Canada among the top five most economically free countries

But the Fraser Institute warns higher taxes and “stifling’ regulations threaten that standing.

How the world stacks up according to level of economic freedom.

How the world stacks up according to level of economic freedom.

TORONTO — A global report ranks Canada in the top five of the world’s most economically free countries, but that standing could slip as a result of recent policy changes, warns the Fraser Institute.

The rightish-leaning think tank, which produces the annual Economic Freedom of the World report with the Economic Freedom Network, says growing government, substantial tax increases and encroaching regulations threaten Canada’s ranking in the coming years.

The report measures levels of personal choice, ability to enter markets, security of privately owned property and rule of law by analyzing the policies and institutions of 159 countries and territories.

Canada tied fifth overall in the 2016 report based on data from 2014, the last year of available comparable statistics. But since then, the Fraser Institute notes the Ontario, Alberta and federal governments have increased taxes “significantly” and introduced what it labels “stifling” regulations on industry and business.

“Given the clear link between economic freedom and prosperity, we should expect recent changes to have negative and long-term effects on economic opportunities in Canada,” concludes Fred McMahon, Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom with the Fraser Institute.

This year’s report ranks Hong Kong first again this year, followed by Singapore, New Zealand and Switzerland. The US is ranked 16th for the second consecutive year. Venezuela is last. Despotic countries such as North Korea and Cuba can’t be ranked due to lack of data.

The Economic Freedom Network is a group of independent research and educational institutes in nearly 100 countries and territories.

Click here for a copy of the report.

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