Not us, we are Canadian…

Creator & Copyright: Pietro Naj-Oleari

Whenever the topic of allowing Canadians to purchase private insurance or pay to access hospital or Doctor services, Canadians tend to shriek in terror at the thought of American-style healthcare. What they ignore is that all of this already exist, in a limited form, in Canada. This demonstrates how American focused we are, you don’t hear people who usually hold up European societies as the peak of enlightenment terrified at the thought of European-style healthcare.

Canadians have the option to purchase private insurance to cover things like prescription drugs, glasses, and physio, things that most…


Covid has exposed failings in nursing home care around the world. It is clear that funding, regulation, oversight, and staffing need to change to provide our elders with the dignified care they deserve.

Covid has exposed many shortcomings in government, business, and society. One of the biggest failings has been in nursing homes. In the UK the share of Covid deaths taking place in care homes ranges from 20%-40% depending on region of the country. In the province of Quebec nearly 70% of Covid deaths are in nursing homes. The same tragic story of Covid taking hold of nursing homes, seniors dying without their families at their sides, and staff struggling to cope is repeated across the world.

The challenges that nursing homes present in a pandemic are well known. Many older people…


Now is the time to reform Canada’s tax system, to remove unfairness, improve efficiency, and provide financial stability to governments, while ensuring the system is supported by Canadian taxpayers

This blog builds on the solutions to Employment Insurance, a Guaranteed Basic Income, and government supported personal savings. Taken together with these solutions, broad based tax reform in Canada focusing on value added taxes (HST, GST, PST) and income taxes should position Canadian society to better take advantage of economic opportunity, be more financially resilient, and reduce government interference in the economy and society.

The numbers used here to demonstrate the concepts. Brighter minds at Canada’s Department of Finance I am sure could calibrate the tax rates and deductions to optimise incentives to work and societal outcomes. …


It may be politically impossible to roll-back all of Canada’s Covid benefits — perhaps it is time for a income tax reform to support a universal basic income

The numbers used here to demonstrate a form of guaranteed minimum income are illustrative. Brighter minds at Canada’s Department of Finance I am sure could calibrate the minimum income, tax credit, and tax rate to optimise incentives to work, government financial savings, and societal outcomes. That said, here is my stab at it!

The average minimum wage in Canada was around $13.00/hour in 2019, meaning that someone working 7 hour days at a full-time job, with 15 days vacation and statutory holidays would earn nearly $21,400 a year. This is 59% of Canada’s 2019 median annual income of $36,400 or…


A proposal that encourages individual accountability, more stable and better paying jobs, shares the risks of unemployment, while providing a savings pool for Canadians — a system fit for the modern economy

Imagine you own a 2010 Honda Accord, have been driving with a spotless record for 15 years, and live in a low crime neighbourhood, lock your car in your garage at night, and have a car alarm. Now imagine you have a 23 year-old neighbour, they have had multiple accidents, park their car on the road, and they drive a $55,000 luxury SUV. Would you be happy to pay the same car insurance premium as your neighbour? Well this is how Canada’s Employment Insurance (“EI”) works. Premiums don’t vary by how many times you have claimed, if your employer routinely…


A proposal for increasing the personal savings rate in Canada

Canada has a suite of federal programs to enable Canadians to save for key life events, which benefit from government grants and/or tax incentives. These include RRSPs that enable tax efficient saving for retirement and RESPs that provide grants and tax efficient saving for post-secondary education. However, even with these attractive programs Canadians have been saving less.

Canadian households saved about 14% of income in the 1980’s a ratio that decreased to about 3% in the 2000s. While it is true that bank interest rates decreased over this time, it is also true that the level of non-mortgage debt supported…


China, the WHO, herd immunity, and planning a return to normal

There has been much debate in the media and online about the morality of the UK’s original herd immunity strategy as well as how and when society can return to a ‘new’ normal.

The U.K. should have acted faster on social distancing, stopping international travel, and advising on the use of non-medical masks in crowded places. This would have helped us flatten the curve early on. Now we are in a lockdown until at least the end of May.…at least.

Covid is with here to stay and we need to learn how to live with it. Most developed nations’ chief…


With governments around the world ramping up public spending to levels not seen since wartime along with the mandated shutting down of whole swathes of the economy, how can society ensure that government supports of business are not simply bailouts but are ‘bail ins’?

The Current Situation

With Covid putting a freeze on economic and social activity around the world here are a few stats that demonstrate the challenge that governments and societies face.

  1. Oil Prices — Oil prices have fallen far and fast, with some types of oil selling for below $5.00 a barrel. The massive drop in oil demand is one sign of how large an economic crisis we are facing. The Canadian energy industry in particular will struggle until prices increase.
  2. Air Traffic — It is expected that the airline industry will see revenues fall by nearly 50% from 2019 to…

Canada’s Supreme Court recently ruled that expats can vote in federal elections regardless of how long they have lived outside Canada. Unfortunately, the Court simply waived the current five-year period during which expats may still vote from abroad. It should have instead instructed Parliament to revise the law permitting expat voting in a manner consistent with Canada’s Westminster style of representative democracy. This problem was recently enshrined in federal law by the Liberals who passed Bill C-76, which granted expat voting rights by removing the time restriction but not addressing wider issues around expat voting.

In her article “Why should…


What the UK can learn from Canada’s experience of money and corruption in politics

Last week’s blog outlined what Canada could learn from the UK’s health system, this week’s is about what the UK could learn from Canada to take ‘big money’, corruption, and the perception that money can buy politicians in the UK.

Like the UK, Canada has had it share of funding scandals in politics at the central government level (e.g. Shawinigate and the Airbus Affair). Over ten years ago, the federal Liberal government took action to address real and perceived conflicts that related to large donations by individuals, businesses, and unions to politicians and parties. …

Erik Johnson

A dual-national Canadian-Brit sharing his take on Canadian & UK affairs

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