Frontier Radio Commentary
Provincial Budget Season (~2min) – March 22, 2013
It’s budget season, both in Ottawa and in many provinces, including the prairies! The word Austerity is top of mind as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba prepared their budgets this year. With a new debt crisis in the tiny Mediterranean nation of Cyprus, governments across the world are cutting spending. (~2 min.)
Frugal Public Management Can Fix Provincial Finances (~2min) – February 22, 2013
Budgets will be tabled in Ottawa and several provincial capitals over the next month or so. With the exceptions of Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, the bottom line will be a deficit in the hundreds of millions of dollars. What is the alternative when economic growth is not generating enough tax revenue to balance the books? (~2 min.)
Balancing the Needs of Rural and Urban Inter-City Bus Riders (~2min) – December 28, 2012
Many Canadians are traveling to visit friends and family right now – but perhaps less so than last year in parts of the prairies. Many communities have lost inter-city bus service. In Manitoba, the provincial government is ending subsidies to Greyhound, and Alberta is de-regulating inter-city bus services, resulting in fewer routes and higher fares. There is a case to be made for subsidizing rural routes that are not financially viable. (~2 min.)
Public-Private Partnerships a Valuable Tool for Upgrading Canada's Infrastructure (~2min) – October 26, 2012
Winnipeg sees itself as a leader among prairie cities in taking advantage of P3’s. Mayor Sam Katz was in Ottawa this week, appearing before the Commons Committee on Government Operations and Estimates. P3 stands for Private Public Partnerships. Katz says two major projects in Winnipeg are good examples of the effective levering of using federal dollars for infrastructure. (~2 min.)
Manitoba Land Tax Punishes Home Buyers (~2min) – June 8, 2012
Buying a new home in Manitoba has become a growing tax grab for the provincial government. The NDP government of Greg Selinger imposes a levy that punishes first time home buyers. It’s called a land transfer tax. In 2011, the average sale price of a home in Manitoba was $249,000, which meant a transfer tax to the province of $2,630. (~2 min)
Winnipeg Set to Pioneer Managed Competition? (~2min) – March 2, 2012
The city of Winnipeg is poised to deliver some of its services in a new and different way that can benefit both taxpayers and the city employees involved. Canadian cities are not known for innovative policies. Traditionally, they have chosen to raise property taxes to pay for expensive old style service delivery models. (~2 min)
Are Prairie Cities Dangerous? (~2min) – January 20, 2012
Maclean's magazine has published its annual list of Canada’s Most Dangerous Cities, and Manitoba and Saskatchewan are once again singled out. Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Regina finished in the top five for violent crime rates. But the reality is that Prairie cities are relatively safe. (~2 min)
Making Cities Work (SK) (~1min) – October 21, 2011
The road to hell is paved with unintended consequences, along with good intentions. In his new book Birth of a Boom: Saskatchewan’s Dawning Golden Age, David Seymour argues that the Planning and Development Act, passed in 2007, could slowly strangle this province. More on this week's radio commentary.
The Welfare State Has Failed (~2min) – August 5, 2011
During the global financial crisis we were told that capitalism had failed. Today it seems much more like the welfare state that is failing, with countries from Greece to the United States struggling to meet unsustainable government costs. (~2 mins)
All Canadians Deserve Fair Representation in Parliament (~2min) – June 30, 2011
Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently announced that the number of seats in the House of Commons would be expanded through legislation increasing the number of MPs from Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. Some politicians around the country have objected on the grounds that this legislation will dilute the influence of their own provinces. Hear more on this week’s Frontier Centre commentary.
Canada’s Public Sector Needs a Trimming (~2min) – June 10, 2011
The government wage bill is growing at an unsustainable pace. The federal budget reintroduced this week will swamp Ottawa in red ink for several years. The federal government won’t balance the books until around mid-decade – and that’s only if optimistic revenue projections prove accurate. Hear more on this week’s Frontier Centre commentary.
Will More Police Solve our Crime Problems? (~2min) – May 27, 2011
Canadian Big City mayors believe hiring more police officers will stem growing crime. But, is this true? Last fall, Mayor Sam Katz announced he would hire 58 additional police officers for Winnipeg. While no one disputes Winnipeg needs to tackle crime, especially in certain areas, it is not clear more police officers is the answer.Find out on this week’s Frontier Centre commentary.
We Need Your (Labor) Civil War (~2min) – March 11, 2011
Drive around Saskatchewan and you’ll see there is a civil war going on amongst building trade unions. In this week’s Frontier commentary, we argue that competition is a positive thing.
Your Taxes: Code for 'Collateral Damage' (~2min) – April 23, 2010
Taxes are lot like war in that they cause collateral damage. The problem is not that they never solve anything; the problem is that taxes cause collateral damage, in this case, to taxpayers who pay for all sorts of unnecessary subsidies.
Add Transparency To The Platform (~2min) – October 23, 2009
The old adage, “what isn’t measured isn’t managed” goes back as far as management itself. But, if this aphorism were to be taken seriously, we’d have to conclude that municipal operations are scarcely managed at all. From the Frontier Centre's weekly radio commentary that runs in 3 prairie provinces.
Expropriation Victory Demonstrates Need For Further Reform (~2min) – October 16, 2009
Traditionally, expropriation is only allowed for public utilities, such as roads and bridges, but allowing expropriation for economic development gives governments broad powers that can be easily abused. From the Frontier Centre's weekly radio commentary that runs in 3 prairie provinces.
Saving Rural Bus Service (~2min) – September 11, 2009
One answer is to be found in Europe where governments buy services from competing suppliers on routes that are operated for social policy reasons. From the Frontier Centre's weekly radio commentary that runs in 3 prairie provinces.
Municipal Performance Needs Better Measurement (~2min) – July 30, 2009
Senior Policy Analyst David Seymour reports that the dismissive response from some city managers to the National Municipal Performance Report has highlighted the sorry state of municipal performance measurement in Canada. From the Frontier Centre's weekly radio commentary that runs in 3 prairie provinces.
Accounting For Rural Roads (~2min) – July 16, 2009
From the Frontier Centre's weekly radio commentary that runs in 3 prairie provinces, Senior Policy Analyst David Seymour states that elsewhere in the world, rural municipalities facing similar challenges have developed their understanding of road maintenance to the point that they can justifiably charge exceptional users for abnormal usage.
No Such Thing As Free Parking (~2min) – July 4, 2009
From the Frontier Centre's weekly radio commentary that runs in 3 prairie provinces.