• The difficulty with the public discourse on drug policy is that it often ignores the tradeoffs inherent in regulating substances. For instance, legalizing marijuana would ease pressure on the criminal justice system.

  • The Freedom Index a new report by the Frontier Centre on the state of various freedoms across the Canadian provinces. The Index assesses a large number of laws and measures, across fiscal, regulatory and personal freedom, in an attempt to measure how free each province is relative to the rest of the country.

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  • A decision will shortly be made about whether to build the Keeyask and Conawapa hydroelectric dams and the associated Bipole III transmission line, which could cost Manitoba billions of dollars. This paper argues that, if approved, this will burden the next generation with debt and higher utility prices.

  • The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is a non-profit research organization that works to support economic growth and an enhanced quality of life in Canada. The Frontier Centre is an educational charity devoted to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge and information. It is not affiliated with any political party and is strictly non-partisan.

  • Accountability, measured by results rather than inputs, is fast becoming a reality in Canadian universities, but administrators still claim they need more resources and fewer constraints on their spending. Over a seven-year period from 2001 to 2008, the resources for Canadian universities increased substantially, but the number of degrees awarded did not increase at the same rate.


A decision will shortly be made about whether to build the Keeyask and Conawapa hydroelectric dams and the associated Bipole III transmission line, which could cost Manitoba billions of dollars. This paper argues that, if approved, this will burden the next generation with debt and higher utility prices. The paper reviews the development of the Manitoba electricity sector as well as how the interaction of gas and power markets is changing decades-old realities. It includes examples from other jurisdictions where government involvement in electricity has led to unintended consequences, thus providing a cautionary tale. By showing historical electricity demand forecasts that vastly differed from reality, as well as...

"I think what everyone believes and agrees with, and to be frank myself, is that the current approach is not working, but it is not clear what we should do," said Prime Minister Stephen Harper after a 2012 meeting with leaders of governments from the Americas.1 The topic of discussion was the War on Drugs that has ravaged South America for decades. After offering that candid response, Harper was quick to distance himself from advocates of drug liberalization.

"There is a willingness to look at the various measures that can be taken to combat that phenomenon, but just in terms of simple answers like legalization or criminalization,...

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is pleased to announce the launch of the Freedom Index a new report on the state of various freedoms across the Canadian provinces.

The Index assesses a large number of laws and measures, across fiscal, regulatory and personal freedom, in an attempt to measure how free each province is relative to the rest of the country.

While some level of government is required to protect people and property and to provide a social safety net, the Freedom Index is designed to show the degree to which each provincial government is involved in people’s day-to-day...

Accountability, measured by results rather than inputs, is fast becoming a reality in Canadian universities, but administrators still claim they need more resources and fewer constraints on their spending. Over a seven-year period from 2001 to 2008, the resources for Canadian universities increased substantially, but the number of degrees awarded did not increase at the same rate. At the University of Manitoba (U of M), for example, some faculties and schools received substantially
more resources during a time when the number of degrees awarded decreased. In fact, the evidence shows that there is virtually no relationship between resources allocated to faculties and schools and the number...

The average household can no longer afford a home in the average price range. Housing is so expensive in Vancouver that an additional annual income of between $22,000 and $40,000 is required for the average house, compared to other major metropolitan areas (Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton). Most people are priced out of the market for the average house and have to accept lower-cost housing, which is generally smaller and can be of lower quality. Moreover, Vancouver has the highest house prices relative to income in the New World (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States).

The principal cause of this difference is likely Vancouver’s...


A Calgary non-profit made headlines recently when it was revealed that the organization was required to build a parking lot for an affordable housing complex that is effectively empty. The housing is provided specifically for helping people transition from out of homelessness, as part of a “housing first” approach that has had considerable success in Calgary and around North America. Few, if any, inhabiting the 224 unit apartment complex own cars. Yet, the Mustard Seed was required to spend $3 million to build a parking garage to meet City parking requirements. All of the 79 stalls reportedly sit empty. That...

As of last year, people in Ontario who wish to cut hair for a living must be a member of the Ontario College of Trades, which has mandated a 600 percent increase in certification fees for hairstylists. The newly formed Ontario Hairstylists Association claims that the “salon tax” threatens the success of numerous small businesses and that customers only care that hairstylists are qualified, not that they are a member of the College of Trades.

This incident should raise questions for Canadians about how the trades are regulated. Both compulsory and voluntary trades exist across the provinces. If a trade...

Manitoba has had fifteen years of academic decline in reading, math, and science. That is the track record of the current NDP government. Once near the Canadian average, Manitoba now sits second last out of the Canadian provinces.

In a study recently released by the C. D. Howe Institute, John Richards analyzed data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Every three years, PISA tests more than 500,000 fifteen-year-old students from approximately 65 countries in the core competencies of math, reading, and science. Students from all provinces participated in the latest PISA tests.

Richards noted that from 2000 to...

Since taking office in 2006, the Harper government has negotiated over 40 separate international trade agreements and has championed the idea of free trade around the world as a means of economic and political liberalization and progress.  While Canada’s approach to free trade internationally is well known, its internal trade policies are anything but free.

During his recent six-city tour, Industry Minister James Moore focused on trying to unite various economic stakeholders in an effort to reform the current internal trade mechanisms between provinces within Canada.  Under the current regime, Moore argues that many of those living outside Canada have...

The post-Shawn Atleo Aboriginal landscape is a perfect opportunity for Ottawa to embark on some bold new First Nations policy.

Finally introducing a First Nations Property Ownership Act would certainly count as a bold move.

In 2011, the federal government announced its intentions to introduce such legislation.

In the tabled pre-budget report, the House of Commons Finance Committee called for the federal government “to examine the concept of a First Nations Property Ownership Act as proposed by the First Nations Tax Commission.”

That proposal envisioned a regime where underlying title to reserve lands would be transferred from the Crown to...


Today the Frontier Centre fror Public Policy released its latest report, Pipe, Dam and Electricity Dreams: Burdening Manitoba’s Next Generation written by Andrew Pickford.

On June 20, 2014, the Public Utilities Board panel provides its report to the Manitoban Government on the proposed Keeyask and Conawapa dams and the associated Bipole III transmission line, a new interconnection with the Utility’s American utility customers and a refurbishment and expansion of its existing grid. The cumulative cost of these projects is in excess of $34-billion.  If approved, they will have profound implications for Manitoba and its public finances.

Investments by Crown corporations...

Andrew Pickford joins Frontier Centre for Public Policy as Senior Director, Energy and Resources Policy.

Newly appointed Mr Pickford will be responsible for running FCPP’s innovative Energy and Climate Education program that will engage in a comprehensive review of the assumptions upon which Canadian decision makers are legislating energy, environmental and economic policy to provide viable policy alternatives based on rigorous research and findings.

According to Mr Pickford the Energy and Climate Education banner was deliberately chosen to reflect the reality that all Canadians care about the environment, but following a period of enthusiastic and sometimes disastrous policy choices, we...

Today the Frontier Centre for Public Policy published A Blueprint for Reorienting Canadian Drug Policy, a new report by policy analyst Steve Lafleur and research intern Andrew Chai.

In the report, the authors assert that the War on Drugs, in its current manifestation, is not working. Although many politicians seem to recognize as much, the report notes that they have been hesitant to pursue meaningful change, partly because they are not sure what effects liberalization might have, and how to mitigate potential side effects.

“Many politicians are reluctant to take steps toward liberalizing drug policy, fearing that it would be...

A new Frontier Centre study supported the NDP Minister of Education’s decision to shut down the Council on Post-Secondary Education.

The NDP Minister of Education, James Allum, planned to fold the Council on Post Secondary Education into the Department of Education.  A new study by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy supported the Minister’s decision.  Unfortunately, the Minister backed down as universities and faculty unions mounted their attacks. Nevertheless, taxpayers and students have been shouldering an ever-increasing burden, but there is little evidence that higher spending at the University of Manitoba resulted in higher graduation rates for undergraduate students. 


The Frontier Centre for Public Policy has today released Housing Affordability and the Standard of Living in Vancouver, a new report authored by Wendell Cox, a senior fellow with the Frontier Centre.

Mr Cox is an expert in land use and transportation policy and the co-author of the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which has examined metropolitan areas in Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States since 2004.

In this report, Mr Cox draws on evidence from the Demographia survey, and his knowledge of the role of housing affordability in poverty reduction, to make...


This report on Quebec Hydro is one in a long series of reports of 'troubles in Canada's utility land' brought about by the shale gas revolution, new technologies (solar, wind), larger investments in energy efficiency measures and slowing per capita demand, all taking the 'build' pressure  down for large and expensive hydroelectric generating plants.

The problem for ratepayers is that provincial governments with monopoly Crown corporation utilities - Newfoundland Labrador's Nalcor, Quebec's Quebec Hydro, Manitoba's Manitoba Hydro and B.C.'s B.C. Hydro - aren't listening.

Grown dependent on the income streams the Crown monopolies flow into their government masters' revenue...

Tomorrow, March 29th 2014, between 8:30pm and 9:30pm, we'll be celebrating Human Achievement Hour.

This one-hour event coincides with Earth Hour, an annual event where governments, businesses and individuals dim or shut off lights in an effort to raise awareness about pollution. In contrast, Human Achievement Hour (HAH) promotes human prosperity.

Human Achievement Hour is a period of time during which one shows appreciation for human accomplishments by engaging in capitalist acts between consenting adults. For example, going out shopping, or using electricity or indoor plumbing.

“We salute the people who keep the lights on and produce the energy that...

An animated version of Stephen Moore's talk - America's Energy Boom: How It Will Save U.S. Manufacturing and Recharge The U.S. Economy.

Last month I attended the Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa.

It's the largest annual gathering of conservative and libertarians in Canada, with a noticeable generational split between those two philosophies.

The keynote speaker on the final day of the conference was Mark Steyn.

Now, Mark and I wouldn't agree on every political issue, but he's a very entertaining guy.

He gave an entertaining speech in which he covered six political facts of life:

1) When money drains, power drains. When a nation loses control of its finances, it loses control of its destiny.

2) Permanence is the illusion of...

What does the federal government’s policy to enhance wireless competition look like the morning after the 700 MHz spectrum auction results were announced?  We have another player, Videotron, in BC and Alberta.  Videotron, Quebec’s largest cable company, has made a major play to compete in wireless in the west.  Everywhere else it is just about status quo.  Wind and Mobilicity remain as also ran acquisition targets that will eventually be consolidated with one of the larger players.

Rogers was the largest contributor to the total federal revenue take of $5.7 billion.  Telus and Bell, who share the same network,...


It was three years ago that Stephen Harper's Conservative government said it planned to introduce the First Nations Property Ownership Act, which would expand property rights for Canada's Aboriginal people, but we still haven't seen the legislation.

Such an Act would create a voluntary system of transferring title of reserve land from the Crown to an individual First Nation.

The First Nation could then choose to divide up the land and give individual title to band members living on the reserve.

Giving such property rights to Aboriginal people would allow them greater opportunity to improve their economies and give families...

In the ongoing discussion about climate change, we are frequently misled about carbon, carbon dioxide and “carbon pollution.”

Politicians and environmentalists use the terms interchangeably, when talking about the need to reduce our carbon emissions, or 'carbon footprint'.

“Carbon” is the main building block in all fossil fuels including coal, and oil and gas.

Our vehicles and power plants do not emit carbon, but emissions do contain carbon dioxide.

Many blame carbon dioxide for global warming, but quite a few scientists disagree on the extent to which CO2 is responsible for climate change.

They argue that carbon dioxide only plays...

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy has released its first Canadian Freedom Index.

It examines the state of personal, fiscal, and regulatory freedoms in all ten Canadian provinces, and it considers how provincial laws and regulations are affecting our daily lives.

Many different factors are measured in each province, including freedom to choose schools, the regulation of alcohol, and property rights.

Alberta took first place overall in the Index, with Saskatchewan and BC coming in second and third, and Manitoba in the middle of the pack in sixth place.

Comparing regions of the country, Western and Central Canada fared well,...

Steve Lafleur joins the Charles Adler show to discuss the benefits of establishing a road pricing system in Winnipeg.

Canada’s old laws on prostitution were struck down by the Supreme Court last year because they forced sex workers into vulnerable and dangerous situations.

Some commentators say that Harper government's new law might do the same thing, and end up back in the courts.

If the new law is also struck down as unconstitutional, there might be little else that Ottawa can do to deal with prostitution.

Parliament cannot legislate under the criminal code unless the law defines criminal offences and provides penalties. Such action must relate to public peace, order, security, health, and morality.

If Ottawa is unable to...


Republished from the West Island Gazette.

So, how free do you think you are? To be honest, I’ve been feeling pretty free, as freedom goes, over the last bit of time. My kids are almost out of the basement and in interesting jobs. I can almost stop worrying about them.

Unless the young family doctor we recently lucked into is kidding me, I’m in reasonable health. That frees me up from a lot of medical appointments, which is what my age group talks about most of the time, that and downsizing, care homes and dying. And I’m not working any...

Reprinted from Dialogue.
Interview by Juanita Julliet Singh

On March 9, 2013, Aruna Papp established a record. She became the first Adventist Indo-Canadian woman to represent Canada as a delegate to the United Nations Conference on Global Violence Against Women.

For Papp, it was a long journey. Aruna (nee Irene Isaac) is the first of seven children of Pastor and Mrs. B.M. Isaac. Her father served the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a pastor and administrator in India before moving to Canada. While he labored hard to provide for the family, it was her mother who worked diligently to care for her children, have regular family worship, and shoulder the responsibilities for the extended family. Papp learned from...

Originally aired on Stuff for Parents. (stuffforparents.com/podcasts/whats-…ix-them-part-1/)

Michael Zwaagstra is a public school teacher, speaker, research associate with Frontier Centre for Public Policy and co-author of the book What’s Wrong With Our Schools and How We Can Fix Them. Michael and I discuss schools in North America, the challenges they face, questionable teaching methods and philosophies, and what you should know as a parent. If you’re a parent who is concerned about our schools or a teacher who has observed the questionable approaches and practices advocated by so-called experts, you’ll definitely want to tune-in!...

New Brunswick has ranked high in the first ever Entrepreneurial Index released by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and Ken Phillips. He discusses the results on McLean in the Morning.

David Vardy holds degrees in Economics from Memorial University, the University of Toronto and Princeton University. He was a member of the economics faculty at Queen’s University before returning to Newfoundland and Labrador to serve as a senior public servant for close to 30 years. He held numerous senior executive positions including President of the Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology, Chair of the Public Utilities Board and Secretary to Cabinet.  He has received a number of awards in recognition of his public service leadership, including an Honorary Doctorate from Memorial University.  He was interviewed after his Frontier luncheon speech...