Alberta still pulling its economic weight despite hard times

Despite the gloomy reports emanating from its oil and gas industry

Alberta still pulling its economic weight despite hard timesBy Bruce Lantz Reporter Resource World Magazine Alberta’s economy has taken a beating in recent years, but it isn’t likely to receive the federal equalization payments enjoyed by other disadvantaged provinces. Equalization transfer payments are made by wealthier provinces to offset financial shortcomings in other parts of the country. The process is entrenched in the…

Alberta can forget becoming the 51st American state

Joe Biden’s affinity for a Green New Deal and a great reset shows the same hostility for hydrocarbon energy that Trudeau does

Alberta can forget becoming the 51st American stateAs many as a third of Albertans steadily favour breaking away from Canada, according to polls. Some even believe that joining the U.S. as a 51st state is the best option, but that seems less likely now. The impulse to reject Canada is as old as British North America and is rooted in issues that…

Let Quebecers decide the fate of a national pipeline

Confederation was designed as an economic union from sea to sea, linked by infrastructure that crosses provincial borders

Let Quebecers decide the fate of a national pipelineDuring the recent French and English language debates for the Conservative leadership, one of the two leading candidates accused the other of wanting to impose an oil pipeline on Quebec without its consent. Erin O’Toole, the Conservative MP for Durham, Ont., articulated his vision for a national energy corridor throughout Canada. He was then accused…

Keep federal government from messing with education

Canada's kindergarten-to-Grade 12 system flourishes because it's controlled by the provinces, which often show great innovation and creativity

Keep federal government from messing with educationBy Jason Clemens and Tegan Hill The Fraser Institute One of Canada’s great political strengths is that we’re a federalist country, meaning we have constituent provinces with significant powers that are distinguishable from the national government. This separation of powers, at least theoretically, allows the country to split the responsibility for different programs between the…

More money won’t necessarily solve health care problems

Instead of asking for more money and all the strings that come attached, the provinces should ask for more freedom to try new delivery models

More money won’t necessarily solve health care problemsBy Bacchus Barua and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Despite their differences, it seems Canada’s premiers are united in one thing: demanding more federal health-care dollars. But nobody talked about the price the premiers must pay for the money from Ottawa: the freedom to design and implement policies that could actually improve care. At the…

Alberta’s UCP needs the feds to get Trans Mountain done

It was actually the federal Liberals and Alberta’s previous NDP government that did the heavy lifting needed to get the project started

Alberta’s UCP needs the feds to get Trans Mountain doneIt was more than a little disingenuous for Alberta’s still newish UCP government to stand up and claim last week that its “perseverance” led to the start of construction of the long-delayed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. “Perseverance has got us to this point,” clucked Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage. “When others were criticizing our energy…

Canadian capital markets thrive without national regulator

Centralization undermines bottom-up co-ordination already underway between the provinces and territories

Canadian capital markets thrive without national regulatorAdvocates for centralized financial regulation have met their match in Canada. The nation is proof that competition between intranational jurisdictions can foster diverse, prosperous capital markets. In the research paper, The Federal Takeover of Canada’s Capital Markets, we argue the decades-long push for a national securities regulator is a solution in search of a problem.…

We shouldn’t be surprised by Trudeau-Ford meeting

The prime minister, Ontario premier and their advisers realize the lines of communication must stay open for the good of the country

We shouldn’t be surprised by Trudeau-Ford meetingWhen Ontario Premier Doug Ford recently went to Ottawa to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, some people assumed the worst would happen. It’s no secret Ford doesn’t care for Trudeau. The former’s disagreement about implementing a national carbon tax has stretched from the political corridors all the way to the Ontario Court of Appeal.…

Internal trade barriers cripple Canada

The good news is the Constitution guarantees free trade among provinces. But do federal officials have the political will?

Internal trade barriers cripple CanadaIf there’s one near unanimous consensus among economists, it’s that free trade increases productivity and boosts growth. The flip side is that tariffs, quotas and other trade barriers generally reduce welfare. A recent study by the International Monetary Fund suggests Canada – on account of trade impediments between the provinces – is forgoing a four…

Subsidies undermine the media and provinces

Regional reporting may come to suffer blindness similar to that in some Central Canadian media, to the disadvantage of provinces

Subsidies undermine the media and provincesThe announced federal government subsidy for “trusted” media outlets risks undermining provincial jurisdictions. The federal lathering of a $595-million subsidy on “trusted” media over five years may encourage a regressive democratic step of making more news outlets more dependent on Ottawa, feeding a centralizing spirit. News outlets becoming openly partisan (or more partisan than some…

Tolls the fairest way to fund P.E.I.’s Confederation Bridge

The bridge is a prime example of a private-public partnership gone right. Shifting the burden to taxpayers and non-users is simply unfair

Tolls the fairest way to fund P.E.I.’s Confederation BridgeThe recent campaign to remove tolls on the Confederation Bridge is a popular policy topic where rhetoric has become misguided. Prince Edward Island Sen. Percy Downe has pushed to remove the toll from the bridge, while P.E.I. Premier Dennis King has pledged to work on lowering the toll on the island’s primary connection to the…

If P.E.I. goes Green, Trudeau could be singing the blues

Canadians are gradually accepting Green politicians as worthy of support. That will drain yet more support from the federal Liberals

If P.E.I. goes Green, Trudeau could be singing the bluesVoters in Prince Edward Island choose a new government today. They could end up making history in provincial politics and lead to a potential realignment on the federal scene. P.E.I. has only had Liberal and Conservative governments since it joined Confederation in 1873. Liberal Premier Wade MacLauchlan was consistently ahead in popular support from 2015,…

Will Canada break up over carbon dioxide?

The federal government and oil-and-gas producing provinces are on a collision course and Alberta may well quit Confederation

Will Canada break up over carbon dioxide?Countries have broken up for very serious reasons: slavery, religion and ethnic tensions, for example. But no country has ever been at risk of breaking up because of a harmless gas like carbon dioxide. Canada could, thanks to an ideologically-driven federal government. Carbon dioxide makes up a tiny portion (.04 per cent) of our atmosphere…

The notwithstanding clause has a valuable role

When Canada’s courts overreach their responsibility, it’s up to legislators to see that the will of the people is done

The notwithstanding clause has a valuable roleThe notwithstanding clause, Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, allows Parliament and provincial legislatures to override certain Charter rights. Despite criticism from some politicians, academics and the media, the clause is constitutionally sound and useful. However, Section 33 has a fraught history. It came about as a result of tense negotiations between…

Comeau ruling defies economic – and common – sense

A Supreme Court ruling that there’s no ‘constitutional guarantee of free trade’ will stifle both competition and lower prices for consumers

Comeau ruling defies economic – and common – senseThe Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that provinces have the right to erect interprovincial tariff barriers. That’s bad news for Canadian consumers and the health of the national economy. It is, however, a relief for provinces that for years have allowed fiscal priorities to supersede consumer choice and common economic sense. In 2012, Gerard…

Making sense of health funding dollars and cents

There are provincial winners and losers in the changing world of the Canada Health Transfer and the future could hold even larger discrepancies in funding

Making sense of health funding dollars and centsThe last few years have seen dramatic changes to the Canada Health Transfer (CHT), which in 2017-18 will total $37.150 billion – no small figure. Former prime minister Stephen Harper initiated a full per-capita funding formula without a tax-point equalizing adjustment in 2014-15 – basically a top-down policy change. Harper continued with the six per…