• Police oversight isn’t broken, it was built this way

    Thanks to Justice Michael Tulloch, who led the review and published his report last week, we have new clarity on the strategic dysfunction that is the SIU. Tulloch has made 129 recommendations for better police oversight, including dozens for the SIU. Many of Tulloch’s recommendations are painfully obvious… The tradition of having former police investigate current ones helps to explain why more than 97 per cent of all SIU investigations end without an officer being criminally charged.

  • 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.

  • Backed into a corner, Liberals seek compromise on parliamentary reform

    The government has narrowed the list of issues that it considers crucial — reforming question period to institute a Prime Minister’s Questions once a week; ensuring governments are forced to justify proroguing the House; ending the use of omnibus legislation; and, reform of the Estimates process to give MPs a better sense of what it is on which they are voting. What’s not to like in any of those if you are an opposition MP?

  • The dangers in a Liberal plan to ‘fix’ Parliament

    The imbalance in Canada’s Parliament is weighted entirely in favour of a majority government and its legislative agenda, not the other way around, as Mr. Trudeau’s party absurdly claims. That’s because MPs, who were once elected to form governments, and oversee them, now mostly serve the wishes of their parties. The neutering of MPs has been constant over the past 50 years, and it is the reason so many Canadians find Parliament to be irrelevant.

  • 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.

  • Policy-makers should pay attention to world happiness rankings

    That’s the whole purpose of the happiness report. To raise the awareness that there are these scientifically replicable measures of the quality of life that don’t give you the same answers as GDP and don’t invite the same policies that maximizing GDP would mean… If these numbers are taken seriously, it’s to raise the level of policy awareness and discussion.”

  • Trump threatens to derail Trudeau’s economic fairness agenda

    Trump’s vow to cut U.S. taxes “bigly” does make it more difficult for Canada to raise its levies on the well-to-do, which Morneau has also been contemplating. Last year, the finance minister announced plans to look at tax breaks, sometimes called tax expenditures, which cost the federal treasury billions. But the Liberals will find it more difficult to boost taxes on the wealthy if, as expected, Trump’s America is going in the opposite direction.

  • Cutting the fiscal fat, finance ministers find lot of baloney

    Every budget dollar is precommitted to: debt service (approximately 9 per cent), transfers for health, education etc. (24 per cent), guaranteed spending for Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement etc. (17 per cent), and salaries and pensions for its own employees (29 per cent). When all the obligatory spending is sliced from the budget pie, every Canadian finance minister is left with about 20 cents of the budget dollar.