In December 2017, President Donald Trump cut corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%, effective immediately. While certain critics quickly lamented this policy decision, the President is currently mulling a second round of tax cuts. In this context, the Canadian experience with corporate tax reduction provides a useful comparison.
The real or perceived shortage of labour is a theme that comes back again regularly in the news. This spring, the Quebec government published its labour strategy for 2018-2023, one of the objectives of which is simply to have enough workers. The document, however, had nothing to say about a major historical phenomenon, namely the “disappearance” of Quebec’s youth over the past three and a half decades.
“Hospitals: Quebec brings order to emergency rooms — No patient will stay more than 48 hours,” ran a front-page headline in La Presse on March 11… 1980! Last year, the minister of health repeated this ultimatum. Waiting times at emergency rooms have been making news for a long time. Data released this past spring suggest that the situation has improved and that waiting times have declined, especially for patients on stretchers. What is actually going on?
The Canadian air transport sector has experienced significant expansion in recent years. Nonetheless, a multitude of taxes and fees are restricting its potential for growth. Given that favourable conditions are dissipating, especially when it comes to low fuel prices, what can governments do to reduce the fees imposed on transporters, and ultimately on travellers?
A carbon market, like a carbon tax, aims to modify behaviours in order to reduce GHG emissions by setting a price for them. Although such mechanisms are regularly mentioned in the news, their economic consequences are less often discussed, to say nothing of their effectiveness. Does imposing a price on carbon always reduce emissions, or does it instead displace them, along with the accompanying economic activity? In the two scenarios examined here, the effect on GHG emissions would be negligible, but the economic impact would be significant.
The criticism most often heard regarding the telecommunications industry in Canada, and especially wireless services, is that Canadians pay a lot more than people in other countries for lower quality services. It is this criticism that was used to justify the federal government’s and the CRTC’s numerous interventions over the past few years aimed at promoting more competition in the wireless sector. But does this criticism stand up under scrutiny?
The virtues of press freedom are widely recognized today. Economic freedom, another essential liberty, is for its part underappreciated. Yet it makes a substantial contribution to the improvement of human well-being, in addition to which it is a necessary condition for ensuring a certain degree of press freedom.
It seems that each week brings its share of bad news about the Quebec health care system, to the point that we forget that certain of its components work rather well. This is the case for senior housing and care, largely provided by the private sector.
For decades, Quebec has been known for its rotten public finances: recurrent deficits, lots of spending, and high taxes. But the provincial budgets tabled this spring by the governments of both Quebec and Ontario suggest that the latter province is now competing for the top prize in terms of financial recklessness.
Innovative drugs help people enjoy longer, healthier, more productive lives. They also allow our health care systems to save money. However, the reimbursement of new drugs by Canada’s public plans can face considerable delays due to a very burdensome regulatory process. Far from resolving this problem, a new reform will duplicate certain stages of this process and possibly lengthen it.