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…

The ever-growing burden of technology on our lives

Increasingly, cities are complicated systems. The thought of traffic lights, 911 calls, transit and hospitals all going haywire at once is really scary

The ever-growing burden of technology on our livesIt you think red tape is slowing progress, you’re right. If you think some complex technical gadgets in your home, office and car aren’t really saving time, you’re right again. But have you thought about how costly and dangerous this technology can be? Author Samuel Arbesman has in his book Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits…

Defibrillator program options weighed by Kindersley council

The town has an inspection program for 12 defibrillators but there’s no plan for their maintenance and replacement. Several are in private facilities

Defibrillator program options weighed by Kindersley councilKenneth Brown of The Clarion Kindersley’s elected officials are interested in moving away from maintaining any defibrillators not located in town-owned facilities. Council members discussed the Kindersley Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) Project at a regular meeting on Oct. 23. They were provided with three options regarding the project. The town is now responsible for 12…

Calgary ready to move mountains to land Amazon HQ2

Hey Amazon. Not saying we’d fight a bear for you … But we totally would

Calgary ready to move mountains to land Amazon HQ2The Bible told us the meek will inherit the Earth, but the timid approach isn’t going to attract Amazon’s second corporate headquarters. The competition is intense among dozens of cities across Canada and the United States to be the location for the $5 billion US development. Calgary Economic Development quickly decided Calgary was in. And…

Shining a light on the dark side of municipal campaign financing

By informing the public about who provided campaign support before the election, the public can watch for any favoritism after

Shining a light on the dark side of municipal campaign financingAnyone who has been involved in municipal politics – at least over the past couple of decades – has heard virtually every candidate say they support increased transparency. Why do they say this and then not follow through? Transparency makes the democratic process work better because the public can understand, and then react to the…

Taking the air out of Airbnb

Toronto and Vancouver have restricted Airbnb listings to a primary residence. The number of listings is dropping fast

Taking the air out of AirbnbIn Canada, Airbnb is getting … well … deflated. The ironic reason is that it’s become too popular. Airbnb is an online service for “Air bed and breakfast.” It's for guests who want a cheap place to stay the night, even if it's on an air mattress. Since its 2008 launch in San Francisco, Airbnb…

Courting Amazon: the ends don’t always justify the means

Incentive packages often include tax breaks on property, income or permit exemptions – and taxpayers pay the freight

Courting Amazon: the ends don’t always justify the meansBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur Fraser Institute Amazon’s recent announcement that it plans to open a second North American headquarters has sparked a mad scramble by communities seeking a huge economic payoff. But some notes of caution need to be sounded. The new Amazon headquarters are expected to house up to 50,000 “high-paying jobs” and add…