Entries by Michel Kelly-Gagnon

Don't Believe the Alarmist Talk About Forests

(2) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 12:21 PM

Should we be worried about the future of our forests? You might think so if you've come across one of several recent media stories citing a University of Maryland study prepared in collaboration with environmentalist groups like Greenpeace. According to this study, "Intact Forest Landscapes" are being "degraded"...

Read Post

Should Netflix Be Regulated as a Traditional Canadian Broadcaster?

(10) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 12:27 PM

For the past couple of days, the CRTC has been holding wide-ranging hearings on the future of Canadian television. The way the sector is regulated certainly needs revising. Rules pertaining to Canadian content, for example, were written years and decades ago when there was no such thing as watching videos,...

Read Post

Don't Let International Bureaucrats Control Canada's Tobacco Taxes

(5) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 12:20 PM

Taxing tobacco in order to reduce consumption might seem like a no-brainer at first glance--and the higher the better, some might say -- but it is problematic for a number of reasons.

For one thing, the case of Quebec provides a cautionary tale, as the prevalence of...

Read Post

One Solution to Illegal Immigration Problems in the US

(3) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 7:47 AM

Despite pledging in June to adopt regulation before the end of the summer limiting deportations for millions of illegal immigrants, Barack Obama announced last weekend that he was postponing a decision on this matter until after the mid-term elections. Once again, partisan politics is preventing the adoption of a solution...

Read Post

Quebecers Want to Fight Climate Change But Worry About the Bottom Line

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 4:28 PM

Quebecers want to fight climate change. But according to a new Léger Marketing poll, they're also concerned about the economic costs of doing so.

Of the 1,000 Quebecers who responded to the poll conducted in mid-August, 54 per cent were initially in favour of the Western Climate Initiative,...

Read Post

Keep Health Warnings Off Junk Food

(12) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 12:11 PM

In 2011 Russell Davies, head of planning at the advertising agency Ogilvy and Maher, made a bold prediction: governments, he said, instead of banning the sale of certain products outright, will gradually turn to prohibiting their advertisement.

His forecast was for the next 25 years. But...

Read Post

Tax Increases Don't Always Mean More Money for the Government - Even on Cigarettes

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 5:23 PM

Tax increases do not in each and every case lead to increases in government revenues. The "Laffer curve," named after economist Arthur Laffer, suggests that things are more complex because taxes affect the behaviour of taxpayers. When taxes on the consumption of a good are too high, you can get...

Read Post

Canada, Let's Tear Down These Trade Walls

(0) Comments | Posted June 8, 2014 | 11:46 PM

Ever wonder why some Canadian small businesses have a harder time selling their goods in the next province than they do in Europe? Or why a Quebecer can't order a bottle of wine from Niagara Falls without having to pay a ''kickback'' to Quebec's liquor monopoly?


Read Post

More Taxes Won't Fix Our Fiscal Mess

(12) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 12:26 PM

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...

Read Post

What the Anti-Tobacco Groups Get Plain Wrong

(4) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 5:30 PM

Although cigarettes are without a doubt bad for your health, especially when consumed regularly, my small libertarian perspective on life has made me naturally skeptical of the anti-tobacco movement. But even if you don't share my live-and-let-live philosophy, there are some pragmatic and empirical arguments to be made against several...

Read Post

Businesses Need Protection Against Government Snooping Too

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 5:30 PM

Some people worry that certain companies have access to too much of our personal information, and they question the use those companies sometimes make of that data. Such worries should not be dismissed altogether, but objectively speaking, governments are by far the greater threat to our privacy, as recent spying...

Read Post

Quebec Is on a Dangerous Job Creation Path

(3) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 5:50 PM

The ''two solitudes'' in Canada also show in the jobs market. And it's bad news for Quebecers.

The latest jobs numbers from Statistics Canada reveal a huge gap in the kind of jobs that are created in Quebec (when there is any) versus in the...

Read Post

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

(9) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 7:15 AM

The latest federal budget hits smokers in the pocketbook, with an increase on the excise duty on cigarettes.

Often, governments can't resist the temptation to increase taxes on certain products deemed to be harmful like alcohol or tobacco. Because no one can be against virtue, these kinds...

Read Post

My (Modest) Hopes for the Federal Budget

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 11:26 AM

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:

1 -- The implementation of the phasing out of the 15 per cent tax credit that shareholders...

Read Post

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

(4) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 4:12 PM

There are still some people, including government officials, who look at any job which is not full-time and permanent as a non-standard or undesirable job. But these people should know that "non-standard jobs" are actually more numerous in Canada than the standard ones.

Read Post

Too Much Tax Kills

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 6:00 PM

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...

Read Post

G20 Fails to Fix Global Finance. Again.

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 12:08 PM

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...

Read Post

No More Oil Means No More Smartphones

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 12:37 PM

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",...

Read Post

Canadian Flight Prices Need to Ground

(0) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 5:22 PM

I recently took a flight from Porto to Rome. It lasted 2 hours 50 minutes (roughly the equivalent of a Montreal-Winnipeg flight). The plane was clean, the seats were reasonably comfortable, the staff was friendly. They served me a modest (but satisfactory) breakfast with unlimited coffee or tea. Now, the...

Read Post

Do Politicians Deserve All the Credit for Job Creation?

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 11:12 AM

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?

Based on many newspaper headlines, we might be tempted to believe that it is politicians and their spending...

Read Post