Hospital woes continue to mount – nothing new here

More money won’t solve the systemic, pervasive, and structural issues that plague Canadian health care

Hospital woes continue to mount – nothing new hereHospital staffing in Ontario is in crisis – as it is in Alberta, British Columbia, and the rest of Canada. Provinces are responding with what they perceive as solutions: Ontario is fast-tracking foreign-trained nurses, and Alberta has made the interprovincial movement of professionals easier. But while these moves will help reduce the red tape surrounding…

Albertans’ double burden: inflation plus bracket creep

The government must follow through on its promise to re-index the tax system to inflation

Albertans’ double burden: inflation plus bracket creepIt’s been three years since the Alberta government implemented a “temporary” pause to the indexation of non-refundable income tax credits and tax bracket thresholds – a policy that has resulted in nearly $647 million in additional taxes being paid by Albertans between 2020 and 2022, according to a recent report by the University of Calgary’s…

Tear down these walls, premiers!

We need to get serious about freeing up interprovincial trade once and for all

Tear down these walls, premiers!July 1st marked five years since the coming into force of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), whose goal (its website tells us) is to “establish an open, efficient, and stable domestic market” in Canada. Has there been any progress in the half-decade since then in reducing and eliminating barriers to interprovincial free trade? According…

Quebec’s ailing health-care system

More than 20 per cent of Quebecers currently don’t have a family doctor

Quebec’s ailing health-care systemBy Krystle Wittevrongel and Maria Lily Shaw Quebec’s health-care system is suffering from poor accessibility. More than 20 per cent of Quebecers currently don’t have a family doctor. The overcrowding of hospital emergency wards and the long wait times that result are also notorious. A key to improving the health system’s capacity is to address…

It’s time for Canada’s protectionist barriers to fall

Supply management pushed up to 190,000 Canadians into poverty

It’s time for Canada’s protectionist barriers to fallBy Krystle Wittevrongel and Gabriel Giguère New Zealand had never launched a dispute under a free trade agreement until two weeks ago, on May 12, when it launched a trade dispute against Canada under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),  accusing our government of breaking its promises on dairy imports. This was also the first dispute launched…

Without carbon capture, we will not meet our climate goals

CCUS prevents the release of CO2 and reduces overall accumulation

Without carbon capture, we will not meet our climate goalsScrapping the federal government’s investment tax credit for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies would undercut efforts to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 – a goal that Ottawa reaffirmed in November in the COP 26 Glasgow Climate Pact. Yet recently, a group of scientists, academics, and energy system modellers urged just…

Taxing homes the wrong way to cool the housing market

For many Canadians, the dream of home ownership is slipping away

Taxing homes the wrong way to cool the housing marketThe housing market has been red hot lately, which has been raising concerns about affordability. While the volume of sales has been high, so have prices. Canada-wide, the average home price rose nearly 20 per cent between November 2020 and November 2021, to the highest level on record: $720,850. For many Canadians, the dream of…

The new drug-price reform not what the doctor ordered

The well-being of patients is at risk

The new drug-price reform not what the doctor orderedBy Krystle Wittevrongel and Maria Lily Shaw Montreal Economic Institute A highly-contested drug-price reform is set to come into effect in Canada in January 2022. Critics of the major overhaul, including patient groups, doctors, and academics, are hopeful that the new federal cabinet will take their concerns to heart and rather than stifle pharmaceutical innovation,…

Expanding eligibility will do little to increase blood supply

The voluntary model isn't working: time to look at a better way

Expanding eligibility will do little to increase blood supplyRecently, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) made the news for allowing the donation of blood plasma from gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) in two cities. While broadening eligibility redresses an exclusionary policy, it does little to increase the supply of plasma available for Canadians who need it. Given that a…

Alberta leads the way in cutting labour mobility red tape

Making it easier for professionals certified in over 100 occupations to move to the province

Alberta leads the way in cutting labour mobility red tapeWhile nearly one in three Canadian businesses is reporting labour shortages, Alberta is taking steps to make it easier for professionals certified in over 100 occupations to move to the province. Currently, these professionals wait between six and 12 months for their credentials from other provinces to be recognized. Thus, highly proficient Canadian-trained professionals like…