Charles Lammam
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Charles Lammam is Resident Scholar in Economic Policy at the Fraser Institute. Since joining the Institute, Mr. Lammam has published more than 25 research reports and 100 original commentaries on a wide range of economic policy issues such as taxation, government finances, investment, entrepreneurship, income mobility, labour, pensions, public-private partnerships, and charitable giving. His commentaries have appeared in every major Canadian newspaper including the National Post, Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Sun, Montreal Gazette, Calgary Herald, and Vancouver Sun. He is a frequent contributor to Fraser Forum, the Fraser Institute’s flagship policy magazine. Mr. Lammam also regularly gives presentations to various groups, comments in print media, and appears on radio and television broadcasts across the country to discuss the Institute’s research. He has appeared before committees of the House of Commons as an expert witness. Mr. Lammam holds an MA in public policy and BA in economics with a minor in business administration from Simon Fraser University.

Entries by Charles Lammam

Are "Wynne Days" Coming?

(27) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 12:02 AM

We've seen this script before. Higher spending. Tax increases. Persistent deficits. Growing debt. Warnings from credit rating agencies. A government unwilling to make the tough choices to turn things around.

That's the Ontario of the 1980s and early 1990s. It's also where the province finds itself today. The parallels are...

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City of Vancouver Addicted To Debt

(1) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 11:38 PM

"When a person is addicted to a substance...they are not able to control the use of that substance. They continue taking it, even though it may cause harm." That's a key sign of addiction, according to a popular medical website.

In the City of Vancouver's case, the substance...

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How Taxes Could Affect the Leafs and Senators Next Season

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2014 | 6:24 PM

July 1 is an important day for Canadians as they celebrate the country's founding. It's also the first day that NHL teams can sign free agents for the upcoming season. Many will be watching to see if their favourite teams land a superstar.

There's a lot of speculation that the...

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Regional Carbon Tax For Metro Vancouver Is A Bad Idea

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 3:05 PM

A group of Metro Vancouver mayors recently unveiled the details of an ambitious public transit expansion plan with a price tag of $7.5 billion for new capital and an extra $800 million for annual operations. For near term funding, the mayors proposed using transfers from other...

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Wynne, Stop Ontario's Credit Rating From Plummeting Further

(46) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 8:24 AM

Roughly 12 hours after Premier Kathleen Wynne was re-elected in Ontario with a majority government, bond markets and international credit rating agencies sent her a powerful message about the province's dismal public finances. Ontario's borrowing costs spiked the morning after the election (the highest daily jump in six...

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Are Metro Vancouver Municipalities Really As Poor As They Claim?

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 6:56 PM

Municipal officials in Metro Vancouver hailed the recent renewal and expansion of the Gas Tax Fund, which provides federal transfers to municipalities for infrastructure spending. But before the ink could dry on the federal commitment, Metro Vancouver vice-chairman and City of Vancouver councillor Raymond Louie argued...

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Are You Happy Working for the Government Until June 9?

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 3:42 PM

No one really thinks we should abolish all taxes. After all, how would governments fund important public services that form the foundation of our economy? Think of services like protecting property, building infrastructure, upholding the legal system, to name a few.

The real debate is about the amount of taxes...

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Quebec's Budget Is the Next Step in a Recovery Plan

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 11:38 AM

Premier Couillard's government will table its first budget on June 4 and early signs suggest it's not going to be business as usual. "The time for cosmetic changes is gone... We must act firmly and decisively. And we will," Couillard said in reference to fixing Quebec's deteriorating government...

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Ontario's Debt and Deficits Will Only Get Worse

(7) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 12:45 PM

A new report on provincial debts and deficits by Moody's, the international credit rating agency, is another piercing reminder of Ontario's serious fiscal challenges. Based on media accounts, the report warns that some provinces must take action to improve their public finances or face a possible credit downgrade....

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The Ontario Budget's Pension Plan Is Unnecessary

(16) Comments | Posted May 3, 2014 | 8:01 PM

Ontario's recent budget included the Liberals' proposal for a mandatory government pension plan modelled after the Canada Pension Plan. The proposal, however, is largely based on the faulty assumption that most Canadians are not adequately prepared for retirement.

In reality, Canada's retirement income system serves the vast majority...

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The Ontario Budget Is a Train Wreck

(7) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 6:41 PM

With Ontario lagging behind other provinces on a wide range of economic indicators and recently becoming a "have-not" province, it desperately needed a bold plan to improve competitiveness and foster economic growth. Unfortunately, Thursday's budget failed to deliver and will only exacerbate...

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What Ontario's Budget Should Look Like

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 5:35 PM

On May 1 Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa will stand in the provincial legislature to deliver this year's budget speech. Rather than present a bold fiscal and economic plan to jumpstart Ontario's lacklustre economy, Sousa seems poised to deliver a budget with increased spending, higher taxes...

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The Largest Expense in a Canadian Family's Budget Will Surprise You

(8) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 6:12 PM

Like other Canadians, you work hard for your money.

Faced with essential expenses such as food, clothing, and shelter, your household budget may feel squeezed. But what if we told you, your family's biggest expense is taxes?

Sure, you know how much you pay in income tax. After all, it's...

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What the U.S. Can Learn From Canada's Government

(5) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 12:35 PM

For several years now, the political debate in the United States has centred on whether the federal government should hike taxes or cut spending to tackle the deficit and rein in government debt. At the root of political "gridlock" is ultimately differing views among Democrats and Republicans with respect to...

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Every Taxpaying Canadian Has a $243,000 Bill, Courtesy of Our Government

(19) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 5:23 PM

Imagine receiving a credit card bill that totalled $243,476. This would no doubt be a shock for most Canadians. But if you add up all the liabilities of every Canadian government -- federal, provincial, and local -- that is in fact how much each taxpayer would owe of the

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B.C.'s Business Tax Regime Needs Competitive Jumpstart

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 4:19 PM

One item sorely missing from B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong's recent budget was a plan to make the province's business taxes more competitive and attractive for investment. When the province shifted back to the PST last year, the cost of doing business and investing increased...

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Ottawa's On Track to Balance the Budget -- So What's Next?

(2) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 3:19 PM

"Some people will say this budget is boring," finance minister Jim Flaherty remarked after unveiling Tuesday's federal budget. A careful look, however, suggests the minister might be understating the future significance of his budget.

After running six consecutive deficits totaling $156.5 billion, Flaherty has been clear that balancing...

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Pro-Markets Not Pro-Business: There's a Difference

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 11:53 AM

The federal government recently poured $36.3 million into the Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund - the first of many soon-to-come government-sponsored funds comprising Ottawa's $400 million "Venture Capital Action Plan." The plan, conceived with the view that Canada's lacklustre venture capital industry requires a government solution, ignores...

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Cut Spending -- Don't Just Slow Its Growth

(5) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 4:27 PM

With federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty poised to unveil his 2014 budget on February 11, early signs point to a business-as-usual budget with his government staying focused on eliminating the deficit in 2015 and creating the fiscal room to provide tax relief in next year's budget -- conveniently right before...

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Why A Higher Minimum Wage Won't Help the Poor

(22) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 11:52 AM

After several months of labour activists putting pressure on the Ontario government to increase the provincial minimum wage, Premier Kathleen Wynne finally succumbed and announced that she will increase it to $11 per hour from the current $10.25 rate.

This is yet another clear case of politics trumping...

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