Economist Robin Shaban and I have another piece in the Globe and Mail that I wanted to share. 👇
Readers have already directed us to look into consolidation/competition in the hearing aid industry, razor blades, eyeglasses, and postage machines. Keep ‘em coming!
It’s no surprise that we think Canadas competition legislation could benefit from a refresh. We also need more research in the space. We’ve made policy decisions in the pandemic that have privileged larger firms, and haven’t yet been able to fully quantify the implications for independent businesses and entrepreneurship.
After Robin and I attended the Competition Bureau’s Summit a few weeks back. Instead of discussing competition in a digital age or looking at anti-trust innovation and experimentation in other jurisdictions, the discussion veered into “regulation = red tape and red tape is BAD” territory. It was boring, and made me feel like I was on a different policy planet. A keynote from legendary Senator Amy Klobuchar was pre-recorded, so we didn’t have to deal with her asking us: What is up with your approach, Canada?
The OECD estimates that absent excessive market power, the incomes of the poorest 20% of Canadians could be 20% greater and the wealth held by the top one percent could be 24% lower.
FWIW, there have been a few promising steps taken by our own Competition Bureau to evolve the nation’s approach in the space: for one, Canada is funding the “OECD Gender Inclusive Competition Policy project,” examining how a gender lens could help deliver more effective competition policy. Last summer, the Bureau also launched a market study into Canada’s health care sector, centering on Canadians’ access to virtual health care products and services. These are worthwhile initiatives that are tangential to the urgent need to modernize the Competition Act.
Robin and I have also been a little bullied by Bay Street for our scholarship and advocacy - which is uncool yet gloriously motivating. Indeed, when long-time actors in the competition policy space coordinate to extinguish and discount the voices of new entrants they display the very same behaviour of monopolist ruffians that are intolerant of upstart competitors and reveal themselves to be intellectually anti-competitive.
ICYMI: A couple of weeks ago, I had a great conversation with Matt Stoller and Ali Haberstroh about competition policy trends and independent businesses.
*You can watch/listen to the interview here. 📺
Vass Bednar is the Executive Director of McMaster University’s new Master of Public Policy in Digital Society Program.
I call it the Land Of Mediocrity although in fairness many other countries are now competing for that title including sadly those of my REAL home Europe.
Galen Weston owns 1 in 5 Pharmacies in Canada
Ontario pays Pharmacies
$15 per jab
$24 per jab
OHIP pays Primary Care Provider $4 per jab (sorry might be 5 yrs out of date)
Also Primary Care Providers have not been getting the amount of Annual Vaccines they order from Public health. Witness the fight by Primary Care for COVID vaccine - see Dr Nili Kaplan Myrth
For at least the past 2 years Annual Influenza doses are distributed to PHARMACIES FIRST Supplies to FPs are late and less. than the number of doses the Fps requested from Public Health
5 Million Canadians have no Family Doctor ( 20yrs ago 1 in 3 of population of Moncton NB had no family Doc)
There is no requirement for Medicare to provide a Primary Care Provider for each person in Canada( Unlike NHS)
There are no defined requirements for access to care in Canada. eg NHS 90% of patients should be seen within 4 hours in A and E (Emerg.) UK citizens know this - GOV.UK info available and easily navigated by anyone. When there are problems Citizens complain loud and long to the Government NOT the Health Care Provider
UK has a representative Union of Physicians - GMC.
Canada has no representative group of Physicians and forming a Union not legal