Consumer advocate suggests failure to approve ride hailing in B.C. risks public safety

NEWS 1130: The North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center, David Clement, says the use of companies like Uber and Lyft helped significantly reduce drunk driving in the United States.

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

New Brunswick’s nutrition policy goes too far

NEW BRUNSWICK TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL: Earlier this month the New Brunswick government unveiled its new “Healthier School Food Environment” policy at a news conference in Fredericton. At the news conference, Health Minister Brian Kenny listed a long list of food items that will now be prohibited from being served, or sold, at school.

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

In dairy, a cutthroat U.S. business versus a Canadian cartel

BUFFALO NEWS: And American dairy interests aren’t the only ones exasperated by the Canadian system. Canada’s Consumer Choice Center estimated last year that Canada’s supply management systems for dairy, eggs and poultry cost families an extra $257 to $420 (USD) per year.

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

When it comes to Canadian dairy, Trump is right

HAMILTON SPECTATOR: In most circumstances, President Trump is wrong about trade, but he is right to call Canada’s supply management system a “disgrace.”

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Is Moral Panic Justified? The Effect of Alcohol Privatization on Impaired Driving in Alberta

By Heather Bone, Research Fellow, Consumer Choice Center

Nearly every time the prospect of privatizing alcohol sales in Ontario is debated, there is a moral panic. If alcohol sales are privatized, the argument goes, alcohol will be more easily accessible, and there will be an increase in alcohol-related crime. In this research brief, I investigate the extent to which we should be concerned about an increase in social ills resulting from liquor store privatization by focusing on Alberta’s experience with impaired driving (due to limited data availability on other crimes like underage drinking). Thus, this paper answers the following question: Does the retail distribution system of alcohol affect impaired driving rates?

If you were to trust the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU), which represents the province’s 7,500 LCBO employees, you would assume that the relationship is positive – that is, that private liquor distribution systems bring about higher rates of impaired driving. A radio ad released by OPSEU argued: “In Alberta, you can buy alcohol at the grocery chains and in Alberta, it’s three-and-a-half times more likely that the person you pass coming out of the parking lot is driving drunk. Do you want to make that kind of a trade-off in Ontario? A little bit of convenience for a whole lot of pain and suffering.”[1] However, the data tells a different story.

Using data from Statistics Canada and the differences-in-differences econometric technique, I compared Alberta’s impaired driving rates in the four years after the privatization of their state-run liquor stores (in 1993) to their predicted rates in the absence of the policy change (using a computer-generated synthetic counterfactual composed of the impaired driving rates of Newfoundland and the Yukon – two jurisdictions which experienced no change in alcohol policy over the period studied). I found a statistically significant decline in impaired driving rates in response to the policy change. What OPSEU, in their analysis, conveniently omitted was that Alberta’s rates of impaired driving were much higher than Ontario’s prior to liquor store privatization.

My research suggests, if anything, that private retailers can be trusted more than government at keeping alcohol out of the hands of those who are most likely to abuse it. The key results are shown in Table 1 and visually depicted in Figure 1 below. The parameter of interest is the interaction between province and time (Alberta*After) which is negative and statistically significant, demonstrating that the policy change resulted in less impaired driving.

Table 1:

Impaired Vehicle Operation Offenses in Alberta per 100,000 people

Alberta -1.5

(37.2)

After -684.8***

(49.0)

Alberta*After -150.7*

(62.5)

Source: CANSIM Table 252-0013, Statistics Canada

***p <0.001, **p<0.01, *p<0.05

Figure 1: Impaired Vehicle Operation Offenses Per 100,000 People Over Time

Source: CANSIM Table 252-0013, Statistics Canada

The idea that Ontario, and other jurisdictions with state-owned liquor stores, need to choose between social ills and more consumer choice is a false dichotomy. While the costs of liberalizing alcohol sales are overstated, the benefits are clear. As a result of privatization, Alberta drastically expanded the range of products available to consumers from just 2,200 varieties of beer, wine, and spirits in 1993 to over 19,000 varieties today.[2] Ontario, and similar jurisdictions where the state is responsible for the sale of liquor, should, therefore, follow Alberta’s example and pursue privatization for the sake of consumer choice.

[1] OPSEU (2015), “OPSEU radio ads spark strong response from Alberta’s privatized alcohol sector”, https://opseu.org/news/opseu-radio-ads-spark-strong-response-albertas-privatized-alcohol-sector

[2] Milke, “Success of Alberta’s liquor store privatization a lesson for other provinces”, https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/success-albertas-liquor-store-privatization-lesson-other-provinces

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About Heather Bone

Heather Bone is pursuing a doctorate in economics at the University of Toronto. Her research interests are broad, but generally relate to public policy. Right now, she is particularly focused on studying the economic functioning of cryptomarkets, including what they mean for consumer choice and how online drug markets are shaped by public policy decisions. For several years, Heather has been a dedicated advocate for consumer choice. She performed research to help advocate free trade while working in the Office of the Chief Economist in the Canadian Department of Global Affairs. She then went on to work as a legislative assistant in Ontario’s provincial government before working for the Manning Centre in Calgary, Alberta where she studied the economics of Business Improvement Areas. A list of Heather’s working papers and publications can be found on her website, heatherlynnbone.com.

加国血荒严重7成购自美国 民调72.6%支持有偿捐血

DUSHI: 总部设在多伦多的消费者选择中心(Consumer Choice Center)北美事务经理克莱文(David Clement)表示,民意调查反映出,禁止有偿捐血既不利病人,也违反民众意愿。安省、亚省和魁省目前都禁止向捐血浆的人支付报酬。卑诗省最近也引入法案要禁止有偿的血浆诊所。全国有偿的血浆诊所只有在沙省和纽奔驰域省。他说,禁止有偿的血浆诊所只会令加国的血荒问题恶化。讽刺的是,禁令迫使加拿大有多达70%的血浆要向美国的有偿捐血者购买。因此,为什么不给予加拿大捐血者一些报酬,以解决血浆不足的情况,令病人可以及早获得治疗。

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Are Canadian Legalization Laws Too Strict?

HIGH TIMES: North American Affairs Manager at Consumer Choice Center David Clement told High Times, “A lot of people aren’t aware of which cannabis products have THC in them, or which helps you sleep. It would be prohibited to put the desired effects [on packaging].”

From a consumer safety standpoint, Mr. Clement adds, “We would love to have brands be able to say ‘this product will not get you high.’ ”

Not only are these restrictions potentially unsafe, but they’re also hypocritical. Alcohol has comparatively few limits on branding. All across Canada, liquor companies have funded venues like Budweiser Stage in Toronto.

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Un jugement sur la bière qui ne fait pas de sens, déplore Gérard Comeau

ACADIE NOUVELLE: L’organisme Consumer Choice Center estime qu’un coup a été porté aux droits des consommateurs. Il souligne que dans sondage mené en juillet 2017 par l’institut Nanos 93% des Canadiens interrogés se disaient favorables à l’achat et au transport d’alcool entre les provinces. «L’idée d’avoir une nation et un marché est la fondation sur laquelle ce pays a été construit», argumente David Clement, directeur du Consumer Choice Center.

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Canadá, la ley prohibirá a las celebridades promocionar la marihuana

LA MARIHUANA: El Canadian Consumer Choice Center ha criticado enérgicamente las regulaciones canadienses sobre el envasado de marihuana. No solo limitan la promoción de las celebridades y el estilo de vida, sino que también limitan la información necesaria sobre la marca.

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Canadian Law Will Prohibit Celebrities From Endorsing Cannabis

HIGH TIMES: David Clement of Consumer Choice Center explains, “All a criminal needs to do to pass off their product is to replicate this simple branding.”

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.