Raising corporate tax rates will hurt us all

Raising corporate taxes would hurt firms’ profitability and growth. Employment and wages would suffer

Raising corporate tax rates will hurt us allThe finance ministers of more than 130 nations and territories have arrived at a tentative agreement to create a tax floor⁠ – a minimum corporate tax rate of a proposed 15 per cent. Its proponents, sadly including Canada, claim it will create a "level playing field" and stop a "race to the bottom." Some nations face…

Finally, an LNG project that just might get built

Rationality can prevail, clean, abundant natural gas can be used for decades, energy ‘transition’ or not

Finally, an LNG project that just might get builtAn estimated $55-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project to take natural gas from northeastern British Columbia to its northwest coast at Pearse Island recently received the blessing and financial and political backing of the Nisga’a First Nation. The First Nation is on the proposed pipeline route and is the site of planned liquefaction terminal. This…

Is China turning its back on science and progress?

Totalitarian societies such as China require conformity and loyalty, not independence of thought

Is China turning its back on science and progress?One of the most notable features of Nazi Germany was its anti-intellectualism. While it claimed to be at the forefront of scientific and technical advances, its ideology and totalitarian rule made free enquiry and interchange between scientists and other technical people untenable. Researchers became wary of making bold assertions, even when backed by solid evidence…

The economic dangers of a new inflationary era

Interest rates will rise dramatically to compensate financial institutions with effects lasting for years

The economic dangers of a new inflationary eraIt’s not entirely clear whether the Canadian and the global economies are heading for a new inflationary era. It may turn out that inflation is not only elevated from recent negligible levels, but escalates, steadily at first, and then dramatically, as it did in the 1960s until the early 1980s. If it does, the havoc…

Wealth taxes ultimately cripple economic growth

The rich put their earnings into new ideas, venture capital funds and angel investments

Wealth taxes ultimately cripple economic growthThere has been increasing clamour from some circles to impose a wealth tax upon Canadians. The usual government-expanding social ‘democratic’ pressure and interest groups are especially enthused by the idea. They also claim it’s popular among the public. A one-time tax of three per cent on individuals with wealth above $10 million and five per cent…

How the free market is driving an energy evolution

Things are changing faster, and for the better, than radical environmentalists recognize or acknowledge

How the free market is driving an energy evolutionA recent Globe and Mail story about a firm developing garbage-to-biodiesel technology shows how continuing progress makes the global warming extremists’ most hysterically apocalyptic predictions, and their extreme absolutist ‘solutions,’ not only grossly wrong but already likely obsolete. In the case of the company profiled, Cielo Waste Solutions Corp. is able to transform not just…

The extraordinary cost of the shift to green energy

Climate change purity is expensive

The extraordinary cost of the shift to green energyBig infrastructure plans in Canada, the United States and the European Union place a lot of emphasis on renewable energy displacing coal, gas and petroleum. Yet little attention is given to the one vital element that makes all these ‘green’ energy transition plans for power plants and vehicles viable: practical and affordable energy storage. Solar…

China holding the world hostage over rare-earth elements

Decoupling will be difficult and costly, but is a necessity

China holding the world hostage over rare-earth elementsSeveral factors have induced Western governments and the firms they preside over to find substitute supply chains for the China-dominant ones they depend on. These factors include growing public revulsion at the repressive and persecutory policies the Chinese Communist Party has for its ethnic, religious and other minorities or critics; the increasingly aggressive expansionary moves…

Sorting out the value, volatility and durability of cryptocurrencies

Rising prices may be increasing their allure but there are considerable risks

Sorting out the value, volatility and durability of cryptocurrenciesThe value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and others recently hit new record highs, in the thousands of dollars per unit. This escalation has attracted more speculators, further boosting prices over the past several months. Much of this is the result of investors fearing they will miss out on a chance to profit. While…

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…

Why Canadian railroads want to expand aggressively

The regulatory environment in Canada makes foreign expansion not only more attractive but necessary to avoid stagnation or decline

Why Canadian railroads want to expand aggressivelyA bidding war erupted recently between Canada’s two mammoth and historic railways, Canadian National (CN) and archrival Canadian Pacific (CP), for the American railroad Kansas City Southern (KCS). KCS ultimately accepted CN’s US$30-billion bid after scrapping CP’s US$33.6-billion offer. This is all about KCS’s mid-American location and its extensive network in Mexico, where there’s considerable…

We can’t just laugh off unidentified aerial phenomena

The observers of these phenomena are sober professionals who seek to understand what it is that has been detected and recorded

We can’t just laugh off unidentified aerial phenomenaThe venerable television program 60 Minutes aired a segment recently focused on a topic that has been examined before, but not with the same widespread receptivity and credibility. It had to do with UAPs. And the Pentagon, directed by the United States Congress, recently released its file on UAPs, or unidentified aerial phenomena. These sightings…

Crown corporations are simply money pits

They are a bad idea and should be sold off

Crown corporations are simply money pitsReports, studies and analyses show that the essential character of state-owned enterprises, including Canadian Crown corporations, makes it impossible for them to have true independence or real profitability. These operations have inherent goals counter to the normal private sector pursuit of profit maximization. In the private sector, return on investment rewards shareholders for the risk…

Why wealth taxes hamper economies and punish us all

What you tax more of, you get less of

Why wealth taxes hamper economies and punish us allCalls by self-identified progressives and others who purport to champion equity, compelling everyone to pay their fair share, have grown louder and more strident. It seems these social justice warriors have discovered previously unknown inner fiscal conservatism, with their usual zeal for redistribution and punishment for those who they deem have excessive wealth. It’s wealth…

We can’t just pour more money into Air Canada

Fed's bailout marks a return to the airline's status as a stratospheric ward of the state

We can’t just pour more money into Air CanadaIn early April, the government of Canada announced it would support Air Canada through the rest of the lockdown-induced decline in air travel, with loans and, in a return to its previous status as a stratospheric ward of the state, $500 million in equity capital. It’s understandable that the government would want some chance of…

The dangers of shutting down North American pipelines

We should stop caving in to North American virtue signallers

The dangers of shutting down North American pipelinesMichigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has launched the latest political hit job on a Canadian pipeline. Whitmer is targeting Enbridge’s Line 5, which runs from Alberta through the Great Lakes region to refineries and chemical plants in Sarnia, Ont. The Sarnia terminus sells to companies that make products that fuel cars, trucks, vans, ships and airplanes…

Canada can manage its debt load by stretching out its loans

Locking in government bonds at current low interest rates, over extremely long terms, can help us manage our debt in challenging times

Canada can manage its debt load by stretching out its loansThe massive debt Canada’s federal government and other governments around the world took on to face the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is the elephant in the room. This debt could soon become intolerably hard to service, if interest rates revert to more historic levels or even escalate past those levels. Investors will demand higher…

Keep government out of the internet business

Keep government out of the internet businessManitoba’s Opposition New Democratic Party proposes the creation of a new Crown corporation to provide high-speed internet service to rural and remote communities, particularly First Nations communities, in that province. This is a bad idea for several reasons. A host of private-sector and government organizations are launching enormous flotillas of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to…

Canada must stand up to China now

The Chinese government wants to dominate all other nations, seeking submission on its terms. We must resist

Canada must stand up to China nowThe vote by Canada’s Parliament to declare the actions of the Chinese government a genocide against the Uyghur people highlights the growing discordance between Western democracies and the increasingly repressive and aggressive Chinese regime. The Chinese government also engages in cultural repression, surveillance or discrimination against its Tibetan, Mongolian and Korean minorities. China has benefited…

Alberta had no business pumping public money into Keystone XL

Given what was known about Keystone XL, it’s hard to understand the decision-making the government undertook to buy into the scheme

Alberta had no business pumping public money into Keystone XLThe long-suffering citizens of Alberta recently learned that they’re on the hook for yet more billions of dollars via an ill-advised investment in an oil pipeline. The Keystone XL project was festooned with red flags well before the injection of hard-earned and now lost taxpayer funds. Political risk can be hard to quantify but it’s…

19 steps to reviving Canada’s lackluster economy

We need to increase personal income, improve living standards and pay down the mountain of debt

19 steps to reviving Canada’s lackluster economyThe federal government is preparing a budget to be unleashed on the public and the financial markets sometime in March. We can be terrified at the prospect of more huge debt taken on by our servants on Parliament Hill. Or we can hope they may take a more creative, constructive and growth-generating approach. Here are…

Time for oil-rich provinces to sell off their assets

More than 70 years of Alberta prosperity could be in jeopardy. And the continued fixation and dependence on fossil fuels could bring disaster

Time for oil-rich provinces to sell off their assetsLack of diversification is a risky invitation to investment disaster. Very few institutional, corporate or individual investors would put their total net worth into one sector. Yet that’s just what Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan have done. The economies of these provinces are heavily dependent on the fortunes of the petroleum industry. Corporate and…

Why some oil and gas investment was doomed regardless of COVID-19

The Arctic, and all its alluring possibilities, is not part of the future as the energy and investment industries see it unfolding

Why some oil and gas investment was doomed regardless of COVID-19Toronto-Dominion Bank announced recently it won’t loan money toward any oil and gas or related development in the Arctic. While this may elicit joy from the woke anti-fossil-fuel global warmists, this was in reality a very easy decision for TD. So too will it be for others like investment banks, institutional investors, and financial entities…

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…
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