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Michel Kelly-Gagnon

President, Montreal Economic Institute

After having been head of the Montreal Economic Institute from 1999 to 2006, Michel Kelly-Gagnon was president of the Quebec Employers Council until January 2009.

He graduated in law from the Université de Montréal. Early in his career he practiced law with Colas & Associates in Montreal, and then went into business as an associate of Formatrad, a company specializing in employee training.

Mr. Kelly-Gagnon is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society. He is president of the advisory committee of Global Ressources Humaines, a consulting firm specializing in human resources management and job placement. From 2006 to 2009, he served on the board of directors of Quebec Workers Compensation Board (CSST), a paragovernmental organization with an annual budget of over two billion dollars.
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For A Freer Press, Add Economic Freedom

A free press is one of the bulwarks of a modern, democratic society. Thomas Jefferson himself famously preferred newspapers without a government to government without newspapers. Yet there is an underappreciated link between freedom of the press, on the one hand, and economic freedom, on the other.
05/02/2017 09:13 EDT
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Explaining The Concept Of Consumer Surplus

A large majority of people do not smoke, or no longer smoke, and tend to accept certain bits of conventional wisdom without question. Smoking tobacco being harmful to one's health, smokers therefore need to be protected--even those who would choose to, say, patronize their own smoking restaurants and bars. And we can count on government to enforce regulations and bans to this effect. But what if smokers get something from their "vice," and that this can be explained in economic terms? The answer could be found in the concept of consumer surplus.
04/06/2017 11:27 EDT

Airport Privatization Is About To Take Off In Canada

What happens when the private sector takes over? While airports may seem like monopolies which have no incentive to reduce ticket prices, it is important to recognize the effective and potential competition with which they are faced.
11/03/2016 02:35 EDT
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Driving Ridesharing Out Of Quebec

While the city of Toronto passes rules to make it easy for ride-sharing companies to operate legally, the province of Quebec is set to make it so difficult that it chases those companies away. If the government does drive Uber out, it would constitute a significant harm to the thousands of Uber drivers, and hundreds of thousands of Uber riders, in the province.
05/10/2016 11:48 EDT

I Don't Care About Oil

My MEI colleagues and I have signed, in recent years, a number of texts explaining among other things the merits of oil and gas development in Canada, and of transporting oil by pipeline. This is enou...
03/22/2016 05:27 EDT
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This Is How Police Services Can Do More With Less

Despite a falling crime rate, policing costs have nearly doubled in Canada over the past 25 years. In this context, it makes absolutely no sense to soak up police officers' time with tasks that should not logically be included in their job descriptions. Why not refocus the work of police officers on their essential duties, and employ other categories of personnel for auxiliary or administrative tasks?
12/04/2015 05:27 EST
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High Taxes Have Created Brain Drain in France

This problem is also a Canadian concern. A May 2015 survey of high-impact Canadian firms revealed that "finding employees to expand and scale their business ranks as one of the top challenges identified by entrepreneurs." Lower and less progressive taxation would help attract and retain highly specialized labour.
10/23/2015 05:48 EDT
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It's Time to Reduce Taxes on Mutual Funds

Two decades after the introduction of the GST, and after several modifications of provincial sales taxes, the burden of mutual fund sales taxes has gradually become heavier, reaching a point today that is completely out of proportion compared to other investment vehicles.
10/08/2015 06:09 EDT
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The Economic Case Against Leg Room Being a 'Human Right'

I almost spit out my coffee the other morning when I stumbled upon this piece by a fellow named Christopher Elliott. In it, he argued that having enough room for your legs on an airplane should be a "human right." One has to be willfully ignorant to not understand that this type of regulation, if adopted, would raise the cost of airline tickets everywhere.
09/24/2015 08:05 EDT
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Plain Tobacco Packaging Targets the Basic Rights of Businesses

Beyond the war of statistics, the principles of liberty and personal responsibility must be brought back to the heart of discussions about tobacco consumption, or consumption of any other product deemed "harmful" to one's health. You don't need to be a radical libertarian to start to ask some serious questions regarding the tendency of certain groups to want to regiment all aspects of people's lives under the pretext of protecting their health.
09/11/2015 05:04 EDT
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Shale Gas Opponents Are Committed to the Unrealizable Goal of Zero Risk

Opposition to shale gas development has been fueled by fears that fracking could adversely affect our drinking water resources. A just-released study from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should help douse such fears. The exhaustive, 998-page report "did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States."
06/10/2015 12:21 EDT
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We Should Transport as Much Oil as We Can by Pipeline

Just about every aspect of our lives involves a certain amount of risk, of course. It's all about risk management. And indeed, despite the occasional high-profile accident like last week's spill in California, pipelines in general remain very safe. One realistic alternative to transporting Canadian oil by pipeline is transporting that same oil by train or by truck. Yet both of these methods of transport are less safe than pipelines. Logically, then, we should transport as much oil as we can by pipe, and as little as possible by rail or road.
05/27/2015 12:29 EDT
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Quebec Should Ditch Wind Power Subsidies and Go for Oil

Hydro-Québec indirectly subsidizes the wind power sector to the tune of $695 million a year, which amounts to some $200 per Quebec household to produce a tiny fraction of the province's energy. With an estimated 40 billion barrels of oil, developing this resource would provide a minimum of $160 million a year in royalties for the Quebec treasury over 30 years.
04/28/2015 12:37 EDT
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Will the Government Eliminate Capital Gains Tax?

By doubling the maximum contribution for a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), which would therefore jump to $11,000 a year according to rumours surrounding next Tuesday's budget, the federal government is doing more than just encourage saving; it's taking a step toward the de facto elimination of the capital gains tax on financial investments for the great majority of Canadians.
04/17/2015 05:45 EDT