February 23, 2010
Media Release - 2010 International Property Rights Index: Canada outranks USA; but Improvements Needed
Finland scores highest in protection of property; Canada at 12th place but has no constitutional guarantees for property
WINNIPEG– The Frontier Centre for Public Policy, along with the International Property Rights Alliance, today released the 2010 International Property Rights Index. The Index, measures the protection of property rights in 125 countries.
On a ranking of one to ten—the higher scores reflecting a greater protection of property—worldwide scores ranged from Finland with 8.6, to Bangladesh with a score of just 2.9. Canada scored 8.0 on the Index as did Germany and Ireland; all three countries thus tied for 12th position.
The scores are based on ten measurements ranging in three broad subject areas:
Results for Canada:
In 2010, Canada maintained its position as the highest ranking country in the Western hemisphere, with increased scores for increased judicial Independence and the protection of physical property. Canada was 12th, while the United States scored lower at 15th. On the negative side for Canada, copyright piracy levels continue to be somewhat high for a well developed country – estimated at an average of 33 percent.
Frontier’s director of research, Mark Milke, notes Canada’s showing occurred in the absence of constitutional protection for private property. “Canada is lucky to have a certain historical and legal framework of respect for property rights. However, and regrettably, property rights are not yet a guaranteed right. As such, the protection of property in Canada is akin to rule by a monarch. You’re lucky if the king or queen is benevolent, but out of luck if the monarch is unwise, unjust or foolish.”
In Canada, governments can still expropriate at will with no constitutional protection for family assets. This has occurred over the decades in almost every Canadian province notes Milke.
Examples of property right infringement in Canada:
The above examples and more show the importance of property rights, notes Milke. “Property protection shelters the savings and investments of families, be it their home or other property; property rights also protect risk-taking by individuals and companies, activity that is critical to a country’s general prosperity. Canada needs a constitutional amendment to ensure property rights become a Charter right.”
The 2010 International Property Rights Index can be downloaded here:
For more information and to arrange an interview, media (only) should contact:
Director of Research
Troy Media Corporation
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy
is an independent public policy think tank whose mission is "to broaden the debate on our future through public policy research and education and to explore positive changes within our public institutions that support economic growth and opportunity."