Subsidies undermine the media and provinces

Regional reporting may come to suffer blindness similar to that in some Central Canadian media, to the disadvantage of provinces

Subsidies undermine the media and provincesThe announced federal government subsidy for “trusted” media outlets risks undermining provincial jurisdictions. The federal lathering of a $595-million subsidy on “trusted” media over five years may encourage a regressive democratic step of making more news outlets more dependent on Ottawa, feeding a centralizing spirit. News outlets becoming openly partisan (or more partisan than some…

Tolls the fairest way to fund P.E.I.’s Confederation Bridge

The bridge is a prime example of a private-public partnership gone right. Shifting the burden to taxpayers and non-users is simply unfair

Tolls the fairest way to fund P.E.I.’s Confederation BridgeThe recent campaign to remove tolls on the Confederation Bridge is a popular policy topic where rhetoric has become misguided. Prince Edward Island Sen. Percy Downe has pushed to remove the toll from the bridge, while P.E.I. Premier Dennis King has pledged to work on lowering the toll on the island’s primary connection to the…

If P.E.I. goes Green, Trudeau could be singing the blues

Canadians are gradually accepting Green politicians as worthy of support. That will drain yet more support from the federal Liberals

If P.E.I. goes Green, Trudeau could be singing the bluesVoters in Prince Edward Island choose a new government today. They could end up making history in provincial politics and lead to a potential realignment on the federal scene. P.E.I. has only had Liberal and Conservative governments since it joined Confederation in 1873. Liberal Premier Wade MacLauchlan was consistently ahead in popular support from 2015,…

Will Canada break up over carbon dioxide?

The federal government and oil-and-gas producing provinces are on a collision course and Alberta may well quit Confederation

Will Canada break up over carbon dioxide?Countries have broken up for very serious reasons: slavery, religion and ethnic tensions, for example. But no country has ever been at risk of breaking up because of a harmless gas like carbon dioxide. Canada could, thanks to an ideologically-driven federal government. Carbon dioxide makes up a tiny portion (.04 per cent) of our atmosphere…

The notwithstanding clause has a valuable role

When Canada’s courts overreach their responsibility, it’s up to legislators to see that the will of the people is done

The notwithstanding clause has a valuable roleThe notwithstanding clause, Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, allows Parliament and provincial legislatures to override certain Charter rights. Despite criticism from some politicians, academics and the media, the clause is constitutionally sound and useful. However, Section 33 has a fraught history. It came about as a result of tense negotiations between…

Comeau ruling defies economic – and common – sense

A Supreme Court ruling that there’s no ‘constitutional guarantee of free trade’ will stifle both competition and lower prices for consumers

Comeau ruling defies economic – and common – senseThe Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that provinces have the right to erect interprovincial tariff barriers. That’s bad news for Canadian consumers and the health of the national economy. It is, however, a relief for provinces that for years have allowed fiscal priorities to supersede consumer choice and common economic sense. In 2012, Gerard…

Repair regional relations in Canada before it’s too late

If we want Canada to add up to more than the sum of its parts, we need to get our regional house in order

Repair regional relations in Canada before it’s too lateCanada is a big and diverse place. People, power, economic opportunities, public policy priorities, language and cultural nuances are not evenly spread from sea to sea to sea. It’s always been a struggle to make sure the various regions are working together, treated fairly and adequately represented at the national level. Lately, however, serious efforts…

Ramping up immigration without a broad-based plan disastrous

The federal government's plan to substantially increase new arrivals requires close co-ordination with provincial and municipal officials

Ramping up immigration without a broad-based plan disastrousWith a falling birth rate, an aging workforce and a shortage of skilled workers, Canada depends  on immigration. Instead of talking about building walls like our U.S. neighbours, Canadians acknowledge that immigration is essential to our prosperity. So few dare question the official immigration policy, even as it becomes increasingly apparent that strong criticism is…

Should equalization really grow forever?

A rule requiring payments to grow – no matter what the circumstances – can only exacerbate regional friction

Should equalization really grow forever?  By Ben Eisen and Joel Emes The Fraser Institute The relative economic strength of Canada’s provinces has shifted in recent years, as former powerhouses struggle while former laggards improve. The nation’s equalization program is not equipped to respond fairly to these developments. In the past two fiscal years, Quebec has collected more revenue from natural…

Canadians’ US$38-million-a-day gift to Americans

Failure to build pipelines leaves us with no choice but to sell our oil to the U.S. at cheap prices, leaving it to sell its own oil at the international price

Canadians’ US$38-million-a-day gift to AmericansPresident Donald Trump has said Canada’s energy exports are unfair to the U.S. He’s clearly oblivious that we’ve given Americans the biggest trade gift ever to flow from one country to another because of our self-inflicted inability to access offshore markets with Canadian oil. After almost a decade and more than $1 billion spent on…