Ontario’s political welfare program is alive and well

Using the pandemic as a weak excuse to justify raiding the treasury

Ontario’s political welfare program is alive and wellIf your wallet feels lighter, it’s not just because of the rising cost of living and inflation. Ontario’s political parties have teamed up to take $14 million out of taxpayers’ pockets this year, and they’re just getting started. Back in 2014, former premier Kathleen Wynne introduced the per-vote subsidy. Under Wynne’s plan, political parties would…

Freedom of Information should be free

Charging money to access this essential information is an attempt to block people from knowing what the government is up to

Freedom of Information should be freeIf democracy dies in darkness, the government of British Columbia just threw our freedom of information rights into a black hole. Victoria has slapped a brand new fee on requests for public information. Now, when journalists and government watchdogs file freedom of information requests to get government documents, they will need to pay between $5…

Vaccine passports are not only unreliable, they’re dangerous

Evidence that vaccinated people can and do contract and spread the virus undermines the rationale of vaccine passports

Vaccine passports are not only unreliable, they’re dangerousThe creation of multiple COVID-19 vaccines in an astonishingly short period was a stunning achievement by the biotech industry. The vaccines were approved for “emergency use” in just a few months, rather than the eight to 10 years normally required of previous vaccines. Most Canadians were more than willing to accept that risk. According to…

Minimum corporate tax is just price-fixing collusion by governments

Expect reduced jurisdictional choice and competition, higher tax burdens and more political patronage

Minimum corporate tax is just price-fixing collusion by governmentsRhetoric is one thing; reality is another. As is becoming increasingly clear, the proposal from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) earlier this year for a 15 per cent global minimum for corporate taxation is nothing of the sort. Although the initiative slated for 2023 won’t and can’t achieve a level playing field…

Do lockdowns actually worsen COVID-19’s impact?

Jurisdictions with the most repressive lockdowns have higher death rates per case

Do lockdowns actually worsen COVID-19’s impact?The most mentioned reason for lockdowns has been the protection of health-care systems. The claim is that such protection saves lives. So is it fair to ask how well health systems are performing their lockdown life-saving duty? There are several points from which one can compare health jurisdictions and their fight against COVID-19. One can…

Hunter Biden’s art career can’t help but ensnare his father

The president’s son could reap a small fortune from the sales of his mediocre art

Hunter Biden’s art career can’t help but ensnare his fatherMany public and political figures have enjoyed painting, drawing or sculpting as a budding career or a carefree pastime. United Kingdom Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill created over 500 paintings and sold a few in his lifetime. Several U.S. presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, displayed a…

Politicians intent on twisting truth to pursue their agenda

Orwell's 1984 should be renamed 2021 because our times are more like his novel than any in history

Politicians intent on twisting truth to pursue their agendaIn his novel 1984, George Orwell envisioned a future that’s arguably unfolding before our eyes, where government authority is supreme, and truth and freedom are not to be found. Perhaps Orwell should have named his novel 2021 because our times seem more like his novel than any in previous history. For Canadians, the examples abound.…

Defence lawyer pulls no punches in new memoir

Marie Henein is unapologetic and controversial, largely due to her defence of Jian Ghomeshi

Defence lawyer pulls no punches in new memoirIf you buy criminal defence lawyer Marie Henein’s new memoir hoping for the inside scoop on her high profile cases, you’ll be disappointed. Ethically, she considers those details off limits, confined there by the parameters of the lawyer-client relationship. However interesting the stories might be, Henein believes they aren’t hers to tell. They belong to…

Canada needs to take Alberta’s equalization grievances seriously

Referendum is exposing a deep crack in Confederation

Canada needs to take Alberta’s equalization grievances seriouslyAlberta’s referendum on equalization is more than a vote on a federal program: it’s an urgently needed conversation about a deep crack in Confederation. So far, Canada has ignored the problem and the rift has grown. Now a referendum yes vote will push federal and provincial governments to the negotiation table. So, let’s talk. All…

Politicians need to practice what they preach and pay back wage subsidy

NDP, Liberals and Conservatives all helped themselves to the wage subsidy meant for struggling businesses

Politicians need to practice what they preach and pay back wage subsidyPoliticians are good at preaching, but they’re not so good at practicing what they preach. Case in point: the federal wage subsidy. Federal politicians have been moralizing about the evils of business executives taking bonuses while collecting the pandemic wage subsidy, but their silence on their own party taking the subsidy is deafening. At the…

The rise of the golden age of stupidity

The pandemic is making scapegoats of those that only yesterday we called fellow citizens and neighbours

The rise of the golden age of stupidityAmerican writer Lance Morrow recently identified our current moment as the golden age of stupidity. No evidence exists that the author of America: A Rediscovery and Second Drafts of History was peeping across the border watching the 2021 Canadian federal election when he made the claim. That’s probably a good thing. Morrow's language might have…

Beware the totalitarian instincts of ‘the collective’

The conflation of state and individual has long been popular among those who crave power over others

Beware the totalitarian instincts of ‘the collective’Last spring, Trent University Professor Christopher Dummitt took us all to task for our insufficient dedication to the collective – which, he worries, leaves those who “call for national sacrifice” on behalf of “the collective will” in a bind, bereft of the obedience they deserve. Dummitt’s alleged “collective action problem” betrays a fundamentally illiberal misunderstanding…

Free speech can’t be filtered through a bureaucratic superstructure

The Trudeau government wants you to believe it’s targeting hate speech when, in reality, it’s targeting free speech

Free speech can’t be filtered through a bureaucratic superstructureFree speech ensures that Canadians have the right to tell governments when they’re wrong. While this may be unpleasant for governments, it is absolutely vital in a democratic society. Rather than strengthening Canadians’ rights, the Trudeau government wants to filter free speech through the lens of a bureaucratic superstructure. There can be no doubt that…

Democracy cannot survive if free speech is regulated by government

Unfortunately the Trudeau Liberals believe otherwise

Democracy cannot survive if free speech is regulated by governmentCanada did not build protection of certain rights and freedoms into its Constitution because, as some might think, they are saucy symbols of pop virtues. They are there because serious people understood that without the Charter of Rights and Freedoms the nation would fail to be a modern liberal democracy. The fundamental freedoms – those…

Why vaccine reluctance continues to make sense

The draconian lockdown policies of the Nova Scotia government have long since crossed into authoritarianism

Why vaccine reluctance continues to make senseIt’s a well-known saying and a generally accepted truth that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. There’s much less consensus, however, about what absolute power looks like. How do we know the difference between legitimate power and when a person or institution has too much and must be resisted? The draconian lockdown policies…