• Proposed public sector wage hikes for execs are out of line

    … there’s no evidence that current salary levels, along with the other benefits of public-sector employment, are insufficient to retain top talent… Thibeault’s rationale for OPG could just as easily apply to hundreds of other public-sector executives who head up our health care networks and transit systems… Allowing huge increases for any category would likely set off out-of-control demands across the entire public service

  • Trudeau’s broken promise on electoral reform betrays the public interest

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to abandon his commitment to make the 2015 election the last held under the broken first-past-the-post electoral system is one of the most cynical I’ve seen… The decision shows utter contempt for Parliament’s electoral reform consultations and the special committee’s recommendations to the government.

  • Divide and conquer: How the feds split the provinces in health talks

    The Liberal government entered into the health accord talks with as much leverage as it could hope for. The federal government alone has the authority to determine the size and scope of the Canada Health Transfer, whether or not the provinces agree to it… Without a legal bargaining position, the provinces must rely on their ability to criticize and embarrass the federal government as leverage. The upcoming federal budget gives the Liberals another stick to wield.

  • Make Canada great. It’s in our hands, not Trump’s

    … Australia spends just 9 per cent of GDP on health care. If Canada spent that little, we’d be saving more than $20-billion a year… How can we rethink our prison system, so that offenders, many of whom have mental health and addiction issues, get treatment and education and become less likely to reoffend? … Canada’s prosperity, though improved by American proximity and the efficiencies of trade, is not determined by it.

  • Economic challenges test Trudeau’s promise of more progressive path

    No government wants to raise taxes. But there are modest steps Trudeau could take to relieve the fiscal pressure without great political risk, both of which he has promised. The first: collect what’s owed. Canada currently loses tens of billions of dollars annually through tax evasion… The second: deliver on the promise to review tax loopholes, many of which overwhelmingly benefit the rich with no obvious public utility.

  • Conservatives need a moderate, humane agenda

    Canadian voters have a keen sense of when the machine of government becomes too self-reverential, too captive of the left or right, too much about hopeful aspiration and too detached from day-to-day street-level reality. The duty of every Official Opposition is to put down the rose-coloured mirror and take up the magnifying glass to see and understand what modern society needs to encourage enterprise, productivity and genuine equality of opportunity…

  • Let demise of the U.K. be our warning

    Britain has privatized itself at great cost… The National Health, Britain’s medicare, is collapsing from underfunding in a nation that has already privatized its rail, gas, electricity and water… the private sector is partly or fully responsible for parole, prisons, schools, roads, hospital services, mail, welfare assessments, court interpreters and much more… Next up for outsourcing/privatization are, seriously, child protection and the law courts.

  • Time for Ottawa to make sure top CEOs pay their fair share

    … most of the compensation for the top 100 CEOs was in the form of stock options and grants of stock, which are taxed at just half the rate of regular salary or bonuses. This is an enormous tax break that costs the federal treasury an estimated $1 billion a year… runaway CEO pay highlights the broader and more serious issue of growing inequity in our economy, and all the social ills that come with it.

  • Why would Ottawa even consider a tax that won’t increase revenue, but hurt middle-class Canadians?

    Many employers will have to choose between offering benefit plans and sustaining employment levels, and individuals will have less money to help them get through the week. In addition, taxing employer-paid health and dental benefits would provide limited savings, if any, to the federal government. Analysis… clearly shows that introducing a refundable tax credit for individual insurance would likely cost more to the treasury than the savings from taxing health benefits.

  • Don’t eliminate tax exemptions just to raise federal revenue

    A growing number of tax carve outs has artificially created winners by bestowing privileges on a select group of taxpayers (in this case, those with employer-provided health and dental plans). Special tax preferences also increase the cost of complying with the tax system because claiming a tax benefit (credit, exemption, deduction) requires keeping records, ensuring eligibility and perhaps hiring an accountant to ensure you’re not missing out on any tax benefits.