THUNDER BAY – The Frontier Centre for Public Policy, along with the International Property Rights Alliance, have released the 2012 International Property Rights Index (IPRI). The 2012 Index, measures the protection of property rights in 130 countries. Joseph Quesnel, policy analyst with the Frontier Centre and lead property rights researcher, says, “Despite the absence of written constitutional protection for property, Canada continues its impressive record on property rights protection. Our unwritten common law still protects property.”
The Frontier Centre is particularly proud to announce that it is creating its own Canada-specific property rights index that will measure property rights protections in Canada’s provinces and territories.
On a worldwide ranking of one to ten—the higher scores reflecting a greater protection of property—IPRI scores ranged from Finland with 8.6, to Yemen with a score of just 2.8.
The scores are based on ten measurements ranging in three broad subject areas:
- The legal and political environment (as it relates to judicial independence, rule of law, political stability and degree of corruption);
- Physical property rights (protection of physical property rights, ease of registration of property, and access to loans);
- Intellectual property rights (protection of intellectual property rights, patent protection, and copyright policy).
Results for Canada; In 2012, Canada maintained its position as the highest ranking country in the Western hemisphere and is seen as a model of stability, with increased scores in the Access to Loans sub-component of its Physical Property Rights (PPR) score. Overall, Canada was 10th. (The United States was 18th.). Only Copyright Piracy saw improvement. Canada has one of the best Copyright Piracy scores in the world.
Quesnel cautioned that Canada lost points on physical property rights. Canada has work to do to increase its overall ranking.
Serious attention was directed at property rights in Canada at the start of 2011. One MP and one Ontario MLA introduced bills in their respective legislatures to protect property rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canada’s repatriated constitution. They proposed to use Section 43 of the Charter, which allows for an amendment affecting only one or more provinces following resolutions in both houses of federal Parliament and the provincial legislature of the affected jurisdiction.
After being inspired by the excellent work and research of the IPRI, the Frontier Centre for Public Policy decided to embark on its own Canadian-specific property rights index. The Index will measure property rights protection at the provincial and territorial level, where Canada’s federal scheme places responsibility for property rights. The new index excludes intellectual property as that is a federal responsibility. It will measure property rights in our 13 provinces and territories along several indicators that include expropriation, civil forfeiture, heritage/cultural property designations.
“Property rights in Canada are protected at the provincial and territorial level, so we are investigating how property is protected at that level and will be ranking each region to determine which provinces and territories are leading in property rights protection,” said Quesnel.
The 2012 International Property Rights Index can be downloaded here: www.internationalpropertyrightsindex.org