Republic of Ireland offers valuable social, economic lessons

Looking for – and finding – solutions to hot-button issues from education to economic vibrancy to population growth

Republic of Ireland offers valuable social, economic lessonsNew Brunswick has much to learn from the Republic of Ireland. My recent selection as a Dobbin Scholar by the Ireland Canada University Foundation allowed me to conduct an academic visit to Maynooth University and the Republic of Ireland in June. The purpose of my visit was to explore the lessons that the Celtic Tiger…

Moncton builds it and they come

Yes, a downtown can be revitalized. But how to do it successfully – as Moncton has – remains a bit of a mystery

Moncton builds it and they comeIf there’s anything special about the much-ballyhooed Moncton Miracle, it’s that this New Brunswick city manages to thrive despite itself. That could be said about almost all successful municipalities, of course. But one look at this community’s downtown core five years ago and you would not have detected anything remotely resembling gritty determination. Look anywhere…

A political matchup made in heaven

What if voters had to choose between candidates with proven track records, like McKenna and Stanfield, rather than Trudeau and Scheer?

A political matchup made in heavenLet us, for a moment, imagine an alternate universe in which the leading candidates for the office of prime minister enjoy unalloyed respect across Canada. Here, on the centre-left, is Frank McKenna – a Liberal. Over there, on the centre-right, is Robert Stanfield – a Progressive Conservative. Yes, I hear you. The former, who spent…

Scheer shows his mettle by confronting Trudeau

Conservative leader has made it clear that he intends to hold the prime minister accountable for his actions related to SNC-Lavalin on the campaign trail

Scheer shows his mettle by confronting TrudeauMy wife and I are staying at a bed-and-breakfast called the Perth Manor Boutique Hotel in Perth, Ont. It was constructed as a large private residence in 1878 by lawyer/mercantilist J.T. Henderson for £12,000, or roughly $409,000 in today’s currency. The residence, which has maintained its 19th-century beauty and charm, is a nostalgic trip back…

De Adder cartoon controversy is no laughing matter

Michael de Adder's contract termination by Brunswick News makes one wonder how far free speech and free thought truly go on a modern newspaper page.

De Adder cartoon controversy is no laughing matterMichael de Adder is one of Canada’s most well-known editorial cartoonists. Yet his recent involvement in a cartoon controversy is no laughing matter. His biting, satirical work has appeared in the National Post, The Hill Times, Halifax Daily News and Halifax Chronicle-Herald, among other papers. He’s also syndicated internationally through Artizans.com. De Adder parted ways…

Innovation is a lot like life, with all its ups and downs

Despite government hyperbole, small businesses know that innovation is difficult, costly and sometimes reveals unfortunate truths

Innovation is a lot like life, with all its ups and downsA handy term that invokes sweet dreams of big scores for small businesses everywhere is ‘innovation.’ Government officials, burdened with the otherwise boring work of economic development, are obsessed with it. Its mere mention, they think, virtually guarantees a contact high. Hey folks, their websites screech, roll up and read all about our “Superclusters Initiative,”…

A young hero for all to emulate

Jesse Canney's performance at the recent Special Olympics has been a catalyst for breaking down the barriers of marginalization

A young hero for all to emulateJesse Canney did New Brunswick proud. He was a competitive swimmer at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. He returned to New Brunswick in late March with three gold medals – in the 1,500-metres freestyle, the 800-metres freestyle and the four-by-100-metres freestyle relay. He also won…

Equalization inequalities must be addressed

Encouraging short-term stability at the expense of economic performance and fairness is folly when alternatives are available

Equalization inequalities must be addressedIn recent years, equalization and other regional subsidies have captured the attention of many Albertans. Much useful research has been done at the University of Calgary and by the former Wildrose Party. There has been extensive comment in Alberta’s media on Canada’s fiscal arrangements, including equalization. Issues connected with regional subsidies are important to all…

Could guaranteed income help to cope with automation?

The disappearance of many jobs over a short period could severely strain our social welfare models

Could guaranteed income help to cope with automation?The revolution of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will be one of the most profound economic shifts of this century. It’s already well underway and public policy must meet the challenge. Populists on the left and right often blame free trade for North American job losses in manufacturing, though automation is actually the main culprit.…

New Brunswick’s ban on fracking must be overturned

Investment makes workers more productive, creates better jobs and drives income growth. Fracking offers a simple, safe solution

New Brunswick’s ban on fracking must be overturnedBy Matthew Lau and Marco Navarro-Genie Contributors The new government in New Brunswick faces no shortage of challenges. One of the most important to address is the dearth of business investment in the region. Hydraulic fracturing offers a solution. On a per capita basis in 2017, investment in non-residential structures, machinery, equipment and intellectual property…

School choice a good first step to quality education in Atlantic Canada

Adopting the Alberta charter school model would give parents and children more choice and allow them to enjoy the benefits of competition

School choice a good first step to quality education in Atlantic CanadaCanadians experience the enormous economic benefits of competition daily. For most consumer goods, over time, Canadians pay less and get more. Businesses compete to offer customers the best products at the lowest prices; those with offerings that consumers judge unsatisfactory are eventually forced to go out of business. As long as there’s competition, consumers are…

Fundy Trail beckons you to get off the high-speed highway

The view along the Fundy Trail offers something at every compass point – crashing waves, rocks, hills, forests, waterfalls and streams

Fundy Trail beckons you to get off the high-speed highwayThis is the first of a five-part series on travel on Canada's East Coast. On my recent trip to New Brunswick, I finally drove the Fundy Trail and saw Fundy National Park. It inspired me to sell the province a new tourism slogan. The slogan, worth millions, is “Get Off The Road!” I’m also considering…

Ottawa’s contradictory climate policy just wastes money

Billions of dollars in spending announcements allow politicians to burnish their green credentials. But they don't get the job done

Ottawa’s contradictory climate policy just wastes money“Around the world, businesses, governments and experts agree that carbon pricing is the cheapest and most efficient way to cut carbon pollution,” Catherine McKenna, Canada’s environment and climate change minister, recently tweeted. If what she says is true, it means all other anti-carbon strategies – including regulations and subsidies – are unnecessarily expensive and inefficient.…

Federal carbon tax seems destined to fail

P.E.I. has added itself to the list of carbon tax opponents, following Premier Doug Ford of Ontario. And the list is growing

Federal carbon tax seems destined to failIf there ever was a federal carbon tax consensus in Canada, it's now dissolving. Rumours of its death have been floating for some time, but the recent Prince Edward Island announcement rejecting it has the feel of an unofficial invitation to its wake. Did the smallest provincial jurisdiction in the country kill Prime Minister Justin…

Carbon tax particularly dangerous to New Brunswick

The tax will slow the already-faltering New Brunswick economy and create a competitive disadvantage with U.S. businesses

Carbon tax particularly dangerous to New BrunswickWhile good intentions matter a great deal, results matter most. The federal government’s decision to impose a national carbon tax may be well-intentioned, but its effects may be detrimental to our economy. We’ll likely see its worst effects on New Brunswick. The idea is to give carbon a price. While there are a few ways…

Atlantic Canada should abandon government liquor monopolies

It’s time to focus on preserving public safety while permitting a market system to thrive through the entire supply chain, from producer to consumer

Atlantic Canada should abandon government liquor monopoliesBy Alex Whalen and Ian Madsen Contributors In October 2012, Gerard Comeau left his home in Tracadie, N.B, and drove to Quebec to buy alcohol. Comeau, a retired power lineman, knew he could buy the same alcohol for less in Quebec. However, upon returning to New Brunswick, Comeau was stopped by the RCMP and charged…

Another province calls Trudeau’s carbon tax bluff

Wearing thin is the insistence from carbon tax proponents across Canada that there was no other way this could have played out

When the Alberta government introduced its carbon dioxide emissions tax, ministers often claimed that if they hadn’t, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would impose his own tax, leaving taxpayers worse off. More than a year later, New Brunswick is challenging that ‘we have no choice’ assertion. In December, Premier Brian Gallant’s government announced that instead of introducing a…

Minimum wage prices low-skilled workers out of a job

Governments should abolish the fruitless minimum wage if they want to do right by young and low-income persons

Minimum wage prices low-skilled workers out of a jobBy Marco Navarro-Genie and Matthew Lau Contributors High unemployment in Atlantic Canada is a longstanding problem. For over four decades, unemployment rates have consistently exceeded the national rate. It is critical for the provinces to reduce barriers to work. Yet governments do the opposite when they raise the legislated minimum wage, as all four Maritime…