The harmful ban on single-use plastic products

A ban will impact some 93,000 jobs in the plastics industry. Most in Ontario

The harmful ban on single-use plastic productsAll signs point to the federal government going ahead with a ban on certain single-use plastic products, which would be a mistake. This restrictive measure will likely not have the effects hoped for, and even if it does, you can be sure that the Canadian economy will suffer from those gains. The Canadian plastics industry,…

Ontario taxpayers set to choose from three unpalatable options

All three major party leaders are promising to run record-high deficits

Ontario taxpayers set to choose from three unpalatable optionsWhen election day arrives, it appears as though Ontarians will have a choice in which poison pill to swallow: record deficits with Premier Doug Ford, Liberal leader Steven Del Duca, or NDP leader Andrea Horwath. It’s an unfortunate consensus: the three major party leaders are promising to run record-high deficits. But no matter what Ontario’s…

Canada has its own baby formula problem

Its largest baby formula plant ships all its products to China

Canada has its own baby formula problemParents of toddlers are concerned about baby formula shortages due to a combination of factors. A major recall in the United States affecting the top manufacturer of baby formula, coupled with supply chain challenges, has made things difficult for parents. In the U.S., some parents are driving hours just to get the right product for…

On fiscal prudence and tax relief, Ford lays an egg

No concrete plan to balance the books and no tax relief for middle-class families

On fiscal prudence and tax relief, Ford lays an eggThere’s one bright spot in Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s budget. He announced plans to cut taxes for low-income Ontarians, saving over one million taxpayers up to $850 next year. This will serve as much-needed relief for taxpayers who badly need it in the wake of record-high inflation and soaring living costs. But that’s where the…

Breeding bird study offers insights into health of the environment

Continuing intensive breeding bird survey involves thousands of volunteers, hundreds of thousands of bits of data

Breeding bird study offers insights into health of the environmentEvery spring, I get excited as the birds start to return to Ontario from South and Central America. Life is emerging everywhere. Even though nature sometimes seems to conspire against them with cold snaps following sunny days, birds persist. Fire, rain, wind, predators, agricultural and industrial activities, cars, cats and inadvertent human disturbance all work…

Politicians should look to tax relief to boost affordability

Ontarians need relief, and they need it urgently

Politicians should look to tax relief to boost affordabilityAffordability is the elephant in the room as Ontario approaches this June’s provincial election, and it’s time for Ontario’s politicians to address it before they get trampled. All three of Ontario’s major political parties plan to speak to the issue of affordability in their platforms. The Ford government has been busy eliminating user fees for…

Is Ford’s latest gas tax cut promise just another election ploy?

Ontarians need urgent action, not vague future promises

Is Ford’s latest gas tax cut promise just another election ploy?When Ontario Premier Doug Ford finally announced his intention to deliver on gas tax relief after four years of delays, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation supported the move. Make no mistake; a gas tax cut is good news for Ontario taxpayers. As gas prices soar and Ontarians face the highest inflation levels in 30 years, relief…

Will the next crisis also shut down in-person schooling?

Should in-person learning be an essential service? Can parents and guardians be included in decisions?

Will the next crisis also shut down in-person schooling?Sometimes it takes a crisis to make things clear. Consider the last two years of rolling pandemic school closures. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Ontario’s government education systems largely failed to serve more than two million students well. Calls for wholesale reform to Ontario education have begun and include revamping all kindergarten-to-Grade-12 curricula and a…

Patient care is too important to suffer under central planning

Canada rations care with wait times, limited investment in technology, and by using family doctors as “gatekeepers” to service

Patient care is too important to suffer under central planningDoctors frustrate governments. They think too little about how much health care costs and too much about their patients who need help. The government of Ontario and the Ontario Medical Association arrived at a mediated Proposed Physicians Services Agreement (PPSA) this month. Doctors started to vote on it yesterday, with voting ending on March 27.…

The best childcare solution is to fund families directly

That way, parents will be able to afford the kind of care that best meets their needs

The best childcare solution is to fund families directlyWe’ve all seen the headlines about Ontario being the only province not to sign on to the federal childcare plan. The Liberal Party of Ontario drew attention to this again recently, announcing that if it formed a government in June after the next provincial election, the province would send families a retroactive payment of $2,750…

As Ford dithers, Ontarians suffer

Inflation rates haven’t been this high since Seinfeld first debuted on television

As Ford dithers, Ontarians sufferWould your family be better off with an extra $2,000 in your bank account this year? As Canada continues to face its highest inflation rates in over 30 years, not a single Ontarian would answer no. If Ontario Premier Doug Ford had kept his promises from the election platform he ran on four years ago,…

Ford needs to take a lesson from Alberta

Alberta has reduced its gas taxes by 13 cents a litre

Ford needs to take a lesson from AlbertaOntario Premier Doug Ford is sitting on his hands while Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is delivering relief for taxpayers. Earlier this week, Kenney announced his government would cut provincial gas taxes by 13 cents per litre in the face of skyrocketing oil prices. For a family filling up their minivan, Kenney’s tax cut means nearly…

Ontario cutting its license plate sticker fees

A win for taxpayers, but it just isn’t enough

Ontario cutting its license plate sticker feesLicense plate stickers in Ontario are destined for the ash heap of history, thanks to the Ford government’s commitment to repeal those pesky annual fees. Families are facing rampant inflation and soaring living costs. Premier Doug Ford’s announcement will save the typical two-car family $240 a year. It’s a good first step, and now the…

On tax cuts, Ford should go all in

If Ford is tempted to embark on a spending spree this spring, he should think twice

On tax cuts, Ford should go all inAfter 15 years of governments pursuing high spending, run-away deficits, and no meaningful tax relief, it’s time for Ontario Premier Doug Ford to think big. Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy will present the Ford government’s pre-election budget next month, which gives his team a chance to set the spending tone as the province heads to a…

With sky-high gas prices, Ford has a political opening

Taxes make up a third of the price at the pumps

With sky-high gas prices, Ford has a political openingThe collective blood pressure of Ontario taxpayers surged recently as gas prices hit record levels across the province. In large part, hardworking taxpayers can blame the federal government for soaring costs. For the first time ever, gas prices in Ontario crossed the $1.50 per litre threshold. A family that took their minivan and sedan to…

Is the majestic bald eagle making a comeback?

In the 70s, bald eagles, like many raptors, were devastated due to exposure to pesticides

Is the majestic bald eagle making a comeback?The majestic bald eagle never fails to arouse awe in observers fortunate enough to spot it. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it variously was considered common to rare in North America, depending primarily on where you lived. They historically nested in 45 of the 48 contiguous United States but have declined dramatically since. One…

Pandemic pay hikes for government employees a tale of two Ontarios

A slap in the face to hardworking taxpayers across the province

Pandemic pay hikes for government employees a tale of two OntariosOntario has been experiencing a tale of two pandemics. One is a fairy tale for bureaucrats, and the other is a grim story for the rest of us. Bureaucrats working for the province and its major cities have been getting raises, while average Ontarians saw hour reductions, pay cuts, lost jobs, and shuttered small businesses.…

The feds need to end their lockdown subsidies

Since COVID-19 touched down, Ottawa has dished out $511 billion!

The feds need to end their lockdown subsidiesWhen governments subsidize something, you can expect more of it. With the federal government covering the cost of keeping workers and businesses afloat during provincial lockdowns, it’s no surprise that provincial politicians are biased toward new restrictions. Since COVID-19 touched down, Ottawa has dished out $511 billion through direct subsidies, tax deferrals and low-interest loans.…

Responding to the pandemic doesn’t have to mean a mountain of debt

The contrast between how New Brunswick and Ontario handled the pandemic is stark

Responding to the pandemic doesn’t have to mean a mountain of debtAs Ontario Premier Doug Ford continues to drive the province speeding toward the edge of a gigantic debt cliff, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs is showing taxpayers that governments can tap the brakes on spending while still dealing with a pandemic. The contrast between the two premiers is stark. As Ford adds tens of billions…

Since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Oh, the weather outside is.... wonderful! Ontarians are making the most of a huge snow storm

Since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snowThere’s no day like a snow day. In that same vein, there’s no column like a snow day column! On Monday, Toronto and most of southern Ontario got hammered by one of the biggest snowstorms in this region in many years. Toronto was originally supposed to get 25 to 35 cm of snow, according to…

How to restore Ontarians’ faith in the democratic process

These three key accountability reforms a good place to start

How to restore Ontarians’ faith in the democratic processWith trust in government having declined significantly over the past two years, it’s well past time for politicians to try to regain the confidence of the people they’re supposed to represent. Three key accountability reforms would make major strides in that direction. It’s time to end taxpayer handouts for political parties, stop giving more generous…

Ontario Premier has stalled long enough on gas tax relief promise

Cut the gas excise tax and deliver meaningful savings to everyday Ontario families

Ontario Premier has stalled long enough on gas tax relief promiseThe countdown is on to get a gas tax cut in the province of Ontario. Late last year, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he would keep his promise to cut the provincial gas excise tax by 5.7 cents per litre, nearly four years after he first made the commitment to Ontario voters. After years of…

Last-minute changes to COVID-19 restrictions serve no one

The never-ending stream of government flip-flops in policy and strategy must end

Last-minute changes to COVID-19 restrictions serve no oneThe year is only a few days old but some Canadians are ready to kick 2022 to the curb. The reason is a new wave of COVID-19 restrictions imposed due to the spread of the Omicron variant. Quebec was the first province to experience a significant increase in daily cases. Premier Francois Legault announced a…

Another year of chaos at Ontario’s universities and colleges

Forcing students to get a booster without evidence of its efficacy just adds insult to injury

Another year of chaos at Ontario’s universities and collegesThe Canadian Academics for Covid Ethics (CA4CE) is a group of researchers and scholars from fields spanning the natural and social sciences and humanities. It is concerned with the mismanagement of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic response in Canada and around the world.  The following commentary was written by Drs. Kevin Cheung, Claus Rinner, Laurent Leduc,…

Ontario’s political welfare program is alive and well

Using the pandemic as a weak excuse to justify raiding the treasury

Ontario’s political welfare program is alive and wellIf your wallet feels lighter, it’s not just because of the rising cost of living and inflation. Ontario’s political parties have teamed up to take $14 million out of taxpayers’ pockets this year, and they’re just getting started. Back in 2014, former premier Kathleen Wynne introduced the per-vote subsidy. Under Wynne’s plan, political parties would…

A school board’s preposterous censoring of a Nobel laureate

No one believes the decision to cancel two prominent women from speaking was a simple misunderstanding

A school board’s preposterous censoring of a Nobel laureateCanada has experienced some strange episodes of late when it comes to free speech. Two recent decisions on the education front are real doozies, however. The Toronto District School Board cancelled two book club events involving prominent, well-respected female leaders from ethnic backgrounds. Why? For fear and concern (completely unfounded, mind you) that these talks…

Ontario taxpayers tired of waiting for Ford to deliver

It’s time for Ford to lay out a plan to balance the provincial budget

Ontario taxpayers tired of waiting for Ford to deliverIn case Premier Doug Ford is one of those last-minute holiday shoppers who doesn’t like the mall, Ontario taxpayers have some stocking stuffer ideas the Ontario government needs to deliver. The best gift ideas are presents that Ford should be very familiar with since they were in his party’s 2018 election platform. After years of…

Ontario squandered nearly $1 billion on COVID-19 payouts to business

The government’s lack of due diligence another blow to Ford's credibility

Ontario squandered nearly $1 billion on COVID-19 payouts to businessTaxpayers have good reason to be frustrated with Premier Doug Ford’s handling of Ontario’s finances. The auditor general’s recent report shows just how cavalier the Ontario government has been in writing cheques from the taxpayer chequebook. The government of Ontario’s emergency pandemic response put thousands of businesses on the brink of bankruptcy, and thousands of…

How Ontario squandered a debt-free future

How did the province stray so far off course?

How Ontario squandered a debt-free futureThe numbers are a bit shocking: if successive Ontario governments had been just a little prudent with money, the province’s massive debt would be exactly zero. Instead, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy announced a few weeks ago that Ontario’s government debt now exceeds $400 billion. Rather than being the envy of other provinces, Ontario today is…

Ontario Liberal proposal for women-only nominations is just stupid

Does the party really believe women can't win in a fair fight against men?

Ontario Liberal proposal for women-only nominations is just stupidPolitical parties propose and support many policies and ideas. Some ideas are top-flight and beneficial to their political fortunes. Others seem good in theory, but may require additional tinkering or minor adjustment(s). Still other ideas may turn out to be untenable, or require a significant overhaul or have to be abandoned. Then there are ideas…
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