Charles Lammam
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

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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Why Living Wage Laws Don't Help Those Who Need It Most

(6) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 4:20 PM

The minimum wage debate raging in the United States has spilled into Canada sparking renewed interest in government-mandated wage floors. Labour activists are out in full force pushing governments to legislate higher pay for low-wage workers and one version calls on municipalities to decree a "living wage law." While these...

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Will Canada's Government Continue the Tax Hike Into 2014?

(1) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 4:29 PM

A new year can bring new possibilities. It's a chance to take stock of what we've accomplished in the past year and to set new goals for the future. It's also, however, when Canadian governments typically enact new taxes. Unfortunately, governments across the country in recent years have been all...

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Canada 2020: What's the Right Scope and Size of Government

(1) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 4:23 PM

The Clerk of the Privy Council's Blueprint 2020 exercise is a positive step in redefining the role and functions of the federal public service in Canada. It asks important questions about how the public service needs to evolve, what best practices it should adopt, and how the federal...

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A Financial New Year's Resolution for Ontario

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 9:59 AM

Another year has come and gone and Ontario's weak public finances remain largely unchanged. The provincial government did little to improve its fiscal position in 2013 and recently signalled it intends to continue with debt-financed spending into the New Year. But the status quo isn't serving Ontarians well. For 2014,...

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Government Debt: A Painful Reminder There Are No Free Lunches

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 11:16 AM

With the holiday season now behind us, the oncoming flood of credit statements to Canadian households is a powerful reminder that there are no free lunches. Borrowing to pay for current consumption brings interest payments, and ultimately, the need to pay off principal balances.

Most Canadians are intimately familiar...

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There's No Retirement Crisis in Canada

(3) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 3:16 PM

The upcoming meeting of federal and provincial finance ministers will touch on what's become a politically charged debate about expanding the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). Proponents have tried to convince Canadians they are not saving sufficiently for retirement with some even suggesting we are on the brink of a retirement...

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You Think the Senate Expense Scandal Is Bad? Think Again

(25) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 4:32 PM

Allegations of expense scandals in the Senate have shocked many Canadians and rightfully so. Although unsettling, such antics are not an isolated case; they are part of a larger institutional problem with government.

A systemic problem quickly emerges as one flips through the catalogue of reports from the...

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Flaherty Hasn't Slain the Deficit Yet

(9) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 2:02 PM

After federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty unveiled his latest financial plan Tuesday, much of the media hype centred on the government's larger than expected surplus in 2015-16. Early chatter seemed to accept the government will deliver as promised and some declared its "conservative assumptions" might allow for the deficit to...

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If the Government Was a Company it Would Be Bust

(47) Comments | Posted November 1, 2013 | 1:38 PM

"The government should fix it" is a common refrain when people encounter a problem in society. Governments happily oblige because it means more votes for politicians and more work for bureaucrats. Governments themselves also undertake a number of things from encouraging Canadians to be more active, to propping...

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Predicting the 2014 Budget (Based on Ottawa's Hints)

(3) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 5:35 PM

Fiscal policy is really about taxes and spending and the federal government recently provided some hints on its plans in these areas.

In the recent Speech from the Throne, the government reaffirmed its commitment to balancing the budget by 2015-16 and providing "greater tax relief for Canadian families"...

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Politicians, Please Use Caution in Expanding Canada's Pension Plan

(6) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 4:42 PM

Some provincial politicians are again trying to make the dubious case that we have a "retirement income crisis" to revive calls for a mandatory expansion to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). While the issue is set to be on the agenda at the annual federal-provincial finance...

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Why Raising the Minimum Wage Won't Help Anyone

(89) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 4:16 PM

"Youth unemployment is still unacceptably high," noted the Ontario government as it identified priorities in its 2013 budget. Oddly, however, the government is now contemplating a policy that would make it harder for young Ontarians to find jobs. With its newly minted advisory panel, the government...

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Referendum on Regina Wastewater Plant an Opportunity to Clarify Facts About P3s

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 6:15 PM

After months of heated debate about using a public-private partnership (P3) to upgrade Regina's wastewater treatment system, the city council recently decided to put the issue to a municipal-wide referendum later this year. Since the debate will continue, it is important to clarify some facts about P3s. Only...

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