It’s time for the government to sell or shut down CMHC

It’s unclear if the feds are doing higher-risk, lower-income mortgage debtors any real favours

It’s time for the government to sell or shut down CMHCJust a few months ago, a regular national discussion was about house prices and a lack of affordability. No longer. With house, townhouse and condominium prices cresting, imminent data may likely confirm serious price declines. Mortgage carrying costs are rising as interest rates and debt servicing costs climb. The mortgage qualifying threshold is receding rapidly…

Via Rail should be shut down or sold by the federal government

Operational and funding costs are huge: $548M in 2019 (before COVID-19) and $597M in 2021

Via Rail should be shut down or sold by the federal governmentInvestment managers and investors should often ask: If I didn’t already own this stock, would I buy it today? By any criteria, Via Rail, a federal Crown corporation, is not a good investment – even under unrealistically favourable assumptions. The federal government should rigorously examine this charitably-designated ‘enterprise,’ then aim it toward one of two…

A clear example of why government and business shouldn’t mix

Centerra is being held hostage by Kyrgyzstan but, fortunately, it is no longer part of a Crown corporation so taxpayers aren't on the hook

A clear example of why government and business shouldn’t mixCenterra, a mid-size Canadian gold-mining company, is engaged in a legal and political dispute with the government of Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia with a chronically unstable and fractious political class and culture. Its main asset, the Kumtor mine, is in that troubled land and the source of roughly half of its…

Crown corporations are simply money pits

They are a bad idea and should be sold off

Crown corporations are simply money pitsReports, studies and analyses show that the essential character of state-owned enterprises, including Canadian Crown corporations, makes it impossible for them to have true independence or real profitability. These operations have inherent goals counter to the normal private sector pursuit of profit maximization. In the private sector, return on investment rewards shareholders for the risk…

Manitoba government too involved in insurance business

Unsurprisingly, as a government car insurance monopoly, MPI’s history is marked by politics

Manitoba government too involved in insurance businessManitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is in updating its computer programs and associated practices. Through an estimated multimillion-dollar effort, MPI plans to provide its customers with online services. With MPI’s long-needed revamped technology, licensed drivers and vehicle owners will be able to select insurance options and pay MPI bills without even conversing with a broker. Yet…

CBC has outlived its usefulness

The policy rationale for the existence of the CBC no longer meets the reality of the modern age

CBC has outlived its usefulnessThe Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) should go the way of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corp. (FFMC). In 1969, the federal government passed the Freshwater Fish Marketing Act (FFMA). It created a federal Crown corporation that acted as the sole buyer of freshwater fish caught in western Canada, northern Canada and parts of northern Ontario. The…

Want to pay for medical supplies? Stop funding CBC

Our health-care budgets were already greatly strained before the COVID-19 crisis; they’re completely blown out now

Want to pay for medical supplies? Stop funding CBCTwo of the major issues arising from the current medical emergency and lockdown are how much it would cost to prepare for a similar crisis and how Canadians would pay for it (as well as pay for the one we’re enduring). The N95 particulate mask is deemed necessary to ensure that neither the wearer nor…

Manage provincial debt by controlling Crown projects

In Newfoundland and several other provinces, major power projects have created huge public debt

Manage provincial debt by controlling Crown projectsThe province of Newfoundland and Labrador is staring bankruptcy in the eye, according to recent news reports. There are a variety of reasons, which are typical for provincial politics. Politicians hate to cut services, love to cut taxes and hate to increase taxes because voters react to all of those things. Politicians aren’t leaders, they’re…

Take the jolt out of Manitoba’s excess power generation

Manitoba Hydro should look for ways to increase domestic demand by displacing non-renewable energy consumption

Take the jolt out of Manitoba’s excess power generationThe world’s economy continues to grow every year by between two and four per cent. From when civilization began 5,000 years ago, the production of energy remains an important factor to continued growth. In these environmentally conscious times, efforts are intensifying to reduce energy consumption and switch to renewable resources. Manitoba is in a very…

It’s time to sell SaskPower

This Crown corporation’s long-term future is safest in private, rather than public, hands

It’s time to sell SaskPowerBy Dónal Gill Research Associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy The Frontier Centre for Public Policy recently released Running Hard to Adapt in a Dangerously Fast-Changing Industry by Ian Madsen, a senior policy analyst with the centre. The paper conducts an in-depth valuation and strategic appraisal of SaskPower, using an intrinsic value method and market-based…