Municipalities, utilities on the front lines of extreme weather

Smart Energy Communities are not only more resilient, they also create new opportunities for local economic development, lower energy costs and a cleaner environment

Municipalities, utilities on the front lines of extreme weatherBy Aida Nciri and Eddie Oldfield QUEST Canadian municipalities and energy utilities are on the front lines of the impacts of climate change. A recent report by the Insurance Bureau of Canada highlights the financial costs of climate change, with insured damage for severe weather events reaching $1.3 billion in 2019. Of the top 10…

Consumer trust in agriculture is waning

Organized, well-funded groups condemning farming practices on social media are winning the consumer trust battle

Consumer trust in agriculture is waningThe public uses social media every day to express concerns about farming practices. And it’s getting worse. Farmers are criticized for a variety of reasons – for example their environmental stewardship and their ethical behaviour in how they treat livestock. In survey after survey, Canadians generally say they trust farmers, regardless of headlines, social media…

Epidemic of illegal firearms overwhelms Canadian cities

Corrections institutions are merely holding facilities with few effective rehabilitative programs. They must have programs for safe, effective reintegration

Epidemic of illegal firearms overwhelms Canadian citiesAn analysis by the CBC covering two decades of homicide statistics for Winnipeg reveals a major shift in the types of weapons used. It’s happening across the country. Winnipeg had 44 homicides in 2019, more than in any other previous 10-year period. Police seized 1,771 guns in 2018, up from 1,195 in 2017 and 825…

Municipalities must take the lead in getting the lead out

The astonishing levels of lead in Canada’s drinking water requires action. That means taking simple measures at the local level, aided by federal incentives

Municipalities must take the lead in getting the lead outBy Paz Gómez Research Associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Canadians have been exposed to a silent health hazard for more than 40 years: high levels of lead in tap water. Although a clear case of municipal mismanagement, Toronto shows the issue can be handled at the local level with minimal federal oversight – given…

Rethink restrictions on private health insurance

Rethink restrictions on private health insuranceIn its sole reliance on government providing first-dollar coverage of medically necessary services, Canada’s health-care system is unique among high-income countries with universal health care. It also offers inferior service as a result. Virtually all high-income countries – including Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands – allow residents to use private insurance to pay for…

Trudeau tax relief plan will do little for economic growth

Trudeau tax relief plan will do little for economic growthBy Jake Fuss and Finn Poschmann The Fraser Institute According to a Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) report released this week, the federal government’s plan to increase the basic personal income tax deduction will cost nearly $7 billion annually when fully implemented. This is not only higher than what the Liberals anticipated during last fall’s election…

Low commodity prices weight on Prairie entrepreneurs

Limited cash flow also a concern for business owners when it comes to investing in their companies these days, according to BDC survey

Low commodity prices weight on Prairie entrepreneursMany Canadian entrepreneurs will continue investing in their companies in 2020 despite growing uncertainty about world economies. But business owners in the Prairies are the most pessimistic, mostly because of low commodity prices and limited cash flow, says the latest annual survey by BDC. The study on investment intentions found that entrepreneurs in the manufacturing…

Third of Canadians face some degree of financial stage fright

Households with an average income of $50,000 worry twice as much (2.25 hours) a day than households with an average income of more than $100,000

Third of Canadians face some degree of financial stage frightThere’s no question that Canadians these days are worrying a lot more about their personal finances, according to new surveys from Scotiabank. The surveys indicate 65 per cent of Canadians with debt struggle to save or invest money while paying down debt and 67 per cent said they find the amount of information about investing overwhelming.…

We can’t just throw money at crime prevention

We need to to treat the crisis of a growing prison population as a public health challenge rather than the narrower response being advocated

We can’t just throw money at crime preventionWinnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth has a typical challenge on his hands: crime is up, resources are stretched and more money is needed. Behind the scenes, he must also be seen as preserving the interests of his officers and the police association. The Winnipeg Police Board and municipal politicians have their perpetual challenges: be perceived…

Cold, wet weather stings Prairies’ honey production

Fell by 35 per cent in Alberta, 1.9 per cent in Manitoba and by 1.4 per cent in Saskatchewan

Cold, wet weather stings Prairies’ honey productionA cold, wet spring and summer on the Prairies took a devastating toll on honey production this year in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Statistics Canada reports. Production in Alberta, the largest honey-producing province in Canada, fell by 35 per cent to 25.1 million pounds, which was the lowest level since 2000, according to the federal…

The sad reality of teen mothers who give birth in care

A much greater emphasis needs to be put on dual placements – whenever possible, mothers and children should be placed together

The sad reality of teen mothers who give birth in careGirls who spend time in the care of child protection services have higher rates of teenage pregnancy and teenage mothers are more likely to have their child taken into care. Teenage mothers who give birth when they’re in care are also more likely to have their children taken into care. Until recently, we didn’t know…

We must fight crime at its social roots

The rash of liquor store robberies in Winnipeg says more about underlying social problems than it does about the effectiveness of police

We must fight crime at its social rootsWinnipeg has experienced a rash of liquor store swarmings involving masked individuals who have become increasingly accustomed to little or no resistance. The best deterrent to crime is not the severity of sentence or punishment, but the certainty of detection and apprehension. An even better and common-sense response would be to mitigate the underlying precursors…

Canadian drilling forecast continues to cool

Capital, companies, equipment and crews are leaving Canada for better opportunities, with the U.S. an easy choice: PSAC

Canadian drilling forecast continues to coolThe Petroleum Services Association of Canada has decreased its forecast for the number of wells expected to be drilled across Canada for this year. In its third update to its 2019 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast, PSAC revised its number from 5,300 (May 2019 revision) to 5,100 wells drilled. PSAC now projects 2,425 wells to be…

Top 6 most affordable cities to buy a house

Study on affordable cities to buy a house says Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Halifax-Dartmouth, Calgay and Edmonton are the top six

Top 6 most affordable cities to buy a houseJust how feasible would it be for a household on a median income to purchase real estate in Canada? According to a new study by Zoocasa of 15 major urban centres across the country, such a household would be able to afford the local benchmark-priced home in their region in a total of eight markets,…

Farm industry upheaval brings a way of life to an end

Prairie towns and villages are becoming relics of the past. Formerly bustling main streets are lined with boarded-up businesses, inhabited by aging retirees who carry the memories of a bygone era

Farm industry upheaval brings a way of life to an endWhat do you think is Canada’s riskiest business? Childhood on our family farm taught me the answer to that question. Despite years of heartbreaking disappointments, my father was a perfect example of the adage “hope springs eternal.” Each spring, he would sing happily on our tractor while seeding wheat, barley and oats. Then we hoped…