Here’s how Bethlenfalvy can fix the budget in 2024

by Jay Goldberg

If the Ford government addresses three key points – spending control, tax relief and structural change – it will begin to earn back the trust of disappointed Ontario taxpayers. Pictured: Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy. Photo Credit: The Canadian Press/Chirstopher Katsarov.    Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy has a chance to turn the page on six […]

Manitobans want a gas tax cut extension

by Gage Haubrich

Keeping the relief going only makes sense for a government that claims to want to lower costs for Manitobans. Pictured: Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew. Photo Credit: Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun. From Brandon to Winnipeg to Steinbach and beyond, Manitobans want to keep the gas tax cut. The Manitoba government cut the 14 cent per litre provincial […]

Taxpayers want Houston to end bracket creep

by Jay Goldberg

The truth is that Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston is using health care as an excuse to continue profiting off inflation at taxpayers’ expense. Photo Credit: X/Tim Houston. Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston is the only first minister in all of Canada deliberately profiting off inflation at taxpayers’ expense.  By refusing to adjust income tax […]

Lecce stares down woke agenda of Ontario school boards

by Janet Ecker

Dividing people as the school board’s manual does, wanting teachers to react to students according to their membership in a racial or other specially designated group is wrong and it is divisive, and it undermines the whole purpose and value of education. Pictured: Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce and Premier Doug Ford. Photo Credit: […]

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 […]

Ford schools Trudeau on affordability

by Jay Goldberg

When it comes to affordability, Ford has shown he understands what families are going through. Trudeau, on the other hand, has shown just how out of touch he is with the lives of everyday Canadians. Photo Credit: Reuters/Cole Burston.    When it comes to making life more affordable for struggling families, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau […]

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 […]

Nuclear will play a critical role in meeting Ontario’s energy future

by Janet Ecker

If Ontario wants to be able to meet our future energy needs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the same time, then nuclear energy must remain in the mix with natural gas, hydroelectric, wind and solar. Pictured: Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith. Photo Credit: Twitter/Todd Smith. What often gets lost in the debate over creating […]

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 […]

It’s time for Ford to make a budget U-turn

by Jay Goldberg

Ford has made his fair share of mistakes over the past six years. But with two years left in his mandate, Ford still has a chance to right his wrongs. That starts with this year’s budget. Pictured: Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Photo Credit: Twitter/Doug Ford.    Premier Doug Ford created a financial mess over the […]

It’s time to axe Ontario’s health tax

by Jay Goldberg

Putting the health tax on the chopping block would be a boon for taxpayers and show Ontarians that Ford is serious about helping families make ends meet. Pictured: Premier Doug Ford and Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy Photo Credit: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn.    There’s one tax in particular Ontario taxpayers want to see on the […]

Childcare should be a priority in the Ford government’s 2024 budget

by Janet Ecker

Cross-province consultations are underway to identify the spring budget’s priorities. One of them should be further steps for the childcare sector.  Photo Credit: Stephen Leece/Twitter.    January to March is pre-budget time for the Ontario government.  Cross-province consultations are underway to identify the spring budget’s priorities. One of them should be further steps for the […]

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians face major gas tax hike

by Jay Goldberg

Without action from the province, the combined impact of the end of the gas tax cut and the increase in the federal carbon tax would be a stunning 11.8 cents per litre. That would drive up the cost of filling up a minivan by nine dollars overnight. Photo Credit: The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan.    Forty […]

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 […]

Start the Countdown to the end of political welfare in Ontario

by Jay Goldberg

Ford should seize the moment and end political welfare now. Photo Credit: Twitter/Doug Ford.    Ontario’s political welfare system will finally be relegated to the ash heap of history a year from now. But that’s not nearly soon enough. Political parties in Ontario have gotten millions of taxpayer dollars four times a year with no […]

Look out for major tax hikes in 2024

by Jay Goldberg

Trudeau’s 2024 tax hikes, including increased payroll taxes and higher CPP contributions, will cost the average $80,000 earner an extra $507 annually. Meanwhile, Ontario’s promised income tax cut by Premier Doug Ford remains undelivered, leaving taxpayers grappling with increased financial strain amid rising expenses. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Tara Walton   Prime Minister Justin Trudeau […]

Ford government announces beer, wine coming to corner stores by 2026

by The Hamilton Independent

The Premier promised to expand alcohol sales to convenience stores back in the 2018 election campaign. Move also includes all participating grocery stores, big box stores. Photo credit: X/Doug Ford   Ontarians will soon be able to pick up a two-four at their local corner store.  On Thursday, the province announced that beginning no later […]

Islanders Set for Major Tax Relief to Ring in New Year

by Jay Goldberg

P.E.I. residents set to benefit from Premier Dennis King’s 2024 tax relief, potentially saving households $400 in provincial taxes, but concerns arise over bracket creep’s long-term impact Photo Credit: Facebook/Dennis King   Imagine what your family could do with an extra $400. Thanks to Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King, Islanders won’t be imagining what […]

Ontario Premier and Toronto Mayor Forge Landmark $9B Deal

by Janet Ecker

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow broker a landmark $9 billion agreement, transferring control of major expressways to the province while allocating funds for crucial city priorities, including transit and homeless services. Photo Credit: Facebook/FordNation   The impression often left by Toronto city council over the years is that it always seems […]

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 […]

Photo Credit: Facebook/Jill Dunlop   When judging the value of the recently released “Blue Ribbon” panel on the financial sustainability of Ontario’s post-secondary sector, it is helpful to remember why governments so often use such bodies to help make policy decisions.    Critics often accuse governments of passing the buck or ducking their decision-making responsibility when […]

Ontario Takes a Stand Against Antisemitism with Holocaust Education Reforms

by Janet Ecker

Photo Credit: Facebook/Stephen Leece   If government action can curtail the recent, alarming rise in antisemitism, then Ontario may have a chance of checking the growing number of such incidents in the wake of the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Middle East. From street demonstrations to public statements, from university student groups, to violence and vandalism […]

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 […]

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 […]

Education Minister Stephen Lecce. Recent EQAO test results suggest the Ford government’s commitment to improving student outcomes is starting to pay off. Math scores, in particular, are trending upwards across all grade levels in both English and French school systems. Photo credit: Facebook/Stephen Lecce   It didn’t receive a lot of news coverage, but the […]

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 […]

Ontario adds six more common ailments to list of conditions pharmacists can treat

by The Hamilton Independent

Province introduced expanded treatment power to pharmacists in January 2023. Ontario pharmacists can now treat 19 common ailments. Photo credit: Facebook/Shoppers Drug Mart   As part of its ongoing effort to address the healthcare crisis in Ontario, the provincial government has made it easier for people to receive treatment for common ailments by allowing pharmacists […]

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 […]

Only time will tell. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   It was a rare sight at Queen’s Park last week. A politician stood up, admitted he was wrong, took responsibility, apologized for breaking his promise and abruptly changed course.  After weeks of controversy and perhaps irreversible damage to his brand and to his government, Ontario Premier […]

Ford’s bloated government must end

by Jay Goldberg

Doug Ford’s government is anything but the lean, efficient administration he promised taxpayers. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   The man who once promised a leaner, more efficient and effective government at Queen’s Park has instead allowed it to balloon larger than any other Ontario premier in the 21st century.   In Premier Doug Ford’s first throne […]

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 […]

And it still could help. It is a painful step for any minister, but for the political health and credibility of a government, it is a very important one. It shows that accountability matters. Pictured is Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark. Photo credit: Twitter/Steve Clark   If Ontario Premier Doug Ford loses […]

Houston needs to tell the truth and end his debt dive

by Jay Goldberg

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston. In the span of just two years, Houston managed to increase government spending by a stunning 19 per cent. Photo credit: Twitter/Tim Houston   Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston is slamming his foot on the gas pedal and driving the province toward a fiscal cliff. For the sake of future […]

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 […]

Here’s the truth about Ontario’s education spending

by Jay Goldberg

Ontario spends more now than it ever has and leads the pack per student among large provinces across the country. Plus, remember those supposed cuts you heard about? The opposite is true. Pictured is Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. Photo credit: Facebook/Stephen Lecce   As Ontario families face the possibility of a looming teachers strike […]

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 […]

It’s time for school choice in Ontario

by Jay Goldberg

Spending on government-run schools has reached record highs, yet performance has worsened. Photo credit: Pexels/RDNE Stock Project   Here’s something Ontario’s education establishment doesn’t want you to hear: improving school choice would improve students’ outcomes and the province’s bottom line. Ontario students get to pick what post-secondary schools to apply for, tutors to hire and […]

Photo credit: Twitter/Stephen Lecce   Cabinet ministers are frequently shuffled into different portfolios according to the changing political priorities of the day. It is a rare gift to be given a long enough tenure in one portfolio to actually develop and execute on a reform agenda.   Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce has been given such […]

Elections matter, especially when it comes to the fate of the housing market

by Josie Sabatino

The recent by-election in Ottawa’s Kanata—Carleton provides an interesting case study. Pictured is Ontario Liberal MPP-elect Karen McCrimmon. Photo credit: Twitter/Karen McCrimmon   All politics is local, as the old saying goes. While the day-to-day machination of clickbait headlines tend to drive us to focus on the biggest, most salacious stories, we can often forget […]

Ontario’s broken health-care system needs real change

by Jay Goldberg

More money – the proposed solution of choice for virtually all provincial governments past and present – simply won’t get the job done. Pictured is Ontario’s Minister of Health Sylvia Jones. Photo credit: Twitter/Sylvia Jones   Here’s a truth most politicians will never admit: throwing money at Ontario’s health-care system won’t solve its fundamental problems. […]

  Instead of providing the media and Opposition members fodder to cry “patronage”, the PCs should focus squarely on the bevy of important initiatives and fundamental changes its successfully making across healthcare, education, housing, and energy. Pictured is Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Downey   Governments and politicians only have so much […]

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 […]

Though it’ll be a monumental challenge, the province at least has a long-term plan to ensure Ontarians can keep the lights on in the years and decades ahead. Pictured is Ontario’s Energy Minister Todd Smith in Windsor announcing the government’s new ‘Powering Ontario’s Growth’ plan, July 10, 2023. Photo credit: Twitter/Todd Smith   Ontario Premier […]

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 […]

On bracket creep, Houston stands alone

by Jay Goldberg

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston. From coast to coast, every other government outside of Nova Scotia has acknowledged it is wrong to punish taxpayers simply for receiving a cost-of-living pay raise. Photo credit: CBC/Robert Short   Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston stands alone by deliberately profiting off of inflation. By failing to index income tax […]

After stumbling out of the gate early, is Crombie up to the challenge?

by Janet Ecker

Bonnie Crombie (pictured) may be a big city mayor, but she has never experienced the level of scrutiny or faced the kind of political challenge that exists when you are running for the province’s top political post. Photo credit: Twitter/Bonnie Crombie   The next provincial election just got more interesting. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has […]

Ford must be wise with revenue windfall

by Jay Goldberg

Provincial government expected to bring in over $200 billion in tax revenue for 2023. According to the FAO, Ontario is positioned to run a surplus of $3 billion this year, $7.4 billion next year and $10 billion the year after that. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   Despite increasing government spending rapidly, the Ford government has […]

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 […]

Ford saving families hundreds at the pump per year

by Jay Goldberg

 In total, data from the finance ministry shows Premier Doug Ford’s gas tax cut has left over a billion dollars in taxpayers’ wallets, and that tab will continue to grow for the next several months. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   Eight dollars every week. That’s how much Premier Doug Ford’s gas tax cuts have saved […]

Is Ontario’s push to a ‘net zero’ electricity grid worth the risk?

by Janet Ecker

Blackouts, brownouts, increased costs and the like, just how far is the province willing to go to close the carbon gap and achieve the federal government’s audacious environmental goals. Pictured is Minister of Energy Todd Smith. Photo credit: Twitter/Todd Smith   Right now, Ontario’s electrical power grid is already 90 per cent non-carbon emitting, carbon […]

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 […]

Here’s why Ford should cut the sales tax

by Jay Goldberg

Thanks in large part to inflation, provincial government set to collect nearly $25 billion more in tax revenue this year versus last. If he’s truly a man of and for the people, the premier would share some of that windfall with the wider population by lowering Ontario’s sales tax. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   It’s […]

With rules now in place, Ontario Liberal leadership race in full swing

by Daniel Perry

The federal Liberals will no doubt be watching the provincial leadership race closely to see what resonates with Ontario voters. Pictured is former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister and current federal MP for Ottawa-Centre Yasir Naqvi, who announced his candidacy this past weekend. Photo credit: Twitter/Yasir Naqvi   The “will they, won’t they” dance for prospective […]

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 […]

Ontario political party slush fund poised for a comeback

by Jay Goldberg

Taxpayer-funded quarterly allowances haven’t been awarded since last spring, when Premier Ford gave Ontario’s political parties three payments in advance, allowing them to spend the funds on attack ads during last year’s election campaign. Come June, the political welfare payments are set to resume. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Chris Young   Ontario’s political party slush […]

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 […]

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 […]

There’s no question that updated and expanded training for and increased promotion of the skilled trades in Ontario were long-overdue. However, the province’s pendulum swing in focus over the last four-plus years has caused many traditional institutions of higher education to fall behind in a big way. Pictured is Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and […]

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 […]

Ford needs to be straight with taxpayers on Ontario Science Centre plans

by Jay Goldberg

Rather than fix the present Science Centre, the Ford government is planning to build a brand-new facility on the grounds of the old Ontario Place. But building a new facility will take time and a lot of taxpayer dough. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   In trying to rationalize moving the Ontario Science Centre to the […]

Corporate welfare has consequences

by Jay Goldberg

In March, the governments of Canada and Ontario jointly announced what could turn out to be the largest corporate welfare handout in the country’s history. Experts say the governments collectively gave some $10 billion to Volkswagen to build its new electric car battery plant in St. Thomas. Photo credit: AP/Michael Sohn   Here’s a sad […]

Ford a voice of reason on carbon taxes

by Jay Goldberg

Ontario’s premier fought hard against Kathleen Wynne’s carbon tax scheme and won. Now, he continues to fight the forces that be in Ottawa. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   Ontario Premier Doug Ford has a penchant for recognizing a wolf in sheep’s clothing. When it comes to carbon taxes, Ford wasn’t fooled for a moment. Scrapping […]

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 […]

Furey schools Trudeau on budgeting

by Jay Goldberg

The 2023 budget presented by the Newfoundlander and Labrador premier demonstrates clear fiscal prudence. In contrast, Trudeau’s budget spends $20 billion more this year than last. Pictured is Premier Andrew Furey. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan   The premier and prime minister might be young Liberal pals with a lot of star power, but […]

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 […]

Ford leading a spending parade at Queen’s Park

by Jay Goldberg

 In 2021-22, Ontario finished the fiscal year with a $2.1 billion surplus – but instead of building on that surplus for budget 2023, Premier Ford (left) and Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy (right) tore it down. Photo credit: Twitter/Peter Bethlenfalvy   Ontario Premier Doug Ford was like a rookie at a blackjack table during this budget […]

It’s time for Houston to deliver

by Jay Goldberg

As Atlantic Canadians felt the crunch from inflation last year, the region’s premiers responded in one of two ways. Three premiers chose to deliver tax relief. Only Nova Scotia’s Tim Houston failed to offer any kind of meaningful relief to taxpayers. Photo credit: Communications Nova Scotia    Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston was Atlantic Canada’s […]

King needs to offer Islanders a bold taxpayer-first agenda

by Jay Goldberg

Going forward, the P.E.I. premier can’t count on massive revenue windfalls. His election platform should show prudence and outline a plan to stay in the black. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Brian McInnis   Rather than present a budget, Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King has plunged his province into an election. While the election call […]

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 […]

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 […]

Houston and King living large on your dime

by Jay Goldberg

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston (left) and P.E.I. Premier Dennis King. Their respective provincial governments are stubbornly refusing to adjust their tax brackets to account for soaring inflation. Photo credit: Twitter and Facebook   Two Atlantic Canadian governments are cashing in on inflation and it’s time for taxpayers to stand up and demand better.  When […]

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 […]

Ford faces a moment of truth

by Jay Goldberg

Although the premier has made a series of bad financial decisions of late, he has a fresh mandate and a new opportunity to return to his pro-taxpayer roots. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   Premier Doug Ford is facing a moment of truth in the next budget. After years of runaway spending, will he finally embrace […]

Lessons to be learned from Ontario Liberal Party’s misguided soul searching

by Josie Sabatino

Last weekend, a group of veteran provincial Liberals led by Deb Matthews, Greg Sorbara, and Liz Sandals wrote an open letter to Mike Schreiner (pictured), in which they urge the current Ontario Green Party leader to consider crossing the floor and vying for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Tijana […]

Ford needs to end Ontario’s political party slush fund

by Jay Goldberg

It’s time for the premier to make good on his 2018 promise to nix the per-vote subsidy. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s excuses for maintaining a taxpayer slush fund are wearing thin.  A decade ago, former premier Kathleen Wynne thought it would be a bright idea to give Ontario’s political parties […]

Higgs’ masterclass on fiscal management

by Jay Goldberg

While political leaders around the country used the pandemic as an excuse to increase spending across the board, New Brunswick’s Blaine Higgs took a different approach. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Stephen MacGillivray   If anyone is looking for an instructor to teach a masterclass on defending the public purse, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs should […]

When you dive into what the Premier and his health minister actually announced last week, you could be forgiven for asking “is that all?”. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   From all the hysterical caterwauling from Opposition parties, public sector unions and other assorted government critics, you would have thought that Ontario Premier Doug Ford had […]

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 […]

By expanding affordable childcare options for families, Minister Stephen Lecce (pictured) and his team are making it easier for parents to enter or remain in the workforce. Photo credit: Twitter/Stephen Leece   For Ontario families looking for childcare support so parents can stay in the workforce, 2023 could be a good year. Ontario Education Minister […]

Though the province wants to be a part of the climate solution, gambling that we can successfully experiment with our electrical supply and prematurely cut out natural gas is not the answer. Photo credit: TVO/Sergey Bobok   Ontarians take electricity for granted. We assume that when we turn the switch, the power will go on. […]

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 […]

Much to the delight of union brass and membership, Ontario’s superior court recently struck down the legislation that temporarily capped public sector wage increases. While the aggrieved are pleased, if the decision stands, it will not only let public sector unions ask for wage increases they might have received in the absence of Bill 124, […]

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 […]

In CUPE dispute, Ford government doing precisely what it was elected to do

by Janet Ecker

Premier Ford’s government was just given another majority mandate by Ontarians to do exactly what it is currently doing in ongoing dispute with CUPE: look out for the public interest by way of keeping kids in school and protecting taxpayer money during tumultuous economic times. Pictured is Education Minister Stephen Lecce. Photo credit: CBC/Carlos Osorio […]

Ford should be bold and cut the sales tax to counter inflation

by Jay Goldberg

Premier Doug Ford. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   It’s time for Premier Doug Ford to be bold. The cost of living is soaring for Ontario families. To deliver relief to every Ontarian across the province, Ford should cut the provincial sales tax. Ford owes Ontarians relief. Four years ago, he promised to cut income taxes for the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Ontario is fast-approaching an energy crisis and so-called “green” fuel solutions will hardly be able to fill the gap. Photo credit: Atura Power   Most voters don’t have high expectations of their governments. But they do expect a modicum of common sense. The Ontario government may be on the brink of ignoring it.  How else […]

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 […]

Ford needs to make his gas tax cut permanent to avoid being the grinch

by Jay Goldberg

After a temporary six-month pause, the provincial gas excise tax is set to be reinstituted at the end of the year. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   If Ontario Premier Doug Ford doesn’t want to be the grinch who stole Christmas, he’ll start working on a plan to make Ontario’s temporary gas tax cut permanent. Ontario […]

Exams are essential tools that teach more than just their subject matter

by Janet Ecker

Traditional evaluation methods develop students’ ability to plan, deal with pressure, cope with expectations and, on occasion, experience and learn from failure. Pictured is provincial Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. Lecce’s ministry recently confirmed that local schools and boards can now decide if they will administer an exam to determine a final grade for secondary […]

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 […]

To ensure success, students need ‘uninterrupted’ return to class

by Janet Ecker

Direct data for Ontario is not yet available, but all signs from other jurisdictions point to extended school closures having had severe, worrisome effects on students’ academic progress. Pictured is Education Minister Stephen Lecce. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Tijana Martin   The quality of our children’s education should be a priority for parents and the […]

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 […]

There are no quick fixes or silver bullet solutions. It will take time, increased resources, creativity, and better cooperation between government and those on the front lines. Photo credit: The Canadian Press   As one watches the Doug Ford government wrestle with the current health care crisis, several observations come to mind.  First, one needs […]

Healthcare debate steals centre stage as political leaders grapple with reform

by Josie Sabatino

Premier Doug Ford met with his counterparts from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island earlier this week. What emerged from the maritime meeting was a consensus that, as a whole, Canada’s healthcare system needs to not only change, but that new solutions must be introduced in order to address the fundamental flaws exposed […]

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 […]

Anytime a government tries to talk about changing health care delivery for better outcomes, like the Ford government tried to do last week, the discussion is quickly shut down amidst the scare mongering over “privatization” and “budget cuts.” However, decades of excessive spending and exceedingly poor results indicate talks of change are not only worthwhile, […]

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 […]

Existing teachers’ contracts are set to expire August 31. High-performing Minister of Education Stephen Lecce (pictured) and his team started negotiations early to ensure educators are back and remain in the classroom this fall so that students can enjoy the “full school experience” after two years of closures and uncertainty. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Nathan […]

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 […]

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 […]

Ford taking his time before ‘getting it done’

by Janet Ecker

Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   What’s wrong with this picture? For weeks during the provincial election we heard Premier Doug Ford promise to “get it done.” To build badly needed transit, highways, schools, hospitals, housing. You name it, he was going to build more, faster, and better than the other parties, to create more jobs […]

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 […]

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 […]

Both PC leader Doug Ford (pictured with wife Karla) and Liberal leader Steven Del Duca handled the provincial election results with professionalism and tact. NDP leader Andrea Horwath, on the other hand, used her farewell speech on election night to be petty and spiteful. Photo credit: CBC/Evan Mitsui    How one deals with victory or […]

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 […]

Doug Ford’s PCs ran a near perfect re-election campaign

by Janet Ecker

For their efforts, the Tories will almost certainly be rewarded another majority mandate Thursday. As it stands, it’s still unclear which left-of-centre party will become Ontario’s Official Opposition. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford   If current provincial election polls are right, Premier Doug Ford is sliding into home plate with another majority government. The question is, […]

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 […]

NDP leader Andrea Horwath (left) and Liberal leader Steven Del Duca. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn and The Canadian Press/Chris Young   You have to hand it to the politicians running in this election campaign. Never let it be said that they are not laying out what they would do if elected.   Since the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Premier Doug Ford. Photo credit: CTV News   In politics it’s the little things that can kill you. And if the Ontario government is not careful, they may undermine what look like decent odds for being re-elected.  A recent example was a modest dust up in the legislature over how many backlogged surgeries there are […]

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 […]

More unhelpful “green” policy for Ontario

by Catherine Swift

The previously ‘Open for Business’ Ford government has created a new registry that appears to be another version of a carbon credit system. Photo credit: Bloomberg   For some unknown reason, it seems that the Ford government has been captured by the “green” lobby. In a recent announcement, the government heralded the creation of an […]

Some good news in the climate gloom

by Catherine Swift

Ontario’s St. Marys Cement (pictured) has figured out a way to offset the environmental impact of conducting business. Photo credit: St Marys Cement   The climate crusade to force the developed world to greatly reduce their dependence on relatively affordable and reliable fossil fuels and replace them with the much more expensive and unreliable green […]

The demise of oil – and Alberta – is greatly exaggerated

by Catherine Swift

Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney pays a visit to one of the province’s oil producers in Jul 2020. Photo credit: Twitter/Jason Kenney   Although many of our politicians and environmental advocates these days like to say that oil and gas have had their day, the facts show that the Canadian industry is actually enjoying quite […]

Another Ontario teachers’ strike?

by Catherine Swift

With yet more job action seemingly on the horizon, Swift suggests public education should be declared an essential service and strikes outlawed. Picture from an Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association picket line in Ottawa, Feb. 4, 2020. Photo credit: Postmedia/Errol McGihon   It is difficult to believe that the Ontario teachers’ unions could get even […]

The new tyranny of ‘ESG’

by Catherine Swift

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is everywhere these days, imposing its heavy hand on financial markets and setting out new conditions businesses must comply with if they want to access financing.   ESG is basically a means of evaluating a company’s eligibility for financing based on non-financial criteria such as the company’s environmental practices, social criteria […]

Carbon taxes on the agenda again

by Catherine Swift

Premier of Manitoba Heather Stefanson. Like Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe, Stefanson is hoping to craft a made-in-province carbon pricing plan that will be approved by the federal government that aligns with Manitoba’s unique needs and desires. Photo credit: CBC   After having had some experience with the federally imposed carbon tax, and having lost constitutional challenges […]

The highs and lows of premiers’ approval ratings

by Catherine Swift

Premier Ford hit a new low of 30 per cent approval. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette   The latest approval ratings for the various provincial premiers have come out from the Angus Reid Institute and, as always, there is good news for some and bad news for others. In the good news column, relatively […]

Ontario ready to open schools

by Catherine Swift

Premier Doug Ford (left) and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce (right). Ontario students return to in-person learning on Monday – and it’s about time. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Carlos Osorio    After an extended Christmas break, Ontario appears set to once again open the schools to in-person learning on Monday, barring some unexpected circumstances that […]

Truth at last: Wynne admits electricity mistake

by Catherine Swift

Former head of the provincial Liberal Party and Premier of Ontario from 2013 to 2018 Kathleen Wynne. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Chris Young   Perhaps the COVID vaccines have a little bit of truth serum in them, as some painful truths are finally emerging from various quarters.   One of the more recent instances involved former […]

Dumbing down Ontario’s education system

by Catherine Swift

To promote a distorted sense of equality, the Ontario Superior Court recently ruled that prospective teachers no longer need to pass a simple math comprehension test to serve as educators in the province. Photo credit: Getty Images/Sam Edwards   One of the developments over the Christmas holidays that didn’t get the attention it deserved was […]

Time for togetherness

by Catherine Swift

One way to promote unity may be to force public officials – those making all the pandemic-related decisions – to experience the same economic hardship many Ontario residents must endure every time further restrictions come into place. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette   The ever-quotable American economist Thomas Sowell said that “It is hard […]

Five fearless forecasts for 2022

by Catherine Swift

Prediction number four: following another electoral defeat in June, the 2022 provincial election will be Andrea Horwath’s last as leader of the Ontario NDP. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Chris Young   ‘Tis the season for predictions, and as an economist and political junkie I can’t resist the urge. Here are five shots in the dark […]

Batting .500 on 2021 predictions

by Catherine Swift

Photo credit: Getty Images   As promised, I have reviewed my prognostications made a year ago to see if my track record has improved any from previous years. Overall, it looks like my crystal ball got a little clearer, but still leaves much to be desired.   My first prediction involved whether Canada would have a […]

Timing is everything

by Catherine Swift

Premier Doug Ford (pictured) heads into the holidays with a sizeable lead over his NDP and Liberal competitors, according to a recent opinion poll. Photo credit: The Globe and Mail   It seems that the Ontario Progressive Conservatives just received an early Christmas present in the form of the latest opinion poll on how voters […]

We don’t need another lockdown

by Catherine Swift

Having been thrust into multiple lockdowns since the start of the pandemic, more and more Canadians starting to view the cure as worse than the disease. Photo credit: Toronto Star/Richard Lautens   Just in time for Christmas, the most recent COVID-19 variant has come on the scene to once again induce fear and loathing in […]

Medical wait times longer than ever

by Catherine Swift

A new report released by the Fraser Institute found that Canadians waited on average 25.6 weeks between doctor referral and treatment in 2021.    The Fraser Institute has been doing an annual survey of physicians across 12 medical specialties since 1993 to document the length of time Canadians need to wait for various medical procedures. […]

Allan inquiry follow up

by Catherine Swift

Primary author of the ‘Report of the public inquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns’ Steve Allan. Photo credit: Postmedia/Jim Wells   Alberta’s public inquiry into the activities of environmental groups opposing the oil sands and other fossil fuel developments released its report a couple of months ago and continues to be controversial.  The inquiry, headed by […]

Canadians open to health care changes

by Catherine Swift

Per a recent study conducted by Leger on behalf of Second Street, two-thirds of Canadians are in favour of provincial governments hiring private clinics for surgeries to reduce wait times. Photo credit: LCM Architects    For decades, the prevailing wisdom has been that most Canadians are quite satisfied with the state of our health care […]

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