Why did Justin Trudeau rush into a photo-op with Joshua Boyle?

No political spin doctor or Liberal-friendly talking head can ever make Trudeau’s inexplicable meeting with the Boyle family go away

Why did Justin Trudeau rush into a photo-op with Joshua Boyle?Joshua Boyle’s story has never smelled right. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his senior advisers surely knew this, so it boggles the mind why they proceeded with a meeting with the former Afghanistan hostage. The son of a federal tax court judge, Boyle grew up in Breslau, Ont. He graduated from the University of Waterloo…

Is it time for major tax reform in Canada?

It would be more prudent to make ongoing in-depth analysis of various facets of the tax system a full-time activity of the Department of Finance

Is it time for major tax reform in Canada?On the same day that Finance Minister Bill Morneau clarified the federal government’s proposals to limit “income sprinkling” as a way for high-income owners of private companies to reduce their taxes, the Senate finance committee released its report recommending that all his tax changes should be scrapped.  Instead, the committee recommended the government undertake an…

Finding enlightenment in the dark

Twenty years after Montreal's devastating ice storm, some life lessons remain indelibly carved in a survivor’s psyche

Finding enlightenment in the darkClose your eyes and imagine a modern city that magically exists underneath the surface of the earth. Further imagine that the surface above it is frozen and crusted over with ice. Now, picture what would happen if, through some force of nature – or the special effects of a science fiction movie – that city…

The American dream is moving north to Canada

Great uncertainty faces Canada and the United States, but Canada seems better equipped to adapt and flourish

The American dream is moving north to CanadaSo how did you like last year? Did it advance your favourite causes? Did it fatten your assets? Did it leave you feeling like the world travelled a few metres forward on the roads that counted? Would it be enough if the 2017 trajectory simply continues for the next 12 months? Not from the perspective…

The most irrational, damaging or downright dumb beliefs of 2017

A look back at 2017 shows far too many instances in Canada where we got it all wrong

The most irrational, damaging or downright dumb beliefs of 2017For my first column of the New Year, I’ve dipped into my collection of irrational, damaging or downright dumb happenings in 2017. The year saw major breakthroughs in the use of genetically-modified human cells to treat diseases, including retinal dystrophy and blood cancer. Human genetic re-engineering is an emerging science but there has been little…

The enduring legacy of maverick media baron Jim Shaw

A hard-nosed businessman, he made a brilliant cable territory swap, competed ferociously with Telus and pulled Global television from the Canwest inferno

The enduring legacy of maverick media baron Jim ShawFew occasions better illustrated the cultural divide between the world of the western bottom-up entrepreneur and that of Ottawa’s top-down public service bureaucracy than when Jim Shaw and Konrad von Finckenstein crossed swords in a hearing room. There, front and centre of the raised platform bearing commissioners, would be the multilingual Von Finckenstein, a six-foot-something-awesome…

Charity is not enough to fight poverty, social inequality

Food banks remain a symptom of bigger problems – poverty and social inequality. We need systemic change to fix those bigger problems

Charity is not enough to fight poverty, social inequalityWe’ve just emerged from the season when everyone wants to help support their local food bank initiatives. But ‘sharing the season’ always poses a tough question for me: How do we help our neighbours when, according to Canada Without Poverty, there are 4.9 million neighbours to help? The number of Canadians in need only seems…

Emails destroyed, justice denied?

What part of ‘Don’t delete government emails’ did these Ontario cops not understand?

Emails destroyed, justice denied?Deleted government emails have been hot news in Ontario since former premier Dalton McGuinty’s aides David Livingston and Laura Miller were charged with deliberately destroying records relating to cancelled gas-fired power plants. Now an unrelated Ontario trial has revealed another alleged incident of deliberately deleted government emails. In late 2015, government employees and police raided…

Another province calls Trudeau’s carbon tax bluff

Wearing thin is the insistence from carbon tax proponents across Canada that there was no other way this could have played out

Another province calls Trudeau’s carbon tax bluffWhen the Alberta government introduced its carbon dioxide emissions tax, ministers often claimed that if they hadn’t, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would impose his own tax, leaving taxpayers worse off. More than a year later, New Brunswick is challenging that ‘we have no choice’ assertion. In December, Premier Brian Gallant’s government announced that instead of introducing a…

The perils of bottom-line blood collection

Why is Health Canada aiding a private company instead of safeguarding Canadian blood supplies?

The perils of bottom-line blood collectionAs the snow falls and the mercury drops, Health Canada has found itself in some hot water. The trouble has been years in the making – since at least 2013. That’s when Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR), a profit-seeking company that pays individuals for their blood plasma, sought to open its first location. A recent media…