Why Canadians are suffering a bankruptcy spike

Interest rate hikes, housing costs, rising taxes and stagnating wages are all crucial. We need to address these problems

Why Canadians are suffering a bankruptcy spikeWhat can't happen won't happen. If incomes are stagnant while taxes, prices and interest rates rise, people will fail to pay their debts – as is the case for 120,000 Canadians every year. The long-term buildup of urban house prices had already made people financially vulnerable and consumer insolvencies in Canada increased by 9.2 per…

Four things Canada’s top spy didn’t say

David Vigneault’s recent speech was a slick deflection and thinly-veiled push for broader surveillance

Four things Canada’s top spy didn’t sayWhen David Vigneault addressed the Economic Club, the nation's intelligence chief acknowledged his agency's first rule: “Don't talk.” True to form, he said little in his tightly-scripted remarks on Dec. 4. What the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) director left out, though, amounted to glaring omissions. His remarks were misleading at best, dishonest at worst.…

Cryptocurrency innovation on the chopping block in Canada

Regulations against nonexistent threats fuel unwarranted fears and impede sector development

Cryptocurrency innovation on the chopping block in CanadaAfter the United States and the U.K., Canada has the highest number of blockchain-related projects – thanks to a relatively hands-off approach. Paranoid authorities, however, are set to suffocate innovation with poorly targeted regulations. On Nov. 8, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance presented its report, Confronting Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. It urges…

Ottawa’s venture-capital handouts offer no positive economic value

When organizations are heavily regulated, funded by taxpayers and unlikely to shoulder losses, they’re private in name only

Ottawa’s venture-capital handouts offer no positive economic valueIf buzzwords were the path to prosperity, Canada would be growing like gangbusters. But it’s not. And the federal government’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) – with an expansion announced in Ottawa’s recent economic statement – is a case of lofty words anathema to efficient and healthy capital markets. Once we peel off the feel-good wrapper of innovation…

Backdoor access to encryption threatens the privacy of us all

Will government agencies respect our privacy and work in our best interests? Will access fall into the wrong hands?

Backdoor access to encryption threatens the privacy of us allCanada's spy agencies want access to your encrypted communication – and they have a ploy to get it without going through Parliament. Australia is where the action is taking place, since that country has fewer constitutional protections for privacy. The 2018 Assistance and Access Bill would force tech companies such as Wickr and Telegram to…

Does Canadian culture warrant widespread taxpayer support?

Protecting cultural industries from competition and propping them up with public money is just wasteful

Does Canadian culture warrant widespread taxpayer support?Many advocates for cultural diversity have a sudden change of heart when the topic turns to Canada's ‘cultural industries.’ As they say in Argentina, for money, the monkey will dance. What constitutes Canadian heritage, given its complex milieu, tends to be in the eye of the beholder. However, the heritage is so weak that, supposedly,…

Crowdfunding is democratizing finance

It’s opening up the financial sector, serving acute needs and transforming how businesses raise capital

Crowdfunding is democratizing financeWhen fundraising garnered leftover crumbs, the gatekeepers of finance barely cared to notice. Now digitized, it’s drawing a growing portion of the financial pie, running into regulatory barriers and legal limbo in Canada. The critics of crowdfunding, particularly regarding private equity, make many accurate claims. Open-access financial intermediation dislodges state social services and favours savvy…

Dazed and confused: legalizing cannabis offers no payoff

Provinces and municipalities face a bevy of expenses and a web of regulations. And the tax benefits at all levels are questionable

Dazed and confused: legalizing cannabis offers no payoffYou might wonder how legislators could lose money by legalizing and taxing an addictive substance. Behold, Canadian officials have outdone themselves with the rollout of recreational cannabis. Provinces and municipalities, many already in financial dire straits, have revealed a bevy of legalization costs. Meanwhile, tax projections suggest relatively slim pickings, given the size of the…

Keep the Bank of Canada out of the digital currency playing field

Central banks – try as they might – can’t create genuine cryptocurrencies and should learn to live with rising competition

Keep the Bank of Canada out of the digital currency playing fieldState digital currencies that attempt to emulate private cryptocurrencies are doomed. Not only will they fail in terms of adoption, despite having the state behind them, they will fail in terms of the objectives that drive alternative currencies. The rise of cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoin, has caught the attention of central banks and financial regulators. Given…