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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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