Electric cars still not ready for prime time

Electric cars are nothing but taxpayer subsidized toys for the 1 percenters

Electric cars still not ready for prime timeTwenty years ago, in May, 1995, I had my first op-ed published in a major newspaper, the Los Angeles Times. The title was Pull the Plug on the Electric Car Mandate. In that column I pointed out that battery-powered (non-hybrid) electric vehicles (EVs) were not ready for wide-scale adoption for a variety of reasons, including…

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…

Many Canadians could end up paying a 15% marginal tax rate

If the government simplified the tax system by eliminating tax credits, deductions, exemptions and exclusions

Many Canadians could end up paying a 15% marginal tax rateBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute Over the years, the federal government has shown a penchant for muddling the tax system with a myriad of tax credits, deductions, exemptions and exclusions. But tax expenditures – as they are collectively known – recently drew fire from Canada’s auditor general. Specifically, the auditor general…

Don’t define compassion by government spending

The assumption that government is best placed to care for us overlooks a fundamental truth

Don’t define compassion by government spendingIn a recent column in the Edmonton Journal, a local historian mused that modern governments have become too enamoured with “the unfettered market of purely economic conservatism.” He then equated higher taxes and more government spending with compassion. Let’s dispel a myth. Few actually believe in completely “unfettered markets” – that is, the absence of…

Canada’s tax system requires swift simplification

Complex tax system imposes costs on those least able to afford them

Canada’s tax system requires swift simplificationFiled your taxes yet? You’ve got until Thursday at midnight. After that, according to the federal government, you’re officially in arrears. Unfortunately, due to Canada’s increasingly complex tax system, Canadians today face greater challenges filing their taxes than they did just 20 years ago. Things have gotten a lot more complicated. For instance, consider the…

The glaring imbalance in Metro Vancouver’s transit plebiscite

Vast majority do not use public transit but are expected to pay for it with higher taxes

The glaring imbalance in Metro Vancouver’s transit plebisciteBy Charles Lammam and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute The current transit plebiscite, conducted by mail-in ballot across Metro Vancouver, asks whether residents are willing to support a 0.5 percentage point increase to the Provincial Sales Tax, which would generate an extra $250 million to help fund $7.5 billion worth of transportation projects tabled by…

Rate of decline in business start-ups in Canada reason for worry

It is critical that governments enact policies, including reforming the capital gains tax, supportive of entrepreneurship

Rate of decline in business start-ups in Canada reason for worryBy Jason Clemens and Niels Veldhuis The Fraser Institute A number of prominent Canadians, including Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, have raised concerns about the state of business start-ups and entrepreneurship in Canada. There is no question that entrepreneurship is critical to a well-functioning, prosperous economy. New firms are the lifeblood of innovation, creativity,…

Money kept by Canadian taxpayers is not a “loss”

It is essential in a democracy that those in charge always prove they actually need our cash

Money kept by Canadian taxpayers is not a “loss”With tax season at hand, here’s a useful tip for any tax-weary Canadian. When some people refer to income or other money not taxed as a “loss” to government, remember that they may merely be using technical language. In contrast, others really do lament any reduction or “omission” in possible taxes that flow to governments.…

Doing your taxes good for your health

Taking advantage of tax credits can go a long way to making things easier for low-income Canadians

Doing your taxes good for your healthTax season is upon us and my practice is humming. I am not an accountant, I am a family doctor. My patients are not bank executives, they are largely people who live in poverty, many of whom are homeless and on social assistance. Yet I have set out to remind my patients - each and…

Anti-tax accusation based on silly arguments

It is simplistic to equate higher taxes with better government services

Anti-tax accusation based on silly argumentsBy Mark Milke and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute In a recent column about the upcoming Metro Vancouver transit plebiscite, Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham complained about business leaders who talked “way more about cutting taxes for poor beleaguered taxpayers for the past 30 years than they have about the valuable services tax money provides.”…