CBC senior correspondent Neil Macdonald writes in a column today that Canadians "are protected from certain free-market excesses, but that coddled security comes with a price: oligopolies, in which a few firms dominate, and all the behaviour that flows from that."
The Toronto-Dominion Bank is about to become the last of the big five banks to charge a fee for transferring your tax-free savings account to another financial institution. Bell, Rogers and Telus all raised their prices recently. And governments have a wary eye on Uber, as it tries to keep a permanent foothold in Canada's cities.
Is there an upside to tightly controlled business sectors?
You let us know in our latest CBC Forum, a daily hosted discussion with readers about topics of national interest.
Is there enough competition in Canada? Here are some of your comments:
(Please note that user names are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the user name to see the full comment in the blog format.)
"Absolutely not. We're sheep. I travelled a lot on business, and we pay more for less than any other country. Name it: phones, internet service, TV, cars, nearly every category has more competition, even in EU countries much smaller than us." — Bob L
"Compared to the rest of the developed world, Canada is failing in the communications industry because of high prices and backwards thinking. I don't know a single person who is happy with their wireless service or anyone who doesn't think they pay too much for internet service." — Alistair Brown
"Canada needs to take some notes from Europe and perhaps their neighbours to the south. Notably, alcohol and rail travel should not be monopolized." — Sam Burleton
"What I don't get is that we do have alternatives to many services, yet I don't see many Canadians jump for them. For example, in banking there are many free banking options now such as ... PC Financial and some very good alternatives with credit unions, yet so many people stick with the big five banks." — Wes
"We know we like protection, especially with our culture and heritage. I don't think we want to be Americans.… We can lobby for change but solid discussions and internal agreements should be reached before inviting serious outside competition." — Norm Richards
"What we need is a retooling, focus on small businesses and what they can do. Sure, the mega-multi-national is efficient and profitable. But a benefit to the consumer? That's debatable,. A benefit to the economy? Doesn't seem so." — Say Something
"It's a choice. Do you want stability or competition? Sure, the banking system is tightly regulated to the point that competition is not what it might be, but the 2007-08 financial crisis when Canadian banks were paragons of stability showed that sometimes that's OK." — ddavidson5647