Your standard of living has dropped under Trudeau

Liberal claims of “making life more affordable” since 2015 is hogwash

Your standard of living has dropped under TrudeauBy Franco Terrazzano and Kris Sims There was a clash between reality and the federal Liberal Twitter account last week. The self-congratulatory tweet claimed Liberals have been “making life more affordable” since 2015. When Canadians look at gas prices, grocery store receipts and mortgage payments, that claim might raise eyebrows. Does life feel more affordable…

How we can each deal with inflation

Buying only what we really need eases our budgets, simplifies our lives and cools the economy

How we can each deal with inflationInflation is a relatively new concept to younger people, who have never experienced the onslaught of rising prices. It’s chilling to those who have lived through or learned of times when hard-earned and well-saved money depreciated in value. Monetary policy in Canada aims to keep inflation at or under two per cent. The latest rate…

Rising gasoline prices at the heart of runaway inflation

A climate catastrophe seems in the making. And mitigating the impact of the Ukraine crisis won’t be easy

Rising gasoline prices at the heart of runaway inflationThe Paris-based International Energy Agency is widely viewed with respect, its analyses providing a better understanding of the direction of energy markets and the issues impacting the industry. IEA is the energy watchdog of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), founded by the likes of Henry Kissinger in the immediate aftermath of the…

Meal kit market in Canada may have peaked

Industry facing headwinds as the economy trends back to normal

Meal kit market in Canada may have peakedMeal kits are to food what IKEA is to furniture: all you need to do is put things together. Meal kits empower consumers to feel like chefs, if only for a while. They have been popular, especially throughout the pandemic. Meal kits provide ideas, ways to manage your meals and some greatly needed inspiration for…

As oil prices rise, global economic uncertainty grows

And OPEC is in no mood to open taps to fill in any gaps created by the absence of Russian crude

As oil prices rise, global economic uncertainty growsThe oil markets are likely to face another round of supply disruptions. Most indicators point to a bullish trend in the near future. After recently announcing the release of over 180 million barrels of crude oil from its strategic reserves (SPR) over the next six months to cool down the markets, the United States government…

Inflation drives a stake through the backbone of the country

Visiting rural Canada, seeing the impacts of high gas prices, is gut-wrenching

Inflation drives a stake through the backbone of the countryI recently visited my mom in Saskatchewan, in a little town up in what’s called the province’s northeast but really isn’t. It’s the parkland border between farms and forests, no further north than Edmonton. The region is sparsely populated; if you drew a circle around Momstown with a 65-km radius, that circle would include maybe…

Policy restrictions have caused the housing crisis

Urban containment regulations on the urban fringe must be relaxed

Policy restrictions have caused the housing crisisFor 18 years, I have been monitoring international housing affordability as author or co-author of the Demographia Housing Affordability series. The latest edition rates 92 major markets in eight nations using the “median multiple”: the median house price in a place divided by the median pre-tax household income. In the early 1990s, median multiples in…

Why cutting Alberta’s gas tax doesn’t offer real relief

Focus on sustainable solutions rather than on short-term ones with strings-attached

Why cutting Alberta’s gas tax doesn’t offer real reliefThe Alberta government stopped collecting its fuel tax at the beginning of April in an effort to provide “real relief” to Albertans impacted by rising fuel and inflationary costs. The tax cut saves motorists up to 13 cents per litre on gasoline and diesel but reduces the provincial revenues by approximately $1.3 billion (nearly three per…

Trudeau’s spending spree hitting Canadians families hard

The federal debt is now over $1.26 trillion!

Trudeau’s spending spree hitting Canadians families hardBy Gabriele Giguère and Olivier Rancourt Montreal Economic Institute The Bank of Canada’s decision to increase the policy interest rate by 0.5 percentage points, up to one per cent, was necessary in the current context. The soaring inflation that is hitting the Canadian economy full force, reaching 5.7 per cent in February, must be reined…

How to cope when shortages become a problem

Demand is booming. It’s supply that is lacking

How to cope when shortages become a problemThis time it’s different. That statement should usually be taken with a grain of salt. But right now, it’s a very good description of what’s happening in the business environment. Market economies function by balancing supply and demand for goods, services and inputs such as labour. When trouble arises, it’s usually in the form of…

We’re paying the price for artificially low interest rates

Very low interest rates provide a perverse incentive for politicians to rack up more debt

We’re paying the price for artificially low interest ratesCanadians are feeling the effects of rising inflation everywhere, from the grocery store to the gas station. In response to the highest level of inflation in three decades, the Bank of Canada recently increased its policy interest rate to 0.50 per cent after holding it steady at 0.25 per cent for two years. In a…

Why is StatsCan deleting its food inflation database?

Move raises questions about motive and why the announcement was so quiet

Why is StatsCan deleting its food inflation database?All eyes are on inflation these days, especially at the grocery store. Food is the one thing we need every day and the food choices we make matter a great deal to our budget. To know what's going on with food prices, we turn to Statistics Canada for details. But without fanfare, we just learned…

Energy transition won’t be easy, especially in Canada

Bold vision without a solid grasp of the facts amounts to hallucination

Energy transition won’t be easy, especially in CanadaThe holy grail of “net-zero” is electrification. Over time, this solution to the problem of global climate change envisions that today’s fossil fuel-centric energy system will transition to one run by water, wind, solar, biofuels, hydrogen, nuclear, and – maybe eventually – fusion. In many countries, eliminating fossil fuels in the electric sector is the…

As Ford dithers, Ontarians suffer

Inflation rates haven’t been this high since Seinfeld first debuted on television

As Ford dithers, Ontarians sufferWould your family be better off with an extra $2,000 in your bank account this year? As Canada continues to face its highest inflation rates in over 30 years, not a single Ontarian would answer no. If Ontario Premier Doug Ford had kept his promises from the election platform he ran on four years ago,…

How the case for carbon taxes falls apart

Economist Steve Ambler says carbon taxes ‘make everything more expensive’

How the case for carbon taxes falls apartA leading Canadian economist says the case for carbon taxes is limited, with its proponents delivering more rhetoric than reality. In an interview, Steve Ambler, an economics professor at the University of Quebec at Montreal, gave an excellent analysis of one of Canada’s most controversial taxes. He disagrees with a Supreme Court verdict that called…

Canada’s food industry needs to up its couponing game

Compared to Americans, Canadians have far fewer options to save on groceries

Canada’s food industry needs to up its couponing gameThe food inflation rate in Canada in February was 7.4 per cent, the largest yearly increase since May 2009. With much higher food inflation, consumers are desperate to find new ways to save at the grocery store. In the United States and Canada, consumers are increasingly using food rescuing apps, going for the “enjoy tonight” deals, trading…

Inflation is increasing PEI families taxes again

Prince Edward Island has to stop digging into Islander families’ pockets

Inflation is increasing PEI families taxes againThe government of Prince Edward Island seems happier to acknowledge inflation’s impact on your wallet than to do something about it. Prince Edward Island is one of only three Canadian provinces – along with Alberta and Nova Scotia – that does not index any tax brackets to inflation. As a result, the tax code pushes…

Bad central bank policy has us heading toward a recession

The next few months may only bring stagnation but a full-blown recession is more likely

Bad central bank policy has us heading toward a recession‘Financial repression’ refers to governments or central banks, such as the Bank of Canada or the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, intervening in financial markets to suppress interest rates. Central banks have been intervening for nearly two years, causing a serious disruption in the financial markets. The official rates of the Bank of Canada and the Federal…

Ford needs to take a lesson from Alberta

Alberta has reduced its gas taxes by 13 cents a litre

Ford needs to take a lesson from AlbertaOntario Premier Doug Ford is sitting on his hands while Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is delivering relief for taxpayers. Earlier this week, Kenney announced his government would cut provincial gas taxes by 13 cents per litre in the face of skyrocketing oil prices. For a family filling up their minivan, Kenney’s tax cut means nearly…

Record high gas prices in Alberta signal need for carbon tax relief

Enough with the political excuses and inaction

Record high gas prices in Alberta signal need for carbon tax reliefIf you’ve had to drive your kids to hockey, go grocery shopping or commute to work, you’ve likely cursed every time you saw the price at the pump. Gas prices have now reached a high of over $1.50 per litre. That’s the highest level since Statistics Canada started tracking this data in 1990. Higher gas…

Vancouver gas hits $2 per litre and taxes are a big factor

Living in B.C. is unaffordable for many people and carbon taxes make it worse

Vancouver gas hits $2 per litre and taxes are a big factorDrivers in Vancouver are paying record-smashing prices at the gas pump and taxes are an extra kick in the head. Prices have hit more than $2 per litre for regular gasoline in Metro Vancouver. That’s the highest gasoline price in North America, along with the highest gasoline taxes. Before chuckling at the pipeline-blocking-moon-units getting their…

Record-breaking Vancouver gas prices heading your way

And taxes are a big part of the problem

Record-breaking Vancouver gas prices heading your wayThe price at the gas pumps has hit a record-breaking $1.82 per litre in Vancouver. That’s the most expensive gasoline in North America. While some readers in Winnipeg and Calgary might chuckle at the karma coming back to bite a city whose mayor personally blocked the building of pipelines, it’s important to remember that bad…

Politicians, bureaucrats shielded from the pain they cause

Let them eat cake

Politicians, bureaucrats shielded from the pain they causePoliticians and government decision makers are financially divorced from the Canadians they’re supposed to represent. And it shows. From higher taxes to revolving lockdowns, government decisions during the pandemic have been full of pain. But that pain hasn’t been felt by those pulling the levers. Quite the opposite. While millions of their constituents struggled, members…

The potato chips war is just the tip of the iceberg

PepsiCo’s move signals that the sector is tired of - and desperate to stop - supply-chain bullying

The potato chips war is just the tip of the icebergWe recently learned that Frito-Lay, a brand owned by giant PepsiCo Canada, stopped selling to Loblaws after the retailer refused requests by Frito-Lay to increase their prices. Food manufacturers, when selling products to grocers, suggest retail prices. With low profit margins, labour shortages, packaging issues and supply-chain woes, inflation has been violently disruptive to manufacturers.…

Thanks to government, housing and energy are becoming luxuries

Much of the blame for sky-high housing and energy prices is on governments

Thanks to government, housing and energy are becoming luxuriesIn a country like ours, with its vast expanses and abundant natural resources, housing and energy should be cheap. Yet over the past two decades, housing prices have shot up much faster than the growth in incomes, and now energy prices are doing the same. In both cases, much of the blame is on government.…

O’Toole paid the price for flip-flopping on carbon tax

He forgot that Canadians aren’t stupid

O’Toole paid the price for flip-flopping on carbon taxHere’s a free tip for all Conservative Party leadership candidates: don’t break your promise to fight carbon taxes. Former Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole lied to taxpayers about the carbon tax. And he paid the price. The next leader of the Official Opposition needs to hold Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accountable for rising tax bills.…

As gas pump prices jump, pressure rises on politicians

It may just be a matter of time until we’re closing in on triple-digit prices

As gas pump prices jump, pressure rises on politiciansWith a winter storm gripping the United States, geopolitical tensions continuing to haunt the markets and oil-producing nations unable to meet their output targets, crude oil prices reached a seven-year peak last week. Brent crude rose US$1.71, or 1.9 per cent, to US$92.82 a barrel on Friday afternoon, having earlier touched its highest level since…

To fight inflation, bank rate hike must happen in March

It’s time to tackle the inflation that is undermining our living standards

To fight inflation, bank rate hike must happen in MarchBy Miguel Ouellette and Olivier Rancourt Montreal Economic Institute Despite the recommendations of many economists to raise the target for the overnight rate, the Bank of Canada has decided to maintain the status quo – at least for now. Like these experts, we believe that the central bank must begin gradually raising rates at its…

Supply chain woes compromise food freshness at stores

Shelflation leaves consumers with a sour taste

Supply chain woes compromise food freshness at storesYou have likely heard of shrinkflation, in which companies reduce the quantity of an item they sell you without changing the price. This packaging strategy has been going on for years and creates the illusion you’re buying the same amount of product. And when supply chains aren’t working optimally, food products reach store shelves either…
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