A dialogue of the deaf has been going on for months now between those who support lockdowns and those who have doubts about their effectiveness. Both camps often display a lack of civility, with insults flying in all directions. It is therefore quite difficult to find a good summary of the arguments of both sides. It is with a view to addressing this lack and helping people make up their own minds that the MEI has prepared this debate between two experienced economists on the costs and benefits of lockdowns.
The federal government will soon publish the new Clean Fuel Standard (CFS). Although this reform has attracted less attention from the general public than the imposition of a carbon tax, it is once again Canadian manufacturing companies and consumers who will feel its effects. This Montreal Economic Institute publication shines a light on the unintended consequences of the CFS.
Alberta’s legislature passed Bill 30, the Health Statutes Amendment Act, on July 29. Considering Alberta’s underperforming health care system, the proposed reforms amount to a small step in the right direction according to the authors of this publication by the Montreal Economic Institute.
The idea of a Canadian wealth tax continues to inspire certain politicians and activists. Less than two weeks ago, the Parliamentary Budget Officer again responded to a request from a member of the House of Commons regarding the cost of such a tax. As recently as July 13, 2020, the media reported that heiress Abigail Disney and others of the “super rich” were calling for the introduction of a wealth tax to finance COVID-19 assistance measures. This publication highlights the inefficiency of this kind of tax, and the fact that it is less well-off taxpayers who pay for it in the end.
Lockdown measures were put in place hastily and, apparently, without considering their economic and social costs. In this publication, researchers attempt to quantify the impact of lockdown measures.
The economic catastrophe due in large part to physical distancing measures has led the various levels of government to implement relief measures. This MEI publication provides a critical look at the relief measures currently in effect all while identifying the principles that should guide government action. The researchers notably observe that measures aiming to preserve employment links, like wage subsidies, are the most conducive to rapid economic recovery.
Restrictions continue to be gradually eased in Canada, but as there is talk of a second wave, it is more important than ever to question the case for lockdown. This MEI publication provides a critique of Professor Neil Ferguson’s epidemiological model, which led to lockdown in this country.
Every day, Canadians are informed via press conference of the number of new deaths attributed to COVID-19. This publication by the Montreal Economic Institute raises questions about the accuracy of these statistics.
For several years, there has been talk of electrifying the entire Quebec economy. This Montreal Economic Institute publication presents the province’s energy profile, quantifies its hydroelectric potential, and identifies natural gas as a realistic solution for meeting our energy needs.
The facts underlined here by this prestigious author have not been heard widely enough in the Canadian context. Yet the debate over generalized, compulsory lockdowns will no doubt remain active for quite some time.