National Newswatch

The Trudeau and Ford governments—two fiscal statements, one debt problem

Nov 14 2018 — Livio Di Matteo — Both the Ford government in Ontario and the Trudeau government in Ottawa will release their fall fiscal and economic statements this month. Despite a tendency to compartmentalize these separate events, in reality, there’s only one taxpayer. And when the fiscal situations of the provincial and federal government are combined, Ontario taxpayers are right to worry. […]

Alberta desperately requires regulatory reform

Nov 10 2018 — Kenneth Green — Clearly, Alberta’s economy has suffered in recent years, due in part to world oil prices, which plummeted in 2014, and limited pipeline capacity, which fetches Canadian oil producers depressed prices for Canadian oil exacerbated Alberta’s economic woes. A number of metrics indicate that oil and gas investment in Alberta is in steep decline. According to […]

The value of “free agents” inside the public service

Nov 5 2018 — — In today’s world, Canada’s federal public service is asked to solve increasingly complex and rapidly evolving challenges. To respond effectively, Canadians need an agile and flexible workforce. However, our public service continues to rely heavily on a workforce model built for a different era. With an emphasis on a largely permanent workforce, the public service […]

Trudeau government employs spend it if you have it (and more) fiscal policy

Nov 3 2018 — Jason Clemens, Jake Fuss and Milagros Palacios — Much was made recently about the next federal election being less than a year away. A lingering issue for the Trudeau government, in particular the prime minister and the minister of finance, is their ability to soundly manage the country’s finances. While much of the attention has rightly focused on the government’s ongoing inability to […]

What of a Future Canada-Russia Relationship?

Nov 1 2018 — Zach Paikin — How Canada, in occasional partnership with Russia, could begin to drive higher-order issues on a global basis. Relations between Ottawa and Moscow are today tightly circumscribed by the limits imposed since 2014 by the Russian-Western confrontation. Indeed, the general legacy of the Cold War, combined with the specific tensions that followed the Ukrainian Revolution, the […]

Ottawa must talk to Canadians about nation-to-nation agenda

Oct 31 2018 — — The next federal election is a year away, and our policy conversations are starting to shift with the campaign in mind. Renewing the nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples was one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s flagship priorities as he entered his first mandate. But while expectations among Indigenous peoples have been high, progress has been […]

Defending Against China’s Influence Operations Abroad

Oct 26 2018 — — In recent years, China has invested billions of dollars in an effort to boost its visibility and improve its image abroad. However, unbeknownst to many Canadians, the Chinese Communist Party has expanded its efforts, and is now increasingly relying more on unsavoury influence operations that use co-optation, bribery, incentivization, disinformation, censorship, and other methods.

Wake up—Canada has a business investment crisis

Oct 24 2018 — Steven Globerman — Capital investment is the lifeblood of economic growth and, therefore, of higher living standards. Increased capital, both tangible (machinery, equipment) and intangible (software, for example), boosts the productivity of workers and enables organizations to produce new products and implement more efficient production and organizational techniques. Therefore, the collapse of business investment growth in Canada in […]

Canadian trade still being hurt by tariffs, despite the USMCA

Oct 22 2018 — — While the successful negotiation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is a relief, a large bilateral trade issue remains for Canada and the US. The tariffs placed on Canadian iron, steel and aluminum this year by President Trump for national security reasons will stay in effect even though a free trade agreement has been reached. While […]

Making up for Canada’s cannabis wrongs

Oct 17 2018 — Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities in Canada have been disproportionately criminalized by cannabis convictions, despite similar rates of consumption across different groups. With recreational cannabis now legal, policy-makers are being urged to consider the lasting harms of cannabis prohibition on certain Canadians and how those inequities might be redressed through creative policies and programs.

Rethinking Criminal Justice in Canada

Oct 11 2018 — — Reforming the criminal justice system has been the subject of intense political debate in Canada in the past decade. Competing ideals related to rehabilitation, punishment and fairness have led to markedly different policy approaches and sharp disagree­ments among political parties on the best way forward.

The Magic Carbon Dividend Plan—yes, it’s too good to be true

Oct 4 2018 — Ross McKitrick — Will households be better off under a carbon tax-and-dividend plan? A recent report from Canadians for Clean Prosperity, a pro-carbon pricing advocacy group, claims they will, based on an analysis by David Sawyer of It suggests that across income levels and provinces, households will pay less in carbon taxes than they receive in rebates, […]

Facing the Facts: Reconsidering Business Innovation Policy in Canada

Oct 4 2018 — The federal government’s main strategy to sustain economic prosperity in coming years is through innovation. Yet for decades, successive governments have attempted to promote business innovation and failed. Indeed, Canadian businesses have managed to be successful despite their poor innovation performance. This time may be different. Globalization, technology, sustainability concerns and population aging will inevitably […]

Mr. Morneau’s “gap filling” approach on pharmacare is the right course

Oct 2 2018 — Sean Speer — There’s tremendous interest in how Ottawa’s budget commitment to “move forward” on national pharmacare will take shape, especially since Ottawa’s positioning has been difficult to read. Government members on the Health Committee have enthusiastically endorsed a single-payer public prescription drug plan. Yet Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said that we need a plan “that deals […]