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Michel Kelly-Gagnon

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Plain Tobacco Packaging Targets the Basic Rights of Businesses

Beyond the war of statistics, the principles of liberty and personal responsibility must be brought back to the heart of discussions about tobacco consumption, or consumption of any other product deemed "harmful" to one's health. You don't need to be a radical libertarian to start to ask some serious questions regarding the tendency of certain groups to want to regiment all aspects of people's lives under the pretext of protecting their health.
09/11/2015 05:04 EDT
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Shale Gas Opponents Are Committed to the Unrealizable Goal of Zero Risk

Opposition to shale gas development has been fueled by fears that fracking could adversely affect our drinking water resources. A just-released study from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should help douse such fears. The exhaustive, 998-page report "did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States."
06/10/2015 12:21 EDT
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We Should Transport as Much Oil as We Can by Pipeline

Just about every aspect of our lives involves a certain amount of risk, of course. It's all about risk management. And indeed, despite the occasional high-profile accident like last week's spill in California, pipelines in general remain very safe. One realistic alternative to transporting Canadian oil by pipeline is transporting that same oil by train or by truck. Yet both of these methods of transport are less safe than pipelines. Logically, then, we should transport as much oil as we can by pipe, and as little as possible by rail or road.
05/27/2015 12:29 EDT
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Quebec Should Ditch Wind Power Subsidies and Go for Oil

Hydro-Québec indirectly subsidizes the wind power sector to the tune of $695 million a year, which amounts to some $200 per Quebec household to produce a tiny fraction of the province's energy. With an estimated 40 billion barrels of oil, developing this resource would provide a minimum of $160 million a year in royalties for the Quebec treasury over 30 years.
04/28/2015 12:37 EDT
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Will the Government Eliminate Capital Gains Tax?

By doubling the maximum contribution for a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), which would therefore jump to $11,000 a year according to rumours surrounding next Tuesday's budget, the federal government is doing more than just encourage saving; it's taking a step toward the de facto elimination of the capital gains tax on financial investments for the great majority of Canadians.
04/17/2015 05:45 EDT
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Blocking Pipeline Projects Will Mean More Oil Train Derailments

We can continue to resist and block pipelines like Keystone XL, in spite of their impressive safety record, but we cannot avoid the inevitable consequences of such resistance: more oil moved by train and by truck. Let's choose safety instead, and stop paying so much undeserved attention to environmentalist demagoguery. Accidents can't be avoided entirely, but there is a simple way to limit this kind of incident: Stop opposing pipeline projects. Oil is going to be with us for many decades to come, so we should use the safest transportation means we can whenever possible, and that means pipelines.
03/10/2015 09:04 EDT
Handout

The CBC Needs Direct Funding From Its Audience

Does CBC/Radio-Canada need saving? While some have been sounding the alarm for a while now, there is a perfectly viable way for the CBC to keep on operating even if the money it gets from Ottawa keeps on shrinking: direct funding from viewers, a model that works very well south of the border.
02/18/2015 09:33 EST
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Why Performance Pay Beats Unions

We tend to take it for granted that the presence of a union will lead employers to pay higher wages. In fact, this is not necessarily the case. When does unionizing lead to lower average wages? When it drives away the most productive--and highly-paid--workers.
02/17/2015 08:57 EST
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The Financial Move That Will Keep the Police Focused on Policing

Crime rates in Canada have been falling for 25 years, but the costs of policing just keep on rising. Admittedly, crime rates have likely been falling in part because we're spending more -- especially when that extra spending means more officers on the streets. But part of the cost increases can be attributed to the fact that those officers are performing a growing number of tasks that have little to do with actual policing.
02/03/2015 01:00 EST

A Few Points About Quebec's Debt

The current Quebec government is at least trying to tame its deficit and start chipping away at its huge debt. But there are some people out there who question whether or not Quebec's public debt is really such a serious problem, and therefore whether our provincial government's "austerity" policies are truly necessary.
01/09/2015 06:03 EST
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Want an Ad-Free Internet Experience? Pay for it

While you're reading this blog post, Google is conducting an experiment that could revolutionize the online advertisement business. This small experiment is called Contributor. It works by asking people for $1, $2 or $3 contributions to their website of choice in exchange for being able to read content without annoying advertisements.
12/04/2014 06:05 EST
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Subsidizing Electric Cars Is a Waste of Money

There's no doubt that electric cars are hot. From the beginning of 2012 to the beginning of 2014, the number of them on the road around the world quadrupled from 100,000 to 400,000. When you look at the numbers, though, it turns out that subsidizing electric cars is an extremely inefficient way of curbing GHGs. In other words, it costs a lot to reduce a little.
11/28/2014 01:00 EST
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Most of Latin America Has Adopted Democracy. Will Cuba?

Though still very far from the ideal, countries like Chile, Columbia, Peru, Brazil and Mexico have adopted political democracy and market economics, and are moving forward because of it. With any luck, Cuba's dictatorship will also soon crumble, and at long last allow its people to live in freedom.
11/13/2014 01:06 EST
Netflix

Should Netflix Be Regulated as a Traditional Canadian Broadcaster?

The Internet being a global phenomenon, there is now an obvious discrepancy between the rules applying to Canadian broadcasters, and what companies like Netflix can "broadcast" in Canada through a website or an app. When certain companies are subject to restrictive regulation while some of their competitors are not, there are calls from the regulated companies for the same rules to apply to their competitors.
09/12/2014 12:27 EDT
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One Solution to Illegal Immigration Problems in the US

One obvious solution would be to distribute enough temporary work visas for the farmers to be able to hire the workers they need legally. The positive aspects of the Bracero program should be revived, while eschewing its mistakes. This would not solve all of the country's illegal immigration problems. But it would certainly be better than the further militarization of the US-Mexico border.
09/09/2014 07:47 EDT