Market factors, not national strategies, make housing affordable

As homes age, they should filter through various socio-economic strata. But construction approval roadblocks slow that process to a crawl

Market factors, not national strategies, make housing affordableBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute The federal government’s new National Housing Strategy will benefit specific groups but doesn’t target broader affordability issues in Canada’s most expensive housing markets. The strategy includes a portable “housing benefit” of $2,500 per year, on average, to low-income households. It also proposes the construction or renovation of hundreds…

Turning recycled value into wasteful municipal spending

Winnipeg's decision to go with new curbside collection providers ramps up unnecessary costs for taxpayers as the market for recyclables softens

Turning recycled value into wasteful municipal spendingThe City of Winnipeg’s intended austerity budget predictably nickels and dimes ratepayers, with rate increases and service cuts in response to lower than expected provincial transfers. But city council has thrown away tens of millions of dollars in available savings on garbage collections and recycling. In September 2016, independent pollsters found that 93 per cent…

Lagoon project requires grant to move forward

‘We’ve been told we’re close to the top of the pile for grant money,’ Mayor Rod Perkins says

Lagoon project requires grant to move forwardKenneth Brown of The Clarion The Town of Kindersley wants to complete a major wastewater project but the expensive work has been put on hold due to the lack of grant funding in 2017. Town council members passed a resolution at a meeting on Nov. 14 to transfer $1.25 million to a reserve account. The…

Government’s often waste money in their rush to save it

We need to think of the real value of results. If it costs $10 to find out we wasted $1, what’s the point?

Government’s often waste money in their rush to save itMost people want value for money from their governments. We’re outraged at waste – whether on a $16 glass of orange juice or billions on a megaproject. Public administrators wrestle with new and better ways to measure results. But sometimes money is saved by not trying to save money. Expenditures are made within a political…

Civic renewal that drains the soul – and people – from communities

When investor neighbourhoods replace residential ones, civic sustainability is the big loser

Civic renewal that drains the soul – and people – from communities“We are basically not a self-sustaining society. There is no other way to provide amenities we need … currently land and development is one of Canada’s biggest exports,” Ian Egloff of Creekside Architects is quoted as saying in Kerry Gold’s real estate column in the Globe and Mail on Nov. 25. What a great oxymoron.…

Town council denies request to reduce false fire alarm penalties

Council also affirmed the Kindersley Children’s Charter and the document will be displayed in public

Town council denies request to reduce false fire alarm penaltiesKenneth Brown of The Clarion Town council has once again upheld penalties for false fire alarms after a request to appeal fines. Members of council discussed a recent appeal of fines from two false alarm invoices on Nov. 27 at their regular meeting. The request came from a local hotel business after it experienced two…

It’s not easy doing business in Canada

We placed a dismal 18th for ease of doing business, even behind such countries as Georgia and Macedonia

It’s not easy doing business in CanadaThe World Bank recently issued its annual report on the ease of doing business in 190 countries and territories. And, again, Canada isn’t near the top – in fact, we sit 18th. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there’s room for improvement. Small New Zealand was first, Singapore second and Denmark third. Our main…

Provinces can learn how to manage debt from their municipalities

Limiting provincial borrowing and establishing reserve funds for major capital projects will save billions in the long run

Provinces can learn how to manage debt from their municipalitiesI’ve learned a great deal from my children, including the lesson of restraint. I’ve also found, surprisingly, that children still come back after they’ve left the house for guidance and advice. Ultimately, learning is learning. It’s time Canada’s provinces learned from their children – municipalities – on how to handle debt. Municipalities are created through…

Open the door to more affordable housing in Calgary

Calgary’s new city council must encourage secondary suites, remove parking requirements and streamline the housing permit process

Open the door to more affordable housing in CalgaryBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi won a third term last month, giving him four more years to address the city’s most pressing issues, including housing. Many Calgarians – like many Vancouverites, Torontonians and other Canadians – worry about housing affordability as the city continues to grow. Among…

Ramping up immigration without a broad-based plan disastrous

The federal government's plan to substantially increase new arrivals requires close co-ordination with provincial and municipal officials

Ramping up immigration without a broad-based plan disastrousWith a falling birth rate, an aging workforce and a shortage of skilled workers, Canada depends  on immigration. Instead of talking about building walls like our U.S. neighbours, Canadians acknowledge that immigration is essential to our prosperity. So few dare question the official immigration policy, even as it becomes increasingly apparent that strong criticism is…