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

Alberta Labour Law Review Should Focus On Flexibility

(7) Comments | Posted April 26, 2017 | 10:27 AM

Alberta's key labour laws, namely the employment standards act and labour relations laws, could soon change. While the Notley government has not yet detailed what changes may be in store, it is undertaking a review on a swath of issues including leave from work, termination and...

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Bad Government Policies Are Undermining Canada's Growth

(112) Comments | Posted October 3, 2016 | 4:53 PM

It seems there's no shortage of headlines claiming that slow economic growth is the "new normal." The latest stream came from a recent speech in the United Kingdom by Carolyn Wilkins, senior deputy governor at the Bank of Canada.

Like many diagnoses of slow growth, the effects of...

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Albertans Will Pay The Price For Notley's Accelerated Spending

(59) Comments | Posted April 22, 2016 | 12:13 PM

"We are in a different situation than we were six months ago," said Finance Minister Joe Ceci after unveiling Alberta's 2016 budget. He's right. Alberta's fiscal outlook has worsened dramatically since the government's October 2015 budget. The province now faces larger and sustained budget deficits with...

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Trudeau Should Rethink The Finance Minister's Mandate

(86) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 12:50 PM

In an attempt to increase transparency, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made "mandate letters" to his ministers publicly available. These letters are intended to clarify the focus of each minister's portfolio. When it comes to the mandate delineated for the minister of finance, the prime minister should seriously...

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Look To Existing Budgets And Not New Taxes To Fund Transit Expansion In Metro Vancouver

(1) Comments | Posted July 22, 2015 | 5:57 PM

With 62 per cent of Metro Vancouver plebiscite voters rejecting a $250 million annual sales tax hike, local politicians have been scrambling for another way to help fund their $7.5 billion new capital spending plan. Much of the discussion has revolved around alternative sources of revenue...

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Living Wage Law for Vancouver Won't Help The Most Vulnerable

(8) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 6:44 PM

Mayor Gregor Robertson has started a push for the City of Vancouver to become a "living wage employer." If Vancouver follows the lead of other cities, this would mean enacting a law that also requires private employers who do contract work for the city to pay their workers...

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Majority Pays, But Minority Benefits In Metro Vancouver Transit Plebiscite

(13) Comments | Posted April 25, 2015 | 6:16 PM

The current transit plebiscite, conducted by mail-in ballot across Metro Vancouver, asks whether residents are willing to support a 0.5 percentage point increase to the provincial sales tax (PST), which would generate an extra $250 million to help fund $7.5 billion worth of transportation projects tabled by the Mayors' Council.

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A National Sales Tax Would Create a Real Opportunity for the U.S.

(2) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 5:37 PM

A recent lead editorial in one of the world's most prominent newspapers, the Wall Street Journal, pointed out the risks associated with the United States adopting a national sales tax, or value-added tax (VAT). The problem with the editorial, however, is that it selectively analyzed the tax reform...

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Raising B.C. Minimum Wage Is Not The Right Policy To Help Struggling Families

(22) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 3:51 PM

The B.C. government recently announced it will increase the minimum wage in September to $10.45 per hour. Thereafter, annual increases will be automatically pegged at the rate of inflation.

Shortly after the announcement, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training Shirley Bond said: "We want to...

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More Compensation Restraint Would Help Ease Ontario's Budget Troubles

(13) Comments | Posted March 29, 2015 | 10:46 PM

Amid a gathering fiscal storm, the Ontario government will soon table its budget for the coming fiscal year and beyond. There's a lot riding on getting things right.

A recent study found that debt is growing at an unsustainable rate and there are real concerns about...

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Calling the Fraser Institute "Anti-Tax" Is Overly Simplistic

(21) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 12:36 PM

In a recent column about the upcoming Metro Vancouver transit plebiscite, Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham complained about business leaders who talked "way more about cutting taxes for poor beleaguered taxpayers for the past 30 years than they have about the valuable services tax money provides."

Bramham blamed...

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

(2) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 5:32 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

(43) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 4:50 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 | 11:46 AM

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 | 2:01 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 | 4:50 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 | 5:08 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 | 1:57 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 | 12:25 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 | 8:27 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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