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Cost of Government Debt in Canada, 2017

The Cost of Government Debt in Canada, 2017 finds that paying the interest on all government debt in Canada cost taxpayers $62.8 billion last year, which translates into $1,752 for every Canadian or slightly more than $7,000 for a family of four. In fact, interest payments on just the federal debt—$24.9 billion—is roughly the same as the federal government’s projected deficit this year—$25.1 billion.

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Did the Coal Phase-out Reduce Ontario Air Pollution?

Did the Coal Phase-out Reduce Ontario Air Pollution finds that the coal phase-out produced only a small reduction in fine particulates, a common measure of air pollution, and in Toronto and Hamilton, the reduction was statistically insignificant. In fact, had the province completed its modernization of the coal-fired plants, instead of shutting them down, fine particulate reductions of the same size could have been achieved at a much lower cost.

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Comparing Government and Private Sector Compensation in British Columbia

Comparing Government and Private Sector Compensation in British Columbia finds that government workers in B.C. receive 7.4 per cent higher wages, on average, than comparable workers in the private sector, and enjoy much more generous non-wage benefits, too. For example, nine-in-ten public sector workers have defined benefit pension plans, compared to just one-in-ten in the private sector. And government workers retire, on average, 2.5 years earlier.

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Regulation and Funding of Independent Schools: Lessons from Australia

Regulation and Funding of Independent Schools: Lessons from Australia examines that country’s education system and highlights its unique funding model for non-government (independent and religious) schools. In Australia, government funding of independent schools varies between 20 and 90 per cent per student (for operating expenses) depending on the average income of the neighbourhood in which the student lives, making them more affordable for lower-income families.

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The End of the Alberta Tax Advantage finds that corporate and personal income tax hikes in Alberta last year have wiped away the crucial tax advantage that helped fuel the province’s economic prosperity for years. Corporate tax rates are now lower in B.C., Ontario and Quebec, and Alberta’s top combined marginal personal income tax rate went from the lowest in North America to the 16th highest among all province and states.

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Does Constitutional Protection Prevent Education Reform in Ontario?

Does Constitutional Protection Prevent Education Reform in Ontario? finds that Ontario’s Catholic school system can be part of education reform, despite public misperceptions about the nature of its protection in the Constitution. Amending constitutional provisions that only apply to one province require a simple vote in the legislature of the affected province, and recognition by the federal Parliament.

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Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2016 Generosity Index

Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2016 Generosity Index finds that the percentage of Canadians claiming charitable donations on their taxes—and the amount they’re giving as a percentage of their income—is the lowest it’s been in a decade. And Americans donate two-and-a-half times more to charities than Canadians, as a percentage of income. The state of Utah tops the list of 64 North American jurisdictions in the Index. Manitoba (37th place) remains the highest ranked Canadian jurisdiction.

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Economic Freedom of North America 2016

Economic Freedom of North America 2016 finds that New Hampshire has the highest level of economic freedom among all U.S. states for the second year in a row. The Live Free or Die state scored 8.3 out of 10 in this year’s report, which measures government spending, taxation and labour market restrictions. Among the four largest states, Florida was 2nd and Texas tied for 3rd. For the second year in a row New York was the least-free state in the country at 50th, and California ranked 49th.