The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

December 02, 2014 06:15 ET

Quebec Remains One of the Least Economically Free Jurisdictions in Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 2, 2014) - Quebec struggles with one of the lowest levels of economic freedom in Canada, according to a new report released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The Economic Freedom of North America 2014 report ranks Quebec, Canada's second most populous province, ahead of only the Maritime provinces New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, based on 2012 data, the most recent comprehensive data available at the time of publication.

"Quebec's policies of big government, high taxes, unaffordable social programming and troubled labour relations help fuel lower living standards for Quebecers, fewer jobs, particularly for young people, and reduced opportunities compared to provinces west of Quebec," said Filip Palda, Fraser Institute senior fellow and professor at the École nationale d'administration publique.

The report ranks jurisdictions based on their levels of economic freedom (measured in size of government, taxation, regulation, etc.). It spotlights 50 U.S. states, 32 Mexican states and all 10 Canadian provinces.

Among the other provinces, Alberta ranks first overall, followed by Saskatchewan (2nd overall) Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia (tied for 3rd overall), Ontario (6th), Manitoba and Quebec (tied for 18th), New Brunswick (30th), Nova Scotia (52nd) and Prince Edward Island (65th).

Notably, the average per-capita GDP in 2012 of the top three provinces was just over $72,000 (Cdn) compared to just under $40,000 (Cdn) for the three lowest provinces. Quebec's per capita GDP was $44,000.

"The link between economic freedom and prosperity is clear-provinces that support low taxation, limited government and flexible labour markets enjoy greater economic growth while provinces with lower levels of economic freedom see lower living standards and fewer economic opportunities," said Fred McMahon, report co-author and Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute.

The Economic Freedom of North America report is an offshoot of the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom of the World index, the result of more than a quarter century of work by more than 60 scholars including three Nobel laureates. Download the complete study at

The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Filip Palda
    Professor, ENAP
    Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute
    (514) 312-3704

    Fred McMahon
    Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom
    Fraser Institute
    (416) 363-6575 ext. 226
    Mobile: (416) 727-7138

    For more information:
    Mark Hasiuk
    Media Relations Specialist, Fraser Institute
    (604) 688-0221 ext. 517