The Sir Robert Bond Papers: If only we were New Brunswick… #nlpoli

Premier Dwight Ball has talked about it. CBC’s Peter Cowan tweeted about it Sunday night. If only we were like all those lucky provinces that get Equalization,  we’d be right as rain. We can allow that Peter may not understand federal-provincial finances at all, even if he does cover the legislature a lot.  If there’s ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Population density and just dense #nlpoli

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is in financial trouble. It will spend this year about $3.0 billion more than it will take in.  In fact,  this year, as last year,  banks and other sources of borrowing will be the largest single source of income for the provincial government. Newfoundland and Labrador is not a ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: General Ignorance: Economic Version #nlpoli

Of all the people in Canada who know something about the Equalization system,. none of them sit in the House of Assembly. Item:  Kevin Hutchings, a former cabinet minister, asked the finance minister why the provincial government had not gone to war with Ottawa to get some Equalization. Hutchings had a letter in the Telegram ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The inexplicable persistence of nonsense #nlpoli

“There was a very good job done … of boxing this province out [of the Equalization program] a few years ago,” That was Premier Dwight Ball talking to reporters on Tuesday after the Throne Speech that set the agenda for his new administration. He was talking about the prospect that he might get some cash ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Uncle Ottawa’s cash #nlpoli

The federal government would run a deficit this year three times larger next year than the one the Liberals expected during the election campaign.  The deficit this year is running slightly north of $18 billion and while the Liberals expected to run deficits of around $10 billion each year, the current projection puts the deficit at ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Thank goodness we didn’t build that Firewall!

Fifteen years ago, in Jan. 2001, six prominent Conservative lobbyists and university professors, including future Prime Minister Stephen Harper and provincial cabinet minister Ted Morton, penned the Firewall Manifesto. Prime Minister Jean Chretien‘s Liberals had been re-elected to a third-term in… Continue Reading →

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Pressure #nlpoli

A curious thing happens in societies where a huge amount of the collective income derives from outside the local economy and the local tax base. They do not see a connection between the money they receive and the action of earning it.  The money that flows into the collective pot – the government treasury – ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – In reviewing Gabriel Zucman’s new book, Cass Sunstein discusses the need to rein in tax havens and ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share of the price of a functional society: (W)hatever your political party, you are unlikely to approve of the illegal use of tax havens. ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Equalization… again #nlpoli

Equalization is a really simple idea. In order to ensure that Canadians across the country have access to comparable services regardless of where they live,  the federal government sends money to provinces that don’t make enough on their own. The federal finance department website describes the scheme pretty well.  We’ve reformatted the website version to ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, expanding on this post about Brad Wall’s sad attempt to beg Justin Trudeau for federal money to make up for his own mismanagement. For further reading…– Once again, Wall’s call for a bailout was here. And his previous decision to drop any attempt at a sound equalization system at Stephen Harper’s request can be ...

Accidental Deliberations: On selective equalization

So apparently some unspecified event in federal politics this fall has caused Brad Wall to start demanding money from Ottawa which he’d never have considered seeking before. Now if only he hadn’t trashed Saskatchewan’s bargaining position by dropping the court challenge which could have ensured that resource revenues didn’t play a disproportionate role in equalization ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The uncivil Civil War #nlpoli

At the heart of the ongoing civil war between Danny Williams’ provincial Conservatives and Stephen Harper’s federal Conservatives is the claim by Williams that Harper broke his 2006 election promise on Equalization. Williams wrote to each of the federal party leaders and asked the leaders to state their party’s position on Equalization. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – CJ Werleman writes that the U.S.’ inequality nightmare is getting worse even as the public gains a greater recognition of the issue. Nick Kristof recognizes that radically different levels of wealth result in a serious lack of opportunity for anybody who doesn’t win the genetic lottery. And Katharine ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Linda McQuaig discusses how a renewed push for austerity runs directly contrary to the actual values of Canadians, who want to see their governments accomplish more rather than forcing the public to settle for less: Their formula for achieving small, disabled government is simple: slash taxes (particularly on ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading. – Michael McBane highlights one of the less-discussed changes in the Cons’ 2014 budget – as it officially eliminates the federal distribution of health care funding based on provincial need in favour of handing extra money to Alberta: The Harper government is eliminating the equalization portion of the ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Edging #nlpoli

Over at cbc.ca/nl, John Gushue has an excellent column on the recent prosperity, in particular the apparent contradiction between a supposedly booming economy and the government cuts or the sense some people have that they aren’t part of the boom. Take some time and go read John’s observations, if you haven’t already.  You will always ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellanous material for your Monday reading. – Will Hutton recognizes that an unregulated market can lead to disastrous results for everybody concerned – and that conversely, effective regulation can help to ensure the success of businesses which best meet the long-term needs of their workers and customers: What the Paterson worldview has never understood is ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Equalization Changes and Hydro-Electricity #nlpoli

The federal government is considering changes to the Equalization program and the way it assess revenue from hydro-electricity, according to documents obtained by PostMedia News under the federal access to information system. The changes would apparently take into account revenue from hydro-electric corporations in provinces like Manitoba, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador where a portion ...

Accidental Deliberations: On cooperative efforts

The reports on fiscal arrangements and health care developed in the lead up to this weekend’s meeting of Canada’s premiers have both received some coverage. But there are a couple of points worth noting which seem to have been largely neglected so far. On the fiscal arrangement side, we now have agreement among the provinces ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, expanding on this post as to the importance of a functioning federal system as a means of counterbalancing regional declines – and the forces working to limit anything of the sort in Canada. For further reading…– Frances Russell also laments the Harper firewall model based on the need for national-level planning and coordination. – ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Quebec Tuition: Between a Rock and Hard Place?

In the context of student protests over Quebec tuition fees, my friend Luan Ngo has just written a very informative blog post on Quebec’s fiscal situation. While I encourage readers to read his full post, I do want to use the present space to make mention of three important points he makes: -On a per ...