Can a pundit change?

I have to say I have a soft spot for Margaret Wente. Sure, she is a conservative who sounds off frequently on issues that she really has no business writing about. But, boy. is she a good writer and she has a knack of connecting with the same deeply embedded conservative populism that Harper likes to mine. Today I was […]

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Cleaning up cruise ships

The Harper government enacts yet another policy from the CCPA. Ross Klein, social work professor turned cruise industry watcher at Memorial University deserves a big round of applause for his efforts to shine a light on this problem. A cynic might comment that this is just an easy reform that beefs up Harper’s green credentials prior to the next election. […]

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On the price elasticity of gasoline

Statistics Canada’s economic review of 2006 contains an interesting passage about consumer responses to higher gas prices. One would expect that as gas prices rise, drivers would consume somewhat less gas in the short run (gas demand is inelastic, so the reduction may be small), and to change their behaviour over the long-run by purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles. This […]

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The equity considerations of congestion pricing

Lance Freeman of Columbia University argues against congestion pricing: The Equity Considerations of Congestion Pricing Getting stuck in traffic is fast becoming one of those necessary evils that everyone complains about but seldom does anything about it. Or at least anything that seems terribly effective. Neither additional road building nor public transit seemed to have had a major impact on […]

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Air travel and climate change

Air travel is a beast for the climate change file, one that is going to be difficult to tackle as we move ahead. For consumers, it is  deeply entrenched as a means of getting around the globe, and may be particularly hard to reduce because it would require strong international collaboration. In Monbiot’s book Heat, he argues we need to […]

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Can traffic congestion be cured?

I went to a lecture last night be Anthony Downs of the Brookings Institution. His main insight that I am still dwelling on is that traffic congestion is an inevitable outcome of the way we have organized our urban societies. And as long as we have successful and vibrant cities, there will always be congestion – at least, as long […]

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Georgetti Responds to Coon Come on Anti-Scab Legislation

Opponents of Bill C-257 need to identify a purpose served by replacement workers other than strengthening the bargaining position of employers in relation to their employees. Hence the misleading claim that replacement workers are needed to provide essential services during labour disputes. Matthew Coon Come, a former aboriginal political leader who became a corporate CEO, has lent his support to […]

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Congestion charging in London

… is working nicely, says the Mayor: Charging ahead Ken Livingstone February 16, 2007 2:45 PM http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/ken_livingstone/2007/02/of_course_the_catastrophe_didn.html In 2003, congestion charging was introduced in the most clogged-up central area of London against a backdrop of almost universal media scepticism and many gleeful predictions of catastrophe. Of course the catastrophe didn’t happen. London is now in the position of being the […]

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Congestion pricing in NYC

This article from the New York Times generally roots for congestion pricing in NYC. As someone who rides a bike to work, I tend to agree, though I am concerned that there would be a hit on some modest-income people who need a car to get to work or who live in areas that are designed for the car and […]

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Pay-as-you-drive auto insurance

Dean Baker makes the case below. I think this is a good way of internalizing the external costs of driving, including CO2 emissions and other nasty stuff. And in the case of BC and a few other provinces, it would be easy to implement via public auto insurance monopolies. In and of itself, however, I don’t think it gets us […]

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