Canada’s public sector is getting fatter, and that’s bad news

Instead of climbing out of debt, federal and provincial governments are spending more, to the detriment of the economy

Canada’s public sector is getting fatter, and that’s bad newsRecent employment data from Statistics Canada shows a troubling trend. In July, the ratio of private sector to public sector employees (excluding the self-employed) dipped to lows that – except for the period of massive ‘stimulus’ spending by the federal and provincial governments in 2009-10 – have not been seen since Canada’s fiscal crisis of…

Why a Canadian basic income is inevitable

The need for income security among middle-class Canadians is accelerating as the labour market changes

Why a Canadian basic income is inevitableIn Canadian policy circles, basic income has come to mean a stipend paid to families or individuals without the many conditions and rules that govern existing income assistance programs. The amount received is gradually reduced as income from other sources increases. However, basic income is not just about welfare reform. A basic income is most…

Publicly-owned facilities in Canada top 50,000

Municipalities own more than 98% of culture, recreation and sport facilities: StatsCan

Publicly-owned facilities in Canada top 50,000The number of publicly-owned culture, recreation and sports facilities in Canada in 2016 topped 50,000. New data released by Statistics Canada on Tuesday showed that there were 51,136 of these facilities, broken down by 5,400 ice arenas, 4,710 pools, 6,753 multi-purpose, 4,412 arts and culture, and 29,861 other facilities “consisting of sports fields, community centres,…

What every business can learn from Alberta’s failures

Add value, diversify, take control of your destiny, do long-term planning and be fiscally responsible

What every business can learn from Alberta’s failuresIt should come as no surprise to anyone that the failure of the Alberta government over the past 40 years to protect the interest of its citizens has resulted in a province that’s up to its neck in debt. The woes of the province cost the Progressive Conservative Party its reputation, future generations their Heritage…

Trade, deficit reduction and tax reform critical as recession looms

The federal government must act quickly on 3 fronts if it is to head off economic disaster

Trade, deficit reduction and tax reform critical as recession loomsWith the resumption of Parliament, Canada’s policy-makers face a turbulence. The United States and China are waging an economic Cold War armed with tariffs. And Ottawa continues negotiating with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with an American deadline looming on Sept. 30. Alongside all this,…

Death and taxes: the fundamental unfairness of taxing estates

We already have too many taxes in Canada. And they tend to be unfair, inefficient and oppressive. We don't need another

Death and taxes: the fundamental unfairness of taxing estatesA long-dead and largely unlamented tax has recently been rediscovered and embraced by certain people: the death tax, or estate tax. But inheritance taxes were abolished in Canada in 1971 by the Liberal government when a capital gains tax was introduced. In Canada, estates are already taxed on the difference between the market value of…

The Liberal government’s tax plan a failure

Politicians treat successful Canadians as natural resources to be annually harvested and squeezed for as much money as possible

The Liberal government’s tax plan a failureA few years ago, the federal Liberals told Canadians that they would help the middle class by raising taxes on the rich. According to the early evidence, the plan has flopped. This was entirely predictable. In 2015, the C.D. Howe Institute (formerly chaired by the current federal finance minister) called the policy a “losing proposition.”…

Powerful government unions weaken the economy

While the U.S. is curtailing the strength of such unions, Canadian government finances are stretched by the cost of public-sector workers

Powerful government unions weaken the economyAmerican taxpayers and workers won a big victory recently, with the United States Supreme Court ruling 5-4 in Janus versus American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) that government employees not part of a union could not be forced to pay union dues. Previously, government employees in 22 states were forced to pay…

Equalization hurts every Canadian

It’s time to get past political posturing and regional protectionism and reform the national equalization payment program

Equalization hurts every CanadianNational debates on the federal equalization program have been marked by conflict, obscure technical jargon, little research on the impact of the program and excessive vitriol. But we get no closer to fixing the problem. It's time for equalization reform. Many Canadians have tuned out. They can’t deal with discussions that have become inaccessible to…

B.C. must rein in public sector wages and benefits

Bringing government employee wages and benefits in line with private-sector norms is key to balancing B.C.’s budget

B.C. must rein in public sector wages and benefitsBy Charles Lammam, Hugh MacIntyre and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute During last year’s election campaign and in his first full budget as premier, John Horgan promised to balance British Columbia’s operating budget. If his NDP government remains committed to this promise, the coming negotiations on compensation with 183 public-sector unions will be critically important. After…

Alberta can’t blame the equalization system for its economic mess

Undisciplined spending by successive governments is responsible for Alberta’s fiscal problems

Alberta can’t blame the equalization system for its economic messBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, one of the conspirators encourages his ally not to blame fate for his misfortunes, but rather to recognize his own responsibility. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves,” says Cassius. When it comes to the state…

Deficit spending is no free lunch; it’s a bill to future taxpayers

The government should stop kicking the can down the road and reduce federal spending now to avoid future tax increases

Deficit spending is no free lunch; it’s a bill to future taxpayersBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute The federal government ran a $19.4-billion budget deficit in 2017-18, according its fiscal monitor. And this government’s appetite for deficit spending shows no signs of relenting. In fact, there’s no plan to balance the federal budget for the next three decades. With deficits becoming common again,…

Prevention cuts demand on the health system

Increased spending has entrenched an inefficient system that has inflated the cost of getting the same outcomes. It’s time for change

Prevention cuts demand on the health systemProvincial ministers of health and finance seek to ‘bend the health care cost curve’ but year after year, provincial budgets bend the curve in the wrong direction, adding billions of dollars to provincial health spending. We’ve doubled spending on our medical treatment system in Canada since 2005 – and what did we get? Not improved…

Alberta sinks deeper into a sea of red ink

The more the government spends on servicing its debt, the less is left over for priorities that Albertans value such as health care

Alberta sinks deeper into a sea of red inkBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute When people think of the long lost “Alberta Advantage,” they often think first about the province’s tax advantage over other provinces. Specifically, the 10 per cent single rate personal and corporate income taxes that prevailed until 2015. But Alberta enjoyed another fiscal advantage – all other…

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…
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