• 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.

  • Ottawa should end unfair and ineffective tax breaks

    Every year, the federal government forgoes about $100 billion through so-called tax expenditures… [The Minister should eliminate]: 1. The tax break on executive stock options… half a billion dollars of forgone revenue to subsidize 75 very rich people … 2. The tax credit on corporate dividends… skewed toward the rich… and 3. The Canada Education Savings Grant… the $900-million annual grant disproportionately benefits the well-off.

  • We are finally ready to tackle our cruelly dysfunctional ‘justice’ system — for the wrong reason, but still

    Canada could lead the world to a brighter sociological and juridical epoch if, in the case of non-violent offenders, we replaced community service and Spartan but not incarcerated living for imprisonment, and we would have less recidivism and save a great deal of money doing it.

  • Ottawa is falling short in efforts to fix Canada’s corporate secrecy

    The problem is that the way companies are registered in Canada involves a degree of secrecy more often associated with sunny tax havens, such as Panama and the Bahamas. The true owners of companies registered here don’t have to be identified in corporate registries, which allows them to move assets under a cloak of anonymity.

  • Ottawa Should Reveal $16 billion in Hidden Spending

    Greater visibility in budgets, estimates and public accounts would not make such preferences disappear – plenty of programs that do show as spending in these documents have persisted for decades, and have expanded… changes to the reporting of tax preferences that show their spending equivalents would give Canadians a valuable tool to improve federal fiscal policy.

  • Ontario is proving that taxing the one per cent works

    In Ontario, the average total income of the one per cent grew by 2.5 per cent in 2014 while average federal and provincial income taxes paid grew by 7.2 per cent. Nationally, with similar average total income growth of 2.3 per cent, average federal and provincial income taxes grew more slowly, by 4.7 per cent.
    The faster revenue growth in Ontario suggests that the changes in taxation of high-income earners had a positive impact on government revenue.

  • Canada’s role in ‘snow washing’ money to evade taxes

    In order to get hold of… Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) identification documents — you need to produce some evidence of apparent wrongdoing on the part of a target company to convince a magistrate to sign a disclosure order or warrant. But having gained access to a Canadian company’s records, you’ll often be faced with a total lack of UBO identifiers. Those UBO identifiers need to be made available: not only to frustrate tax evaders, fraudsters and money launderers, but potentially terrorists, who might use the anonymity associated with underregulated companies to fund their murderous activities.

  • End this needless secrecy

    It can take so long to get records through the FOI process that they become irrelevant. The system stymies the ability of the public, usually through the news media, to know what quasi-judicial bodies like the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission are doing in some of the most controversial areas of public policy.

  • Bill Morneau pledges to spend — but first he has to cut

    If the government plans to spend any money in this budget, it will have to be funded from new revenue sources — and there is likely to be a political cost to tapping those streams… Having ruled out taxing health and dental benefits, he may opt to eliminate the deduction on meals and entertainment that make corporate boxes feasible at hockey games, or kill the age amount tax credit claimed by people aged 65 and over.

  • A real job for the democratic institutions minister

    Don’t just make cash-for-access fundraisers more transparent; end them altogether… Beyond changing the rules… ensure that parliamentary watchdogs are better placed to enforce them… Fix our access-to-information laws – now… The danger of backtracking on electoral reform is that the government may have contributed to the malaise it purportedly sought to address.