Cash from Ottawa won’t solve Alberta’s deficit problems

Low oil prices aren’t what’s driving Alberta’s fiscal troubles

Cash from Ottawa won’t solve Alberta’s deficit problemsBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute The federal government recently announced that it may provide up to $250 milliont to the Province of Alberta under a little-known fiscal stabilization program meant to assist provinces that see sharp declines in government revenue. There’s no doubt that low oil prices have hit the province’s…

New Brunswick sinking further into debt

New Brunswick needs a long-term strategy for growth and a reform of its spending model if it is to reverse course

New Brunswick sinking further into debtThe recent New Brunswick budget shows that a series of tax increases and modest spending measures to tackle the province's dire fiscal situation will not mean less provincial debt. Rather, debt will continue to grow under the fiscal plan unveiled last week. To reverse course the province needs to adopt a strategy to grow its…

The cost of government debt addiction in Canada

Interest payments on the debt leave less money to spend on health care, education and social services

The cost of government debt addiction in CanadaBy Charles Lammam Ben Eisen and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute As a new year begins and Canadian governments prepare their budgets, it’s a good time to reflect on the state of government indebtedness in the country. Unfortunately, it’s not a pretty picture. Governments have amassed considerable new debt over the past eight years, with…

Federal transfers to the provinces at an all-time high

The complaint from some provinces that Ottawa is shortchanging them is false

Federal transfers to the provinces at an all-time highBy Ben Eisen and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute Over the years several provincial governments have complained about the amount of money they receive from Ottawa. Senior officials in the Ontario government, for instance, have accused the federal government of “turning its back” on Ontario, and failing to be a constructive “partner.” Following the 2014…

Growing government debt danger to Canada’s future prosperity

Use the coming budget season as an opportunity to take serious action to reverse the trend

Growing government debt danger to Canada’s future prosperityBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute In the coming months, the federal and provincial governments will release their annual budgets, unveiling their future tax and spending plans. Hopefully they use this opportunity to address a recent worrying trend that has governments across the country racking up heaps of new debt. There’s a…

Government employee compensation should reflect private sector norms

Doing so will allow governments to better control spending and rein in deficits and debt

Government employee compensation should reflect private sector normsBy Charles Lammam and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute Against a backdrop of persistent deficits and growing debt, the federal and many provincial governments are playing tough in collective bargaining negotiations with their public-sector unions as part of a strategy to control overall spending. Those governments would do well to also tackle other compensation costs.…

Growing number of firefighters fighting fewer fires

The number of reported fires in Ontario fell by 41% while the number of firefighters increased by 36%

Growing number of firefighters fighting fewer firesBy Charles Lammam and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute In an era where municipalities across Canada face budgetary pressures while claiming a lack of revenue, all spending choices warrant close examination. When it comes to fire services, a key municipal responsibility, there’s no doubt firefighters play an important role in protecting our communities. But as…

Government budgets are like volcanoes

It’s what underneath that counts

Government budgets are like volcanoesImagine you’re near what you thought was a dormant volcano but it suddenly erupts. Assuming you escape, you might later reflect that there was nothing “sudden” about it. The eruption resulted from earlier events deep within the Earth’s crust, when tectonic plates moved and later produced the eruption that almost trapped you in a hot…

National drug plan would reduce public, private spending

Any perceived barriers appear to be unjustified

National drug plan would reduce public, private spendingA new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal with health economist Steve Morgan as lead author argues a national universal care drug program would not result in substantial tax increases. Indeed, such a plan reduces public and private spending on prescription drugs by $7.3 billion annually – or by 32 per cent. According to…

The sobering reality behind business incentives

Being out-gunned in the incentives game can carry a heavy cost

The sobering reality behind business incentivesRecent news stories from both sides of the Canada-U.S. border highlight the growing role of business incentives and “subsidies” in shaping the climate for corporate location and expansion decisions. The big three U.S. automobile producers are in the midst of downgrading their presence in Ontario as they build new plants in various American states as…
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