• Ottawa shouldn’t ignore hunger for tax fairness

    … the government is well aware of the popular appeal of economic justice. The Liberals’ obsession with “the middle class and those who aspire to join it” defined their successful election campaign. Once in office, Morneau vowed to restore fairness to a tax system that has in many ways contributed to, rather than mitigated, deepening economic inequality… Yet despite Morneau’s repeated mentions of tax fairness, the budget left intact all of the most egregious loopholes, offering only a few marginal reforms.

  • How disruptive technologies are eroding our trust in government

    … disruptive technologies [are] producing gains in productivity and growth, to be sure, but also the inevitable displacement of jobs – and a looming quandary for policymakers. Part of this quandary is the growing gap between the scale, scope and speed of these transformations and the capacity of government to implement timely and effective policy changes.

  • … Top 23 takeaways from the Ontario budget

    Ontario will become the first province to offer pharmacare to all young people, regardless of income, who are 24 and under. Some 4,400 prescription drugs will be covered… the abortion pill will provide an alternative to women seeing to end a pregnancy up to seven weeks… The province will spend $20 million to increase respite care for dementia patients and increase the number of seniors’ centres… From elementary schools to jails to seniors centres, the province is improving mental health services in many of its service areas…

  • Ottawa changes its mind on UNDRIP, but it is taking a risk

    Ms. Bennett says her government does not agree that “free, prior and informed consent” adds up to an Indigenous veto on development but, rather, that it is about “making decisions together.” “It means not putting some fully baked project in front of people and getting them to vote yes or no,” she said.

  • Ottawa has even more reason to fix security law

    The government has run out of reasons for delay on Bill C-51. It should move as quickly as possible to fix this bad law. So it turns out that this country’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), may not actually need the additional powers the Harper Conservatives gave it back in 2015… CSIS has suspended use of the most controversial powers to disrupt threats of terrorism that were contained in the Conservatives’ Anti-Terrorism Act

  • Radical tax reform is in the wind — here’s how to make it efficient and fair

    The bedrock principle of an efficient tax system is neutrality: the system should neither reward nor penalize any particular thing or activity, but should rather apply as evenly and as uniformly as possible: tax everything, and tax it at the same rate… A personal consumption tax, and a corporate cash-flow tax, are essentially mirror images of each other. Together they would make a fine pair of reforms, addressing critical weaknesses in the present system without adding their own.

  • Why Morneau got cold feet over ridding Canada of tax credits

    To combat a structural problem requires a structural solution… First… An independent committee can be tasked with delivering a bundle of reforms to be accepted or rejected as a whole… Second, the process should deliver a clear and transparent benefit to all taxpayers… Third, any new tax measure should by law become subject to a mandatory review for effectiveness after a set number of years.

  • Tax Fairness? Maybe Next Year, Say Liberals

    Closing unfair and ineffective tax loopholes could have raised $16 billion. They failed to deliver, again, on their election promise to end the stock options deduction that gives almost a billion dollars to some of the richest people in Canada. They failed to make the tax system simpler or fairer… How long before regular taxpayers conclude that the promise of fair system was an empty one?

  • Liberals defer major tax pledge in 2017 federal budget

    … Ottawa chose to hold off on a campaign pledge to raise billions in new revenue by closing tax loopholes that benefit high-income Canadians… But Mr. Morneau is promising to present a paper later this year that will outline potential tax changes that could affect upper-income earners, particularly those who use corporate structures to pay less tax… the Liberals are now setting their sights on private business structures that still allow couples to split income for tax purposes.

  • Ottawa shows courage by killing ‘zombie laws’

    The courts long ago threw out the prohibitions against abortion and anal intercourse on constitutional grounds. But politicians have been loath to touch such provisions, wary of the fraught moral debates that have historically surrounded them… The sections in question are not merely quaint anachronisms; they are hurtful relics of less enlightened times.