Op-Eds

Housing costs have become a national economic concern, reaching policymakers in Ottawa. Normally, federal moves affect the demand side of housing through lending policy. But lending power does not address the core problem now, which is lack of supply. What could Ottawa do in an area that is normally provincial jurisdiction? It could use its money wisely to solve problems local governments have a harder time tackling. First, Ottawa could require that infrastructure grants only go to areas that expedite development. Here the key justification for a federal role is a need to curb local residents’ opposition to construction. This opposition, which restricts entry, would be considered anti-competitive action if a business did it (and would...
COVID-19 has fundamentally changed lives across Canada. This change may be most pronounced in Canada’s major cities. Many of the things that make life in our cities so vibrant—great restaurants, entertainment, or going to the office to learn from great colleagues—have vanished. Post-pandemic, as more Canadians work from home, transit operators will face the challenge of bringing us back together to enjoy urban life while facing a gloomy financial outlook. There are many benefits of urban living, such as tapping a large job and employee market, having access to a wide range of services and infrastructure, and learning from others face-to-face. Public transit is the essential component that enables the benefits of people coming together....
Policy decisions coming soon from the CRTC, the federal telecommunications regulator, are going to shape major investment decisions with critical impacts on our economy. Canadian governments need to get the right balance between investment and sustainable competition. Failure to do so will jeopardize efforts to get Canadian communities digitally connected and hence our ability as a nation to participate in an increasingly digital world economy. The next generation of technology investment — “5G” — is critical to the economy’s future. For example, it will be key to commercializing innovations in precision agriculture. It will enable rural economic development, such as automated hauling at mine sites, and underpin further developments in...
Je ne cherche pas à vous vendre le pont Samuel-De Champlain, croyez-moi ! Seulement à vous convaincre qu’il est opportun de considérer le financement des infrastructures publiques par les caisses de retraite, qui ont besoin de ces actifs pour assurer le paiement de nos rentes. Il y a quelques jours, Mark Machin, le patron d’Investissements RPC, qui gère les 457 milliards de dollars du Régime de pension du Canada, le grand frère du Régime des rentes du Québec, lui géré par la Caisse de dépôt, a suggéré que les gouvernements à court d’argent devraient vendre les aéroports, les routes à péage, les sociétés de services public et autres infrastructures publiques. « Il y a tellement de capital qui court après les...
Home prices have skyrocketed in places such as Vancouver and Toronto in the past decade. These cities have some of the highest charges and most restrictive rules on construction. The evidence from around the world shows that government policies that limit supply and increase the cost of construction are among the key causes of higher prices. It is time governments take more steps to reduce these costs. Homebuyers in Canadian cities face a multitude of taxes and charges that increase the cost of buying a home. Restrictions on housing supply and extra costs hinder the efficiency of the housing market. Recent research has found a persistent gap between the cost of building new homes and their market price in major Canadian cities...