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Economic Freedom of the Arab World: 2016 Annual Report

United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain are, once again, the top three most economically-free nations in the Arab world, according to Economic Freedom of the Arab World: 2016 Annual Report, co-published by the Fraser Institute, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty and the International Research Foundation. This report compares and ranks 21 Arab nations in five areas of economic freedom: size of government, including expenditures, taxes and enterprises; commercial and economic law and security of property rights; access to sound money; freedom to trade internationally; and regulation of credit, labour and business.

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The Five Solitudes of Ontario: A Regional Analysis of Labour Market Performance in Post-Recession Ontario finds that decent economic performance—especially job growth—in Toronto and the surrounding Golden Horseshoe region is hiding the fact that the rest of Ontario still hasn’t fully recovered from the 2009 recession. Total employment in Ontario outside the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) stood at 2.24 million in 2008. By the end of 2015, the most recent year of available data, that figure stood at 2.17 million, still 70,000 jobs shy of pre-recession levels.

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The Human Freedom Index, 2016

Human Freedom Index, 2016 finds Canada is the sixth freest country in the world, while the United States continues to decline dropping from 20th to 23rd this year. The index ranks 159 countries and jurisdictions based on 79 indicators of personal, civil and economic freedoms and is a joint project with the Cato Institute in the U.S. and the Liberales Institut of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Germany.

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Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2016 finds that Canadian patients waited longer than ever this year for medical treatment. The median wait time in Canada in 2016 was 20 weeks—the longest ever recorded—and more than double the 9.3 weeks Canadians waited in 1993, when the Fraser Institute began tracking wait times for medically necessary elective treatments. Among the provinces, Ontario recorded the shortest wait time at 15.6 weeks—up from 14.2 weeks in 2015. New Brunswick recorded the longest wait time (38.8 weeks). It’s estimated that Canadians are currently waiting for nearly one million medically necessary procedures.

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One Energy Boom, Two Approaches: Fiscal Restraint Has Left Texas in Better Shape than Alberta

One Energy Boom, Two Approaches: Fiscal Restraint Has Left Texas in Better Shape than Alberta finds that Alberta’s deficits and mounting debt are largely the result of undisciplined spending and fiscal mismanagement, not just a drop in energy prices. By comparison, Texas controlled spending during the energy boom of 2004 to 2014, and, partly as a result, ran five straight surpluses between fiscal years 2009 and 2013. Alberta, which increased spending at a greater rate than Texas, ran four deficits during that same five-year period, and has continued to run deficits in the years since, with the exception of a small surplus in 2014/2015. Further, Alberta doesn’t expect to balance the budget again until at least 2024.

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Regulation and Funding of Independent Schools: Lessons from Sweden

Regulation and Funding of Independent Schools: Lessons from Sweden examines the Scandinavian country’s education reforms since the 1990s, which increased school choice for low- and middle-income families. The study finds as full government funding was extended to independent schools—including for-profit institutions—enrolment in independent schools increased substantially, from less than two per cent of total enrolment in 1992 to more than 14 per cent in 2014 in elementary grades, and more than 25 per cent in upper-secondary grades.

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Why First Nations Succeed

Why First Nations Succeed finds that First Nations in Canada with the highest living standards—according to the federal government’s Community Well-Being Index—capitalize on, rather than oppose economic opportunities available to them, such as tourism, recreation and natural resources. They are also governed by long-serving, fiscally prudent chiefs who are paid less than the average for all First Nations leaders.

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Report Card on Quebec's Secondary Schools 2016

The Report Card on Quebec’s Secondary Schools 2016 ranks 459 public, private, Francophone and Anglophone schools based largely on results from provincewide tests in French, English, science, mathematics and history. It finds that 44 secondary schools in the province—34 of them public—have improved their performance over the past five years.