Atlantic Canada missing out on potential oil and gas boom

Energy sector created more than 20,000 jobs and nearly $7 billion in GDP in 2017 alone

Atlantic Canada missing out on potential oil and gas boomBy Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Next year will mark 30 years of offshore oil and natural gas production in Atlantic Canada. In that time, Atlantic Canada has been the primary source of human capital for the oil and gas industry in other parts of Canada, while being a significant recipient of…

New Brunswick charts a bold new economic path

The age of internetization has arrived in the province

New Brunswick charts a bold new economic pathThe launch of the McKenna Institute at the University of New Brunswick is confirmation that the age of internetization has arrived in the province. Internetization is a new word I’ve coined to describe the global outreach and electronic connectivity that empowers the 21st century. COVID-19 underlined that internetization has become foundational to our existence. Millions…

New Brunswick’s Acadia region a hidden gem

A naturally beautiful region with equally vibrant people, Acadia is a Canadian treasure

New Brunswick’s Acadia region a hidden gemTroy Media publisher Doug Firby is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting last May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and sense of community. Watch for their…

CUPE wants its weight in gold – paid for by the taxpayer

Union leaders in New Brunswick demanding nothing less than a 20 per cent raise over the next four years

CUPE wants its weight in gold – paid for by the taxpayerIt seems like nothing short of their weight in gold will satisfy CUPE union leaders in New Brunswick. Over the next four years, CUPE is demanding nothing less than a 20 per cent raise. This would cost New Brunswick taxpayers an extra $158 million per year once fully implemented. It would already be an unrealistic…

Government spending in New Brunswick is about to hit a wall

A $600 million gap exists between what the province currently spends and what it can afford to spend without increasing its debt load

Government spending in New Brunswick is about to hit a wallBased on the mood in government offices in Fredericton, you would think everything is rolling along smoothly with the top down. Yet, the province’s finances are headed straight for a brick wall. According to the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer’s latest report, there’s a $600 million gap between what New Brunswick currently spends and what it…

Atlantic Canada won’t prosper until it kicks the equalization habit

Taxpayers from so-called have provinces can no longer afford to subsidize the Atlantic provinces

Atlantic Canada won’t prosper until it kicks the equalization habitFor many years, there has been debate about equalization and other transfer programs and their impact on Atlantic Canada and other regions. Much of this discussion has been technical and difficult to follow. The debate has also been misleading because it focused on equalization even though equalization is only about a quarter of the net…

Is Canada destined to fall into Greenland’s welfare trap?

If Canada continues to subsidize areas that aren’t economically viable, the standard of living in our country will continue to erode

Is Canada destined to fall into Greenland’s welfare trap?An unusual amount of international attention was given to the Greenland election earlier this month due to plans for a rare-earth mine. This vast country has a population of only 50,000 and is an autonomous territory of the kingdom of Denmark. Denmark transfers US$740 million to a year to help fund Greenland’s government. This huge…

High taxes, red tape keeping entrepreneurs out of New Brunswick

The government needs to get out of the way

High taxes, red tape keeping entrepreneurs out of New BrunswickGetting more people to start up businesses doesn't require an expensive and complex government plan. Government just needs to get out of the way. Saint John, NB Telegraph-Journal columnist David Campbell recently made a strong case for attracting more entrepreneurs to New Brunswick. As he puts it, entrepreneurship brings more and better choices for consumers…

Federal carbon tax hike will hammer New Brunswick economy

Job losses and economic contraction will be substantial

Federal carbon tax hike will hammer New Brunswick economyBy Alex Whalen and Elmira Aliakbari The Fraser Institute As the New Brunswick economy emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, the federal government’s new plan to raise its carbon tax will have major economic consequences for the province. Under the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, the original plan was to raise the carbon…

Higgs government should have stuck with fiscal restraint

The province should have stayed the course with its previous disciplined approach to the pandemic

Higgs government should have stuck with fiscal restraintBy Renaud Brossard Canadian Taxpayers Federation and Kris Rondolo Generation Screwed As the vaccination campaign progresses, finance departments across the country are starting to shift their focus from mitigating COVID’s economic impacts to playing a role in its recovery. As things start to get better, governments can expect their revenues to go up and their…

New Brunswick government should have stuck with fiscal restraint

The province should have stayed the course with its previous disciplined approach to the pandemic

New Brunswick government should have stuck with fiscal restraintBy Renaud Brossard Canadian Taxpayers Federation and Kris Rondolo Generation Screwed As the vaccination campaign progresses, finance departments across the country are starting to shift their focus from mitigating COVID’s economic impacts to playing a role in its recovery. As things start to get better, governments can expect their revenues to go up and their…

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

Queen Elizabeth must juggle her duties with her family responsibilities. But in her case, the stakes are higher and the scrutiny is intense

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crownThe House of Windsor is making headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons. “The Firm,” as Prince Philip is fond of calling the British Royal Family, doesn’t look kindly on bad publicity. Ringing in my ears is a line from William Shakespeare’s play Henry IV: “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”…

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries dispute

Non-Indigenous fishers in Atlantic region need not be worried that Indigenous rights will come at the expense of conservation

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries disputeA dispute in Ontario may help us understand ongoing tensions over the lobster fisheries on the East Coast and offer a solution. The war over Indigenous fishing rights has played out before in Canada. As we reflect on recent violence in Nova Scotia over the lobster fisheries, it’s important to know if there are any…

First Nations need safe drinking water now

The government should be bolder on reform commitments and less grandiose in its promises

First Nations need safe drinking water nowCanada and its Indigenous communities should finally commit this year to making the systemic reforms needed to ensure First Nations drinking water standards are the same as the rest of the country. For starters, Indigenous communities ought to experiment with more regional water authority agreements to deliver safe drinking water. In late 2020, Indigenous Services…

The horrible cost of constantly punting Indigenous claims to court

Governments have more resources and delays can drag on for years. Indigenous peoples pay heavily for the delays in resolving their claims

The horrible cost of constantly punting Indigenous claims to courtAt any given time, the government of Canada is dealing with hundreds of legal matters with Indigenous Canadians. This is inevitable given the complexity of Indigenous rights, the history of Canadian policy and patterns of government ‘lawlessness’ that left the country liable for the administrative misdeeds of the past 150-plus years. The number, diversity and…

Why smart utility meters are a particularly smart idea right now

Smart meters remove the need for someone to travel to homes to read meters, enabling customers to avoid costs and maintain distance

Why smart utility meters are a particularly smart idea right nowFew practical measures have been presented to achieve the lofty goals laid out in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s green agenda or the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Gender equality, increased daycare spending and reduced fossil-fuel usage might make for pretty speeches, but they do little to boost economic growth or help struggling Canadians. Genuine,…

Freer cross-Canada trade will most benefit Atlantic provinces

A number of restrictions inhibit labour mobility, as well as the free trade of goods and services. And trade barriers add regulatory burdens on businesses

Freer cross-Canada trade will most benefit Atlantic provincesBy Ben Eisen and Alex Whalen The Fraser Institute When many people think about threats to free and open trade to Canada, they immediately consider the protectionist outlook of departing U.S. President Donald Trump. In 2020, another obstacle to the free movement of products and people across boundaries has been the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even…

Atlantic Canada facing a political vulnerability

Fiscal federalism, the lifeblood of the region's economy, faces increasing pressure for reform, especially in the post-COVID-19 world

Atlantic Canada facing a political vulnerabilityMassive government spending has landed the four Atlantic provinces at the bottom of economic freedom rankings among the 10 provinces and 50 U.S. states, according to the new Economic Freedom of North America report. Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island are tied at the bottom, just below Nova Scotia (58th) and New Brunswick (57th).…

How Atlantic Canada fortunes and oil and gas are intertwined

How Atlantic Canada fortunes and oil and gas are intertwinedBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre Atlantic Canada struggled to create good-paying jobs long before the COVID-19 pandemic. The multiple reasons include poor policy and high taxes on businesses and individuals. Poor policy reinforces other lousy policy, leading to a self-reinforcing downward economic spiral. For instance, previous governments formed policy forbidding fracking…

New Brunswick government finances unsustainable 

New Brunswick government finances unsustainable By Alex Whalen and Jake Fuss The Fraser Institute New Brunswick faces a large budget deficit and rising provincial debt, thanks to the pandemic – and subsequent increased government spending, a shrinking economy and lower projected government revenues. It’s a situation mirrored in provinces across Canada. More important than this year’s deficit, however, are the…

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…