Each year, in mid-December, the federal government releases its calculation for what each province is entitled to receive as equalization. This time, the numbers are especially important. They show how much Alberta’s recession lowered its ability to raise revenues. They show Ontario has graduated to “have” status, but (interestingly) will still receive equalization payments. They […]

How does one evaluate the health of an economy?  A simple, easily measured and, we would argue, reasonably comprehensive measure of success is the proportion of a community’s working age population that is employed.  The employment ratio measures the fraction of those of working age (aged 15-64 years) who have found employment and so are […]

Canada, like many other nations, supports business R&D through the tax system; but Canada stands out in being unusually generous to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). An international comparison of tax assistance for R&D showed that: SMEs undertaking R&D in Canada receive a subsidy through the tax system of just over 40%, the highest in […]

It is budget season again and that means it is time for the media and politicians to express outrage about just about everything in just about every government budget.  In my experience these outrages are usually the result of a failure to properly understand some very basic measurement issues.  A good example of this involves […]