• Ottawa has made a mess of Indigenous policy in this country

    … the entrenchment of their right to comprehensive negotiation about anything they claim affects their lives as natives, has placed the whole country in the absurd position of being held to blackmail by this nebulous community… by a policy of exaggerating their authority, vesting the natives with the right to extort treasure, retard reasonable development and tar the 95 per cent majority of Canadians of other descent as trespassers, interlopers, and usurpers, we have created a monster…

  • Liberals need to get back on track to tax reform

    While the economy is booming the government can afford to have it both ways – increase benefits for the middle class and working poor, while sweetening the pot for small business. But the economy will inevitably hit bumps in the road (starting with the Trump threat to NAFTA) and to make its vision sustainable over the long run the government must produce a plan to shore up its finances with true tax reform.

  • First Nations leaders break with Ottawa on environmental policy

    The AFN’s rebuke on what they believed to be “co-development” of environmental legislation illustrates the significant challenges the Liberals face as they look to put those principles in practice. Rather than insist on the right to free, prior and information consent, the Liberals’ principles for relations with Indigenous people says the government “aims to secure” their consent “when Canada proposes to take actions which impact them and their rights, including their lands, territories and resources.” Mr. Carr said last week that the government must strike a balance among interests when assessing major projects like pipelines and mines.

  • Why the CRA thought it could take a bite of your free lunch

    The idea of taxing income equally is at the heart of any idea of tax fairness. Unless we want to encourage the creation of tax loopholes, our tax system has to try to respect it… [but] It comes down to a question of proportionality and reasonableness. There’s an old Latin expression: De minimis non curat lex. The law should not concern itself with trifles.

  • Election reform is coming to Canada — somewhere, somehow, and soon

    Justin Trudeau may have put the issue on ice at the federal level, having quite spectacularly reneged on his 2015 campaign promise to make that the last election to be held under first past the post. But elsewhere change is very much in the air. Ontario has passed legislation allowing the province’s municipalities, if they choose, to use ranked ballots for their elections… B.C., too, voted by a majority to switch to a form of PR…

  • A good day for press freedom

    … Members of Parliament passed the Journalistic Source Protection Act, which originated as a private member’s bill in the Senate, marking a major step forward for press freedom. We will finally be joining the United States, Britain, France and others in providing a legal safeguard for the privileged relationship between source and reporter.

  • Law society’s new policy compels speech, crossing line that must not be crossed

    This policy crosses a line that should not be crossed. It is not enough that we obey. Now we must also agree and actively promote… “The source of the most insidious peril… is not evil wrongdoers seeking to do harm, but parochial bureaucrats seeking to do good.” I suspect Borovoy would be shocked that his warning would apply so acutely to the governing body of the legal profession.

  • How do governments come up with good public policy when an issue has polarized the public? There are some basic guidelines that can help.

    In a post-fact era, when reasoned arguments are not always sufficient to secure support, the perception of a government’s presumed motive is critical and sensitive policy changes must be presented without an overtly political agenda. Voters do not always have the time or inclination to study complicated policy frameworks; if they believe the government is acting for good reason, or has good intentions, that trust can provide an effective shortcut to policy acceptance.

  • Bill Morneau should refine tax proposals, then look at larger reform

    Surely these changes would have been easier to swallow had they been part of a holistic tax reform agenda, guided by clear principles… those affected might understandably wonder, why us? … especially when there are so many more costly and regressive loopholes still on the books.

  • Are wealthy Canadians paying their fair share of taxes?

    Our tax system has become the ultimate insider deal, in which the well-connected consistently rewrite the rules to escape the rational and just responsibilities that should be placed upon them by a progressive income-tax system in a democratic nation…If middle-class Canadians had the same attitude toward paying taxes that the people at the top did, our country would be just another bankrupt, basket-case banana republic. Democracy is not free, nor is it particularly cheap.