Viewpoint proposing to allow small retailers to import and sell wine freely, without going through the SAQ

The Quebec government is currently studying various ways of ending the SAQ’s monopoly. The Crown corporation has indeed been the target of multiple criticisms over the years, as much for the prices of its products as for its management and efficiency. Another, less frequently heard but nonetheless important criticism is the lack of space the public monopoly leaves for small entrepreneurs. This latter concern should guide the government in its reflections on the liberalization of the alcohol market.

April 27, 2017

27 April 2017

Viewpoint detailing what the Bixi bike-sharing system will have cost Montreal taxpayers over its first decade

The Bixi bike-sharing system will soon start its ninth season. Since its creation in the spring of 2009, Bixi has survived thanks to public funds. What does the bill add up to for Montreal taxpayers? If the goal was to promote the use of bicycles and active transportation, could the funds allocated to this service have been better spent?

April 12, 2017

12 April 2017

Viewpoint comparing the numerous taxes and contributions that have gone up in Quebec in recent years with the short list of reductions

In the coming days, the Quebec government will unveil its 2017-2018 budget plan. For the 2016 fiscal year, it has so far accumulated a budget surplus of $2.3 billion. One of the Liberal Party’s electoral promises was to allocate half of surpluses to tax reductions. This would be most welcome, since as shown in this Viewpoint, taxes and contributions to the public treasury have been on the rise since the beginning of the decade.

March 27, 2017

27 March 2017

Economic Note explaining the benefits of exempting Canadian softwood lumber from tariffs and opening up the agricultural sectors under supply management to American producers

During the American election campaign, Donald Trump criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement on several occasions, going so far as to call it “a disaster,” and he clearly stated his intention to renegotiate it. Although the new president is wrong to target it as the source of the economic ills afflicting his country, it is true that NAFTA could be improved.

March 23, 2017

23 March 2017

Economic Note exploring how the lack of a clear, agreed-upon definition of social licence is a threat to economic development projects and to the rule of law

The criterion of social licence is a part of every debate surrounding economic development projects, especially when these include impacts on local communities or on the environment. And yet, this new concept is poorly understood, and mentioned nowhere in the law. Certain controversial projects, like pipelines or uranium mines, illustrate the potential pitfalls of social licence and remind us that the demands of some players frequently go beyond this framework.

March 1, 2017

1 March 2017

Viewpoint showing how a decentralization of health care decisions would increase the opportunities for experiments and discoveries of best practices and ways of delivering services

Since last fall, the Canadian health care system has once again become a source of bickering. The federal government, which is a significant funder of the provinces’ health programs, wants to limit the rate of increase of its transfers and force provinces to spend on specific areas like mental health and home care. The territories and certain provinces have bowed to pressure from Ottawa, but four of the five most populous provinces are still refusing the federal offer. While it is political in nature, economic analysis of this conflict can provide some useful insights.

February 21, 2017

21 February 2017

Viewpoint describing how a small change to income tax rules could both expand the savings options of Canadians and improve access to private funding for small businesses

Created in 2009, Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) provide a flexible savings option. But TFSA rules forget about small businesses, shows an MEI Viewpoint published today suggesting that the category of qualified investments be expanded. Large corporations are already well-served by various investment vehicles; it is now time to think of small companies as well. Tax-Free Savings Accounts are the perfect tool for this.

February 9, 2017

9 February 2017

Economic Note explaining how, when properly understood, these two concepts can complement the profit motive and benefit society as a whole

Corporate social responsibility and sustainability are two widely used concepts. Corporate and government actions are partly judged according to them. Activists, politicians, and corporate leaders use them. But what exactly do they mean? Are they compatible with efficient management in a free society? To what extent are they even useful? This Economic Note will shed some light on these questions.

January 26, 2017

26 January 2017

Viewpoint showing that it is not in the economic interest of the United States to jeopardize the integration of the North American automotive industry

Donald Trump’s recent statements regarding the investments of auto industry giants and vehicle imports from Mexico have created significant uncertainty in Canada. His threat to impose tariffs at the U.S.-Mexico border to protect the American auto industry raises the possibility that Canada might also be affected by such a measure. If this were to happen, the economic consequences could be very harmful for both Americans and Canadians, since after half a century of trade liberalization, the two countries’ automotive industries are now completely integrated.

January 12, 2017

12 January 2017

MEI in the Media

Let's have independent wine shops in Quebec
Op-ed by Germain Belzile and Mathieu Bédard, respectively senior associate researcher and economist at the MEI, published on April 27 in the Montreal Gazette.

Canadian lumber tariffs needlessly harm US home builders, buyers
Op-ed by Michel Kelly-Gagnon, President and CEO of the MEI, and Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, published on April 18 in The Hill.

This new tool provides the general public with fast and easy access to the content generated by the MEI.