We don’t need elections now, we need leadership

Elections will turn us away from dealing with the real issues. And we don't seem to have the means to conduct safe voting

We don’t need elections now, we need leadershipWe would really like to have many things right now, even though the prospect of getting them any time soon is rather low. A vaccine against COVID-19 is likely at the top of the list. A bit more certainty about our work and social prospects is probably a close second. Instead of dealing with the…

Fracking can lift the Maritimes out of economic doldrums

Fracking can lift the Maritimes out of economic doldrumsThe economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic should include Nova Scotia and New Brunswick lifting restrictions on natural gas fracking. Natural gas prices are low but that won’t last forever. Energy industry observers say the natural gas supply glut existed even well before the pandemic. However, the oversupply problems seem to be worse for American…

Canada’s foreign oil imports: $477 billion since 1988

Canada’s foreign oil imports: $477 billion since 1988By Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre When forecasting future oil consumption around the world, many people have opinions and agendas. Forecasts rooted in facts and technological capabilities are more rare. An example of an informed opinion comes from Vaclav Smil, professor emeritus of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Environment. Smil is…

Beware compulsory vaccinations

Canadians are in greater need of immunity from undue government intrusion than they are from any disease

Beware compulsory vaccinationsNew Brunswick’s attempt to remove vaccine exemptions has sparked a political, ethical and constitutional controversy. The benefits of the legislation were marginal at best, but the heavy-handed tactics used to try to implement it were even worse. Citizens beware. “Stop the hysteria over measles outbreaks,” wrote infectious-diseases specialist Neil Rau and former Ontario chief medical…

The restaurant industry can help save the economy

But the federal government and most provinces have failed to help the hospitality sector. Only New Brunswick is making a difference

The restaurant industry can help save the economyThe best way to get an economy going again is to get to Canadians’ wallets by way of their stomachs. But it’s a long road. Up to 25 per cent of restaurants in Canada have closed for the season and perhaps for good. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce expects 60 per cent of restaurants to…

COVID crisis opportunity for trade reform in Atlantic Canada

Eliminating trade barriers can help accelerate the economic recovery

COVID crisis opportunity for trade reform in Atlantic CanadaBy Alex Whalen and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Earlier this summer, the four Atlantic provinces formed the “Atlantic Bubble” as the region works toward freer movement of people amid the COVID crisis. And clearly, the pandemic’s effect on the economy underscores the value of free movement of people and goods, which – on the…

The economic case for tearing down dams

Spending lots of money on hydroelectric projects in the hopes we’ll need the power in the future is a mug’s game, even for big projects

The economic case for tearing down damsLocal journalists are always looking for ways to blow a hometown story into something that might interest the networks, big city dailies or syndication services. For me, it was trying to feed stories to the Canadian Press wire service in Halifax while working in local radio and TV in Fredericton and Saint John. They paid…

History’s industrial strategy haunts us today

First came 50 years of progress. Then came 50 years of dead fish, stagnant water, methylmercury poisoning, silt buildup and dams collapsing

History’s industrial strategy haunts us todayWhat goes around comes around, they say. The oblique turn of a phrase may apply to the news that a 100-year-old dam will be demolished in Fredericton, N.B. Things fall down and are torn down all the time, so why would this story be of interest? I was a reporter in New Brunswick when the…

Half measures won’t solve the problem with police

It’s time to reduce funding to police and reallocate those dollars to more proactive ways to reduce crime

Half measures won’t solve the problem with policeHere’s a couple of questions that might have seemed crazy to many people just a few short years ago but are gaining purchase today. Do we really need as much policing as we have? Or are the ever-growing police budgets actually inadvertently leading to greater violence? A lot of us have believed that police exist…

Ottawa’s carbon tax hike out of step with global reality

Ottawa’s carbon tax hike out of step with global realityBy Aaron Wudrick and Franco Terrazzano Canadian Taxpayers Federation Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has chosen to make life more expensive for Canadians by increasing the federal carbon tax by 50 per cent amidst the COVID-19 economic and health crisis. Meanwhile, governments around the world are moving in the opposite direction because hiking taxes during a…

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…

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…
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