Unlimited cheap natural gas is a win for everyone

Even climate extremists should embrace natural gas, since it’s slowly replacing coal and oil, and cutting carbon emissions

Unlimited cheap natural gas is a win for everyoneThe shale revolution, technology unleashing vast new oil and natural gas production, is delivering lower energy costs to countries, industries and consumers. Without revolutionary hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling, Canadians’ heating bills would be twice what they are now. Gasoline prices – soaring now due it is half as deleterious as oil. And if…

EDC’s lack of cash threatens taxpayers

The Crown corporation could be worth up to $30 billion if divested. But it could be worthless if it can’t realize its assets as cash

EDC’s lack of cash threatens taxpayersBy Ian Madsen and Alexandra Burnett Frontier Centre for Public Policy Export Development Canada (EDC) is unable to convert its reported profits into cash, posing an increasing risk to Canadian taxpayers. And it has been funding ventures that are normally considered too risky for commercial banks to handle. EDC is a federal Crown corporation that…

Notice a drop in your standard of living? Blame pipeline delays

Opening up new oil markets will increase investment, drive up the economy and boost the loonie and our standard of living

Notice a drop in your standard of living? Blame pipeline delaysCanada’s standard of living is suffering because of the seemingly perpetual pipeline controversy and related delays. It’s not merely the delay in construction that’s causing problems. It’s also delays in expanding our oil exports to the world and being ambivalent to foreign investment.  Canada’s problem results, in part, from the damaging effects to the Canadian…

Marx was wrong: communism did not lead to a better society

The stronger the application of communist ideologies and practices, the worse the outcomes

Marx was wrong: communism did not lead to a better societyMany in the world were sadly compelled recently to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx. He was indeed a major figure in shaping history but definitely not for the good. Marx, along with his patron, Friedrich Engels, created the political-economic philosophy (perhaps a religion) commonly called communism. Its essential tenet is…

Canadians pay the price for unnecessary Crown corporations

With more than $1 trillion locked in underperforming assets, Crown ownership is a hugely important issue for public policy debate

Canadians pay the price for unnecessary Crown corporationsThere has long been a public policy battle over government’s role in running enterprises. Strangely, that battle was not settled in the 1980s and ’90s when many state-owned firms were ‘privatized,’ since Canadian governments still own many Crown corporations. Air Canada, Canadian National Railway, Petro-Canada (now part of Suncor), PotashCorp of Saskatchewan (now part of…

Federal government should sell EDC before risks get too high

The Crown lender plays in an international vipers’ nest, so controversy and risk may be inevitable

Federal government should sell EDC before risks get too highExport Development Canada (EDC), a Crown lending corporation, faces controversy for funding Turquoise Hill Resources. The mining firm allegedly used offshore entities to minimize the taxes it pays, including to Canada. EDC’s $1-billion-plus loan to Turquoise Hill represents nearly 1.5 per cent of the lender’s assets. EDC is also trying to repossess a Bombardier executive…

Privatization only way to help Manitoba Hydro – and the province

The badly managed Crown corporation put a whole province at risk of austerity and diminished economic opportunities

Privatization only way to help Manitoba Hydro – and the provinceAppeals to sentiment and other emotions won’t make Manitoba Hydro financially viable. Manitobans can’t wish away the debacle that cost the utility, and all Manitobans, billions of dollars. The problem started years ago and it will probably take decades to get out of the mess. Attempts at northern development and providing aid to Indigenous communities…

Time to unplug Manitoba Hydro

The Crown corporation is an archaic operation based on faulty principles, bad management and outdated market conditions

Time to unplug Manitoba HydroManitoba Hydro’s costly Keeyask dam project and Bipole III transmission line debacle – and the taxpayers’ likely assumption of much of the horrendous debt – were not inevitable. But Crown corporations have vulnerabilities inherent in being created and controlled by government. Risk begins with the false notion that Crown corporations are essential, providing services that…

Shove EDC off taxpayers’ shoulders and into the private sector

Canada's export credit agency is good at what it does. But part of that is taking risks with taxpayers’ money. It's time for that to end

Shove EDC off taxpayers’ shoulders and into the private sectorExport Development Canada (EDC) has a big problem – the kind of problem Crown corporations have no business courting. Canada’s export credit agency, EDC loaned Turquoise Hill Resources, a mining company, $1 billion. Unfortunately, Turquoise Hill allegedly transferred a considerable amount of money offshore to minimize the taxes it pays in Canada. EDC’s mission is…

The case for privatizing Crown utilities

Selling slow-moving, inflexible Toronto Hydro would benefit both taxpayers’ pocketbooks and the service they receive

The case for privatizing Crown utilitiesIncreasingly, Toronto Hydro Corp. poses an expensive risk to all Toronto citizens. The century-old electricity distribution company’s aging equipment is breaking down, and the utility can’t keep up with the building boom in the Greater Toronto Area. It can take months for a new building to get connected. Last week, the Frontier Centre for Public…