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The C.D. Howe Institute is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies. Widely considered to be Canada's most influential think tank, the Institute is a trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review.

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01 May 2018
May
01
Now that some time has passed since the surprising Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Comeau case, it’s worth reflecting on some of the concepts enunciated in that judgment in upholding New Brunswick’s ban on cross-border beer imports. The central issue in that case, of course, was whether Section 121 of the Constitution was breached by the New Brunswick law under which Mr. Comeau was charged. Section 121 says: “All Articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall . . . be admitted free into each of the other Provinces.” Note that the words are “shall . . be admitted free.” Section 121 doesn’t say “duty free” but “free” — full stop. That word would in a normal sense seem to mean admitted into the...
26 Apr 2018
Apr
26
This week’s review of the Ontario government’s pre-election financial report from the provincial Auditor-General reconfirmed what The Globe and Mail reported last weekend: The government is using an accounting trick to shrink its reported deficit and debt. It is hiding the cost of borrowing to subsidize electricity prices over the next few years by inventing an “asset” – revenue from the higher prices Ontario’s electricity consumers will pay later on – to keep the borrowing from showing in the government’s bottom line. Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk’s review concludes that the pre-election report is not a reasonable presentation of Ontario’s finances. Her concerns deserve wide attention – not just in Ontario, but throughout...
23 Apr 2018
Apr
23
As of April 12, municipalities in Ontario will be able to implement inclusionary zoning, allowing them to require affordable housing units in residential developments. The province’s willingness to grant municipalities this authority reflects its broader commitment to modernizing Ontario’s planning regime. But one relic of this old regime remains: Section 37 of Ontario’s Planning Act. As the province continues to overhaul its planning legislation, it is time to revisit Section 37 and either repeal it or significantly amend it. Section 37 allows municipalities to secure “benefits” from developers in return for allowing buildings to exceed height and density restrictions. As I note in a recent report for the C.D. Howe Institute, over the...

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© 2014 C.D. Howe Institute. All Rights Reserved.