Turning recycled value into wasteful municipal spending

Winnipeg's decision to go with new curbside collection providers ramps up unnecessary costs for taxpayers as the market for recyclables softens

Turning recycled value into wasteful municipal spendingThe City of Winnipeg’s intended austerity budget predictably nickels and dimes ratepayers, with rate increases and service cuts in response to lower than expected provincial transfers. But city council has thrown away tens of millions of dollars in available savings on garbage collections and recycling. In September 2016, independent pollsters found that 93 per cent…

Communism’s pernicious influence persists despite the best evidence

On the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, some romantics still embrace the fallacies of communism and its sister socialism

Communism’s pernicious influence persists despite the best evidenceA number of Canadian newspapers recently noted the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. The attention was misplaced and lacked perspective. In 1917, a small band of fierce, committed and violent extremists seized control of the Tsarist Russian Empire. They then created the much more oppressive and murderous Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. After the success…

How alcohol is killing Aboriginal Canadians

In his important book Firewater, Harold Johnson talks about the enormous problem of alcohol abuse that plagues so many Indigenous communities

How alcohol is killing Aboriginal CanadiansWhat is the ’60s Scoop and why should a conversation about it still matter to Canadians today? The ’60s Scoop has been much in the news recently, and I expect we’ll hear much more about it in the coming weeks and years. I’m guessing there are already plans to make it the subject of the…

Indigenous tourism is relatively untouched but the potential is vast

First Nations should take an inventory of their cultural, spiritual and ecological assets, then develop ways to present them to tourists

Indigenous tourism is relatively untouched but the potential is vastMany years ago, I learned an important lesson about tourism while travelling on Via Rail. As a first-class passenger, I enjoyed sitting in the dome car, where I could get a full view of the countryside. At one point, I zoned out and someone was trying to get my attention. Pointing outside, he gestured at…

It’s reefer madness to think marijuana will pay the bills

Marijuana legalization opponents say long-term health and social costs will be significant

It’s reefer madness to think marijuana will pay the billsLegalize and tax marijuana and the budget will balance itself. Marijuana advocates from stoners to recreational users to the prime minister have tried to convince us of this for years. But they’re all wrong. It makes some sense that a product so commonly used should be regulated rather than criminalized, sending its newly-enabled taxation revenues…

Why Saskatchewan’s Meadow Lake pulp mill was doomed

How the Saskatchewan government’s predatory lending practices doomed the Meadow Lake pulp mill

Why Saskatchewan’s Meadow Lake pulp mill was doomedSaskatchewan’s Meadow Lake pulp mill was doomed from the beginning. The repercussions are still being felt, according to a new research paper. It’s been decades since the government of Grant Devine (he was premier from 1982 to 1991) was in power in Saskatchewan. But traces of the Conservative premier’s economic decisions remain. The Meadow Lake…

Giving teachers a voice in crafting a better education system

Considering the emphasis placed on critical thinking in schools, it’s ironic that teacher development minimizes debate and emphasizes conformity

Giving teachers a voice in crafting a better education systemTeaching is a challenging job. Anyone who has spent a few days in a school knows that teachers have a lot of demands placed upon them. Their responsibilities often go far beyond basic classroom instruction. From dealing with disruptive student behaviours to organizing extracurricular activities to supervising hallways and playgrounds, the workload of teachers is…

It’s not easy doing business in Canada

We placed a dismal 18th for ease of doing business, even behind such countries as Georgia and Macedonia

It’s not easy doing business in CanadaThe World Bank recently issued its annual report on the ease of doing business in 190 countries and territories. And, again, Canada isn’t near the top – in fact, we sit 18th. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there’s room for improvement. Small New Zealand was first, Singapore second and Denmark third. Our main…

Learning economic lessons from an Old World master

An IMF report uses Italy to highlight the dangers of a bloated, unproductive public sector, but it is just pertinent to Canada

Learning economic lessons from an Old World masterThe International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a study released with its latest Global Financial Stability Report, chided Italy, a perennial underperformer famous for its large, unaffordable and growth-stifling public sector. Why does this matter to anyone outside that beautiful, historic Mediterranean country? Because the follies of the modern Romans aren’t unique. They suffuse Canada and…

Provinces can learn how to manage debt from their municipalities

Limiting provincial borrowing and establishing reserve funds for major capital projects will save billions in the long run

Provinces can learn how to manage debt from their municipalitiesI’ve learned a great deal from my children, including the lesson of restraint. I’ve also found, surprisingly, that children still come back after they’ve left the house for guidance and advice. Ultimately, learning is learning. It’s time Canada’s provinces learned from their children – municipalities – on how to handle debt. Municipalities are created through…
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