GOLDSTEIN: Economic freedom in Canada is on the decline – report

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Canada fell out of the top 10 most economically free countries in the world, according to a Fraser Institute study released on Tuesday.

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Canada now ranks 14th out of 165 countries assessed in the annual survey, in a continuing downward trend since 2016, the report says, World economic freedom, 2021, by the fiscally conservative think tank.

“Due to higher taxes and increased regulation in Ottawa and the provinces, Canadians are less economically free, which means slower economic growth and less investment in Canada,” said the co-author of the Fred McMahon study.

“Where people are free to pursue their own opportunities and make their own choices, they lead more prosperous, happier and healthier lives.”

The annual report is produced by the Fraser Institute, in cooperation with the Economic Freedom Network, a group of independent research and educational institutes in nearly 100 countries and territories.

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Based on 2019 data – before the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic – the study, which assessed government regulation, freedom to trade internationally, size of government, rights of property, government spending and taxation, found Hong Kong to be the most economically free country in the world.

However, he warns that due to China’s crackdown on democratic and economic freedom in Hong Kong from 2020, it will likely rank lower in the years to come.

In descending order after Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Georgia, United States, Ireland, Lithuania, Australia and Denmark complete the top 10 most economically free jurisdictions in the world .

They are followed by Maurice in 11th place, the United Kingdom in 12th, Estonia in 13th and Canada in 14th.

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Last year, Canada was initially ranked 8th in the survey, although data revisions subsequently brought it down to 13th, one position higher than 14th this year.

Among the G7 countries, Canada in 14th place is ranked lower than the United States (sixth place) and the United Kingdom (12th), but higher than Japan (18th), Germany (22nd) , Italy (47th) and France (53rd).

Russia is ranked in 100th place, India in 108th, Brazil in 109th and China in 116th.

The 10 least economically free countries, in descending order according to the study, are: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Republic of Congo, Iran, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Libya, Sudan, and finally Venezuela, judged in 165th place out of 165 countries studied.

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The study indicates that people living in countries with a high degree of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties, and longer lives.

“Countries in the top quartile of economic freedom had an average gross domestic product per capita of $ 50,619 in 2019, compared to $ 5,911 for countries in the bottom quartile,” the study says.

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“Poverty rates are also lower. In the top quartile, 0.9% of the population experienced extreme poverty ($ 1.90 per day), compared to 34.1% in the bottom quartile.

“The average income of the poorest 10% was US $ 14,400 in the top quartile, compared to US $ 1,549 in the bottom quartile… the average income of the poorest 10% in the most economically free countries is more double the average per capita income in the least free nations.

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Finally, average life expectancy is 81.1 years in the top quartile of countries against 65.9 years in the bottom quartile.

Although Canada’s ranking for economic freedom has fallen in recent years, the study concludes that globally, economic freedom is gradually increasing.

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