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Michel Kelly-Gagnon

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Keep Health Warnings Off Junk Food

The tendency for governments to increasingly regulate the advertising industry, whether in the name of consumer protection or for health concerns, is already on full throttle. After cigarette packs, don't be surprised if sooner or later you see plain bags of chips on the shelves of convenience stores, or plain-packaged chocolate bars. Politicians stand on a steep, slippery slope that could lead to private property and intellectual property violations, and destruction of brands. The economic consequences should be weighted carefully. And such policies backed by solid empirical data, not merely good intentions.
08/05/2014 12:12 EDT
CP

Canada, Let's Tear Down These Trade Walls

Ever wonder why some Canadian small businesses have a harder time selling their goods in the next province than they do in Europe? That's because we Canadians put a lot of effort in crafting trade deals with countries around the world -- which is a very good thing. But we fail to do the same within our borders.
06/08/2014 11:46 EDT
Marilyn Nieves via Getty Images

More Taxes Won't Fix Our Fiscal Mess

Not a day goes by without someone, somewhere, asking for politicians to levy another tax on a particular group -- ''the rich'', drivers, smokers, or taxpayers in general. And with fiscal deficits crippling many provinces -- especially Ontario and Quebec -- brace yourself. You can count on lobbies of all sorts and politicians to come up with ''innovative'' ideas on how to dig deeper into your pockets to pay for their pet projects.
05/23/2014 12:26 EDT
PC

Quebec Is on a Dangerous Job Creation Path

We are in the midst of another election in Quebec. And the talk is all about having a healthy economy and growing revenues and jobs. But if the past is indicative of the future, it's not going to be a rosy one.
03/14/2014 05:50 EDT
Cameron Spencer via Getty Images

Why Flaherty's Sin Tax on Cigarettes Won't Work

This is precisely what happened in Canada in the early 1990s. Indeed, following a steep increase in duties and taxes applicable to tobacco products by the federal government and the provinces, a vast illegal trade in cigarettes sprang up. Contraband's share in the Canadian tobacco market jumped from 1 per cent in 1987 to approximately 31 per cent by the end of 1993.
02/14/2014 08:15 EST
CP

My (Modest) Hopes for the Federal Budget

There are many priorities and wish lists for the federal budget, to be presented this Tuesday. For my part, I have modest expectations but, in particular, I will be looking for two things:
02/11/2014 12:26 EST
Getty

Why Having a 'Contract' Job Instead of a Permanent One is a Good Thing

Some people chose to work part-time or temporary contracts. But even for those looking for a full-time and permanent job, staffing services offer a leg up. It is especially true for immigrants, the reason being that when they graduated or were trained abroad, they have a harder time convincing future employers of their skills. Staffing services provide an opportunity to be evaluated on the job.
11/11/2013 05:12 EST

Too Much Tax Kills

This just in: Both in France and in Quebec, the law of gravity holds! As does mathematical reality. Here as there, politicians are just now discovering a fact that some of us have been tirelessly repeating for years: Too much tax kills tax. In France, after having continually raised taxes, politicians are realizing that they have hit a wall.
09/26/2013 06:00 EDT
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G20 Fails to Fix Global Finance. Again.

It's a wonder that the heads of state and heads of government of the G20 who just met in Russia spent any time at all talking economics. Seriously, how could they pull themselves away from discussing Syria (or Sochi, or Snowden) long enough to actually focus on the international financial system? Sure, that's the explicit purpose of the G20 meetings, but still, let's give credit where credit is due.
09/12/2013 12:08 EDT
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No More Oil Means No More Smartphones

Filling up at the gas station is certainly one of the ways to use oil that is most familiar to us. But guess what: of all the oil we use, only 43 per cent goes to fueling our cars. Given this, can we seriously consider ending our "dependence on oil", as some would suggest? Someone who wants to stop using oil will have to say goodbye to smart phones, ballpoint pens, candlelight, clothing made of synthetic fibers, glasses, toothpaste, tires (including those on bicycles), and thousands of other products made from plastic, a petroleum derivative. Good luck with that program.
08/28/2013 12:37 EDT
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Canadian Flight Prices Need to Ground

Perhaps you flew off for holidays this summer. Compare any return flights between pairs of cities in Europe and in Canada, with roughly the same distance, and you'll notice a staggering difference in price. Flying from an airport south of the border is cheaper, too.
08/23/2013 05:22 EDT
AP

Do Politicians Deserve All the Credit for Job Creation?

Instinctively, everybody knows that job creation is something really important, both economically and socially. In a way, we should "thank" the job creators. But who is it, exactly, that we must thank? We might be tempted to believe that it is politicians.
08/12/2013 12:04 EDT
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Free Markets Help the Poor Better Than Aid Does

"Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce and entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid." Though I strongly agree with these words, they came from someone just a bit more glamorous than me -- Bono. The West's relationship with the poor is based on condescension and charity. When it comes to helping the poor get out of the poverty trap, one should not be trapped in preconceived ideas.
08/08/2013 12:43 EDT
Getty

Why the Big Three Are Right About Verizon

At first sight, the reaction of the three big players to Verizon's possible entry onto the Canadian market seems to be another illustration of their tendency to quash competition. A casual observer might be tempted to think that they're trying to secure government protection against a new player that poses a real threat to their market shares. Nothing could be further from the truth.
08/01/2013 12:10 EDT
CP

Post Lac-Megantic Let's Talk Fact, Not Fantasy

The fact that the Lac Megantic rail tragedy hit so close to home should motivate us that much more to find solutions to keep such things from happening again. What's really inappropriate is pushing fantasies -- such as "freeing ourselves from our dependence on oil" -- when we're faced with a very real problem. In the short- and medium-term, oil will continue to be a part of our lives. All methods of transporting oil will remain relevant and necessary for some time yet. Pipelines, though, have the advantage of being by far the safest method of transportation.
07/12/2013 08:15 EDT
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Why Public Health Activists Want to Hide Inconvenient Truths

After studying about three million cases, the authors of a new study found that for people who are older than 60, having a body-mass index (BMI) that ranks you as overweight may reduce your mortality risk. And while obese people had a greater mortality risk over all, those at the lowest level of obesity were not more likely to die during a given period than people of normal weight. The reception to this data has not been kind.
06/14/2013 12:34 EDT