Charles Lammam
Charles Lammam is Associate Director of Tax and Fiscal 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

B.C. Budget 2015: The Status Quo Isn't Good Enough

(2) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 6:32 PM

Against the backdrop of a sluggish and uncertain economy, B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong unveiled a largely status quo budget on Tuesday. While the fiscal situation in B.C. is better than most provinces, the status quo won't address deficient economic policies or propel B.C.'s economy forward.


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Why A Guaranteed Annual Income Is Unlikely to Solve Poverty

(45) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 5:50 PM

An idea that would fundamentally change the way governments provide income support has received renewed attention in Canada and around the world. The idea: replace the current complex tangle of government income support programs with a single cash transfer to individuals or families -- without conditions such as requiring recipients...

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Ontario's Debt Situation Is About To Get a Whole Lot Worse

(48) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 12:46 PM

When the federal government faced a growing debt problem in the late 1980s, then Opposition finance critic Paul Martin was initially skeptical about cutting spending. In 1989, he labelled mild government efforts to cut spending as "ideological." Six years later, as finance minister, Martin recognized that cascading debt...

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Don't Throw Out the P3 Baby With the Bathwater

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2014 | 3:01 PM

Something as dull sounding as public-private partnerships (P3s) has suddenly grabbed headlines thanks to a recent report from Ontario's Auditor General. While some claim the report is evidence that we should abandon the use of P3s, the report is actually a constructive critique of how the...

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Small Fixes Won't Solve Quebec's Deep-Rooted Fiscal Problems

(7) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 5:50 PM

There are times when a problem can be solved with a small fix and perhaps a little tinkering. And there are times when a big fix or fundamental reform is needed. Quebec's government finances fall into the latter category. While the recent fiscal update takes small steps towards...

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Minimum Wage Increases Won't Solve Our Poverty Problem

(34) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 6:08 PM

The B.C. Federation of Labour is out in full force with its latest campaign to increase the provincial minimum wage to $15 from the current $10.25 per hour. Last week on these pages the Federation's outgoing president Jim Sinclair argued in favour of the hike, framing...

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Prentice's Path: Getty or Klein?

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 2:57 PM

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice is in the midst of formulating his first budget and the fiscal path of the province while watching oil prices continue to decline. In this environment, the key question for the new premier is: will he follow the lead of former Premier Don Getty - and...

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The Ontario Government Should Take Ownership For Its Serious Economic Problems

(16) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 1:25 PM

There was an aura of complacency in Queen's Park as the Ontario government released its update on the state of provincial finances. The government remains committed to its relatively passive approach of dealing with persistent deficits, mushrooming debt, and growing interest payments. Rather than take meaningful, pro-active measures...

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Ottawa Should Focus on Tax Relief Instead of More Spending

(13) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 9:27 AM

After seven years of budget deficits and over $160 billion in new debt, the federal government confirmed in its financial update Wednesday that it expects to record a surplus next year. With the deficit set for elimination, now is the time to shift focus on ways to lay...

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Harper's Income Splitting Is a Missed Opportunity

(28) Comments | Posted November 2, 2014 | 7:48 PM

After seven consecutive years of budget deficits, the federal government is finally set to balance the budget. While the government has long expressed that tax relief is its top post-deficit priority, the major question has always been: what form will the tax relief take?

Now we finally know. Prime Minister...

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B.C. Deeper In Debt Despite Claims Of Balanced Budget

(2) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 7:19 PM

This piece was co-written by Sean Speer, Associate Director of Government Budgets and Fiscal Policy at the Fraser Institute

"B.C. is currently on target to balance the 2014/15 budget," declared B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong while unveiling the government's latest financial update. Understandably, many British...

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Don't Believe This Misleading Report About Canadian Income Inequality

(32) Comments | Posted September 21, 2014 | 1:50 PM

You'd think that we live in a caste society with an exclusive few perpetually "controlling" the vast majority of wealth given the stream of media stories on a recent report from the Broadbent Institute. Headlines in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and

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Right-to-Work Law Would Help Put Ontario Back on Track

(146) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 2:24 PM

Ontario, once Canada's flourishing economic and manufacturing hub, is in steady decline with slow economic growth and rapidly expanding government debt being a sad yet reoccurring story.

Over the past decade, private sector job growth in Ontario has lagged behind virtually every province, and...

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How the Government's Interest Payments Are Costing You

(8) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 6:11 PM

Canadian headlines about government deficits and debt can be dizzying and hard for people to grasp. A few billion here and several billion there and the natural response is for one's eyes to glaze over in despair. But the increasing government debt has tangible and immediate...

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Are "Wynne Days" Coming?

(27) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 1:02 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 19, 2014 | 12:38 AM

"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 | 7:24 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 | 4:05 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

(45) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 9:24 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 | 7:56 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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