How will we deal with our ever-rising national debt?

How do we sustain large deficits, wind them down and gradually slow the debt accumulation?

How will we deal with our ever-rising national debt?Ordinary Canadians have begun worrying about something that usually only ‘dismal scientists’ – i.e. economists – care about: our alarming federal and provincial deficits and exploding government debt. Putting an economy into lockdown was assuredly going to reduce tax revenues and increase transfers to individuals and businesses to ameliorate the devastation wrought by the COVID-19…

Eight steps to get Canada’s economy restarted

Government can do more by doing less, by unleashing the private sector

Eight steps to get Canada’s economy restartedFederal government schemes and programs to ameliorate the devastation wrought by the ill-considered shutdown of the Canadian economy for nearly three months have focused on compensating individuals and businesses for being unemployed or shutting down. Little thought, thus far, has been given to how to relaunch the economy for a sustained recovery from COVID-19. The…

Oil industry not dead yet despite disruptions

But a true recovery in oil prices will require an economic recovery, whose timing remains unclear

Oil industry not dead yet despite disruptionsWhile there’s certainly carnage and woe in the oil and natural gas sectors at the moment, reports of the death of the industry are exaggerated. Many climate change activists and their sympathizers have been cheered by the dramatic drop in oil prices that coincided with, and were partly caused by, the COVID-19 pandemic. Prominent among…

Why do Canada’s provinces gamble on the oil markets?

Provincial governments need to be sober, disciplined, realistic and do whatever they can to not lose money for their citizens

Why do Canada’s provinces gamble on the oil markets?While crude oil’s startling and unprecedented recent price plunge into negative territory was notable, it didn’t mean that producers were actually paying others to take oil off their hands. It did point to major problems the industry faces, however. In the short term, the foremost issue is weak demand. And it raised a significant problem…

Want to pay for medical supplies? Stop funding CBC

Our health-care budgets were already greatly strained before the COVID-19 crisis; they’re completely blown out now

Want to pay for medical supplies? Stop funding CBCTwo of the major issues arising from the current medical emergency and lockdown are how much it would cost to prepare for a similar crisis and how Canadians would pay for it (as well as pay for the one we’re enduring). The N95 particulate mask is deemed necessary to ensure that neither the wearer nor…

Easing urban traffic congestion no simple task

Cities are establishing taxes on electric cars and other low-emission vehicles to reduce traffic and raise infrastructure funds

Easing urban traffic congestion no simple taskThe state of Oregon recently became the latest devotee of a variation of congestion fees. The system falls short, even if the goal is worthy. It’s a sort of tax on road use more commonly directed at motorists and commercial vehicle drivers who access the central area of a city. Those drivers presumably add to…

How Canada can confront future pandemics

Our leaders should have ways to handle a public health disaster without throwing half the population into penury

How Canada can confront future pandemicsMost of the nations in the developed world, including Canada, were unprepared for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. So we need to examine what steps should be taken to forestall or substantially mitigate the next microbial conflagration. While the current main weapon – the medieval quarantine – might still be part of the future arsenal, more…

Mortgage misery awaits too many Canadian families

At the heart of the COVID-19 crisis sits the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. and its low-income borrowers

Mortgage misery awaits too many Canadian familiesThe shutdowns ordered by Canadian governments to slow the spread of COVID-19 have caused unemployment to leap. And put mortgages in peril. Many of the millions of workers laid off have been low-income and lower-middle-income earners. They’re just the sort of people who qualify for home mortgages insured by the federal Canada Mortgage and Housing…

Practical ways to tackle our emissions problems

Climate warriors spend a great deal of time condemning current practices without offering realistic solutions

Practical ways to tackle our emissions problemsIn the past several months, we’ve heard dire and angry imprecations and accusations from the new climate crusaders. They demand total obeisance to their escalating demands. Any critics to their approach to catastrophic global warming are denounced as deniers or heretics. A new religious-political-social movement has sprung out of this trend: Extinction Rebellion, with the…

Industrial world held hostage by China

The COVID-19 crisis has amplified the warning: dependence on Chinese products is a key vulnerability for Western nations

Industrial world held hostage by ChinaMany key pharmaceutical ingredients used in North America reportedly come from China or, in the case of generics, India. In turn, India imports key ingredients from China. So diverting imports from China to India might not reduce our dependence on Chinese manufacturers. In addition, China reserves the right to provide its citizens with vital drugs before…
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