Women on the frontlines

by Catherine Swift

  Without trying to be overly dramatic, what is happening right now is a clash of civilizations, values, systems of government and freedoms. It’s vitally important to us all that we come out of this with these essential elements of our society intact. Pictured: Raheel Raza, Founder of the Council of Muslims of Antisemitism. Photo […]

Prairies pack a punch to Ottawa

by Catherine Swift

Alberta and Saskatchewan have courageously taken a leadership role within Canada on these issues for some time, and the rest of the country owes them a debt of gratitude. Pictured: Saskatchewan Minister of Crown Investments Corporation. Photo Credit: Regina Leader-Post/Troy Fleece. This week has been very eventful in terms of Alberta and Saskatchewan pushing back […]

Saskatchewan teachers strike out

by Catherine Swift

Everyone believes teachers should be properly paid – and they are. Endless demands from unions are a fact of life but often not justified. The more information everyone has about teachers’ and other public sector workers’ compensation and benefits, the better the support will be for governments which are fighting back against endlessly demanding unions […]

The media worm turns

by Catherine Swift

Perhaps this is taking place because the public opinion polls that show Trudeau losing the next election are finally causing much of the media that is being currently subsidized to consider how they will survive in a post-Trudeau world. Photo Credit: The Hill Times.    Ever since the Trudeau government started spending hundreds of millions […]

The economic disaster that is Justin Trudeau

by Catherine Swift

All governments promise more than they ultimately deliver, but with the Trudeau gang we can safely say Canadians were really sold an enormous lie. Photo Credit: PMO/Adam Scotti.   It’s no surprise to anyone but the most deluded Liberal partisans that the policies of the Trudeau government have been a disaster for Canada’s economy. But […]

Court rules against majority in Ontario

by Catherine Swift

The current course of ever-expanding governments costing the productive private sector more and more is not sustainable. Courts that always decide against the majority of citizens are a big part of the problem. The only answer is for we the majority to demand smaller, more efficient governments and tax reductions that will boost economic growth […]

Flirting with disaster in British Columbia

by Catherine Swift

As an unelected premier, Eby should be treading much more carefully. For a change as monumental as this, he is having a short consultation period which has been announced very quietly. It seems he would like to sneak this by BC citizens without giving them a fair chance to understand the issue and participate in […]

Ontario PCs in high spirits

by Catherine Swift

The politicians and party supporters were in high spirits, as any government would be if they were about midway through a second mandate in which they won an even bigger majority than in the first. That is not a common occurrence in politics, and the PCs are rightly proud of their record. Photo Credit: Twitter/Doug […]

Alberta pokes the beast

by Catherine Swift

The big news in social policy this week was the announcement in Alberta of a plan to manage the very touchy issue of gender rights, transgenderism and related identity issues as they pertain to children. This is truly a third rail political issue which most politicians are studiously ignoring despite its importance. Pictured is Alberta […]

Will it ever end?

by Catherine Swift

Will this unfair and unsustainable overcompensation of government employees ever end? It only will when Canadians decide they are sufficiently fed up to insist that governments deal with it and introduce a more reasonable pay scheme in which private and public sector are roughly equivalent and things like very generous pensions are factored into overall […]

Bossy boots goes to Davos

by Catherine Swift

Despite its own lack of knowledge about the operation of the Canadian economy and its various business sectors, this Liberal government does not undertake meaningful consultations with manufacturers and other businesses. Instead, it pursues foolish and unachievable ideological goals that have proven to be devastating for the economy and average Canadians. Pictured: Chrystia Freeland. Photo […]

Professional associations go woke

by Catherine Swift

  The last couple of years have seen growing opposition to “wokeness” as more and more people realize how ridiculous it is and that they have no interest in this affecting our freedoms and our lives. Photo Credit: National Post/Jordan Peterson.    Jordan Peterson’s current travails with the College of Psychologists of Ontario have hit […]

The boom falls on CEBA

by Catherine Swift

Small business owners are a resilient bunch and will ideally cope with the less-than-stellar economic conditions anticipated for the next year or two. If nothing else, this experience will inform businesses further about the dangers of believing government is trying to help. Photo Credit: The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette.    This week was the deadline for […]

Another expensive fiasco waiting to happen

by Catherine Swift

 As it seems we will have this clandestine Liberal government in Ottawa for at least some time to come, the best we can do is to publicize their plans and raise the alarm as to what this will mean for Canadian taxpayers and how, as usual, no cost-benefit analyses have been done. Unfortunately, the news […]

A smart move by the Ford government

by Catherine Swift

This recent decision to overturn an unrealistic OEB decision demonstrates a practicality that is sorely needed in many of our energy policy discussions today. Hopefully, that practical approach will prevail in future energy policy decisions in Ontario and the rest of Canada. Pictured is Minister of Energy Todd Smith. Photo Credit: X/Todd Smith.   As […]

Five fearless forecasts for 2024

by Catherine Swift

Here are five fearless forecasts for 2024, which will be revisited at the end of this year to see how right or wrong they turned out to be. Photo Credit: Getty Images.    As 2024 begins, it’s worth taking a shot at making predictions for the coming year and looking at some of the major […]

The Reckoning: Revisiting Predictions for 2023

by Catherine Swift

Examining hits and misses for 2023 encompassing economic, immigration, healthcare, political, and global aspects, offering insights into future trends. Photo credit: Unsplash As I have done in previous years, I am once again looking back at what I expected to happen in 2023 to see how right or off-base I was.  I have always had […]

Let’s Take a Pause

by Catherine Swift

Reflecting on Canada’s strengths amid ongoing challenges, highlighting national resilience and urging increased citizen engagement in shaping a brighter future. Photo credit: Pexels   Given that it is the holiday season, I wanted to put together a positive column about all the things we Canadians have to be grateful for instead of just criticizing this […]

A Complicated, Messy Dental Plan

by Catherine Swift

Government introduces the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP), a $13 billion initiative with complex eligibility rules and phased implementation. Questions arise over administrative hurdles, income-linked co-payments, and its potential impact on healthcare costs. Photo Credit: Pexels The federal government just released the details around their much-heralded dental plan, and is it ever a complicated mess. […]

Canada is an Unserious Country

by Catherine Swift

Canada’s support for the UN ceasefire motion in the Israel-Hamas conflict draws criticism, sparking debate over policy shifts and principles amidst global perspectives. Photo Credit: Eduardo Muñoz/Reuters   Weak men make for hard times. Trudeau and his Liberal government are largely composed of weak men and women, incapable of doing the right thing if the […]

Another Net Zero Shoe Drops

by Catherine Swift

Trudeau government faces criticism over disjointed climate policies, with multiple layers of taxes and regulations raising confusion and difficulties for compliance in the energy sector. Photo credit: Cenovus Energy   The long-awaited “emissions cap” that had been foreshadowed for months by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault was finally announced at the COP28 meeting in Dubai this […]

Is Diversity Our Strength?

by Catherine Swift

Recent survey results indicate a shift in Canadian perceptions of diversity and immigration, fueling discussions on societal values and integration. Photo Credit: Pexels Canada has long been known as a multicultural nation which has always welcomed immigration. Indeed, we are literally a country of immigrants, except for our First Nations citizens. Throughout our history, we […]

Surprise Switch-up from Ford and Chow

by Catherine Swift

Photo: Facebook/Mayor Olivia Chow Although there had been some hints of this possibility before, it was mostly a surprise that in a joint press conference this week Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow announced some major changes in provincial and municipal jurisdiction. The essence of the deal is that Ontario will take […]

CPP Investment Risks Rise

by Catherine Swift

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) undergoes a significant evolution, shifting from a traditional approach to investment towards a more politically aligned strategy, sparking concerns among investors about its impact on financial returns. Photo: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld   It seems that it’s not your father’s CPP anymore. For the first few decades of its existence, […]

Corporate Welfare Disaster – Again

by Catherine Swift

Photo: Pexels Who would ever have thought that the massive subsidies that the federal and some provincial governments are providing with our tax dollars to giant Electric Vehicle (EV) battery plants would become so controversial, so soon? According to some recent news revelations, it seems like pretty much everyone with a brain.  So far, the […]

Big Win for Plastics Industry

by Catherine Swift

Photo Credit: Pexels   The Federal Court delivered a big win to the plastics industry this week – and a big loss for Environment and Climate Change Canada Minister Steven Guilbeault.  For several years, the federal government has waged a virtue-signalling war on plastics, banning a number of plastic products such as plastic cutlery, checkout […]

COP Out

by Catherine Swift

COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai braces for a showdown over unmet COP21 goals and industry defiance. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick Oh joy, oh bliss. Another climate change conference will soon be upon us, this time held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates – that bastion of human rights & women’s rights – from November […]

Economic Freedom on the Decline in Canada

by Catherine Swift

Photo Credit: Fraser Institute   It’s been hard to miss all of the negative news on the Canadian economy lately. As such, it probably won’t come as a surprise to many Canadians that this year’s survey results on Economic Freedom that were made public this week find an ongoing deterioration in virtually all Canadian provinces […]

Ontario – Not Open for Business

by Catherine Swift

Photo Credit: Pexels   When the Ford Conservatives first won government in Ontario in 2018, the mood in the business community was buoyant. After almost 15 years of anti-business Liberal government under Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne, change was desperately needed. Detrimental Liberal policies, including extreme “green energy” laws that greatly increased energy costs, intrusive […]

Time to Rein in the Unions

by Catherine Swift

Canadian unions under fire for supporting Hamas: calls for reform in financial transparency and member choice. Photo: Flicker Labour unions have had a very comfortable time in Canada for decades, but recent events have confirmed that it is past time to rein in their extracurricular activities. Most Canadians have been appalled by the pro-Hamas stance […]

Liberals Say the Quiet Part Out Loud

by Catherine Swift

Gudie Hutchings, Liberal Minister for Rural Economic Development, comments surrounding Trudeau’s carbon tax reversal sparks controversy and questions about priorities. Photo Credit: Twitter/ctvqp Just in case anyone thought the Liberals were really concerned about climate change and in full support of all their many absurdly punitive so-called climate policies which ensure low- and middle-income Canadians […]

UBI Strikes Again!

by Catherine Swift

The debate over Universal Basic Income (UBI) reignites in Canada as Senate and House Bills Emerg. Photo credit: Senate of Canada.   The seemingly endless debate about Universal Basic Income (UBI) has become current once again in Canada as the Senate’s Finance Committee has undertaken to study a Bill intended to create a national framework […]

Math is racist

by Catherine Swift

At least, that’s what one advocacy organization in Ontario is seemingly trying to prove. Photo credit: Pexels/Vanessa Garcia   Yes, you read that right. This is just the latest incidence of lunacy in our public education system, and foolishly our so-called “justice” system played along. This all began when the Ontario government decided in 2018 […]

The false promise of pharmacare

by Catherine Swift

A look at the facts suggests that mucking around with the existing Canadian pharmacare system is a bad idea. Photo credit: People Images/Getty Images   Among all the other hot topics in our world today, the issue of pharmacare will likely be a key part of discussions in Ottawa at least until the end of […]

Alberta is on a roll

by Catherine Swift

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the federal Liberals’ Bill C-69 – the so-called ‘no more pipelines’ bill – was unconstitutional. The decision means a big change in federal-provincial relations, with the federal government much less able to inflict its extreme and economically harmful views, notably on environmental issues, on the provinces. […]

Alberta ad campaign a PR win

by Catherine Swift

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith. The Alberta government’s “Tell the Feds” advertising campaign is attempting to offset a lack of information from the federal government about its electrification agenda. Photo credit: Facebook/Danielle Smith   If you’ve been listening to the radio in Ontario recently, it would be hard to miss an advertising campaign from the Government […]

Thanksgiving tragedy in Israel

by Catherine Swift

While most Canadians reacted with justified horror to Hamas’ sadistic assault on Israel, there were many others in Canada who inexplicably supported the Palestinians’ actions. Academics, other leftists and some unions went public with messages of support for Hamas’ attacks. Photo credit: AP/Tsafrir Abayov   After this weekend’s horrific events in Israel, I find it […]

Big changes for Manitoba

by Catherine Swift

NDP secure majority. Wab Kinew (pictured) becomes Canada’s first-ever First Nations provincial premier. Photo credit: Facebook/Wab Kinew   This week’s provincial election in Manitoba has brought about a number of big changes. The major one is that the NDP won a majority government for the first time since 2016, when Conservative Brian Pallister took over […]

Saskatchewan plans to employ Notwithstanding Clause to protect parental rights

by Catherine Swift

Premier Scott Moe (pictured) said he was “extremely dismayed” by the court’s recent decision to grant an injunction halting the government’s “Parental Inclusion and Consent Policy” from moving forward. Photo credit: Twitter/Scott Moe   Once again, the threat of a provincial government other than Quebec to use the Notwithstanding Clause in the Canadian Constitution has […]

More than diplomatic harm done to Canada

by Catherine Swift

Growing tensions between India and Canada have the potential to significantly diminish trade exports and damage the Canadian economy, with Saskatchewan likely to take the biggest hit. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick   In the last 10 days or so, the focus has been on the harm to Canada’s international reputation as a result […]

More supply management foolishness

by Catherine Swift

Photo credit: Pexels/Pixabay   It didn’t get a lot of attention, but New Zealand recently won a trade dispute with Canada over market access for dairy products under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement. The dispute centered around Canada blocking market access to the New Zealand dairy industry. The New […]

More union-friendly legislation from the Liberals

by Catherine Swift

The government wants to prevent the use of replacement workers in federally-regulated workplaces in the event of a strike. Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan (pictured) called the proposed legislation “one of the most monumental changes to collective bargaining in Canadian labour history.” Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld   Now that the federal House of Commons […]

Are you ready to rumble?

by Catherine Swift

Cross-country protest, counter-protest regarding teaching of gender ideology in schools planned for this week. Photo credit: Getty Images   This is going to be one interesting week. Across Canada, opponents of radical gender ideology in our public school systems have organized a so-called “1 Million March for Children”. The key person behind this march is […]

Shocking First Nations’ lifespan data

by Catherine Swift

The average life expectancy of a First Nations man in Alberta has dropped to 60 years old. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons   It was truly shocking to recently discover that in the period from 2015 to 2021, the average lifespan of First Nations’ people in Alberta decreased by seven years. In 2015, the life expectancy […]

A winning convention

by Catherine Swift

The Conservatives held their first in-person convention in five years this past weekend. On effectively every front, it was a smashing success. Photo credit: Twitter/Pierre Poilievre   The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) policy convention in Quebec City wound up Saturday night after a very successful two and a half days of policy discussions, voting […]

Conservative convention has lively start

by Catherine Swift

Anti-woke retired Lt.-Gen Michel Maisonneuve delivers keynote address at the Conservative Party’s policy convention on Sept. 7, 2023. Photo credit: YouTube/CPAC   The Conservative Party of Canada is having its policy convention over the next few days, and it got off to a lively start Thursday evening with keynote speaker Michel Maisonneuve, retired Lt.-Gen and […]

More bad news on the economic front – and some good news!

by Catherine Swift

Photo credit: Getty Images   I’m starting to feel guilty. It’s not fun to continue to report bad news on the economy, but unfortunately there’s not much else out there right now. All economies run in cycles, and it certainly appears we are entering into a declining phase of that cycle at present. The unusual […]

Here we go again with the teachers’ unions

by Catherine Swift

Another September, another threat of strike. Photo credit: The Washington Post/Maddie McGarvey   If it’s September, we must be talking about a teachers’ strike in Ontario. Like clockwork, the teachers’ unions are rattling the sabres yet again as contracts expire and the school year is about to begin. The current demands are especially outrageous as […]

Stop the mayors!

by Catherine Swift

Most Canadians don’t realize that it is the municipal level of government that has been most active in embedding the foundation for the “woke” agenda we are seeing influencing government policies and corporate initiatives around the world. Pictured: Big City Mayors Caucus meets in Toronto, May 25, 2023. Photo credit: Twitter/FCM   Local politics typically […]

Another vote for common sense in education

by Catherine Swift

In the ongoing battle to bring common sense back into Canadian classrooms, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick are leading the charge. Pictured is New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs at a meeting of the Council of Atlantic Premiers in March 2022. Photo credit: Communications Nova Scotia   Earlier this week, Saskatchewan joined New Brunswick in defending parental […]

Complex wildfires have no simple solution

by Catherine Swift

Politicization of the issue from both sides doesn’t help the problem. Pictured is the ongoing wildfire in Kelowna, BC. Photo credit: AFP/Darren Hull via Getty Images   Once again, the politicization of an issue deters the achievement of workable solutions. The latest example is Canada’s profusion of wildfires this summer in many parts of Canada. […]

Go woke, go broke

by Catherine Swift

From private companies to public pension funds, countless entities have adopted a woke, ideologically-driven agenda in recent years– with some starting to pay the price. Photo credit: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan   The slogan “Go Woke, Go Broke” has achieved popularity recently as it seems that so many of the companies which have opted to follow […]

Bully governments never work

by Catherine Swift

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault is dead-set on imposing rigid, unrealistic climate objectives on the provinces. Photo credit: Twitter/Steven Guilbeault   If we ever wondered what it would be like to put a narrow-minded idealogue into a position of authority, we need wonder no more. Prior to Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault’s announcement last Thursday of the […]

Scandal! Another Ontario development saga

by Catherine Swift

This latest issue regarding the Greenbelt is unlikely to go away, and the Ford government is going to have to do something more substantive than keep insisting its approach is the right one. Pictured are Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, Sept. 10, 2018. Photo credit: Canadian Press/Christopher Katsarov […]

Alberta acts as spoiler again

by Catherine Swift

By imposing a six-month moratorium on large-scale wind and solar projects in the province, Alberta is trying to avoid what Ontario – and many places around the world – found out the hard way. Photo credit: University of Minnesota   Late last week, Alberta’s United Conservative Party government announced that it is imposing a six-month […]

The ‘fair share’ debate

by Catherine Swift

We consistently hear about how the so-called rich don’t pay enough tax. But is that really true in Canada? And in any instance, does punishing the most productive people in a society really help the overall economy? Photo credit: Getty Images/Gerardo Mora   We’ve been hearing a lot about the mythical “fair share” lately, notably […]

The latest plastics scam

by Catherine Swift

The Liberals are now banning compostable plastic bags. Pictured (left) is Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault. Photo credit: Twitter/Steven Guilbeault    So many of the measures that have been forced upon Canadians by the Liberal government in the name of the climate are pointless and more about virtue signaling and pretending to do something than actually […]

Productivity problems worsen

by Catherine Swift

In the mid-80s, Canada was still quite competitive with most developed countries in terms of productivity, but it has been all downhill since then – with productivity declining significantly after 2015. Photo credit: Flickr/Arild   Canada has had challenges keeping up with other countries in terms of its productivity performance for decades, but recent indicators […]

Our intractable drug problem

by Catherine Swift

There doesn’t appear to be any one easy solution to the escalating issue. But one thing’s for certain: what we are doing now is clearly not working.    Drugs of one kind or another have been a serious problem in Canada for decades, but in recent years things seems to be getting considerably worse. Part […]

Federal-provincial conflicts heat up over energy policy

by Catherine Swift

Top-down demands and impositions from the feds, by way of Trudeau’s climate czar Steven Guilbeault (pictured), has several provincial leaders up in arms. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Justin Tang   Recent weeks have seen a sharp increase in disagreements between some provinces and the federal government over the Liberal push to achieve its net-zero goals […]

Parents fight back

by Catherine Swift

More parents and grandparents in provinces across the country are starting to push back against the radical gender ideology being introduced to young children in schools. Photo credit: Getty Images   It took a while, but we are finally seeing groups of parents and grandparents fighting back in Ontario and other provinces against the ridiculous […]

Put up your dukes

by Catherine Swift

Premier of Alberta Danielle Smith and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced off in Calgary last Friday ahead of the city’s famous rodeo festival. Although both behaved themselves at the meeting, it is clear the stage is being set for a major conflict between the federal government and Alberta. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh   […]

New nukes for Ontario

by Catherine Swift

To help meet rising electricity demands, earlier this week the Ontario government announced development of a new large-scale nuclear power plant. Pictured is Minister of Energy Todd Smith announcing the project at Bruce Power’s Kincardine facility, July 5, 2023. Photo credit: Twitter/Todd Smith   This week, the Ford government announced that a new large-scale nuclear […]

Olivia Chow’s Toronto

by Catherine Swift

Both history and our current reality suggest this likely won’t end well. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Chris Young   Well, this is going to be interesting. Not especially good, but definitely interesting, as a test of a far-left Mayor of Toronto in Olivia Chow. Chow is being thrust into the largest city in Canada which […]

Small business recovery in peril

by Catherine Swift

All indicators point to more tough times ahead for the backbone of Canada’s economy. Photo credit: Pexels/Tim Douglas   Some recent data from various sources indicate that Canada’s small business community has yet to recover from the impact of the pandemic. As this sector represents about half of the economy, this is not a trivial […]

Cash is still king

by Catherine Swift

Though electronic transactions rule the modern marketplace, a recent survey from the Bank of Canada reveals four-in-five Canadians want to retain hard currency as a means of payment. Photo credit: Shutterstock/Stefan Malloch   In our modern technological world of debit cards, electronic financial transactions, and other means of moving money around the globe in split […]

Another sneaky waste of our tax dollars

by Catherine Swift

Granted charitable status and funnelled untold sums from government coffers, not-for-profit organizations promoting social and political causes, particularly the so-called ‘climate crisis’, continue to balloon in size, scope, and number across the country. Photo credit: Pexels/Cottonbro Studio   For some time now, there has been considerable growth in the number of not-for-profit organizations sucking up […]

Toronto mayoral race close to the finish line

by Catherine Swift

In a field of over 100 contenders, Olivia Chow (pictured) is the current front-runner, with Mark Saunders, Ana Bailao, Anthony Furey, and Josh Matlow jostling for second and third position. Photo credit: Twitter/Olivia Chow   There’s just a week left before we see who will succeed John Tory following his shocking departure from the Toronto […]

Prairie provinces’ utility corridor could be a game changer

by Catherine Swift

The notion of an east-west utility corridor from Alberta to Hudson Bay has been contemplated for decades. Pictured is Alberta Premier Danielle Smith. Photo credit: Government of Alberta/Chris Schwarz   Earlier this week, the Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba governments signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue the possibility of establishing a deep-water port at Port […]

Canada currently has a serious crime problem resulting in many innocent victims, yet authorities seem determined to focus on the criminals, repeatedly letting them out on bail or reducing their security classification. Pictured is a 2018 photo of Doug and Donna French, parents of Kristen French, one of serial killer Paul Bernardo’s several victims. Photo […]

What’s happening to public education?

by Catherine Swift

The unions have completely run amok, and our children and grandchildren suffer increasingly poorer quality, at times harmful instruction. Photo credit: Pexels/Ksenia Chernaya   The horror stories abound. In public schools, themes such as critical race theory, which teaches children that all white persons are oppressors and is terribly divisive of different groups on the […]

Small business challenges continue

by Catherine Swift

Recent report indicates small businesses are borrowing more and more taxpayer-backed loans from the government. Photo credit: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio   Despite some economic indicators that Canada’s economy is not doing too badly considering a general global slowdown, the state of small business does not seem to be very positive. A recent report from the federal […]

Quebec short of electricity? C’est impossible!

by Catherine Swift

  According to a new study, the province’s historical surplus of hydro power may be coming to an end, with the possibility of shortages occurring as early as 2027. Photo credit: Facebook/Hydro-Quebec   Quebec has long been known as the electricity powerhouse in Canada, generating the most electricity of any province with over 90 per […]

Conservatives win not-so-close battle in Alberta

by Catherine Swift

Predicted to end in a nailbiter on election night, on Monday Albertans awarded Danielle Smith’s UCP 49 seats in government, a comfortable 11-seat victory over Rachel Notley’s NDP. The UCP won 52.6 per cent of the popular vote, compared to 44 per cent for the NDP. Photo credit: Twitter/Danielle Smith   It was billed as […]

Is there such thing as a free lunch?

by Catherine Swift

An assortment of advocacy groups, teachers’ unions, and food banks recently penned a letter to provincial officials asking for the government to fund daily breakfast, lunch for all Ontario students. Photo credit: CBC   One of the best-known sayings of renowned economist and Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman is “There is no such thing as […]

Drug treatment debate heats up

by Catherine Swift

  Across Canada, how best to approach drug abuse and its societal effects varies from person to person and province to province. But with increased addiction driving an increase in random acts of violence around the country, Canadians on both sides of the violence deserve an approach that works. Photo credit: Sandy Hill Community Health […]

Breaking up isn’t hard to do

by Catherine Swift

Ford government has tabled legislation that, once passed, will start the process of dissolving Peel Region and splitting its constituent communities into single-tier municipalities. Pictured (left to right) at Queen’s Park on Thursday, May 18 are Caledon Mayor Annette Groves, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie […]

Electrification or bust!

by Catherine Swift

Though the business of electrification appears to be booming across Canada, average taxpayers won’t get to share in the economic benefits – in fact, they’re the ones footing the bill. Pictured is Ontario’s Minister of Energy Todd Smith speaking at Electricity Canada’s recent Regulatory Forum. Photo credit: Twitter/Todd Smith   Recent days have seen announcements […]

Alberta under fire

by Catherine Swift

Currently one-third of the some 100 wildfires taking place across Wild Rose Country are considered ‘out-of-control’. Complicating the entire situation is the fact that Alberta is in the throes of an ultra-competitive provincial election campaign and mere weeks away from E-Day. Photo credit: The Canadian Press   For several weeks, Alberta has been besieged by […]

The never-ending public/private health care debate

by Catherine Swift

A new round of opposition to the Ford government’s ongoing desire to supplement the current health care model with more private alternatives recently kicked up again in earnest. If you listened to the activist groups, you would think that all the current system was in public hands. Yet, about 40 per cent of health care […]

Education and employment relationship changes

by Catherine Swift

A recent study from the federal government is shedding new light on the decades-long assumption that more education automatically means better job prospects and pay.    For decades, the relationship between a post-secondary degree and ultimate job prospects was very clear. Degree holders were consistently more likely to be employed and earn more than those […]

The censorship boom falls

by Catherine Swift

The Trudeau Liberals’ highly-controversial, long-scrutinized Internet censorship legislation, Bill C-11, quietly passed the Senate last Thursday on route to officially becoming law. While few seemed to notice, the Bill’s passing is a major legislative development that almost all Canadians should be concerned about. Photo credit: Facebook/Pablo Rodriguez   Justin Trudeau’s censorship legislation, Bill C-11, passed […]

Unequal equalization

by Catherine Swift

Last week, the Liberal government very quietly indicated its intention to extend the current equalization formula until 2029. The formula, which sees billions of dollars transferred from wealthier provinces to “have nots” each year, largely benefits Quebec and the Atlantic provinces at the expense of Alberta. Pictured is Alberta Premier Danielle Smith alongside Prime Minister […]

Thumbs down on ESG

by Catherine Swift

A new study from the Fraser Institute outlines some of the issues with the environment, social and governance (ESG) framework many businesses have adopted (or were forced to adopt) in recent years, including challenges related to standardization and reporting. Photo credit: Forbes/Getty Images   Just as the whole ESG (environment, social and governance) regime is […]

A summer of labour union discontent

by Catherine Swift

The widespread labour unrest is taking different forms around the world, with unions in France, the UK, US, and Canada all flexing their collective muscles at the same time. At home, the current federal government strike is the largest single public sector strike in around two decades. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick   In […]

Another disappointing Supreme Court decision on health care

by Catherine Swift

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal from Dr. Brian Day of the Cambie Surgery Centre in BC. For years, Dr. Day (pictured) has advocated for Canadians’ right to pay for private medical care. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck   Canadians know their health care system is in rough shape. […]

More jurisdictional intrusion?

by Catherine Swift

Canada’s federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld   Did the federal government, in the person of Justice Minister David Lametti, really say earlier this week that he would consider taking over provincial jurisdiction for natural resources in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba? Well, yes […]

We’re being punk’d

by Catherine Swift

This federal government’s anti-democratic, self-aggrandizing, increasingly-costly behaviour makes one seriously consider: is this all just a giant practical joke on the Canadian people courtesy of Trudeau and gang?   When you look at the current state of affairs in Canada, it is getting harder and harder to believe that most Canadians are not being punk’d […]

The balancing act of Generation Z

by Catherine Swift

Studies and surveys indicate Generation Z values work-life balance more than any other generation to date. Its members, the oldest of whom are now in their mid-20s, are resistant to working long days, do not want to respond to emails on weekends and evenings, and value mental health and time off more than the daily […]

A tale of two budgets

by Catherine Swift

The provincial government released its 2023 budget last Thursday, while its federal counterpart did the same earlier this week. Though both economic plans contain their fair share of high- and lowlights, the document produced by the feds houses noticeably more of the latter. Pictured is Ontario Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy. Photo credit: Twitter/Peter Bethlenfalvy […]

The Alberta-Ontario nexus

by Catherine Swift

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith (pictured) recently sat down with the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada. Among other topics, she discussed the interdependencies and interconnectedness of Alberta and Ontario, as well as the intrusion of the federal government into provincial jurisdiction. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld   Last Friday, we at the […]

Broken immigration system hurts communities

by Catherine Swift

In recent years, tens of thousands of migrants have illegally traversed the US-Canada border via Quebec’s Roxham Road. Many of these illegal migrants have since been transferred to border communities around Ontario, including Niagara Falls, Cornwall, and Windsor. Photo credit: The Globe and Mail   The mess that continues to grow from the ridiculous Roxham […]

Plastic – it’s fantastic!

by Catherine Swift

Despite certain government actors and activist groups trying to paint the material with a broad brush of all-bad-all-the-time, the benefits of plastic abound. Photo credit: AMAC Technologies   The federal government’s foolish and misinformation-driven war on plastics continues. After implementing a ban on the manufacture and importation of a handful of plastic products such as […]

Too many eggs in the EV basket?

by Catherine Swift

On Monday, the provincial and federal governments announced that Volkswagen picked southwestern Ontario to build its first electric vehicle battery plant in North America. The announcement was met with much fanfare. But is all this money being thrown at EVs a good use of our tax dollars and the focus from governments, or just the […]

An eye-opening FAO report

by Catherine Swift

The latest report from Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office laid out a number of disturbing findings about the province’s health care situation, including a shortage of 33,000 nurses and PSWs by 2028. Photo credit: Pexels/Rodnae Productions   Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office (FAO) has historically provided solid research and analysis on a range of issues pertaining to […]

Tax revolt time

by Catherine Swift

Canadians get the worst of both worlds – high taxes and poor public services. Perhaps it’s time for a change. Photo credit: Getty Images via Bloomberg   Get out the torches and pitchforks Canadians. A number of recent polls and studies have found that a strong majority of Canadians believe they are overtaxed and not […]

Alberta’s election budget

by Catherine Swift

Premier Danielle Smith and Finance Minister Travis Toews (pictured) struck a reasonable balance between increased spending and posting a surplus. The happy combination was made possible by strong prices in the oil and gas sector boosting government revenues. With Alberta’s next provincial election only three months away, Smith hopes her first budget at the helm […]

The sustainable jobs nothingburger

by Catherine Swift

For now, the only part of the Liberals’ Sustainable Jobs Plan that could actually be called a plan is the hiring of more government workers. Pictured is Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick   After three years of jabbering on about the so-called “Just Transition”, the federal Liberals recently came […]

The enduring appeal of socialism

by Catherine Swift

A recent multi-national study commissioned by the Fraser Institute revealed, among other findings, that many people – particularly young people – continue to view socialism as the ideal economic system.    Over the decades, different political directions and trends come and go, depending on the conditions at the time and the appeal of various politicians. […]

An ode to the importance of family

by Catherine Swift

In recent years, much has been said about the decline of the family and the resultant social and economic impacts of that phenomenon. But what it often seems to come down to is how the prevailing structure of family is defined and how it has changed. Photo credit: Pexels/Arina Krasnikova   Having just experienced a […]

Hey CEOs, stop ‘just transitioning’ yourselves out of business

by Catherine Swift

The corporate heads who don’t speak up against bad government policies might think they are being constructive by going with the flow, but they don’t do anyone any favours in the long run, including themselves.    The first time I saw a bunch of CEOs from large energy companies lined up behind politicians who were […]

The 15-minute city

by Catherine Swift

 It’s a concept catching fire among (mostly) left-wing, climate-concerned circles. Photo credit: Pexels/Pixabay   You’ve got to hand it to them – the left really do have a way with words.  One of the latest fads that is being bandied about by the woke set is the 15-minute city. It basically entails the concept that […]

Reality hits home

by Catherine Swift

The shift away from fossil fuels to renewables is not easy, nor cheap. Natural gas remains critical to the province’s electricity grid and isn’t going away anytime soon, as plans for two new gas turbines in Windsor demonstrate. Pictured is Capital Power’s East Windsor Cogeneration Centre. Photo credit: CHA   Following decades of fantastical assumptions […]

Shameless public sector unions up the ante

by Catherine Swift

Already better compensated and more secure in their respective positions than their private sector counterparts, public sector employees – at least, the unions that represent them – are coming back to the taxpayer trough for yet more feed. Photo credit: PSAC   Recent weeks have seen a veritable frenzy of public sector unions demanding outrageous […]

Fairness needed for Canadian manufacturers

by Catherine Swift

The current federal government in particular does not seem overly concerned about defending Canadian businesses, and is too lenient when enforcing the law against foreign companies. Photo credit: Fiat Chrysler Automotives   Amid the massive increases in taxation and regulatory red tape that has been introduced in recent years by the Trudeau government in the […]

Though some unions, certain public officials, and political activists may not like the increase in private sector provision of health care in the province, a greater mix of public and private providers will bring better outcomes for suffering Ontarians. Pictured is Ontario Minister of Health Sylvia Jones. Photo credit: Twitter/Sylvia Jones   That sound you […]

Manitoba Conservatives jump ship

by Catherine Swift

Over a quarter of the governing PC Party caucus is not seeking re-election this October. Opinion polls indicate Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson (pictured) is one of the least popular provincial leaders in Canada right now. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/David Lipnowski   In recent weeks, a record number of Progressive Conservative Members of the Legislative […]

Atlantic jurisdictions push UBI

by Catherine Swift

Earlier this week, yet municipal council on Canada’s east coast passed a resolution calling for a guaranteed basic livable income. Pictured is Saint John, New Brunswick mayor Donna Noade Reardon. Photo credit: Facebook/City of Saint John   It seems that yet another municipal government has not read the literature on UBI (universal basic income). This […]

Not a very ‘just transition’

by Catherine Swift

The Trudeau government’s anticipated new energy strategy will be bad news for Albertans, and the Canadian oil and gas sector as a whole, but good news for Premier Danielle Smith’s election chances. Photo credit: Winnipeg Free Press   After talking about it for almost two years, and distributing a discussion paper in 2021, it seems […]

Politicizing issues delays solutions

by Catherine Swift

From the climate change issue to how best to treat drug addiction, censoring opinions and statistics based on political lines has become more commonplace in recent years. Photo credit: Britannica   High profile issues of the day have always been politicized to some extent, but this has been happening to an alarming degree in recent […]

Five fearless forecasts for 2023

by Catherine Swift

What will next year bring in terms of the economy, Canadian politics, and international affairs? For the fourth straight year, Swift makes her predictions. Photo credit: Getty Images/Cole Burston    For the fourth year running, I am going to once again try my hand at making some predictions about what is to come in 2023 […]

The reckoning: revisiting predictions for 2022

by Catherine Swift

Spot on in some areas, off base in others, but bold in their making, nonetheless. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick   As promised, I will now revisit the five predictions I made in my Niagara Independent column at the end of 2021 for this past year and see how off base I was. Most […]

A mixed bag in 2022

by Catherine Swift

It was an interesting year for Canadians filled with both good and bad, kicked off by the truckers’ convoy in January and February. Photo credit: Getty Images/Spencer Platt   To say that 2022 was an eventful year for Canada is an understatement. Slowly emerging from the pandemic early in the year, Canadians were still plagued […]

Self-serving union survey misses the mark

by Catherine Swift

Characterizing private health clinics as “for-profit”, as if profit in any and every form is inherently a bad thing, is all part of the conditioning Canadians experience on a regular basis. Photo credit: Twitter/OFL   The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), a federation comprised of 54 labour unions in the province, released the results of […]

The shocking cost of electrification

by Catherine Swift

Decarbonizing Ontario’s already clean electricity system would not only be shockingly expensive, but it would also significantly reduce reliability. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette   Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), the Crown corporation responsible for operating the electricity market in the province, recently published a study responding to the Energy Minister’s request to […]

A taxing year ahead

by Catherine Swift

Courtesy of your federal Liberal government. Photo credit: Reuters/Blare Gable   As if all the talk about a looming recession wasn’t enough, we also know that Canadians will be facing a number of tax increases in 2023, courtesy of the federal Liberal government. For starters, both Employment Insurance premiums and Canada Pension Plan premiums will […]

Premiers’ year-end approval ratings

by Catherine Swift

Francois Legault (pictured) leads the pack, with nearly six-in-ten Quebecers displaying a favourable view of the Premier. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Jacques Boissinot   The Angus Reid Institute has come out with its regular survey of approval ratings for Canada’s Premiers and as usual there is good news for some and coal in the stockings […]

Saskatchewan takes action toward autonomy

by Catherine Swift

Alberta’s recent efforts to better protect itself from federal encroachment on its internal affairs have received a lot of attention lately, but Saskatchewan is making similar moves toward greater provincial autonomy. Pictured is Premier Scott Moe. Photo credit: Twitter/Scott Moe   Alberta may be getting most of the attention with its Alberta Sovereignty Within a […]

Oil and gas investment avoids Canada

by Catherine Swift

High taxes, environmental regulations, and land claim issues, among other concerns, make Canada’s oil producing provinces some of the least attractive jurisdictions in which to do business. Photo credit: Flickr/Jason Hargrove    If there was still any doubt, a recent Fraser Institute study shows how various Canadian federal government policies have damaged the prospects for […]

Lots to chew on in AG’s latest annual report

by Catherine Swift

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk (pictured) released her yearly assessment of the province’s financial manaveurs on Wednesday. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Aaron Vincent Elkaim   The annual Ontario Auditor General’s report was released this week, with its usual litany of financial and policy missteps by the provincial government and its agencies. Not surprisingly, some of […]

Carbon taxes hit the east

by Catherine Swift

Atlantic residents will soon be paying considerably more to heat their homes and fill their tanks, as the federal government is set to impose its carbon tax on Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and PEI. Pictured is Premier of Nova Scotia Tim Houston. Photo credit: CBC/Rob Short   The latest provinces to be hit by […]

Big changes in Alberta

by Catherine Swift

Premier Smith (pictured) is doing precisely what she said she would do, plus more. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Jason Franson   Newly-minted Alberta Premier Danielle Smith isn’t wasting any time making changes. Less than two months into the job, she has fired the entire Board of the Alberta Health Services (AHS), fulfilling a leadership campaign […]

Pension fund follies

by Catherine Swift

In losing nearly $100 million to a volatile cryptocurrency investment, and by committing to the ESG narrative, two of Canada’s largest and traditionally most successful public pension funds demonstrated that they’re hardly immune to poor judgement and being swept up by the flavour of the week. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Cole Burston   The spectacular […]

It’s always about the money

by Catherine Swift

Despite claims to the contrary, when it comes to public sector labour negotiations in Ontario, it is, has been, and always will be precisely about the money. Pictured is president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions Laura Walton, Nov. 16, 2022. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Chris Young   In the context of labour […]

Dark clouds over Fall Economic Statement

by Catherine Swift

As economic slowdown looms, province delivers fairly tame, boring mini-budget – but perhaps that’s a good thing. Pictured is Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy presented the Fall Economic Update this week, and not surprisingly the news wasn’t great. In anticipation of a widely expected economic slowdown, […]

Prairies push back

by Catherine Swift

The current federal government has had a habit of interfering with areas of provincial jurisdiction, and it is long overdue that certain provinces begin to push back. Pictured is Premier of Saskatchewan Scott Moe. Photo credit: Facebook/Scott Moe   Canada’s Prairie provinces – Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba – have good reason to be perturbed about […]

More health care spending not the answer

by Catherine Swift

Canada already has one of the highest levels of per capita health care spending among developed countries in the world, and citizens are hardly getting good bang for their buck. Thus, the country’s Premiers should stop spending time and money asking the federal government for more taxpayer dollars and instead concentrate their efforts on garnering […]

Mass walkout a betrayal of students, families and taxpayers

by Catherine Swift

The “day of protest” is ostensibly a response to the Ontario government tabling back-to-work legislation intended to prevent education workers from striking. Pictured is head of the Ontario Federation of Labour Patty Coates during a news conference at Queens Park on Monday alongside OSBCU president Laura Walton (left) and CUPE president Fred Hahn. Photo credit: […]

Ford should testify at Emergencies Act inquiry

by Catherine Swift

To date, Ontario’s Premier has resisted all calls to take part in the public hearings currently underway in Ottawa. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Arlyn McAdorey   It is mystifying why Ontario Premier Doug Ford continues to adamantly resist appearing before the Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC), currently the hottest political ticket in Canada.  Ford has […]

More imbalanced labour laws are bad news for Canada

by Catherine Swift

The whole notion of collective bargaining is predicated on there being a reasonable balance between the union and the employer. Prohibiting the employer from bringing in other workers to carry on operating severely upsets this balance, leaving far too much power in union hands. Photo credit: CityNews   The federal Liberals just announced they are […]

Be sure to vote in upcoming municipal election, but vote wisely

by Catherine Swift

Municipal elections historically drive the fewest number of voters to the ballot box. However, of all levels of government, the local level touches most citizens more directly and frequently than its provincial and federal counterparts – and not just in terms of basic services and policing. In recent years, municipal governments have become increasingly more […]

Public sector cost pressures rising

by Catherine Swift

Overall spending on Ontario public sector salaries has increased from about $36.3 billion in 2011 to $48.2 billion by 2022, about 2.9 per cent annually. It’s projected the wage bill will reach $56.9 billion by 2027, assuming average annual increases of 3.4 per cent. Clearly, an ever-increasing public sector funded by a shrinking private sector […]

A big week in provincial politics

by Catherine Swift

Premier Francois Legault won a resounding re-election victory in Quebec on Monday, while Danielle Smith became the new Premier of Alberta Thursday night. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson and Jonathan Hayward   Two major developments this week promise to have a big impact on provincial and federal politics in Canada for the next few […]

Death by taxes for Eastern Canada

by Catherine Swift

Recent analysis demonstrates taxpayers in Canada’s Atlantic provinces pay significantly more in personal income and sales taxes than their western counterparts. Pictured is Spinnaker’s Landing in Summerside, PEI. Photo credit: PEI Tourism/Stephen DesRoches   Whenever an election looms, all politicians claim to want to provide tax relief for the “middle class”.  This is a logical […]

NDP hypocrisy, as interim leader talks energy policy

by Catherine Swift

Peter Tabuns (pictured) recently decried the Ford government for raising natural gas prices. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Chris Young   We are all accustomed to the enduring hypocrisy of politicians by now, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be challenged. The latest instance came from MPP Peter Tabuns, interim Leader of the Ontario NDP. Tabuns […]

Another hit on housing costs

by Catherine Swift

A recent study found that to meet the Liberal government’s 2030 climate targets Canada would need to retrofit over half a million residences annually with electric heat pumps, at an average cost of $18,000 a pop.    The climate chickens are coming home to roost. In the early days of policies which were justified on […]

Energy insecurity awaits

by Catherine Swift

A number of Canadian jurisdictions are proceeding with plans to continue on the so-called “decarbonization” bandwagon and move away from more reliable and affordable energy sources. Pictured is Ontario’s Lennox Generating Station, dual-fuelled by oil and natural gas. Photo credit: OPG   All indications are that Europe is facing the prospect of a very difficult […]

Electoral boundary changes controversial as always

by Catherine Swift

The changes take place every 10 years and never fail to ruffle a few feathers. Quebec, for example, was set to lose one seat based on current criteria – an act deemed wholly unacceptable by the powers that be.    Following each national census conducted after a 10-year period, the Canadian Constitution requires that federal […]

The kids aren’t alright

by Catherine Swift

A recent study showed that Canada’s under-30 crowd is generally pessimistic about the future, especially in regard to employment, income, and the possibility of home ownership. Photo credit: Pexels/Liza Summer   Some very interesting research was published by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI) recently regarding the state of mind of young Canadians and their expectations regarding […]

Poilievre win signals new direction

by Catherine Swift

One that views business as a good thing, instead of something to over-regulate, over-tax, and stifle based on industry. Pictured Poilievre addresses Conservative caucus members for the first time as leader in Ottawa on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick   It was a blowout by all metrics. Pierre Poilievre decisively […]

More challenges to plastics ban

by Catherine Swift

Alberta has joined dozens of industry manufacturers in Canada challenging the federal government’s ban on single-use plastics ban. Premier Jason Kenney (pictured) recently commented that the federal policy intrudes on provincial jurisdiction and is yet another Trudeau government initiative harmful to Alberta economic interests. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Chad Hipolito    The province of Alberta […]

The Alberta Sovereignty Act pushes back

by Catherine Swift

Should current favourite for the job Danielle Smith (pictured, centre) become the new UCP leader on October 6, she has vowed to introduce legislation designed to better protect Alberta’s provincial interests against federal encroachment and predation later this year. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh    It is said that the definition of insanity is […]

The state of the unions

by Catherine Swift

At right around 31 per cent, Canada has one of the world’s highest unionization rates. However, not all Canadian sectors are created equal, with a stark contrast in rates between the private versus public sectors. Photo credit: Toronto Star/Bernard Weil   In honour of Labour Day, it’s worth having a look at what Canadian labour […]

‘Quiet quitting’ – it’s a thing

by Catherine Swift

Though hardly a new concept, the pandemic has revitalized and made more acceptable the notion of putting in the bare minimum while on the clock.     There has been quite a bit of discussion in the media and workplaces of late about a supposedly new trend that is being called “quiet quitting”. This refers to […]

Small business pandemic carnage

by Catherine Swift

The true extent of the economic damage inflicted by the pandemic and its associated government policies on Canada’s mom-and-pop shops will take years to be fully realized and revealed. However, for preliminary illustration, a recent survey found that 17 per cent of small businesses across the country were preparing to close permanently because of inordinately […]

Ontario health care changes – they’re a start

by Catherine Swift

Probably the most important of the many changes announced this week by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones (pictured) is the expansion of surgeries to private facilities, while still having these procedures covered by OHIP. Photo credit: Twitter/Sylvia Jones   The Ford government announced the latest phase of its so-called “Plan to Stay […]

The ‘strong mayor’ debate

by Catherine Swift

New legislation introduced by the province would give the mayors of Ontario’s two largest cities, Toronto and Ottawa, the ability to streamline important decisions. Mayor of Toronto John Tory (pictured left, beside Premier Doug Ford) said he is in favour of the change. Mayor of Ottawa Jim Watson (not pictured) said he doesn’t see the […]

The three deadly words

by Catherine Swift

Ontario Legislative Building in downtown Toronto. High cost and poor performance are hallmarks of the public sector, and they are brought about and maintained across the country by a single phenomenon: unionized government monopoly. Photo credit: OLA   The hits just keep on coming. Blacklock’s Reporter, an independent media organization that does not take bailouts […]

Is Scott Moe Canada’s Ron DeSantis?

by Catherine Swift

Premier of Saskatchewan Scott Moe (left) and Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis (right). Photo credit: 980 CJME/Lisa Schick and AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack   Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has developed a reputation for pushing back against a range of leftist government policies including Critical Race Theory in the public education system to, most recently, what he […]

When will the green madness end?

by Catherine Swift

Ontario and other Canadian provinces stand to learn a thing or two from places like Germany (pictured) and Sri Lanka about the real-life consequences of over-reliance on “green” energy solutions and succumbing to climate change zealotry. Photo credit: Getty Images/Sean Gallup   As the evidence continues to pile up about how “green” policies are beggaring […]

Stop the presses! Nova Scotia pauses pay raises for provincial politicians

by Catherine Swift

Premier Tim Houston (pictured) recently stated, “when inflation is at a 40-year high, gas prices are at historic levels and many hard-working Nova Scotians are struggling to make ends meet, it is not the time to increase the pay of MLAs.” Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan   Something truly shocking happened recently and did […]

Provinces seek more control over immigration

by Catherine Swift

With an ever-growing backlog of new applicants, and significant need for more labour across the country, one would think the Trudeau government would jump at the opportunity for help from its provincial counterparts. And yet, as is typical with this federal government, the Liberals are dragging their feet, promising to ‘look into’ the problem. Pictured […]

It’s not about the climate

by Catherine Swift

 If it was, all these government policies and plans would exhibit far greater internal consistency. Photo credit: PMO/Adam Scotti   A number of recent regulatory measures in Canada and abroad that are supposedly aimed at achieving various climate-related objectives contain some interesting inconsistencies that warrant attention.  Last week, the Fraser Institute released a study examining […]

Ontario finance news misrepresented by Opposition – again

by Catherine Swift

A recent FAO report indicates the provincial government spent several billion less than planned in the last fiscal year: an otherwise good news story that members of the Ontario NDP – like finance critic Catherine Fife (pictured) – are trying to twist as harmful “underspending”.  Photo credit: Twitter/Catherine Fife   The most recent Expenditure Monitor […]

Health care in peril

by Catherine Swift

Most politicians and many Canadians continue to promote the fiction that our badly broken health care system continues to be viable and among “the best in the world”. But, at present, the only people benefitting from the current health care system are the public sector unions. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson   The horror […]

Dissatisfaction out east

by Catherine Swift

A recent poll indicates that the vast majority of residents in the Atlantic provinces are none too pleased with their respective governments’ performance when it comes to health care, among other issues. Pictured is Fredericton, New Brunswick. Photo credit: Atlantic Traveller   A recent public opinion poll by the Angus Reid Institute has highlighted a […]

The impossible green dream

by Catherine Swift

Fully 32 Ontario municipalities, including most notably Ottawa, have bought in to the notion that they will be able to phase out natural gas in the coming decades while doing no credible planning on exactly how reliable, relatively affordable gas can be replaced by unreliable and costly renewables. Photo credit: University of Ottawa    The […]

Do you know what your children are learning?

by Catherine Swift

Hint: it’s no longer just 2+2=4. Photo credit: Pexels/Ksenia Chernaya    Evidence that our public school system is too “woke” for its own good – and the good of its students and taxpayers – has been clear for some time. Recently, however, there have been a number of episodes in Ontario and other jurisdictions which […]

Doug Ford’s big fat Cabinet

by Catherine Swift

After winning another majority mandate last month, Premier Ford expanded his Cabinet to 30 members and significantly increased the number of parliamentary assistants that will work alongside his executive council. Pictured: Ford shakes hands with Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell outside Queen’s Park in Toronto before naming his new Cabinet, June 24, 2022. Photo credit: CBC/Evan […]

More dumb housing policy

by Catherine Swift

The latest entry in the dumb housing policy sweepstakes was submitted by the Ontario government, which earlier this week opted to cap the 2023 permitted rent increase to 2.5 per cent. Photo credit: Homestead   It seems like the only policies governments implement these days to supposedly deal with the housing crisis in Canada are […]

Paid sick days back on the agenda

by Catherine Swift

The Ford government’s pandemic-era Worker Income Protection Benefit is slated to expire at the end of July. Naturally, labour advocates are scrambling to ensure the program gets enhanced, or at the very least extended. Pictured: Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton. McNaughton introduced the benefit program back in April 2021 […]

Basic income under the microscope again

by Catherine Swift

A recently-published study from the Halifax-based Atlantic Provinces Economic Council – one of many from recent years – explored the feasibility of a basic income program on Canada’s east coast.    Yet another study has come out examining the feasibility of a basic income system. As you may recall, such a system – also known […]

Brace yourself for more inflation

by Catherine Swift

As a new round of union negotiations gets underway, expect any resultant public sector pay raises to increase everyday costs for the 80 per cent of Canadians who do not work for the government. Pictured: Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) members rally for “fair wages” in Ottawa, June 8, 2022. Photo credit: Facebook/PSAC   […]

Where’s the beef?

by Catherine Swift

Another major Alberta industry becomes target of Ottawa meddling. Photo credit: Facebook/Alberta Beef Producers   You have to wonder if there is a special section within the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) whose sole function is to come up with ways to torment Alberta.  If implementing a bunch of policies detrimental to the oil and […]

Be careful what you wish for

by Catherine Swift

An organization named the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) recently released an open letter calling on the federal government to implement a “tobacco-style ban” on fossil fuel advertising in Canada. Erroneous comparisons aside, the group of doctors completely failed to acknowledge all of the good things produced by fossil fuels, including (ironically) […]

Public schools under pressure

by Catherine Swift

Having gained a glimpse into Ontario’s ever-devolving school system during the pandemic, more and more parents are pulling their kids out of public education in favour of independent alternatives and homeschooling. Photo credit: Pexels/Gustavo Fring   One of the unexpected side-effects of the pandemic was that, as students were required to stay at home and […]

Justice under the microscope

by Catherine Swift

Recent weeks have seen a number of developments on the criminal justice front, none of which should encourage Canadians who value fair and equitable treatment under the law and decent consideration of victims’ rights. Pictured is the Supreme Court of Canada. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons   One development on the criminal justice front that has […]

Four more Ford years for Ontario

by Catherine Swift

The PC Party won a commanding 83 seats Thursday night, plenty enough for a second majority mandate. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   It was a rout. There is really no other way to describe the outcome of the Ontario election. As of the latest data, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives have picked up 16 seats (from […]

Beware the support of unions

by Catherine Swift

Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton meets with IUOE Local 793 representatives. The organization is one of several construction trade unions to endorse the Ontario PC Party this election. Photo credit: Twitter/Monte McNaughton   Coming up to the Ontario election this week, the Progressive Conservative Party has been boasting about the support […]

Vote Compass lacks a sense of direction

by Catherine Swift

Screenshot of the Ontario 2022 election Vote Compass launch page. Photo credit: CBC    The CBC has an odd survey it offers called the “Vote Compass” that the taxpayer-financed network trots out during the period prior to elections, supposedly to help the citizenry come to a decision about who they should be voting for. The […]

Making it easier for unions in Ontario

by Catherine Swift

The provincial NDP, led by Andrea Horwath (pictured), wants to add more imbalance to an already wildly imbalanced system. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette    Part of the NDP platform in the upcoming Ontario election is to make it easier for unions to organize workplaces.  Really? What exactly do they plan to do? Insist […]

Political upheaval in Alberta

by Catherine Swift

 Jason Kenney resigned as head of the UCP Wednesday evening after only barely passing a review of his leadership, leaving Alberta without a premier. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Dave Chidley   This week Jason Kenney lost his bid to remain leader of the United Conservative Party (UCP) of Alberta, and with it Premier of that […]

The four-day work week debate

by Catherine Swift

 Both the provincial Liberal leader Steven Del Duca and NDP leader Andrea Horwath (pictured) have committed to exploring the idea of shortened work week. While it’s a debate well-worth having, any government would be wise to engage with caution and avoid any kind of top-down imposition. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Tijana Martin   The concept […]

Alberta court overturns ‘no pipeline’ bill

by Catherine Swift

Premier Jason Kenney (pictured) called it a “huge win”. Celebration may, however, be premature. The federal government has already stated that it will appeal the ruling. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Larry MacDougal   Politicians in Alberta and Saskatchewan were delighted at a ruling earlier this week by the Alberta Court of Appeal to quash federal […]

Lessons from North Korea

by Catherine Swift

Activist and North Korean escapee Yeonmi Park speaks onstage during the Tory Burch Foundation Embrace Ambition Summit at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, April 24, 2018. Ms. Park addressed the Canada Strong and Free Conference last week in Ottawa, retelling her harrowing story of escape, life in the “Hermit Kingdom”, and lessons about […]

The problem with subsidies

by Catherine Swift

While spending large sums of someone else’s money may be attractive and politically expedient for those in power, more often than not taxpayers end up with a bad deal. Pictured Doug Ford announces a massive public investment in automaker Stellantis in Windsor, May 2, 2022. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   In recent months we have […]

The Freshii foofaraw

by Catherine Swift

Photo credit: Toronto Pearson   You may have heard that Freshii, the Canadian fast casual franchise chain offering salads and other healthy meals, got into some public relations hot water last week because of a decision they made to use a virtual cashier located outside of Canada. This cashier turned out to be a person […]

Ontario’s pre-election budget

by Catherine Swift

Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy at a media briefing before release of the provincial budget on Thursday, Apr. 28, 2022. Photo credit: CBC/Evan Mitsui   It comes as no surprise that the budget announced by the Ford government this week will effectively serve as the Progressive Conservative Party’s election platform. The fact that the budget […]

Ontario election race tightens

by Catherine Swift

 Latest polling shows Steven Del Duca’s Liberals making gains. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Chris Young Most recent opinion polls on the voting intentions of Ontarians in the upcoming provincial election have suggested that the most likely outcome was the Progressive Conservative (PC) Ford government once again winning a majority. Late last week, however, an Ipsos […]

Freedoms at stake

by Catherine Swift

Certain provisions of the provincial government’s Bill 100, for example, are cause for concern. Pictured is Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, who introduced the legislation last month. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn   A number of issues have arisen in recent weeks that have the potential to impact the basic freedoms of Canadians. In […]

Good news for Saskatchewan

by Catherine Swift

Amongst other positive developments of late, the province was recently named the second most popular mining jurisdiction in the world. Photo credit: Mosaic   While the larger provinces typically attract most of the attention from the news media, Saskatchewan has recently enjoyed some notable successes that warrant comment.  For starters, the 2021 edition of the […]

Workplace democracy diminished in BC

by Catherine Swift

Recent legislative changes introduced by Premier John Horgan’s NDP government will further tilt the playing field in unions’ favour. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck   Last week the NDP government of British Columbia introduced legislation that will significantly change the way workplaces may be certified by a union under the provincial Labour Relations Code. […]

Ontario taxpayers provide interesting reaction to licence plate sticker rebate

by Catherine Swift

Photo credit: Global News It’s a different kind of sticker shock. Now that Ontarians have been receiving cheques in the mail for rebates of their license plate sticker fees, the reaction to a government actually giving average folks   some of their own money back has been interesting to say the least.    Although the Ontario […]

Only Liberals need apply

by Catherine Swift

The permissibility of oil and gas production in Canada apparently depends on how you vote.   This week’s approval of the Bay du Nord offshore oil mega-project in Newfoundland shows many things, but especially that voting Liberal matters a great deal in Trudeau’s Canada. The fact that the Liberal government has, within one week, imposed […]

Spend, spend, spend! It’s government budget season again

by Catherine Swift

Canada’s and Ontario’s respective finance ministers Chrystia Freeland (left) and Peter Bethlenfalvy (right). The federal Liberals present their budget Thursday, while the provincial PCs will do so by or before April 30. Photo credit: Reuters/Patrick Doyle and The Canadian Press/Christopher Katsarov   Hold on to your wallets, Canadians. It’s government budget season, and the big […]

Alberta’s innovative energy sector

by Catherine Swift

The oil and gas industry has proven that major environmental benefits can be achieved through innovation and creativity without threatening energy security, affordability, and a decent standard of living for Canadians. Photo credit: Cenovus Energy   I spent a few days this week in Calgary attending a conference of energy industry executives, and it’s fair […]

The protected class strikes again

by Catherine Swift

While many in the private sector struggled, 2021 proved to be yet another profitable year for government employees – like teachers. Photo credit: Pexels/Thirdman   It really is time for a tax revolt. If taxpaying private sector Ontarians were not already well aware that there are two classes of people in Canada, the recent release […]

Worries grow among Canadians

by Catherine Swift

Runaway inflation, helped along in part by reckless and/or absent government policy, is making an increasing number of Canadians worry about how they’ll put food on the table or gas in the tank.    It will come as no surprise to most Canadians that a recent poll by Ipsos Reid showed that fully 60 per […]

Provide Canadians some relief: follow Alberta’s lead and reduce taxes on fuel

by Catherine Swift

As runaway inflation continues to hammer Canadian consumers, the Alberta government led by Premier Jason Kenney (pictured) recently announced it was suspending its 13 cent per litre tax on gasoline. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Jason Franson     A couple of weeks ago, the Alberta government made the welcome announcement that it would be suspending its […]

Critical Race Theory hits Ontario

by Catherine Swift

Bill 67, introduced by NDP MPP Laura Mae Lindo (second from left), recently passed Second Reading in the provincial legislature with almost all MPPs of all political parties supporting it. Photo credit: Ontario NDP   Last week, a piece of legislation called Bill 67: Racial Equity in the Education System Act, received Second Reading in […]

Canada’s two solitudes

by Catherine Swift

The truckers’ protests – and all the lies that were and continue to be told about it – spotlighted the growing chasm between the so-called elites in government, academia and the professions whose lives are comfortable and secure, and the lower- and middle-class working Canadians who are being buffeted by inflation, housing unaffordability, high taxes […]

Small business bears the brunt

by Catherine Swift

Even after all the draconian rules and regulations are long gone, small businesses, like they have throughout the pandemic, will continue to suffer the most from the government’s ostensible attempts to “slow the spread”. Photo credit: Getty Images/The Business Journals   What a long, strange trip it’s been. For just about exactly two years, Canadians […]

Ontario and the skilled trades

by Catherine Swift

Photo credit: SRP   It is no secret that there is currently and has been for some time an acute shortage of skilled tradespeople, and that this shortage will worsen in future. Over the next few years, there is expected to be 350,000 vacancies in skilled trades positions in Ontario alone.  The shortage is being […]

A few billion to the good – for now

by Catherine Swift

The province’s financial watchdog recently revealed that the Doug Ford government spent $5.5 billion less than was previously forecast for the first three quarters of the current fiscal year. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   Cue the outrage.  The latest report of Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office (FAO) came out this week and found that the province’s […]

A balanced budget for Alberta

by Catherine Swift

Premier Jason Kenney fist bumps an Alberta MLA after finance minister Travis Toews delivered the 2022 budget in Edmonton, Feb. 24, 2022. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Jason Franson   If there was a race to see which province could bring their budget back into balance following the pandemic government spend-fest – and there should be […]

Passing on gas?

by Catherine Swift

 In the last few years, several dozen municipalities in Ontario have committed to phasing-out natural gas by decade’s end. Currently, 75 per cent of households in the province use natural gas for heating. Photo credit: Enersure   Most Ontarians would be surprised to find out that over the past couple of years a growing number […]

The housing conundrum

by Catherine Swift

For decades, Canada’s economic and social success has been based in part on the existence of a healthy and sizeable middle class. A key characteristic of Canada’s middle class is the prevalence of home ownership, which is one of the few means that average people have to accumulate wealth. The current housing crisis is threatening […]

An age-old dilemma

by Catherine Swift

Canada has a proportionately larger baby boom generation than many other developed countries, which means the demands for additional government spending on seniors will continue to grow in the years ahead. Photo credit: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio   The good news is that Canadians are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. All indications are that this […]

More good financial news for Ontario

by Catherine Swift

Ontario Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy. On Monday, Minister Bethlenfalvy released the province’s third quarter finances – once again, they’re better than expected. Photo credit: CTV News   Hot on the heels of last week’s financial report from the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO), the Ontario Finance Minister has released the third-quarter of 2021 […]

Good news on the Ontario deficit front

by Catherine Swift

The province’s fiscal watchdog predicts sunnier than expected days ahead. Photo credit: Reuters   This week, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released a report on its expectations for provincial government finances for the next couple of fiscal years.  The FAO used the government’s data contained in the Fall Economic Statement from November of […]

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