Fraser Institute


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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of 86 think-tanks. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit fraserinstitute.org.Follow the Fraser Institute on Twitter | Like us on Facebook

Most Recent Articles by Fraser Institute:

High, increasing electricity prices have cost Ontario more than 74,000 manufacturing jobs since 2008

Oct 17, 2017 — Fraser Institute

TORONTO—Ontario’s rising electricity prices—now the highest in Canada—have cost the province an estimated 74,881 manufacturing jobs since the 2008 recession, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think-tank.

“Electricity is a major cost for the manufacturing sector, so it’s not surprising that Ontario’s skyrocketing electricity prices have led to tens of thousands of job losses in the province,” said Ross McKitrick, economics professor at the University of Guelph, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of Rising Electricity Costs and Declining Employment in Ontario’s Manufacturing Sector.


Business investment in Canada second-lowest among 17 advanced economies

Oct 12, 2017 — Fraser Institute

OTTAWA—Canada lags far behind other developed countries when it comes to business investment, which is critical to grow the economy and increase living standards, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“When businesses invest in the latest technologies and production techniques and expand their operations, it spurs economic growth and raises living standards for workers,” said Philip Cross, former chief economic analyst for Statistics Canada and author of Business Investment in Canada Falls Far Behind Other Industrialized Countries.


Added prescription to Canadian mortgage rules unnecessary, could increase costs for homebuyers

Oct 11, 2017 — Fraser Institute

TORONTO—Requiring a stress test for Canadians who provide at least a 20 per cent down payment to purchase a home is an unnecessary step that could negatively affect homebuyers across Canada, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

Canada’s financial regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OFSI), wants to force homebuyers who do not require mortgage insurance—those who provide 20 per cent or more of the property’s value as a down payment—to qualify for a mortgage two percentage points higher than the agreed upon rate.


Funding and regulation of independent schools varies greatly across the provinces: Only five provide

Oct 3, 2017 — Fraser Institute

TORONTO—Only half of Canada’s provinces provide even partial funding for independent schools, which in turn, can lower tuition costs for parents, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Independent schools offer parents greater choice, and often provide religious or alternative teaching pedagogies not available in the public school system, but across Canada there is a wide variety of regulations and funding models for these schools,” said Deani Van Pelt, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of The Funding and Regulation of Independent Schools in Canada.


More than 80 per cent of middle-income families face higher federal income taxes

Sep 26, 2017 — Fraser Institute

VANCOUVER—Contrary to rhetoric from Ottawa, the vast majority of middle-class Canadian families are paying higher income taxes due to changes made by the federal government, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

On average, middle-class families will pay $840 more in federal income taxes this year.


Ontario’s $15 minimum wage threatens jobs for young people and low-skilled workers province-wi

Sep 19, 2017 — Fraser Institute

TORONTO—Raising Ontario’s minimum wage to $15 an hour—a staggering 32 per cent increase over the current minimum wage—will lead to job losses across the province for Ontario’s young and low-skilled workers, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Economic conditions are not the same across Ontario, so the negative effects of a $15 minimum wage—namely job losses for young and low-skilled workers—will be more severe in some areas of the province,” explained Ben Eisen, director of the Fraser Institute’s Ontario Prosperity Initiative and co-author of Ontario Enters Uncharted Waters with a $15 Minimum Wage.


Once-powerful Ontario now a fiscal laggard in Canada; per-person government debt set to eclipse Queb

Sep 7, 2017 — Fraser Institute

TORONTO—once a Canadian leader in fiscal management—has become the poster child for financial mismanagement along with Alberta, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“At the turn of the century, Ontario could boast as having a relatively strong fiscal record while Quebec fell behind in terms of provincial financial management, but times have changed—Quebec is now showing encouraging signs of turning its troubles around, and Ontario is still in decline,” said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Canada’s Past Fiscal Leaders Are Now Fiscal Laggards: An Analysis of 2017 Provincial Budgets.


Ontario’s labour market ranks among worst in North America; trails Michigan in job-creation

Aug 31, 2017 — Fraser Institute

TORONTO—Ontario’s job-creation and labour market performance ranks poorly when compared to other Canadian provinces and U.S. states, and it trails far behind other manufacturing jurisdictions including Michigan, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“By almost every measure, Ontario’s labour market is at the back of the pack in North America,” said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Measuring Labour Markets in Canada and the United States, 2017.


Taxes—not housing and basic necessities—are largest Canadian household expense

Aug 24, 2017 — Fraser Institute

VANCOUVER—Despite high housing costs across the country, the average Canadian family spent more on taxes in 2016 than housing, food and clothing combined, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Many Canadians may think housing is their biggest household expense, but in fact the average Canadian family spent more on taxes last year than on life’s basic necessities—including housing,” said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of the Canadian Consumer Tax Index, which tracks the total tax bill of the average Canadian family from 1961 to 2016.


Flawed equalization program can’t respond fairly to big changes in Canadian economy

Aug 22, 2017 — Fraser Institute

TORONTO—As traditional “have” provinces struggle economically, Canada’s equalization program is not equipped to adapt to the country’s new economic landscape, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“The economic gap between so-called have and have-not provinces has shrunk, but equalization payments are required to keep growing automatically no matter how much provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan are struggling,” said Ben Eisen, co-author of Should Equalization Keep on Growing in an Era of Converging Fiscal Capacity?


Lower interest rates and rising incomes more than doubled amount Canadians can borrow for a home

Aug 17, 2017 — Fraser Institute

VANCOUVER—Canadians have been able to qualify for much larger mortgages over the past two decades because of declining interest rates and rising incomes, and that has more than likely translated into higher home prices, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Increased borrowing power, brought about by falling interest rates and rising incomes, is potentially the most overlooked and least understood factor influencing home prices across Canada,” said Niels Veldhuis, president of the Fraser Institute.


Ottawa faces stark choice in NAFTA talks; scrap high-profile protectionist policies or risk the deal

Aug 16, 2017 — Fraser Institute

VANCOUVER—To successfully renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada may have to eliminate protectionist policies aimed at key Canadian industries—and that could be good news for the Canadian economy in the longer-run, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

Talks to renegotiate NAFTA, initiated by President Donald Trump, kick-off this week in Washington, D.C.


Ontario government’s timeline to reduce debt lacks specifics and relies on questionable assump

Aug 3, 2017 — Fraser Institute

TORONTO—Queen’s Park’s timeline for reducing the province’s historically high debt burden relies on optimistic and questionable assumptions and lacks a detailed, credible plan to achieve it, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The Ontario government has acknowledged the province’s current debt-to-GDP ratio—a measure used to evaluate a jurisdiction’s debt burden—is too high at 37 per cent of the economy and has pledged to lower it back to the pre-recession level of 27 per cent by 2029/30.

But the government has offered no specifics on how it will achieve that goal.


Health-care costs for typical Canadian family will eclipse $12,000 this year; up nearly 70% since 19

Aug 1, 2017 — Fraser Institute

VANCOUVER—A typical Canadian family of four will pay $12,057 for health care in 2017—an increase of nearly 70 per cent over the last 20 years, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Health care in Canada isn’t free—Canadians actually pay a substantial amount for health care through their taxes, even if they don’t pay directly for medical services,” said Bacchus Barua, senior economist with the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Health Policy Studies and co-author of The Price of Public Health Care Insurance, 2017.


Ontario electricity prices fastest growing in Canada; Toronto bills highest nationwide

Jul 20, 2017 — Fraser Institute

TORONTO—Ontario electricity prices increased twice as fast as the national average over the past decade, and the average Toronto resident now pays $60 more per month than the average Canadian for electricity, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think-tank.

“Electricity is a necessity, and Ontario’s high prices pose a serious burden for many families who, after paying their hydro bills, have significantly less money to spend on other important priorities,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior director of energy and natural resource studies and co-author of Evaluating Electricity Price Growth in Ontario.

The study also finds that electricity prices in Ontario increased 2.5 times faster than Ontario income levels between 2008 and 2015 (the latest year of income data).