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5 Small things to keep in mind for June 24, 2022

1) A Podcast on Canadian Competition Policy

MP Nate Erksine-Smith talked with Vass Bednar, Robin Shaban, and Denise Hearn about the state of Competition Policy in Canada. Erksine-Smith is the Member of Parliament for the Beaches-East York riding. Robin, Vass and Denise are some of the best Canadian thinkers and talkers on Competition Policy. I always learn somethin from listening to them.

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2) FTC Blocks Vet Clinic Roll-ups

A few weeks ago I shared an article from The Globe and Mail about companies rolling-up Vet Clinics, Dentist Offices and Optometrists across Canada. It's happening across the US too, and the American Federal Trade Commission is trying to limit it. It's probably time for us to do the same.

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3) Reforming the Competition Act can help

From today's Globe and Mail:

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Read the whole CMHC report here.

Building this many homes is obviously one approach to solve the problem.

Let's assume those 5.8 million new homes are spread equally across the Country. This means that 1,705 homes (apartments, condos or houses) need to be built in the Town of Amherst over the next 8 years. This equals 213 homes/year . This number is massive. I calculated that 161 homes were built in the Town of Amherst between 2015 and 2020 or 26/year. I'm not an expert mathematician, but there are a lot of numbers between 26 and 213.

We also need to identify who would actually do this, and whether the local industries actually have the capacity to accomplish this? I wrote some on this here.

We could also update our Competition Policy and enforce it vigorously to allow smaller communities to thrive and prosper. This will take housing pressures off major urban centers and allow people to return to smaller communities. I wrote about this concept here.

4)Another example of Monopoly Pricing Power

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$1.50 isn’t a lot of money, but come on. If there was actual competition in the movie theatre industry someone else would be able to offer digital tickets for free and take customers from Cineplex. But not in Canada – we don’t have any other options to go see a movie.

5) It's happening in Japan too...

When we lived in Japan, I loved the shopping streets – called Shotengai. I’d love stumbling upon them. You never knew what you'd find - pubs, drug stores, plant stores, clothing stores, the fish monger, a fruit stand, takoyaki vendors, 100 Yen shops, and small restaurants could all be right next to each other. It was a wonderful mix and no shotengai were the same.

Turns out the small shops in these stores are shutting down to be replaced by chains, and communities are losing their personalities.

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