The Canada-US softwood lumber dispute that has lasted some forty years is good for neither country, MEI researchers conclude in this publication. The drop in Canadian production has direct consequences on this country’s forestry industry, and is not offset by the increased production south of the border, which leads to a net loss in the volume of wood available in the American market. This artificially induced greater scarcity of wood leads to higher costs for consumers.
On November 22 last year, the federal government introduced Bill C‑11, the Online Streaming Act, in the House of Commons. Its goal is to allow the CRTC to regulate online streaming services. The Netflixes and Disneys of the world, as well as platforms like Spotify and YouTube, are targeted by the bill. It will potentially cover almost all audio and audiovisual content accessible online in Canada. This MEI publication warns against the possible economic, cultural, and legal consequences of this bill.
It is hard to believe that in 2022, health data is still being communicated between institutions and departments via fax in Quebec. According to this MEI publication, Quebec’s current system does not allow for an efficient flow of information that would benefit patients, and existing electronic health records lack vital information physicians need to make a proper treatment plan.
The shortcomings of health care systems across Canada have been thrown into stark relief by the pandemic, with surgery backlogs making headlines again of late. A lack of physicians and the absence of competition between private and public providers is undermining access to care. This publication proposes several ways of improving access to health care, including expanding the role of independent providers and increasing the number of doctors in Quebec. For this to happen, however, the College of Physicians and the government will have to end their intimate connection that is harming Quebecers.
This MEI publication found that the federal government’s “zero plastic waste” policy puts it in opposition to current and potential innovations that are coming out of the plastics industry. The policy will hurt the economy without any guarantee of helping the environment.
The inflation rate in Canada has been rising constantly for several months now. Expansionary monetary policies, as well as the economic sanctions accompanying the Russia-Ukraine war, suggest that significant inflation may be with us for the medium to long term. High inflation erodes consumers’ purchasing power, and also has a negative impact on Canadian taxpayers—including through the capital gains tax, an issue the MEI’s researchers examined in this publication.
This President’s Essay addresses the most contentious and pressing issue of our day: the COVID-19 pandemic and our response to it. Now that the pandemic seems to be subsiding, and government-imposed restrictions as well, it is a good time to look back and take a calm and measured look at some of the key issues that were raised by it.
While lowering interest rates has a short-term stimulative effect, maintaining low rates over a longer period of time may have the opposite effect, of inhibiting growth and productivity improvements, according to a Montreal Economic Institute researcher.
On Tuesday, March 22, the Quebec government tabled its 2022-2023 provincial budget. In this publication, we note the significant growth in portfolio spending in recent decades, taking into account the newly-released numbers, and we use different scenarios to illustrate the magnitude of this increase.
According to the authors of this publication, the Quebec government’s tabling of Bill 21 aiming to ban the exploration and production of hydrocarbons will hurt the province’s economic development potential and undermine its role in reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.