The abysmal scorecard of socialist revolutions

Real communism has failed repeatedly to provide better living conditions. Why do countries like Venezuela persist?

The abysmal scorecard of socialist revolutionsNineteen years ago, ex-general Hugo Chavez came into power in Venezuela, vowing that a “Bolivarian revolution” based on communist principles would improve the lives of his people. Today, millions of Venezuelans are fleeing their homes looking for food, medicine or employment in neighbouring countries. Inflation is out of control. In a country with perhaps the…

Compassion is at the heart of the best of humanity

Those who show the greatest compassion are among the most powerful and influential, because they’re driving change

Compassion is at the heart of the best of humanityThe Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines compassion as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with the desire to alleviate it.” What we rarely consider, however, is that compassion is a tremendous source of strength. The people who have shown the greatest compassion in our world are among the most powerful and influential. The Book of Joy is…

LNG Canada a win for consumers, workers, business, environment

Canada has been late to fully capitalize on the potential, based on high export prices and the desperate demand for clean fuel

LNG Canada a win for consumers, workers, business, environmentCanada’s planned liquefied natural gas export project is a huge boost for the economy and the environment. The consortium of large multinational firms (Shell, PetroChina, Petronas of Malaysia, Korea Gas, Mitsubishi) that owns part of the LNG Canada project to be built on the northwest coast of British Columbia recently announced that contracts have been…

We can prosper and still protect the environment

Increasing prosperity allows people once too poor to avoid environmental dead-ends to instead care for the environment

We can prosper and still protect the environmentYou may know this frightening if self-evident bit of advice: “Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught and the last stream poisoned will we realize we cannot eat money.” The quote is ostensibly from Canada's First Nations peoples (the Cree are often cited) but popularized by Greenpeace. The point…

Tim Hortons rolling up the rim to win over China

The decision to export the Canadian corporate icon is a very aggressive global extension strategy that could pay off

Tim Hortons rolling up the rim to win over ChinaTim Hortons is going where the growth is: China. The Canadian institution announced it will expand its portfolio of 4,700 restaurants by signing a joint venture partnership with a Chinese-based equity firm. Tim Hortons has locations in the United States, the Arab Emirates, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. And it intends to open 1,500…

Tim Hortons launches major expansion in China

Franchise joint venture agreement will see 1,500 restaurants in China in the next 10 years

Tim Hortons launches major expansion in ChinaThe iconic Canadian brand Tim Hortons is expanding into China with plans to open more than 1,500 locations over the next 10 years. The company announced on Wednesday that it has entered into an exclusive master franchise joint venture agreement with Cartesian Capital Group in China. “We have two main priorities at Tim Hortons: building…

International visitors drive B.C. tourism growth

Cruising along: Airport volumes are up, cruise ship traffic strong, hotel revenues on the rise, and food and drink sales growing

International visitors drive B.C. tourism growthBy Jock Finlayson and Kristine St.-Laurent Business Council of B.C. It turns out that 2017 marked a 14-year high for annual international tourism to B.C. Some 7.9 million international travellers entered the province last year, an increase of 3.5 per cent over 2016. And the data for the first quarter of 2018 look even better, setting the…

Trans Mountain opponents out of touch with reality

B.C. still exports coal because to do otherwise would be to kill jobs in the province. The contrast with its pipeline stance is startling

Trans Mountain opponents out of touch with realityMany opponents of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion justify their opposition by citing concerns about climate change and carbon emissions, but this raises some important questions. What about coal? Vancouver is North America's largest exporter of coal, one-third of it thermal coal for generating electricity. Vancouver exports U.S. coal because Oregon and Washington have stopped…

Do you know who is watching your kids?

The academic world should allow students to speak freely, make mistakes, rebel and change their minds

Do you know who is watching your kids?The Chinese educational system takes a brute force approach to teaching: memorize everything. Teachers and parents smash information into the brains of students. The result is usually astonishing. The Chinese educational system excels at teaching discipline, and students from China are, to generalize, dedicated and earnest about their education, and smart, smart, smart. Through hours…

Marx was wrong: communism did not lead to a better society

The stronger the application of communist ideologies and practices, the worse the outcomes

Marx was wrong: communism did not lead to a better societyMany in the world were sadly compelled recently to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx. He was indeed a major figure in shaping history but definitely not for the good. Marx, along with his patron, Friedrich Engels, created the political-economic philosophy (perhaps a religion) commonly called communism. Its essential tenet is…

Cognac’s global reach keeps spreading

While making inroads in urban American culture and gaining a foothold in China, the industry is also innovating its products

Cognac’s global reach keeps spreadingPart 7 of our series The Business of Cognac According to the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), the industry’s trade association, cognac’s three largest markets are the United States (78.7 million bottles), Singapore (23.6 million bottles) and China (22.6 million bottles). Singapore has the distinction of having the largest per capita consumption of Cognac in the…

Cognac’s rise from a regional product to a worldwide phenomenon

Export sales drove the development of the industry, a feature as true today as it was three centuries ago

Cognac’s rise from a regional product to a worldwide phenomenonPart 6 of our series The Business of Cognac From the very beginning, the cognac industry was dominated by cognac houses that acted as intermediaries between the producers of eau de vie and their overseas markets. Many of the first cognac houses were founded by English and Irish entrepreneurs: Jean Martell was from Jersey, while…

China may balk at Taiwan entry into resurrected TPP

From Canada’s viewpoint, considerations like global security, freedom, human rights and democracy support Taiwan’s case

China may balk at Taiwan entry into resurrected TPPThe next big trade hullabaloo in the topsy-turvy world of international trade is fermenting: which countries will be invited to join the second membership round of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Taiwan’s application is a potential flashpoint. The clumsily-named CPTPP rose from the ashes of the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the United States…

The plastic bag pollution paradox

At least 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons are floating in our oceans but we struggle to find packaging alternatives

The plastic bag pollution paradoxBy Sylvain Charlebois Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Tony Walker Dalhousie University An increasing number of people are voicing concerns about our use of plastics day-to-day. Single-use plastics of any kind – such as grocery bags, cutlery, straws, polystyrene and coffee cups – are significant yet preventable sources of land and marine pollution. In…

When property prices are a crime

The B.C. government balked at applying the foreign buyer tax to pre-sale contracts, so property flipping won’t slow down and it certainly won’t stop

When property prices are a crimeEveryone knew that Vancouver housing prices were criminal, they just didn’t know by how much. By now, many citizens are aware that offshore money, mostly from China, has been laundered through casinos and invested in properties that have often been flipped through shady realtors and unlicensed brokers. The new government in British Columbia talked a…