Blogs & Comment

Best of think-tank commentary

Here are highlights from recent reports, commentary and analyses published by Canadas think tanks:
1. Herbert Grubel, a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute, laments the decision to deny UAE airlines enhanced landing rights in Canada: the regulatory framework is suppose to provide consumers with safe and reliable flights at low cost but once again is used to keep out competitors who may be more efficient and less burdened than Air Canada with pensions, wages, and work rules extracted by unionized labour in the past.
2. With a hike to employment insurance premiums slated for Jan. 1, 2011, Charles Lammam and Niels Veldhuisin the Fiscal Studies Department at the Fraser Institute suggest reining in future increases by switching to experience rating, a system whereby the premiums charged vary directly with the number of claims made.
3. David Descteaux, an associate researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute, heads out to buy his two cases of wine for Christmas and then blasts provincial liquor monopolies for their 40% to 135% margins embedded in the price of alcoholic beverages.
4. David Descteaux, in another commentary, sees hope for an end to big-spending Santa Claus governments in the victories of deficit-fighting candidates in the U.S. mid-term elections, Rob Ford in the Toronto mayoralty race and David Cameron in Britain.
5. With Industry Canada reviewing spectrum fees imposed on companies providing wireless services, Montreal Economic Institute President and CEO Michel Kelly-Gagnoncalls for the bureaucrats to remember that the goal of spectrum policy should be to maximize consumer welfare not to maximizetaxes grabbed by the government.
6. Charles Cirtwill, President & CEO of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, rejects government-run child care in favour ofissuing income-based vouchersin order to provide parents with choice and flexibility that will promote competition among child care providers, and ensure continuous improvement going forward.
7. Policy analyst Ben Eisendoes a podcast on a study by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy showing that the have-not provinces need to trimtheir disproportionately large public sectors to end the cycle of transfer dependency and economic underperformance.
8. In the C.D. Howe Institutes 2010 Benefactors Lecture, University of Toronto professor Michael Blisscalls for the public healthcare system to move away from universality in the interests of reducing its fiscal burden, much like the previous evolutions of the Baby Bonus and Old Age Securityaway from universal benefits.