Nothing is more dangerous than an idea.

Émile Chartier is credited with those words or similar, finishing with “…when it’s the only one we have.” 

Canada has tried for nearly 80 years to implement “national pharmacare”—defined here as a fully public national drug insurance plan—without success. We should ask why. 

One reason is an unrelenting insistence that only a fully public plan will work. Fifty years ago that may have been true. When Ottawa didn’t act, we found an alternative: provinces and employers stepped in. 

Between us and a good-quality universal drug insurance plan lie four problems, all of which matter right now. The Liberal-NDP supply-and-confidence agreement promises national pharmacare…

In public policy, as in life generally, we often recognize mistakes by others more easily than we recognize mistakes we make ourselves. Italy just goofed big-time with a windfall tax on its banks, and Canadians should take notice.

Last month, the coalition government of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced a surtax of 40 per cent on the profits of the country’s banks. The announcement triggered a crash in bank stocks – a loss of €10-billion in a single day – and a storm of criticism from investors, economists and elected representatives, including members of the coalition.

Ms. Meloni’s government has since backtracked, capping the amount at 1 per cent of bank assets, and exempting smaller banks. But the…

Ottawa’s policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will cost Canadians, both directly and indirectly. In 2021, the Royal Bank estimated that reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 could cost as much as $2 trillion — which is almost three-quarters of last year’s entire GDP. We will also need to spend more to protect against a changing climate. To pay for all this, Canada badly needs economic growth.

Though virtually all governments and opposition parties twist themselves into knots to avoid saying it, trying to prevent climate change will cause economic pain. Yes, there will be new “sustainable” jobs and businesses, but the net impact will almost surely be negative. Assigning a price, by tax or regulation, to anything previously…