Financial Reality is Needed in Maritime Canada – April 3, 2012
I’d like to start my presentation with a warning. The warning is that I’m going to speak very frankly about difficult issues. I will be taking fundamental issue with the approach the federal government, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Manitoba have been taking in relation to the many subsidies the Government of Canada provides to regions.
What 18th-century Scotland and Saskatchewan Have In Common – October 21, 2011
A new book by David Seymour on Saskatchewan is reviewed where he argues the province could see a ‘golden age’ if it allowed decision making to be returned to the individual.
David Henderson, Economist – August 22, 2011
David Henderson, the author of Canada’s Budget Triumph, was interviewed August 10, 2011 during a recent visit to Winnipeg.
Birth of a Boom: Saskatchewan's Dawning Golden Age – August 15, 2011
Danielle Smith, Leader, Wildrose Alliance Party – November 30, 2010
Danielle Smith was interviewed after her Lunch on the Frontier speech in Winnipeg on November 22, 2010.
Transforming Manitoba – January 16, 2010
Manitoba’s old style public sector model has placed the province firmly outside of western Canada's mainstream.
Canada Needs to Rethink Equalization: MacKinnon – January 29, 2009
Canada’s 52-year-old equalization system is producing chronically dependent 'have-not' provinces and financially crippled 'have' provinces and should be scrapped, says a former policy adviser to the Nova Scotia and Ontario governments.
A Bunch of Have Beens – December 22, 2008
Lorrie Goldstein and Paul Rutherford try to answer the question, what's equal about equalization?
It’s Time to Wake Up from Equalization Nightmare – November 25, 2008
The dream of comparable services for all Canadians has turned into the nightmare of entrenched disparity and dependence. Canada is not made fairer by a system that rewards bad and irresponsible behaviour.
Equalization A Journey Into The Bizarre – November 17, 2008
However, most of the provinces receiving equalization don't need the money. The only reason they still receive it is that they have become dependent on it and every time someone suggests cutting them off, their politicians squawk until Ottawa backs down.
How To Get Ottawa To Take Ontario Seriously – November 11, 2008
We are fortunate that we don’t have a housing bubble that is nearly as serious as in Western Europe and the United States. However, we now better understand the nature of financial “bubbles” driven by excess and it is increasingly evident that we have our own. They are called Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and to a lesser extent, Quebec.
Equalization Reform Required – November 10, 2008
Defenders of equalization in its current form argue the program allows for roughly comparable levels of services in all provinces. Actually, it does not, which is why Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has long and justifiably complained about federal transfer programs. New equalization payments to Ontario will not change that.
Have-Not Status Is All About Gaming The Rules – November 9, 2008
Should Ontario ever change the slogan on its licence plates, it might consider a variation on a certain bank tagline. “We're richer than you think” would be a balm on the wounded self-esteem of Canada's newest have-not province.
Ontario Party Would Get Some Federal Attention – November 5, 2008
Now consider this scenario: The Ontario Party is formed in time for the next federal election and it has a simple focus. What's good for Ontario is good for the Ontario Party. There are 308 seats in the House of Commons, 106 of them representing Ontario. Just the existence of a credible party from Ontario would force the others to pay attention to us, but if the Ontario Party won even 30 seats, it would effectively prevent any of the big parties from winning a majority.
Advice For Ontario: Play hardball – November 3, 2008
The move would be provocative. It would be parochial. It could spark a serious federal-provincial clash. But maybe Premier Dalton McGuinty needs to cause a little trouble in Ottawa, says economist Hugh Mackenzie. Asking for a fair deal for Ontario hasn't done much good. So here is Mackenzie's idea: McGuinty should serve notice to the Prime Minister that Ontario intends to opt out of the Employment Insurance system and set up its own program.
McGuinty and Charest: a fine bromance – November 2, 2008
"My dispute is with Ottawa," he told reporters at the end of Ontario Chamber of Commerce "economic summit" to which he had invited Mr. Charest. "Ottawa makes the rules and we have to play by them." There is a surface logic to this argument but it ignores the fact that Ottawa was hoping in 2006 that the provinces could reach a consensus on equalization reform. It never came.
Three Questions For Ontario Candidates – September 21, 2008
The vice is tightening on Ontario and unfortunately the federal government is doing much to help it close. Ottawa is still taking about $80 million every working day from Ontario to fund subsidies, including equalization, for Manitoba, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.
The Death of a Nation – August 26, 2008
It is one thing to support a people that is oppressed by an authoritarian government and Tibetans are actually in danger of losing their culture. But it is more disturbing when people choose to break up nation-states because they refuse to share their wealth, for linguistic or ethnic reasons.
Equalization a Moral Failure – July 28, 2008
In our personal lives, we generally recognize three basic moral principles in our economic relationships with others. The first is to do everything we can to ensure that we do not become an unnecessary burden on our neighbours. The second is a core principle adopted from the practice of medicine. It is to do no harm. The third principle is to share where sharing is required but to do so in a way that does not breed dependence. The failure to measure the system against its principal goal means that federal regional subsidies fail this final moral test.
The Genius of Adam Smith – July 25, 2008
More fundamentally, Smith’s insights remain valid because he was not merely a supporter of markets and a critic of overweening governments, but also a student of human nature. Smith painted humans as complex and often internally conflicted creatures whose prudence, benevolence and ingenuity is nevertheless best encouraged in a free and open society with minimal government, clear laws and strong external defences.