A clear example of why government and business shouldn’t mix

Centerra is being held hostage by Kyrgyzstan but, fortunately, it is no longer part of a Crown corporation so taxpayers aren't on the hook

A clear example of why government and business shouldn’t mixCenterra, a mid-size Canadian gold-mining company, is engaged in a legal and political dispute with the government of Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia with a chronically unstable and fractious political class and culture. Its main asset, the Kumtor mine, is in that troubled land and the source of roughly half of its…

Referring to the Taiwan dispute as a “question” dehumanizing

Apologists for Chinese aggression are advocating the annexation of one of the most successful examples of democratization in modern times

Referring to the Taiwan dispute as a “question” dehumanizingTime and again in academic works, newspaper articles and public comments, the dispute in the Taiwan Strait, which stems from Beijing’s longstanding claims of sovereignty over Taiwan, has been referred to as the “Taiwan question” or, alternatively, the “Taiwan issue.” Whether by design or intellectual sloppiness, this designation of Taiwan – of Taiwan’s fate, in…

Covid’s cost in liberty lost

Nova Scotia’s authoritarian response to the pandemic

Covid’s cost in liberty lostBorn and raised in Halifax, I currently live in Munich, Germany. I have been monitoring the Nova Scotian response to the pandemic from abroad by reading the news and keeping in touch with family and friends. I write this article to lend some perspective on the pandemic through the lens of a Bluenoser living much…

Democracy may not always be the best form of government

We’ve been taught in the West that democracy is the ideal form of government. But is it?

Democracy may not always be the best form of governmentLooking at the world through the lens of the media, it’s difficult to gain a clear perspective on what type of government works and what doesn’t, who’s a good leader and who’s bad, and where people are happy and where they’re not. We’ve been taught in the West that democracy is the ideal form of…

Covid-19 shattered our assumptions about freedom and individualism

Our First World sensitivities were not prepared for the consequences

Covid-19 shattered our assumptions about freedom and individualismLast year was one of shaken realities. The news from Wuhan, China was of an unknown virus claiming lives in unprecedented numbers. But China is across the world so the West continued the reality of our usual daily tasks of work, school, activities. Meanwhile, a virus was infiltrating the globe, silently leaping from one person…

Trudeau government dodges democratic accountability

Federal government’s ongoing refusal to deliver a full budget another example of it avoiding accountability

Trudeau government dodges democratic accountabilityBy Jason Clemens and Jake Fuss The Fraser Institute According to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, on Monday the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will provide an update on its 2020 spending. But the government hasn’t delivered a full federal budget since March 2019, more than 20 months ago. That demonstrates little regard for democratic…

Autocratic regimes use energy as a weapon

International power politics employed by the likes of Russia have resulted in many countries looking for new energy sources

Autocratic regimes use energy as a weaponBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre Russia cut off the natural gas supply to Ukraine in mid-winter 2009, ostensibly over a pricing dispute. It was a reminder that energy can be used as an economic and political weapon by autocratic regimes – in this instance, Vladimir Putin’s Russia. We have more recent…

Was Oliver Cromwell the Great Satan?

Some historians argue that the reality is more nuanced than the legend and that he played a significant role in the creation of modern England

Was Oliver Cromwell the Great Satan?When last week’s column referred to Oliver Cromwell as the “Great Satan,” my tongue was in my cheek. But many people do think of him in those terms. So let’s take a look at the man, his works and his historical reputation. Cromwell (1599 to 1658) rose to prominence during the 1640s. Starting as a…

Loyalty to China and fealty to communism are different

Loyalty to China and fealty to communism are differentIn a recent New York Times opinion piece, Regina Ip, a member of Hong Kong’s Executive Council (essentially the cabinet of Hong Kong’s government), defended the Chinese Communist Party’s attack on freedom in Hong Kong. In an apparent attempt to bolster her argument, she noted Hong Kong’s top rating in the Economic Freedom of the…

What Trump’s leadership style says about us

It’s time to reflect not just on what politics is doing to our democracy but what it’s doing to us

What Trump’s leadership style says about usLet’s begin by wishing U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump a full and speedy recovery following their positive COVID-19 testing. The text below was drafted before this diagnosis was known and reflects on the toxicity of public discourse for which the president is partly culpable. Some of the social media response to…

Canada doesn’t need Mark Carney’s divisive advice

Canada doesn’t need Mark Carney’s divisive adviceCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has brought in economist Mark Carney as an adviser to assist with mapping out the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CBC reported how Carney left his position as governor of the Bank of England “after guiding it through Brexit uncertainty.” But it seems the media is as clueless…

Economic freedom on the wane worldwide

Economic freedom on the wane worldwideTwo troubling questions lurk behind the results of the Fraser Institute’s 2020 Economic Freedom of the World report, released Sept. 10. This year’s report is based on 2018 data (the most recent available). By 2018, global economic freedom had recovered from the 2008 financial crisis and was at its highest level ever, albeit by just…

Tyranny oil should be treated like blood diamonds

Oil and gas revenues can be used by tyrannies, autocracies and dictatorships to oppress their populations

Tyranny oil should be treated like blood diamondsWhy would consumers treat tyranny oil differently than blood diamonds or clothing made by child labour? One of the more bizarre reactions to bare facts came recently after a colleague and I analyzed oil-and-gas-producing countries and their degree of freedom – the Tyranny Index, as we labelled it. Some argued such tracking is irrelevant because…

One government after another fails in face of COVID-19

Governments around the world have been tardy, negligent, dysfunctional or otherwise an impediment to an aggressive and successful outcome

One government after another fails in face of COVID-19While residents around the world deal with restrictions imposed to minimize transmission of COVID-19, many wonder how we got into a predicament where thousands die, millions are infected, and millions more lose their jobs or investment nest eggs. There were preliminary indications as far back as Nov. 17 that some people who frequented the wet…