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More than 52,000 Canadians left the country for medical care in 2014

March 30, 2015 Comments off

More than 52,000 Canadians left the country for medical care in 2014
Source: Fraser Institute

Large numbers of Canadians continue to venture abroad to seek medical care, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, Leaving Canada for Medical Care, 2015, estimates 52,513 Canadians left the country to receive non-emergency medical treatment in 2014, an increase of 26 per cent compared to the previous year.

The study draws upon data from the Fraser Institute’s annual Waiting Your Turn study – a national survey of physicians across Canada in 12 major medical specialties. In the 2014 survey, physicians specializing in internal medicine procedures — such as colonoscopies, gastroscopies and angiographies — reported the highest number of patients leaving Canada for treatment (6,559). Meanwhile, neurosurgeons reported the highest proportion of patients (2.6 per cent) who travelled abroad for medical care.

Charitable giving on the decline in Canada, Ontario experiences steep drop in generosity

March 11, 2015 Comments off

Charitable giving on the decline in Canada, Ontario experiences steep drop in generosity
Source: Fraser Institute

During the holidays, many Canadians think about giving, yet fewer are donating to registered charities—and those who give are giving less, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2014 Generosity Index, measures donations to registered charities claimed on personal income tax returns in Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories, the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.

In 2012 (the latest year of available data), 22.3 per cent of Canadian tax filers donated to charity, down from the recent peak of 25.1 per cent in 2005.

Canadians are also donating a smaller percentage of their income to registered charities. In 2012, Canadians gave 0.61 per cent of their total income to registered charities, down from 0.81 per cent in 2006.

Idea of guaranteed annual income appealing but implausible for Canada

March 10, 2015 Comments off

Idea of guaranteed annual income appealing but implausible for Canada
Source: Fraser Institute

Despite the conceptual appeal of a guaranteed annual income, the idea isn’t likely to become reality in Canada, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“The idea of a guaranteed annual income has entered and exited Canadian policy discussions for decades, garnering both proponents and detractors, yet the practical obstacles to implementing such a program are likely insurmountable,” said Charles Lammam, the Fraser Institute’s associate director of tax and fiscal policy and co-author of The Practical Challenges of Creating a Guaranteed Annual Income in Canada.

A Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI) program would provide individuals or families an unconditional cash transfer to ensure a minimum annual income. It would replace Canada’s complex income support system (which includes several, often-overlapping programs within all three levels of government) with a single program administered by one level of government. (Most GAI proponents envision a program administered by the federal government.)

CA — Eliminating special-interest tax breaks could pave way for large personal income tax cuts

March 9, 2015 Comments off

Eliminating special-interest tax breaks could pave way for large personal income tax cuts
Source: Fraser Institute

Large-scale personal income tax cuts could provide relief for working Canadians and lay the foundation for long-term economic growth, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

According to the study, Reforming Federal Personal Income Taxes: A Pro-Growth Plan for Canada, Ottawa could eliminate many tax credits, deductions and other tax breaks (broadly known as tax expenditures), which would free up $20 billion. This, combined with expected surpluses in the future, would allow the government to eliminate Canada’s two middle-income tax rates (22 and 26 per cent) and create a new tax landscape, with just two personal income tax rates—15 per cent for almost all Canadians and 29 per cent for top earners (roughly two per cent of tax-filers).

Spending on public schools across Canada increases while student enrolment falls

February 27, 2015 Comments off

Spending on public schools across Canada increases while student enrolment falls
Source: Fraser Institute

Despite a steady decline in student enrolment, spending on public schools in Canada has skyrocketed, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, Education Spending in Canada: What’s Actually Happening?, examines changes in spending on public schools in Canada over the last decade.

For example, between 2001/02 and 2011/12, the most recent years for which data is available, spending in public schools across all provinces rose to $59.6 billion from $38.9 billion—a 53.1 per cent increase.

Yet despite these spending increases, during this 10-year period public school enrolment dropped in almost every province. Subsequently, on a per student basis, for that time period, spending on public schools increased 63.2 per cent, rising to $11,835 from $7,250.

CA — Despite dramatic increase in oil tanker traffic, number of oil spills has significantly decreased

January 21, 2015 Comments off

Canada Pension Plan costs triple as investment board spending skyrockets

September 5, 2014 Comments off

Canada Pension Plan costs triple as investment board spending skyrockets
Source: Fraser Institute

The cost of running the Canada Pension Plan has more than tripled, the result of transaction fees and external management fees, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, Accounting for the True Cost of the Canada Pension Plan, spotlights the costs of administering the CPP, which includes spending by the CPP Investment Board, a Crown corporation that manages and invests CPP assets, as well as costs incurred by the federal government to run the plan.

Between fiscal years 2006-07 and 2012-13, the total cost of running the CPP jumped to $2 billion from $600 million, despite an investment board report that claimed its operating expenses in 2012-13 were only $490 million.

Why the discrepancy? The CPP Investment Board excludes from its operating budget a) management fees it pays to external consultants, b) transaction fees associated with acquiring assets and c) costs incurred by four federal government departments.

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