 30 years, a series of Canadian government commissions and health policy researchers have repeatedly identified the importance of “bending the cost curve” to sustain publicly funded health care, and the potential to do so through upstream investment in health promotion and disease prevention. So far, however, the level of public investment in prevention represents only a slight portion of total public health care expenditure, largely consisting of traditional public...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Food for Thought: Neuronal Metabolism and Cognitive Aging

Jonathon Lee
Demystifying brain aging

The Prudential Regulation of Financial Institutions: Why Regulatory Responses to the Crisis Might Not Prove Sufficient

William R. White
It is now six years since a devastating financial and economic crisis rocked the global economy. Supported strongly by the G20 process, international regulators led by the Financial Stability Board have been working hard ever since to develop new regulatory standards designed to prevent a recurrence of these events. These international standards are intended to provide guidance for the drawing up of national legislation and regulation, and have already had a pervasive influence around the...

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...

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