Regulation

Cities Are Right About Uber, But Wrong About Regulating It

Mark Towhey | Posted 06.04.2015 | Canada Business
Mark Towhey

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.

How Do We Tell Kids Who Vape It's Just as Dumb as Smoking?

Bill Bogart | Posted 05.12.2015 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

Something is happening with the young ones: they are vaping in rapidly increasing numbers. Depending on how you look at kids and their taking to e-cigarettes, two very different views emerge.

Will We Ever End Smoking?

Bill Bogart | Posted 06.20.2015 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

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.

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

Carol Linnitt | Posted 06.01.2015 | Canada Politics
Carol Linnitt

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

Mark Milke | Posted 05.11.2015 | Canada Alberta
Mark Milke

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.

Alaskans Ring Alarm Over Potential For More Mount Polley Disasters

DeSmog Canada | Posted 04.07.2015 | Canada British Columbia
DeSmog Canada

"We take all the risks and the costs and get none of the benefits."

Canada's Corporate Governance Guidelines Are Out of Date

Richard Leblanc | Posted 12.28.2014 | Canada Business
Richard Leblanc

In my teaching, research and consulting, I no longer use "NP-58201 Corporate Governance Guidelines," June 17, 2005 ("Guidelines"), that apply to publicly traded companies in Canada, as an example of exemplary corporate governance. Here are the ten deficiencies to the guidelines as I see them.

Cracking the Travel and Hospitality Industry Cartel

Mark Milke | Posted 12.20.2014 | Canada Politics
Mark Milke

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.

How The 'Nudge' Method Could Help You Quit Smoking

Bill Bogart | Posted 10.22.2014 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

The method's goal is to help people make better choices in a variety of areas without removing their right to choose. Researchers claim that individuals select more wisely when provided with a clear set of options. The method may be able to curb problems such as smoking, intemperate drinking, and problem gambling.

B.C. Can Expect More Mount Polleys

Carol Linnitt | Posted 10.18.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Carol Linnitt

The industry needs productive, safe, and enabling parameters to work within, and British Columbians deserve to rest assured that our business leaders and elected representatives are engineering those limits properly -- with a foundation much stronger than that of the Mount Polley tailings pond.

Keep Health Warnings Off Junk Food

Michel Kelly-Gagnon | Posted 10.05.2014 | Canada Business
Michel Kelly-Gagnon

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.

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

Michel Kelly-Gagnon | Posted 10.01.2014 | Canada Business
Michel Kelly-Gagnon

It is true that smoking is a major public health concern, and one might be tempted to say that the change in behaviour is desirable, whatever the effect on government revenue. Again, Laffer tells us that things are more complicated than it seems. While it is true that some people are deterred from smoking by tax increases, this is not the case of all smokers.

What Canadians Can Learn From the Rest of the World

Mark Milke | Posted 08.27.2014 | Canada Business
Mark Milke

School might be out but that doesn't mean we (and our politicians who make the rules) can't learn a thing or two on our summer vacations, be it taxis, airline travel or on convenience in shopping for beer, wine and spirits. Can Canadians learn from the rest of the world? We'll find out in September.

What Kevin O'Leary Gets Wrong About Business

Jason Clemens | Posted 07.15.2014 | Canada Business
Jason Clemens

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.

Why Property Rights Should Be Part of the Charter

Mark Milke | Posted 07.08.2014 | Canada Politics
Mark Milke

While one can only theorize about the positive impact of including property rights in the Charter, the effect of excluding property rights are demonstrable -- and demonstrably harmful.

Buying Wines From Other Provinces Still Makes For Sour Grapes

Mark Milke | Posted 10.02.2013 | Canada Politics
Mark Milke

As vacationers travel around Canada this summer, here is a question to ponder for those who sip fine Canadian wine: why do so many provincial politicians oppose free trade in wine among the provinces?

A Junk Food Tax Belongs in the Junk Bin

Nadeem Esmail | Posted 09.14.2013 | Canada Politics
Nadeem Esmail

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.

What Do We Do When the Antibiotics Stop Working?

Kapil Khatter | Posted 07.23.2013 | Canada
Kapil Khatter

Gonorrhea, tuberculosis, staphylococcus -- you didn't want to get them before, and you definitely don't want them now. These are some of the not so pretty faces of today's antibiotic resistance, of today's untreatable diseases. And the worst is yet to come.

When It Comes to Big Pharma, Health Canada Has No Spine

Michael Kruse | Posted 04.15.2013 | Canada
Michael Kruse

If a company is selling an herb-based drug that they claim cures your cancer, then this is considered a high-risk claim and they must submit high-order evidence. If they do not want to go through this hassle all they have to do to get the drug approved is make a very general health claim; "supports immune-system health" for example.

Bank CEOs Try To Strong-Arm Fed

The Huffington Post | Mark Gongloff | Posted 06.27.2012 | Canada Business

The banking industry is getting personal in its tireless fight against regulation. Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase and the industry'...

Another Obama Success: Canada

Christopher Sands | Posted 02.26.2012 | Canada Politics
Christopher Sands

A second term for Obama might be good for Canada. Obama's departure from Bush policies regarding Canada has been driven by electoral considerations, and in a second term, Obama might be less inclined to make such concessions to his base at Canada's expense.

Why I Am Still a Republican

David Frum | Posted 12.25.2011 | Canada Politics
David Frum

For three years, my political party has veered in a direction I cannot follow. And if the GOP insists on framing the 2012 election as a ballot question on fiscal and monetary austerity, or if they nominate somebody manifestly incompetent to do the job of president, they're going to lose me -- and a lot more people.