New math doesn’t add up but can something be done?

Saskatchewan's new education minister wants a back-to-basics approach to math instruction that would give students much-needed skills

New math doesn’t add up but can something be done?After enduring years of fuzzy math, Saskatchewan parents may finally have cause for hope. Not only did the provincial government’s latest throne speech acknowledge that Saskatchewan students have the worst math skills in the country, it pledged to address the problem with a “common-sense” plan that focuses on the basics. That’s good news for parents…

Killing the goose that laid the golden egg

Increasingly harsh and ever-shifting resource-related government policies are killing jobs and making Canadians poorer

Killing the goose that laid the golden eggWith the cancellation of TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline – after the company spent $1 billion trying to jump through ever-changing regulatory and political hoops – Canadians should remind themselves where much of our country’s recent economic uptick originated: in resource exploration and extraction. This was illustrated again, just before the TransCanada announcement in early…

Ottawa’s Supercluster initiative a mess of monumental proportions

The Liberal's Great Supercluster Screw-up just another drain on Canadian taxpayers

Ottawa’s Supercluster initiative a mess of monumental proportionsGovernments always want to look like they’re implementing good ideas and accomplishing important things. Take the Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI) for example. The federal government plans to throw almost a billion tax dollars at non-profit groups to create jobs and help Canadian companies dominate the world. As crazy as it sounds, that’s the ostensible reason…

Energy debate stuck in a rut – and what we can do about it

It’s increasingly clear we need to step outside the echo chambers that shape Canada’s polarizing energy narratives

Energy debate stuck in a rut – and what we can do about itCan families help get Canada out of its energy policy rut? If oil and gas companies and governments funded family reunions, it might help. Sound crazy? Family gatherings could accomplish something that’s eluded Canadians by using an established social space to have the frank and balanced discussions about energy that lead to policies more broadly…

Alberta still loses if resource revenue removed from equalization

Options for reform are severely limited so long as a rule requiring program costs to escalate every year remains

Alberta still loses if resource revenue removed from equalizationBy Ben Eisen and Joel Emes The Fraser Institute Jason Kenney, candidate for the leadership of Alberta’s United Conservative Party, recently called for reform to Canada’s equalization program. Specifically, he suggested a referendum in Alberta to force the federal government to consider removing non-renewable resource revenue (in Alberta’s case, mostly revenue from oil) from calculations…

Another Trudeau turns on Western Canada

Justin risks a similar fate to his father's if he also allows the radical wing of his party to undermine the economy

Another Trudeau turns on Western CanadaThe 2015 federal election campaign may be fading from our memory but we can't forget that in that pivotal campaign the Liberals painted a balanced and attractive picture of Canada's future. Led by the unproven but photogenic Justin Trudeau, the Liberals promised to be more aggressive in protecting the environment and advancing the interests of…

Should equalization really grow forever?

A rule requiring payments to grow – no matter what the circumstances – can only exacerbate regional friction

Should equalization really grow forever?  By Ben Eisen and Joel Emes The Fraser Institute The relative economic strength of Canada’s provinces has shifted in recent years, as former powerhouses struggle while former laggards improve. The nation’s equalization program is not equipped to respond fairly to these developments. In the past two fiscal years, Quebec has collected more revenue from natural…

Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall leaves a remarkable political legacy

His populist conservative instincts broke new ground in Saskatchewan, making him one of the greatest premiers this nation has known

Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall leaves a remarkable political legacySaskatchewan Premier Brad Wall recently announced he will retire from politics. It will be a huge loss for his province, country and the Canadian conservative movement. Some critics argue that Wall’s political legacy is more fiction than fact. They claim he simply had the good fortune to govern when centre-right politics was in vogue in…

Trudeau’s carbon-pricing fixation out of step with Canadians

There’s growing evidence Canadians don’t like carbon taxes and are realizing they’re not the efficient and economically benign eco-tax sold by politicians

Trudeau’s carbon-pricing fixation out of step with CanadiansCanadians are right to be skeptical about the federal government's carbon-pricing plan. At the G20 summit in Hamburg in early July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a leading role in promoting a climate change agreement that would reaffirm the Paris targets. Nineteen members of the G20 signed on, with the United States declining. Several Canadian…

Canadians’ US$38-million-a-day gift to Americans

Failure to build pipelines leaves us with no choice but to sell our oil to the U.S. at cheap prices, leaving it to sell its own oil at the international price

Canadians’ US$38-million-a-day gift to AmericansPresident Donald Trump has said Canada’s energy exports are unfair to the U.S. He’s clearly oblivious that we’ve given Americans the biggest trade gift ever to flow from one country to another because of our self-inflicted inability to access offshore markets with Canadian oil. After almost a decade and more than $1 billion spent on…

Driving the next wave of clean resource innovation

If Ottawa is serious about clean energy, the bureaucrats and politicians pulling the levers would do well to learn about CRIN and its potential

Driving the next wave of clean resource innovationThe energy industry loves its acronyms. It’s only partially a joke that if you don’t hear a new acronym by 10 a.m., make one up and get it into circulation before lunch. But there’s an important new acronym: CRIN, or Clean Resource Innovation Network. It has no executive director, president or staff. It has no address or…

English public schools becoming less popular in Saskatchewan

French schools increased their share of students, as did Catholic schools. And independent schools and home-schooling options are becoming far more popular

English public schools becoming less popular in SaskatchewanChoosing a school other than your local English public school is increasingly popular in Canada and Saskatchewan is no exception. According to a recent analysis of Ministry of Education enrolment data by the Fraser Institute, the share of students attending English public schools in Saskatchewan showed one of the greatest declines in Canada over a…

Alberta finance minister fear-mongers after credit rating downgrade

Rather than raise the spectre of massive disruptions to public services, Ceci should look to Saskatchewan for an example of productive spending discipline

Alberta finance minister fear-mongers after credit rating downgradeBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Standard & Poor’s recently announced it was once again downgrading Alberta’s credit rating – this time, by two notches, from AA to A+. No surprise, given that ratings agencies warned this could happen after the latest provincial budget was unveiled in March. And yet, rather than addressing the long-term…

Staking out the moral high ground in the energy debate

Othering can help understand energy discourse in Canada – and its tension and polarization – in a sector where natural sciences sensibilities ought to prevail

Staking out the moral high ground in the energy debateUnderstanding “othering,” a theoretical notion studied in the social sciences, could help the petroleum sector connect with Canadians. Othering is about declaring something or someone to be the ‘other’ and, in so doing, reduce that other’s ability to enjoy the same virtues to which you have laid claim. “Othering is the process of casting a…

It’s time for a cross-country, face-to-face energy conversation

Canadians will be surprised to discover how far the sector has progressed

It’s time for a cross-country, face-to-face energy conversationIt’s time for an Energy Exposed Trust Tour. Load a bus in Vancouver with energy sector leaders: Steve Williams (Suncor), Brian Ferguson (Cenovus), Suzanne West (Imaginea), Pat Carlson (Seven Generations) and Bryan Gould (Aspenleaf). Also invite Ian Anderson (Kinder Morgan), Russ Girling (TransCanada), Mark Taylor (Alberta Energy Regulator) and Joy Romero (Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.). Put Peter…