All COVID-related economic recovery measures in Canada are set to end soon. Employers who have been having trouble filling vacancies are hoping this will spur a flood of people back into the work force, but unfortunately for business owners, the situation isn’t quite that simple.

In the early days of the pandemic, the federal government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to ensure that a broad range of Canadians affected by the pandemic stayed afloat. Government supports like this and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (which is scheduled to run until Oct. 23, 2021) sustained many people and businesses.

But the economy is in a different place now. The number of unemployed people was 1.4 million in…

While governments struggle to find consensus in the lead-up to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) critical ministerial conference (MC12) in November, there is a highly significant global development that won’t even be touched on at the meeting: the spread of trade embargoes and economic sanctions.

Used mostly by Western governments, these tools are aimed at combatting terrorism, preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, penalizing human rights abuses and environmental degradation, fighting drug trafficking and other actions by unsavoury foreign governments, companies and individuals.

In today’s fraught and increasingly fractured world order, with reduced efficacy of multilaterally-agreed rules, unilateral…

Big changes are afoot in the way patent drugs are priced in Canada. At present, Canada’s Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB), a federal agency, is responsible for setting maximum prices for patented drugs (i.e., pharmaceuticals, biologics and vaccines). The agency has been criticized for failing to rein in prices, which are higher than in some peer countries. This criticism is unfair: the tools the PMPRB was given to regulate drug prices when it was established in 1987 have become less effective over time.

To address this problem, the federal government has authorized the PMPRB to introduce new pricing regulations, now scheduled to come into force in January. We think this is the wrong strategy. Instead of relying on…