Regulatory Costs and Benefits

Good morning subscribers and welcome to the penultimate edition of the 2017 Morning Brief!

Is the stress of exams getting to you? Do you feel the rising urge to throw your textbook(s) across the room? The Morning Brief is here to help! Put down that textbook and take a dive into this week’s articles, where we take a short detour to looking at regulations and their costs and benefits.

This week’s Morning Brief was prepared by Cindy Liu. Sign up here to receive the Morning Brief directly to your inbox.


  • Current NAFTA negotiations paint an uncertain picture of the future of trade among the Three Amigos. Trump seeks to eliminate current rules of dispute settlement, modify the “rules of origin”, and skew government procurement contracts in favour of American companies. With changes like these on the table, Canada needs to carefully consider all its options in negotiations, including the possibility of pursuing alternative trade agreements [Ramnauth/PPGR].
  • Are you a fan of Daylight Savings Time? Or does that hour of lost sleep in March hurt more than the hour you gain in November? Although changing the time was originally created for energy conservation purposes, evidence that DST contributes to energy savings is questionable at best. DST may even produce unintended effects like negative health and safety impacts. Michael Smolinski discusses why it’s been so difficult to eliminate DST despite its many criticisms [Smolinski/PPGR].
  • In an effort to combat poverty, the Couillard government has created a basic income project which will gradually affect an estimated 84,000 Quebecers starting in the New Year. Qualifiers for the benefit include those with severely limited capacity to work, such as people with intellectual and physical disabilities. $3 billion in spending will be spread out over several years, aiming to help 100,000 Quebecers out of poverty by 2023. Some anti-poverty groups believe the regulation is not far-reaching enough, stating “one of the primary characteristics of guaranteed minimum income is that it be unconditional and apply to the entire population” [Laframboise/CBC News].
  • Do you act like a “zombie”? Liberal MPP Yvan Baker has put forward a private member’s bill to tackle distracted walking by prohibiting people from using a cellphone while crossing the street. First time “zombie” offenders could be fined $50, increasing to $75 on the second offence and $125 for the third and subsequent violations. The bill intends to help pedestrians understand the risks of being glued to their phones when stepping off the curb. But is this another regulation targeting the wrong issue? Critics feel that the law ignores the primary cause of pedestrian injuries: distracted driving [Staff Writer/The Star].

We hope these articles have provided a worthwhile distraction from your studies! The next edition of the Brief will be making its way to your inboxes on December 20th.