Canadians pay the price for unnecessary Crown corporations

With more than $1 trillion locked in underperforming assets, Crown ownership is a hugely important issue for public policy debate

Canadians pay the price for unnecessary Crown corporationsThere has long been a public policy battle over government’s role in running enterprises. Strangely, that battle was not settled in the 1980s and ’90s when many state-owned firms were ‘privatized,’ since Canadian governments still own many Crown corporations. Air Canada, Canadian National Railway, Petro-Canada (now part of Suncor), PotashCorp of Saskatchewan (now part of…

Justice reform can’t just be knee-jerk

Eliminating peremptory challenges during jury selection and restricting preliminary inquiries won't necessarily improve the system

Justice reform can’t just be knee-jerkThere has been considerable talk recently about reforming the justice system. The talk has become particularly shrill following the Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine murder trials in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The federal justice minister has said she plans to eliminate peremptory challenges because, in her mind, not enough Indigenous people were selected for the juries. Peremptory…

What do environmentalists have against the world’s poor?

They’re only preventing oil and gas products from getting to economies that need them the most

What do environmentalists have against the world’s poor?The last few years have not been good for pipeline projects in Canada. The Keystone XL pipeline continues to be plagued by delays, TransCanada made big news by axing the Energy East pipeline and Kinder Morgan has cut spending on the critical Trans Mountain expansion project to protect its shareholders. After each pipeline setback, oil…

Federal government should sell EDC before risks get too high

The Crown lender plays in an international vipers’ nest, so controversy and risk may be inevitable

Federal government should sell EDC before risks get too highExport Development Canada (EDC), a Crown lending corporation, faces controversy for funding Turquoise Hill Resources. The mining firm allegedly used offshore entities to minimize the taxes it pays, including to Canada. EDC’s $1-billion-plus loan to Turquoise Hill represents nearly 1.5 per cent of the lender’s assets. EDC is also trying to repossess a Bombardier executive…

Stephen Goldsmith transformed how cities should operate

The former Indianapolis mayor demonstrated how to improve service and cut costs – and taxes

Stephen Goldsmith transformed how cities should operateWho is the greatest champion in the history of Indianapolis? Most would say Peyton Manning, the superstar quarterback who led the National Football League’s Colts to Super Bowl victory. Hockey buffs might offer Wayne Gretzky, who played his first eight games of pro hockey in the Indiana capital for the Indianapolis Racers. Speaking of racers,…

Manitoba Hydro’s ‘persuasion money’ symptom of a greater problem

It has become commonplace to seek large monetary settlements to allow resource development to proceed

Manitoba Hydro’s ‘persuasion money’ symptom of a greater problemEvery member of the Manitoba Hydro board, except Conservative MLA Cliff Graydon, resigned on March 21, 2018, over a dispute with Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister. According to Pallister, the board resigned because the province won’t agree to pay $67.5-million to the Manitoba Metis Federation to smooth the process for the Minnesota-Manitoba transmission line. The outgoing…

Entertainment as diversity propaganda

Television has taken it upon itself to correct social wrongs. But it doesn't fairly represent the mosaic of our society

Entertainment as diversity propagandaTelevision programs not only entertain, they also influence our ideas about society and culture. These messages aren’t meant to solely and accurately reflect social reality – they’re also meant to shape that reality. People and their actions and opinions are presented as if they’re typical and to be emulated. These programs offer a view of…

Unions can help teachers resist pointless education fads

Being on the front lines, teachers must implement the latest fads. Then they get blamed when the fads crash and burn

Unions can help teachers resist pointless education fadsThe primary responsibility of teachers’ unions is to represent their members. This includes advocating for better wages, opposing unfair working conditions and ensuring that all teachers receive due process when their jobs are in jeopardy. Obviously, these are the very basic issues. Unions can do something else that would be of immense benefit to their…

Privatization only way to help Manitoba Hydro – and the province

The badly managed Crown corporation put a whole province at risk of austerity and diminished economic opportunities

Privatization only way to help Manitoba Hydro – and the provinceAppeals to sentiment and other emotions won’t make Manitoba Hydro financially viable. Manitobans can’t wish away the debacle that cost the utility, and all Manitobans, billions of dollars. The problem started years ago and it will probably take decades to get out of the mess. Attempts at northern development and providing aid to Indigenous communities…

Are we really all on treaty land?

The phrase ‘you are now on treaty land’ is part of a slick marketing campaign with clear financial goals

Are we really all on treaty land?I recently attended an event that began with an announcement that “you are now on treaty land.” By now, we’re all familiar with this new way of starting public functions. It stems from a recommendation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The claim is that such announcements will be a step in the direction…