High-speed rail case difficult to make

Governments and taxpayers need to look more closely at several factors, including transportation, impact and costs

High-speed rail case difficult to makeListen to the promoters and you would think the Vancouver-to-Seattle-to-Portland high-speed rail proposal is a great idea. For many, high-speed rail is a panacea that promises to solve all of our transportation and environmental problems. But governments and taxpayers need to look more closely at several factors, including transportation, impact and costs. High-speed rail has…

At election time, is all spending good spending?

It’s right for Canadians to value a just society that leaves no one behind. But relying on ever-increasing spending to do so is driving us toward bankruptcy

At election time, is all spending good spending?I know what it means to live in poverty. I grew up in a large family in a small village in Cape Breton, the fourth of eight children. My father was a wonderful man who struggled with alcoholism his whole life. We had no running water and only a coal stove to heat the house.…

The high cost of pathological gambling

Are the profits from government sponsored gambling worth the cost in human lives, broken relationships and misery?

The high cost of pathological gamblingSince the early 1990s permanent casinos have been springing up in communities all across Canada. Our government has relaxed its views on gambling and made it much more accessible to adults everywhere. In more recent years this has expanded to include government-run online gambling portals as well. With this increase in availability has come an…

Does government debt really matter?

Let’s be very careful about electing a government that’s bribing us with our own money

Does government debt really matter?Before we select our next set of national leaders in the Oct. 21 federal election, we should be paying attention to matters that don’t usually concern us day to day, like the treasury. What the treasury does we call fiscal policy, but it’s essentially budgeting: determining levels of revenue (taxes) and expenditure (all the programs…

Don’t sing the blue-ribbon blues about Alberta’s future finances

There are ways to reorganize some of our basic services, and we can rev up a new research-and-development engine of growth

Don’t sing the blue-ribbon blues about Alberta’s future financesDuring an early-morning chat over the fence, Chuck seemed more subdued than usual. “Just read the blue-ribbon panel’s report on Alberta’s finances,” he moaned, referencing the provincial-government-commissioned report led by former Saskatchewan finance minister Janice MacKinnon, “and it’s bad. We’re in debt up to our necks, the oil business is up the tubes and after…

There’s no free lunch when it comes to government spending

Modern monetary theory advocates argue the government should have a magic wand to conjure up money out of thin air.

There’s no free lunch when it comes to government spendingLeft to their own devices, politicos every now and then come up with a theory that allows them to promise free lunches. Modern monetary theory (MMT) is all the rage in the United States and Canada among starry-eyed social engineers who see no limits to their intervention. Rather than arising from academic inquiry, debates concerning…

Federal government’s appetite for spending is a serious problem

To pay for this rapid rise in public debt, future generations will face higher taxes

Federal government’s appetite for spending is a serious problemBy Jake Fuss and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute With seemingly little regard for the consequences, the current federal government has increased spending throughout its mandate with no sign of change any time soon. This spending trend has been a stark departure from promises made during the 2015 election campaign, when the Liberals pledged to…

We must get federal government spending in check

Despite higher-than-budgeted revenues, there’s been no reduction in the federal deficit in the last four years

We must get federal government spending in checkBy Jason Clemens, Tegan Hill and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute The period from the mid-1960s to 1995 was terrible for federal government finances in Canada. The government borrowed every year but one, interest costs consumed ever-greater shares of revenues, the country’s debt ballooned, and we came within a hair of a currency and debt…

Excessive government spending blamed for Alberta deficit

The Fraser Institute report says Alberta spends more per person than every other large province in Canada

Excessive government spending blamed for Alberta deficitA report released on Friday by the Fraser Institute, a public policy think-tank, says excessive government spending is to blame for Alberta’s deficit. The study said if the Alberta government had held the line on spending over the past four years, it would have balanced the budget in 2018-19 instead of having a $6.7-billion deficit.…

Bailing out Alberta? ATB could do it

If I were king of Alberta, I’d instruct ATB to use its credit reserves to start buying up Alberta debt on the bond markets

Bailing out Alberta? ATB could do it“It keeps getting worse, buddy,” proclaimed Chuck from across the garden fence. “Four years of socialist rule and we’re heading for debtor’s prison. Thank God the PCs are back in.” “They’re not Progressive Conservatives anymore,” I retorted, “they’re UCPs – United Conservatives – and exaggerating the debt is what conservative Conservatives do, it’s called austerity…
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