Regulation

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What Canadians Should Know About The CRTC's Internet Decision

The ability to offer a price is itself a form of communication, if not of speech. The freedom to differentiate product, service and price is at the heart of a market economy. Courts in Netherlands, Sweden, and Slovenia have struck down restrictions on zero rating. For the most part, the world's telecom regulators are permissive, if not encouraging, of a practice that creates competition and allows different people to meet their needs at different price points. The CRTC is going in the opposite direction of the world's telecom regulators; it seems to believe that it knows better than the user herself.
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Canada Gets Serious About Prosecuting Food Fraud

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which is tasked with enforcing counterfeit food laws, has not historically punished violators to the full extent of its powers, instead frequently choosing to work alongside Canadian food businesses to help them get back into compliance. But, a recent high-profile prosecution involving food fraud has demonstrated that this permissive and reconciliatory approach to regulatory breaches may have come to an end.
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The 6 Biggest Problems I See In the Fitness Industry

Fitness trainers, coaches and instructors are the front line in the health industry for preventative care. There is more ability in the health industry to change the population for the better than in any other aspect of health care. Yet, it is the wild west of the health. If you are going to be a fitness professional, you must be held to a higher standard of accountability.
Radio-Canada

Cities Are Right About Uber, But Wrong About Regulating It

Cities and states around the world are engaged in hand-to-hand combat with mobile tech upstart Uber, a company that is rapidly disrupting the traditional taxi business everywhere. Viewed from an impartial distance, it is pretty clear that, whatever it is, Uber is providing a service traditionally provided by taxis. Complicating matters is that many cities have a chaotic and nonsensical approach to regulating public taxis. Before trying to make sense of where Uber fits into the chaos of its taxi ecosystem, cities such as Toronto would be smart to consider why it regulates the industry in the first place.
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Will We Ever End Smoking?

There's good news and bad news about smoking. Recent statistics reveal that consumption rates are at record lows and appear to be dropping even further. And, as those rates fall, the menace of second-hand smoke also recedes. But these positive developments come at a time when new evidence warns that cigarettes are even more hazardous than we have thought. So to end smoking and the many costs it imposes on this continent, let alone elsewhere in the world, much remains to be done.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Canada Will Miss Its Climate Target And We'll All Miss Out

Environment Canada has been telling us for years that Canada is running off the climate track and -- because of growing emissions largely from the oil and gas sector -- we are getting farther and farther away from meeting our government's self-imposed climate targets. Because of that climate failure, Canada is holding all of us back from prosperity, jobs and better health. That's according to a new study of benefits from international emission pledges made in the lead up to December's UN climate summit. Developed countries around the world -- with the exception of Canada and Japan -- are unveiling their individual climate plans, which were due yesterday.

Property Rights on the Prairie

Once budget matters fade from the news, population growth, oil and gas exploration, agricultural demands, recreational use, and an increasing ecological sensitivity will likely again swirl around land use issues--private property included.
Reuters

Cracking the Travel and Hospitality Industry Cartel

Basic regulation makes sense. But regulations often proliferate to unnecessary extremes, helped along by special interests that want less competition. The effect of this regulation reality is obvious once again with Uber's entry into the city transportation market, and with predictable opposition from taxi cartels.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Keep Health Warnings Off Junk Food

The tendency for governments to increasingly regulate the advertising industry, whether in the name of consumer protection or for health concerns, is already on full throttle. After cigarette packs, don't be surprised if sooner or later you see plain bags of chips on the shelves of convenience stores, or plain-packaged chocolate bars. Politicians stand on a steep, slippery slope that could lead to private property and intellectual property violations, and destruction of brands. The economic consequences should be weighted carefully. And such policies backed by solid empirical data, not merely good intentions.

What Kevin O'Leary Gets Wrong About Business

Kevin O'Leary has created an entire persona around a sort of modern-day Gordon Gekko. O'Leary is fond of and famous for employing phrases like "it's all about the money," "people only care about money," and "money makes the world go round." To put it mildly, this is a superficial, even one-dimensional understanding of markets.
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A Junk Food Tax Belongs in the Junk Bin

Health associations have long been calling for a "fat tax"; taxes on foods that some nutritionists and researchers don't want us to eat or drink. Unfortunately, the lack of sound thinking behind vilifying sugary drinks or less healthful snacks has not changed, nor has the blunt, imprecise, and unfair nature of a "junk food" or "sugary drink" tax. Overly simplistic solutions to obesity that vilify an industry or food product are bad public policy. The reality is that "junk food" taxes or sugary drink taxes are ineffective instruments that fail to recognize the complex and manifold causes of obesity. It's time we put the idea of such taxes in their rightful place: the junk bin.