Year: 2012

Why Rent Control Fails to Ensure High Quality, Low Cost Rental Housing

Rent control reduces the incentive for construction of rental housing, and causes landlords to underinvest in maintenance since they aren’t able to recover their costs otherwise. To mitigate this, Manitoba’s rent controls exempt units priced under $1400 from controls, and grants a 20 years exemption from controls for new units. While less damaging than full blown rent control, this compromise still has a number of negative unintended consequences.

Canada’s Health Care System Rewards Mediocrity

There are defenders of the status quo who view any suggestions for reform with suspicion, but every aspect of our modern society is subjected to continuous review, change and improvement. The same process should be applied to hospital funding in Canada. If we are to improve we must change what we are doing.

Featured News

Ridley Terminals a Lesson for Market-Interfering Governments

Last week, the federal government announced that it was putting up for sale Ridley Terminals Inc., a coal and bulk commodity terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C. Many readers may not have heard of Ridley, and may be wondering why the government of Canada owned a coal terminal in the first place. The idea goes back to the days when mandarins in Ottawa concocted “regional economic development” plans that bore little resemblance to economic and market facts of life.

This Christmas, we have more to be thankful for than ever

The world is safer than it has ever been, and despite current economic turmoil, global poverty is in retreat. There are certainly policy improvements that could ameliorate socio-economic conditions in the western world, and there is a lot left to be done to tackle global poverty, but we are on the right trajectory.

Back From the Brink of Extinction: Woods bison, muskeg swamps and Canadian oil sands prove energy and wildlife coexist

The last woods bison in the United States was apparently shot by a hunter in West Virginia around 1835. For many decades, the woods bison was presumed extinct – until an airplane spotted an isolated herd in the muskeg swamps north of Alberta, Canada. I was delighted to actually see another herd of the nearly extinct animals calmly munching on hay – right in the middle of the oil sands mining project in northern Alberta, which I visited a few weeks ago. Much of this oil is destined for the USA, to reduce imports from dictatorships, and more will come in the Keystone XL Pipeline, if President Obama ever approves it.

Losing Sight Of The Issues: Birds, bowling, and bags: when city councils take on needless battles

Councillors have also spent time debating and voting on matters they have no power to actually address, whether it be banning shark-fin soup, opposing the Iraq War, or ending the NHL lockout — just this week, a Vancouver city councillor put forward a motion to write a letter to the NHL and the players’ association urging them to end the standoff (it passed).

City politicians focus on utopian visions while citizens just want simple things, like passable roads

It’s the new urban blight. Across the country, city governments are in varying states of disarray, if not chaos. The range is wide, from the badly governed fiasco in Toronto to outright corruption in Montreal and boondoggle-prone governments in Vancouver, Calgary and other Western cities. Taxes are rising, spending is soaring, but roads are crumbling and the basics often ignored.