Toronto, ON — Governments in Canada restrict or prevent foreign competition in 30.6 per cent of Canada’s economy, including key sectors such as air transportation and telecommunications, which means almost one of every three dollars of the total value of all goods and services produced in Canada is shielded from competition, finds a new study released by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.
“When governments in Canada protect industries, Canadian consumers pay higher prices, have less choice and/or less innovations compared to consumers in other countries,” said Vincent Geloso, Fraser Institute senior fellow and author of Walled from Competition.
The study measures Canadian protectionism—barring foreign companies from operating in Canada, restricting foreign ownership, requiring key employees to be Canadian citizens, etc.—and protectionism in other developed countries, with a spotlight on specific industries.
For example, Canada ranks 54th out of 62 countries (and well below the United States and United Kingdom) in air transportation competition, which helps explain the comparatively high price of Canadian airline travel.
And Canada ranks 59th out of 62 countries in telecommunications competition, which results in Canadians paying comparatively higher prices for cellphone and other telecom services.
“If provincial and federal policymakers want to help improve living standards for Canadian families, they should remove barriers to competition and allow companies to freely compete for our business,” Geloso said.