In Florida, they’re snowbirds, in B.C., they’re speculators

Penalizing foreign homebuyers fails to address the fundamental problem: a lack of available houses

In Florida, they’re snowbirds, in B.C., they’re speculatorsBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Florida is a popular destination for retirees and vacationers. Not surprisingly, many people from colder northern states and Canada either rent or own property in Florida to escape harsh winters. In fact, temporary residents in Florida (also known as snowbirds) number more than one million by…

No ray of sunshine in Alberta’s fiscal forecast

Rachel Notley seems intent on duplicating the deep-diving debt performance of former Ontario NDP leader Bob Rae

No ray of sunshine in Alberta’s fiscal forecastBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute When Rachel Notley’s NDP shook Alberta’s political landscape by winning a majority government in 2015, the similarities to the Ontario’s Bob Rae-led NDP government in the 1990s were striking. Both cases marked the first NDP government in provincial history, and both brought an end to Progressive…

Alberta buys another ticket on the resource revenue roller-coaster

Despite promises to end the reliance on resource royalties, Rachel Notley's government keeps piling up the debt and looking to the same revenue source

Alberta buys another ticket on the resource revenue roller-coasterBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Before forming government, Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP vowed to get the province “off of the resource revenue roller-coaster.” So it’s ironic that now-Premier Notley’s third budget promises to take the province on yet another ride. Her government’s vague and risky “path to budget balance”…

Alberta crushed beneath a growing mountain of debt

The slow path to balance means the province will continue adding debt by the bucketful for many years, penalizing future taxpayers

Alberta crushed beneath a growing mountain of debtBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute The Alberta government’s 2018 budget figures would be shocking if Albertans weren’t already accustomed to such numbers. The operating deficit is expected to be $8.8 billion in 2018-19, down slightly from its peak of $10.8 billion two years ago. It’s difficult to contextualize such a large…

Alberta’s fiscal fiasco threat to future generations of Albertans

Despite an improving economy, the provincial government still projects $9.1-billion deficit

Alberta’s fiscal fiasco threat to future generations of AlbertansBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute The Alberta government recently released its third-quarter fiscal update. While the update contains some good news about the economy, the outlook for provincial finances remains dire. The government expects a $9.1-billion deficit this fiscal year and it has no intention of balancing the budget until 2023-24. First, the…

How B.C. can escape its painful housing trap

Instead of targeting affordable housing, B.C. government should be targeting housing affordability

How B.C. can escape its painful housing trapBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute The B.C. government’s recent budget included a 30-point plan aimed at the province’s housing woes. The aim was off the mark. Most of the plan’s points fit into two broad categories: reducing demand by raising property transfer taxes, for non-residents and on homes over $3 million,…

Balancing Alberta’s budget by 2023-24 isn’t good enough

Albertans have more debt, continued reliance on volatile natural resource revenue and higher taxes to look forward to

Balancing Alberta’s budget by 2023-24 isn’t good enoughBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute The Alberta government’s large and persistent budget deficits remain one of the most important policy problems facing the province. This year, the province expects another deficit of more than $10 billion and forecasts call for a nearly identical deficit next year. The government of Premier Rachel Notley is…

Pipelines are crucial to national prosperity

The battle between Alberta and B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has broad implications for all Canadians

By Steve Lafleur and Ashley Stedman The Fraser Institute The governments of Alberta and British Columbia are waging an intense trade dispute over the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would run between Edmonton and Burnaby. But the implications extend far beyond those two provinces. The details of the feud have been well-documented. After B.C.’s…

The Alberta disadvantage: tax rates drive away investors

Unfortunately, to bolster Alberta’s tax competitiveness will require meaningful action to repair the province’s once sterling finances

The Alberta disadvantage: tax rates drive away investorsIt’s time for Alberta to work towards regaining its former tax advantage. Until recently, the province was known for having the lowest personal and corporate income tax rates in Canada. In fact, in 2014 Alberta had the lowest combined federal/provincial top personal and corporate income taxes of any jurisdiction in Canada or the United States.…

Courting Amazon: the ends don’t always justify the means

Incentive packages often include tax breaks on property, income or permit exemptions – and taxpayers pay the freight

Courting Amazon: the ends don’t always justify the meansBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur Fraser Institute Amazon’s recent announcement that it plans to open a second North American headquarters has sparked a mad scramble by communities seeking a huge economic payoff. But some notes of caution need to be sounded. The new Amazon headquarters are expected to house up to 50,000 “high-paying jobs” and add…