Trudeau’s challenges: Trump, taxes and energy

Canada's tax and energy advantages are coming to a sudden end, and we should expect businesses will move more investment to the U.S.

Trudeau’s challenges: Trump, taxes and energyWhen Justin Trudeau shuffled his federal cabinet last week, it signalled he’s taking the next United States president seriously. Finding the right mix of people to work with White House officials is important. But government policies also matter. Our prime minister will need to do more to keep Canada competitive and protect Canadian jobs. Donald…

Beer-barrel economics: what goes down stimulates the economy

A cut in beer prices in New Brunswick led to an increase in beer sales to Nova Scotia and Quebec residents

Beer-barrel economics: what goes down stimulates the economyThe lesson of lower beer prices in New Brunswick has implications on a broad array of provincial taxes. Not long ago, many New Brunswick consumers living near Quebec routinely crossed the border to purchase less expensive beer. Prices in Quebec are considerably cheaper because taxes are lower. But these cross-border shoppers weren’t just getting a…

Online shopping tax exemptions penalize Canadian business

Calls to increase the duty exemption limit for online shopping would be a disaster

Online shopping tax exemptions penalize Canadian businessIf Ottawa increased the duty exemption limit on foreign online purchases, overtaxed Canadians would benefit immensely. But relieving consumers in this way isn't wise. Retail products are typically less expensive south of the border, sometimes considerably so. Plus, taxes – like sales tax – are higher in Canada and goods shipped here from the United States…

New Brunswick HST increase outweighs spending cuts five to one

Raising taxes to pay for more spending isn't working; new jobs aren't being created and subsidies to add workers can't be sustained

New Brunswick HST increase outweighs spending cuts five to oneNew Brunswick Treasury Board Minister Roger Melanson has a tough job as the province's workhorse on tax and spending. But his policies don't create the economic growth the province needs. Melanson was finance minister until early June. His budgets increased taxes on personal and corporate income. More recently, the government hiked the harmonized sales tax…

Finding inspiration in Britain’s economic resourcefulness

Policy-makers in New Brunswick should emulate Britain's economic and budget policies; instead, they raise taxes and discourage growth

Finding inspiration in Britain’s economic resourcefulnessDuring the recent Brexit referendum, the Leave campaign had an answer for what the United Kingdom's trade relationship might look like if voters elected to break away from the European Union: Canada. We're a nation of 36 million with trade liberalization deals with countries large and small, beginning with a free-trade agreement with the United States…

Tax hike won’t solve New Brunswick’s spending problem

The government raised taxes simply to be able to spend more

Tax hike won’t solve New Brunswick’s spending problemNew Brunswick raised its Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on Canada Day to 15 per cent, joining slow-growth Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador with the highest HST rate in Canada. Taxpayers were told the two-point HST increase is needed to control the province’s deficit, which today stands at $347 million. But that isn’t happening. Instead,…

New Brunswick out to prove Einstein was right

INSANITY: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result

New Brunswick out to prove Einstein was rightNew Brunswick is in a tough economic position. Taxes are heavy, unemployment is high and people are leaving to find opportunity elsewhere. Unfortunately, the province has embraced policies – a mix of deficit spending, subsidies for hand-picked businesses as well as high taxes on families and businesses – which it says will fuel growth and…

Bad news keeps piling up for New Brunswick

From punitive tax strategies to moribund job creation to a weak education system, this provincial government seems intent on failure

Bad news keeps piling up for New BrunswickAre New Brunswick's challenges so overwhelming that the provincial government has given up trying to solve them? Or does the province believe decisions to reverse its grim economic position and troubling social indicators should be kicked down the road? After a recent provincial government announcement to permanently ban shale gas development and another to appeal…

Don’t blame seniors for Atlantic Canada’s economic difficulties

Instead, it has too few young workers due to a slow economy, caused largetly by government policies

Don’t blame seniors for Atlantic Canada’s economic difficultiesOttawa's health-care funding model is failing. That, at least, is what Atlantic Canada's premiers tell anyone willing to listen. They want Ottawa to direct more health dollars to our region because we have an older population and a shrinking workforce. The premiers say we're being shortchanged. Premier Brian Gallant believes federal health transfers, distributed based…

Why New Brunswick still won’t allow cross-border booze buying

Even in the face of a clear court ruling, the province seems intent on standing in the way of free trade

Heads the province wins, tails you lose. This appears to be the response of the Gallant government to the recent court decision declaring as unconstitutional New Brunswick's longstanding restrictions on bringing alcohol for personal consumption into the province. The government has until the end of the month to appeal provincial court Judge Ronald LeBlanc's ruling that…