School choice key to improving education

Competition is always better than monopoly and the education system is no exception

School choice key to improving educationThe Ontario government recently announced a new elementary school math curriculum. It’s likely a positive step but more fundamental funding changes are necessary to truly improve the province’s education system. The province will return to a “back to basics” approach to math aimed at improving standardized test scores. It will also introduce lessons on financial…

Jewelweed is a jewel of a weed

Herbalists have long espoused the benefits of jewelweed, primarily as a remedy for the treatment of poison ivy and poison oak rashes

Jewelweed is a jewel of a weedIn many areas of the country grows a little plant that has remarkable medicinal qualities: jewelweed. In my last column, I wrote about my encounter with poison ivy and the discomfort my carelessness caused me. Now I want to share more of the story. Natural medicines are well-known and much studied, here and abroad. Jewelweed…

To mask or not to mask?

It really comes down to your comfort level, belief system and what you want to do until instructed otherwise

To mask or not to mask?Toronto Mayor John Tory announced on June 30 that face masks would become mandatory inside enclosed public spaces in the city. This would include grocery stores, shops, malls and on public transit. Children under the age of two and people with medical conditions that make it difficult to wear a mask would be the only…

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…

Toronto has more important priorities right now than a $3.8-billion park

Toronto has more important priorities right now than a $3.8-billion parkToronto Mayor John Tory announced he’d have to make “terrible and devastating” cuts if the federal and provincial governments didn’t pony up cash to help the city fill its $1.5-billion budgetary void left in the wake of COVID-19. Astonishingly, after begging for money, the mayor’s pet project, Rail Deck Park, is still going ahead. Tory’s mega-park scheme is…

Ontario should cut government jobs to end cycle of debt

The Ontario government must take decisive action to get the budget under control when the COVID-19 crisis has passed

Ontario should cut government jobs to end cycle of debtOntario is the most indebted sub-sovereign borrower in the world. Interim financial results for the 2019-20 fiscal year show that the Ontario government ran a $9.2-billion deficit. According to estimates from economists, the deficit is likely to more than triple, largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic lockdown, to around $29.3 billion…

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…

Government debt piling up for Ontarians

Blame economic contraction due to COVID-19 and increased government spending at the provincial and federal levels

Government debt piling up for OntariansOntario’s provincial government now carries more net debt per person than any province except Newfoundland and Labrador. In a reversal of historical norms, Ontario carries significantly more debt – almost $4,000 more per person – than Quebec. Of course, debt (financial assets minus total liabilities) means interest payments. But Ontarians aren’t just responsible for interest…

Ontario budget update misses mark in face of COVID-19

The plan is based on unrealistic assumptions that pose real risks to Ontario finances and includes spending likely to be ineffective

Ontario budget update misses mark in face of COVID-19By Jason Clemens and Niels Veldhuis The Fraser Institute With all the announcements last week by the federal government, and the drama surrounding the passage of the federal spending bill, the Ontario fiscal update went largely unnoticed. But since Ontario is Canada’s largest province – in population and the size of its economy – so…

Canada mishandling mental illness crisis

Thousands of patients are on wait lists. Meanwhile, the human and economic costs of mental illness keep rising

Canada mishandling mental illness crisisFor the past decade, Bell Canada has used the month of January to support awareness of mental health issues. Its extensive media campaigns have encouraged Canadians to talk openly about mental health and break the uncomfortable stigma that still tends to hover over such conversations. There’s plenty of data to document the prevalence of Canada’s…

Ontario’s lost decade of job creation

Toronto and Ottawa are thriving but as long as large regions of Ontario struggle, the province and the country won’t meet their full economic potential

Ontario’s lost decade of job creationBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Ontarians have suffered more than their share of economic pain over the past 15 years. For much of the 2000s, the province’s manufacturing sector was struggling and then the 2008-09 recession made things much worse. In the years that followed, the province’s recovery was unfortunately tepid.…

Wet’suwet’en protests create a national tipping point

Wet’suwet’en protests create a national tipping pointOver the past two weeks, my wife and I have twice encountered Wet’suwet’en protesters in the B.C. Lower Mainland. I wondered what the hell was being accomplished if people like me were getting angry? The first encounter saw us turned away from the 9 a.m. ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay – we had  important…

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…
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