Manitoba Government Spending Rising Rapidly – May 13, 2013
With provincial government expenditures rising far in excess of inflation since 1999, Manitoba does not have a case for raising any of its taxes, which are among the highest in Canada. The province clearly has a spending problem, not a lack of revenue problem, and simply needs to manage spending in more innovative and smarter ways.
Municipal Mythologies – December 9, 2011
In a world with scarce resources, people want more money spent on something than what is available. But that is not a “deficit.” Otherwise, we have health, education and social deficits, to name a few. In principle, optimal spending would be based on a benefit-cost calculus and programs rejected if benefits are less than cost.
How Declining Cities Can Reverse Their Fortunes – August 29, 2011
Florida economist Dean Stansel, who analyzed the growth records of the 100 most populous U.S. metropolitan cities across the past 30 years, says economic growth tracks state and municipal tax rates. The lower the rates, the greater the growth.
Diversity in Governance: A New Deal for Cities (Part 3 of 8) – January 30, 2011
Manitoba must adopt a new deal with its cities which is reflected in provincial legislation and changed attitude on the part of provincial leaders.
Mayor Responds to Tax Report – December 21, 2010
"Council is entering the 2011 budget planning process. This presents a great opportunity to review the findings of the report and ensure we provide good information in advance of budget setting to Council and the community."
New Website Measures Local Gov't Transparency – December 21, 2010
A Canadian think tank has embarked on an effort to satisfy the public's growing thirst for information in a digital age where people demand instant information at their finger tips - and want a say in how they access it to boot.
Kevin Libin: Why a backward approach makes city taxes go higher – December 18, 2010
Municipal tax hikes happen all the time. In most cities, denizens have come to accept them as an annual tradition, as arduous and inevitable as Lent or Yom Kippur. Still the question is: why do we accept them so apathetically? Canadians give no other level of government such easy licence.
National Post editorial board: Local politics matter – December 18, 2010
Where mayors and councilors have taken it upon themselves to improve citizens' access to timely, reliable budget information, improvements in local-government services has followed.
Maxime Bernier, Former Industry and Foreign Affairs Minister and MP for Beauce – May 27, 2010
You have to be out there. You have to explain what you believe in and I think people are intelligent. If you have a good idea and it is based on facts and you can explain it, I think people will understand and they will vote for you.
Your Taxes: Code for 'Collateral Damage' – April 19, 2010
Taxes have their place—but there are plenty of harmful unintended consequences when imposed improperly.
Ten Wishes For Ted Morton – January 19, 2010
Alberta has the chance to do some spectacularly good things for the province and the country because of its latest cabinet shuffle.
Transforming Manitoba – January 16, 2010
Manitoba’s old style public sector model has placed the province firmly outside of western Canada's mainstream.
Finances a Central Concern – October 28, 2009
"Saskatoon voters are telling city council candidates they're concerned about how taxes and spending on expensive projects are affecting the city. It's become one of the central election issues."
The Ultimate Tax On Economic Growth – October 7, 2009
Even in the best of times, Canada's capital gains taxes produce insignificant revenue. In 2006, a good year, federal and provincial governments collected $3.5-billion in capital-gain tax revenue - less than 1 per cent of total tax revenue. It's time to encourage entrepreneurial activity. It's time to release - for productive employment elsewhere - much of the brain power held needlessly captive by Canada Revenue.
How About a New Coalition—To Dump the Bloc’s Subsidies – August 13, 2009
The Tories, Liberals and NDP should work together to end political party subsidies for all parties—a sensible policy clearly now in their favour but not the Bloc’s.
Exult: Mayor Not a Crook – August 8, 2009
"Mayor Larry O’Brien has been found not guilty of influence peddling. How many municipalities can say with confidence that their mayor is not a criminal? This is the new yardstick by which we judge our politicians."
In Defence of Great Public Architecture – July 21, 2009
Most of what governments spend tax dollars on-—and too much--has to do with service delivery—-and not decent, beautiful public spaces. Governments should focus on reining in the former and investing in the latter.
Report Calls for 'User-Pay' System – July 14, 2009
"A local think-tank thinks the user-pay concept should apply to rural roads damaged by mining, forestry, oil and gas companies and other heavy users."
"User-Pays" Concept Urged for Rural Prairie Roads – July 14, 2009
"Using the 'exceptional user pays' principle, particularly heavy road users can be assessed for the disproportionate road damage their activities create and be charged accordingly."
Media Release - Better Accounting Could Solve Funding Headaches for Rural Roads – July 13, 2009
In other parts of the world, rural government jurisdictions faced similar challenges and responded by charging users in proportion to the exceptional damage they cause. This is the “exceptional user-pays” principle.