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Do you wonder why small towns, small businesses and people seem to be falling behind and you don’t know why? Feeling helpless about whether any of us can do anything to halt the decline of the places we love? Well, we know a secret. Our society fought the same battles about 100 years ago, and small towns won. Join Andrew Cameron, the founder of the Center for Small Town Success and small business owner, every other week as he rediscovers our Canadian Anti-Monopoly tradition. The goal is to l ...
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e30: This is going to be the last episode I do of Monopolies Killed My Hometown, thank you for listening to the podcast. In this last episode I want to bring on Keldon Bester and Robin Shaban two of the other co-founders of the Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project. CAMP is growing and we need help from you and other Canadians. In this interview Keldon, R…
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e29: In this week's episode I look at a lot of the great things happening in the anti-monopoly world currently. There appears to be a sea-change towards monopolies and consolidated power occurring. It's small, it's fragile, it could be the start of something big, or big business could fight back and stamp it. I know how I want the future to play ou…
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e28: In this episode we're looking at two topics - the Canning Industry in the 1930's and more on the Rogers/Shaw merger. We're going to start with the investigation the Price Spreads Commission did into the canning industry in the 1930s. This section has everything we've looked at so far in this podcast - mass buyers, high shipping costs, vertical…
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e27: Apologies on this delayed episode. I was on holiday and didn't get this pulled together before I went away. This episode we're back to the Royal Commission on Price Spreads and their analysis of the Agricultural Implement Industry - basically, tractors, combines, and other farming equipment. Unsurprisingly, the Commission found there was only …
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Welcome back to more real estate discussions. This week we are talking about unfair access to capital and how I suspect it is contributing to our unaffordable housing crisis in Canada. We've set up a system in Canada where the largest real estate players have the ability to access more capital and cheaper capital than smaller real estate developers…
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I planned on moving on to a different topic, but I'm going to stick with housing for now. Last week I looked at concentration in the building supply industry and how it could increase cost of housing. This week I'm looking at concentration in the real estate development industry and that potential impact on the supply of housing. CMHC issued their …
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We're going to take a break from the Price Spreads Report in this episode. Instead I want to talk housing, construction and consolidation. I come from the Construction/Real Estate Industry, and have lots to say on this issue. It's fair to say we have a housing affordability crisis in Canada, and in this episode I dive into how I see consolidation i…
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We're back to the Price Spreads Report, and this time we are focused on the Meat Packing Industry. This section fascinated me. I loved the commissions discussion about the largest meat packing companies expanding into and losing money in other business lines, like creameries. The commission found that the profits from the meat packing industry subs…
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In this week's episode we go back to the Price Spreads Report and look at the behavior of the Tobacco industry. Tobacco was dominated by one major player and they used many abusive practices to tilt the market in their favour, and a lot of these practices are still happening today. Links: Over 60% of shoppers start their search on Amazon The CSCA R…
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I'm heading back to the Royal Commission on Price Spreads Report from 1934, specifically to look at the Chapter on Industry. I wanted to look back at this chapter specifically for two reasons. First, the switch to a consumer welfare focus to our competition and anti-trust laws reduced people to only consumers. It removed any considerations about al…
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There's a been a lot of banking discussions in the last few months - the Silicon Valley Bank run, Credit Suisse, RBC looking to buy HSBC. There's so much talk about banking and how it fits into our communities. I see local and community banking as a piece of the infrastructure that is necessary for a healthy community, especially the business commu…
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Welcome back to Monopolies Killed My Hometown. We're back after my little hiatus with an episode on garbage removal and how I see Municipalities contributing to the Anti-Monopoly Fight. In this episode we're looking at the Town of Amherst's tender process for the new 5-year waste removal contract. My take is that the Town of Amherst combined their …
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Welcome back everyone! In this episode I dive into my take on the Rogers/Shaw merger. Tl dr; the Competition Policy Machine worked exactly how it has been designed. I also share how I see a democratic approach to Competition policy would work for all of us. Join CAMP February 2, 2023 at 12:00 EST for a more in-depth discussion of the Rogers/Shaw me…
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Today's episode is all about local newspapers. I've had a long history with them, every Saturday my Dad would buy 4 different papers and we'd all sit around and read them. When I was 9, inspired by adding to my hockey card collection, I called and got myself a paper route delivering the Chronicle Herald. Little did I know, I was going to be running…
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This episode is perfect timing. We're looking at the recommendations the Price Spreads Commission is making to try to fix the retail industry in the 1930's, and on November 17, 2022 our Federal Government announced a review of our current Competition Act. A lot of the recommendations made in the 1930's are still relevant, and we can make today. Lis…
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We're getting near the end of the discussion on the department and chain stores. This episode will be a look into the specific actions of the chain and department stores that worried the Commission. These behaviors were lumped into mass buying and price concessions, and competitive practices in retail trade. Price concessions are between mass buyer…
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Links from today's episode: What Happened When Wal-Mart left Town?, The Guardian What Happens When Wal-Mart Leaves a Small-Town? With 269 Stores Closing, Is this the Beginning of the End for Wal-Mart, ILSR The Wal-Mart Effect, by C,harles Fisman Hamster, I know life is hard for you... blog post Best Buy Snaps Up Future Shop for $580 million Future …
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I'm continuing my deep dive into the Price Spreads report and it's look at the retail industry in the 1930's. This week's episode is all about department stores, specifically Eaton's, The Bay. In the 1930's Eaton's did 7% of all retail sales in Canada. Canada has a long, history with the Hudson's Bay company. I look back quickly on the history of H…
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In today's episode I dive into Chapter 7 of the Report of the Royal Commission on Price Spreads. This chapter is all about the 1934 Canadian retail scene and the impact of mass buyers, e.g. chain stores and department stores, on smaller retailers, producers and manufacturers. In case you couldn't guess - it wasn't good. This chapter is titled 'Dist…
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In today's episode, I reach back to 1934 to revisit the Report of the Royal Commission on Price Spreads. At the height of the Great Depression the price of bread rose significantly, and the price paid to wheat framers did not increase - The Royal Commission on Price Spreads was tasked to find out why. They did a major market study of the Canadian e…
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On August 11, 2022 we hosted the launch event for the Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project. Myself, Keldon Bester and Robin Shaban were joined by Barry Lynn with the Open Markets Institute and Stacy Mitchell from the Institute for Local Self Reliance. We talked about our vision, hopes and goals for CAMP, and Barry and Stacy shared their experiences as pa…
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This episode is being posted 1 day early because I have exciting news. Thursday, August 11th at 12:00 pm EST is the free, online launch event for the Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project. This is a new think-tank and advocacy group that myself, Robin Shaban, and Keldon Bester have started. Register for the event here. Hope to see you there. In today's ep…
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The "Attack on American Free Enterprise System" memo, or as it's better known The Powell Memo. Lewis Powell wrote this memo for the education committee of the American Chamber of Commerce two months before he was nominated to sit on the US Supreme Court. This is part 2 of my analysis of this memo and its impacts on us and our communities. In part 1…
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"Attack on American Free Enterprise System", or better known as The Powell Memo. Lewis Powell wrote this memo for the education committee of the American Chamber of Commerce two months before he was nominated to sit on the US Supreme Court. I looked at this American memo for two main reasons. First, Canada tends to follow the economic path laid by …
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Today's episode is slightly different than usual. In today's episode I provide updates on some amendments to the Competition Act introduced in this year's Federal Budget, provide a short update on the Rogers/Shaw merger, and introduce the Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project (CAMP) which I'm a founding member of. Finally I circle back to an article I wro…
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In episode 5 of Monopolies Killed My Hometown, I actually get into the article, Trade Secrets of the Combines Detectives by Peter C. Newman from the May 24, 1958 edition of MacLean's Magazine.. Last week, in part 1, I mostly looked at the merger of Rogers Communications and MacLean Hunter. In this episode I share some about Peter C Newman's biograp…
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This is part 1 of 2 where I look back at the article "Trade Secrets of the Combines Detectives" by Peter C. Newman in the May 24, 1958 edition of MacLean's magazine. In part 1, I take a detour into the 1994 merger of MacLean Hunter and Rogers Communication. I revisit some of the claims made at the time of the merger, like Rogers needed to grow to p…
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E03: Going back to a paper written by William Lyon MacKenzie King, we can learn some of the thought processes behind passing the Combines Investigation Act, the precursor to the Competition Act. MacKenzie King was the Minister of Labour of Canada when the Combines Investigation Act was passed by Parliament. This was before he was Prime Minister thr…
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E02: In this episode I explore where we are right now with our Canadian Competition Policy. I look at 3 areas: the Competition Act, the Competition Bureau, and the Competition Tribunal. I try to identify the role each plays in enforcing our Canadian Competition Policy. Come for that clarification, stay for the Lenny Brisco and Jack McCoy analogies.…
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Welcome to Monopolies Killed My Hometown. In this episode I share the path that led me to identify that Monopolies and Corporate Consolidation is the root cause behind the decline in my hometown of Amherst, NS. I moved away in 1999 after graduating from High School. I moved back to Amherst in 2015. Amherst appeared similar to the Town I grew up in,…
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