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If ‘pharmacare’ means ‘give us billions,’ the provinces are interested

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

… while they agree it would be great if Canada had a national drug plan, they want it to be under their control, designed according to standards developed in each individual province, with only the money coming from Ottawa… They also want to be able to opt out, while keeping the money as if they’d remained within the plan. They didn’t say what they’d do with the money: that would be up to each province.

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This is why conflicts with First Nations often seem insoluble

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

There is no overriding governing body to render final decisions when needed, or a judicial system able to issue judgments all parties are compelled to obey. Although Canadian courts make rulings on First Nations questions, it’s a toss-up as to whether they can be enforced. In instance after instance we have seen judges issue orders, only to have them ignored by bands who maintain they’re not bound by “settler” or “colonial” law. The majority does not necessarily rule; a small but determined portion of a larger community can stymie the will of the others.

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Tom Kent: Tax reform key to reviving Liberals and social policies

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Nov 28, 2011
Both the Liberals and NDP campaigned in May for new social spending, to be financed by an increase in corporate taxes, an idea Kent dismisses out of hand… Increases in present taxes, on the scale required, would be disastrous for the economy. Federal revenues can indeed be much increased, but only by extending the bases from which taxes are effectively collected… The indictment of the NDP, as well as such left wing as remains in the Liberal party, is that their politicians have been as yet too timid to embrace and popularise progressive tax reform.

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Liberal road map to power still in pre-construction stage

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Nov 10, 2011
The Conservatives have brought US-style “permanent campaigning” to Canada. Their methods are now familiar. The next time around, their first objective will be, again, to define the new Liberal Leader before the Liberal Party can do it. They will spend millions of dollars on negative ads which will portray the Liberal Leader as odious, incompetent, self-centred, un-Canadian, soft on crime, tax-hungry, etc… Before he or she is chosen, we must set up the organization, solid financial base and communications capacity required to ensure that we, not the Conservatives, will present the new Liberal Leader to Canadians

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U.S. tax debate approaches battle over billionaires

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Aug 30, 2011
The congressional “supercommittee’ is beginning its efforts to reduce the deficit and one of the key points of dispute will be the Republicans’ insistence that a bigger tax on billionaires is bad. Republicans are against taxes on anyone at the moment, mainly due to fear of the tea party’s continued clout. But while it’s easy to justify opposition to tax hikes on the lower and middle classes, it gets trickier when the people affected have lots of money to spare.

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McGuinty puts unions first in debate over arbitration

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Aug 26, 2011
Although it appears rigorous and fair-minded on paper, in practice it works to feed a relentless spiral in public sector wages, while backing municipal governments into a corner. Local politicians find themselves in a trap: once an arbitrator anywhere in the province rules that one union group deserves a raise, every other union in the same job category demands an identical package. The local council can either resist and face labour disruption, or cave in and scramble to raise the money through higher taxes.

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Party platforms show gaping divide between Toryworld and Liberal-land

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Apr 12, 2011
The Conservatives believe Ottawa has a specific role in well-defined areas of responsibility and should stick to them; the Liberals see themselves ranging broadly over Canada, putting their hand in where they think there’s a need. The Conservatives believe budget certainty is key to providing other services, the Liberals see it as important but not a game-breaker… Mr. Harper’s government sees plenty more areas to come down hard on law-breaking, Mr. Ignatieff’s Liberals think the Tories are paranoid.

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A Liberal platform that might impress Canadians

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

March 10, 2011
… they have to convince voters they will do things differently… That means a written, detailed, comprehensive and clear-cut outline of the policies they would introduce to open up government and entrench rights and practices that are long overdue. For instance: • The elimination of all barriers that block Canadians from gaining access to government information… • No more secrecy around MPs’ own budgets and spending… • …committees with real power and the ability to force witnesses to appear and answer questions… • A strict new code of behaviour for Question Period…

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Sovereignty-Association becomes reality

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

December 29, 2010
It may not have its own passport, but to a great extent it has achieved sovereignty-association, the modified version of independence devised and pursued by Rene Levesque, the original father of a free Quebec. That the province has its own culture, customs, institutions and communal ambitions — unique from and oblivious to whatever may be happening in the English provinces – is taken for granted. Crucially, it has also devised a means to provide political separation at the point where the most formal representations of its place in Canada exist, at the federal government in Ottawa.

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Canada’s wishful thinking pension program

Monday, December 20th, 2010

December 20, 2010
Much as it violates official National Post dogma, the premiers appear to have reality on their side… Study after study shows that only a minority put any money into an RRSP, and usually only a fraction of what they’re allowed… As with Ottawa’s other voluntary plans, it sounds like a perfectly reasonable idea that would work great, except that the vast majority of people — especially those who need it — would never go near it… It’s easy to say it’s their own problem if they’re unwilling to prepare, but in the end they’ll end up turning to the state to look after them anyway.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | No Comments »

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