The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Books, tents, fishing rods and such #nlpoli

Don’t ask why but Statistics Canada groups books in with sporting goods, hobbies, and music. The picture shows total sales in Newfoundland and Labrador each months from january 2014 to October 2016 for these items. The figures are in thousands of dollars. The average per month over the whole period is about $9.8 million. The ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Norman Farrell highlights how following the reversal of the HST transition, B.C. businesses haven’t given up on their goal of making sure that only individuals pay consumption taxes. – Jordan Press and Lee Berthiaume report on the lack of any recent effort to ensure that federal government buildings ...

Left Over: Gordon Campbell..back in the Soup…

Ottawa announces diplomatic shakeup with 26 new appointments Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion removes high-profile Harper-era appointees By John Paul Tasker, CBC News Posted: Jul 19, 2016 11:27 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 19, 2016 3:02 PM ET It’s about time, by any standards of  political heel-dragging, that  the Harper appointees go gently into that  good ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten things to know about the 2016-17 Alberta budget

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I have a blog post titled: “Ten things to know about the 2016-17 Alberta budget.” The link to the post is here.

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Friends in high places: changing the HST in a hurry #nlpoli

According to a statement from the federal finance department on Wednesday,  “the federal government will take any necessary steps to ensure that the [HST] rate increase does not come into effect on January 1, 2016.” [CBC] That came out of the first meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier-designate Dwight Ball. Ball wrote two ...

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Frugality, thy name is not TransLink

Opinion researchers Insights West concluded in 2013 that an increase in sales tax was the least favoured funding option for TransLink. Nevertheless, that’s the option preferred by most municipal politicians and the province. They might theorize that a number of small drains in our pockets will be less noticed. Also, they see the 0.5% transit ...

Alex's Blog: Why We Hate Taxes – and why we shouldn’t

A somewhat shorter version first appeared in albertaviews January/February 2015 as Taxes: a small price to pay for civilization About a year ago, my son Jordan, some friends and colleagues and I put together a book on taxes in Canada, Tax Is Not a Four-Letter Word. We had quite different views about how high taxes ...

Progressive Proselytizing: Taking the HST off hydro is bad policy, if good politics

One of the signature campaign planks for the NDP in the 2014 Ontario Election is to remove the HST from our hydro bills, saving perhaps $120 a year for average families. The motivation behind this – reducing the cost to average families – is reasonable and will undoubtedly be a persuasive policy plank in the ...

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Alberta’s Sales Tax Phobia

Ever since I was a child growing up, Alberta has made a big deal about how we don’t have a sales tax.  Back in the day, when resource revenues were perhaps more predictable because the markets didn’t move as fast as they do now, perhaps that was a good thing. I had started to advocate ...

The Scott Ross: Christy Clark Is Unstoppable

Christy Clark is unstoppable. She became Liberal Leader with only the support of one MLA. Members of her caucus criticized her. 17 of them fearing defeat didn’t run for re-election. Practically every pundit and journalist thought Clark was going to lose and so did every single polling firm. But last night she won. Not only ...

The Scott Ross: Christy Clark Is Unstoppable

Christy Clark is unstoppable. She became Liberal Leader with only the support of one MLA. Members of her caucus criticized her. 17 of them fearing defeat didn’t run for re-election. Practically every pundit and journalist thought Clark was going to lose and so did every single polling firm. But last night she won. Not only ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ontario Budget: All Quiet on the Revenue Front

As others have noted, last week’s Ontario budget combined modest social investments in areas requested by the NDP with austerity for overall expenditures. Ontario program spending, already the lowest per capita of any province, will be subject to ongoing cuts relative to inflation. This paradox on the expenditure side of the ledger reflects a vacuum ...

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: The Real Price We Pay for Fossil Fuel Energy

Did you know our government spend money subsidizing fossil fuel energy to keep prices artificially low? A new International Monetary Fund study uncovers just how much these subsidies are and urge our governments to stop these market distortion practices. I calculate the real price we pay for fossil fuel energy and the results are astonishing. The ...

Song of the Watermelon: Cleaning Up Gordon Campbell’s Mess

According to every poll and every projection by every firm and every commentator, Christy Clark and her Liberal Party are about to be handed an unbalanced ass-whooping of the sort we British Columbians seem to enjoy dishing out to governing parties once every decade or so. Naturally, when this happens, I will be singing and ...

Cowichan Conversations: The BC NDP Face Grim Choices Over BC Hydro-Fracking and the Site ‘C’ Dam Proposal

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger The BC Liberal’s, when under the firm grip of former Premier Gordon Campbell, liquidated much of BC Hydro, the the once proud mothership of our Crown Corps. Campbell sold and dealt off many of the assets and services and then through the insane ‘Run of the River’ IPP’s left BC Hydro drowning  in ...

The Canadian Progressive: OPSEU congratulates Wynne, calls for commitment to “the 99 per cent”

by Ontario Public Service Employees Union | Jan. 27, 2013: TORONTO – The president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union has congratulated Kathleen Wynne on her victory in the Ontario Liberal Party leadership race and is calling on her to make fairness the guiding principle of her government when she becomes the province’s first-ever female Premier. “Our ...

Northern Insight: Yes Bill, you are ill equipped

Biill Good & Premier’s Director of Outreach It was an interview so tortured that I suspect Bill Good’s briefing notes had fallen irretrievably from the desk just as his guest was introduced. This morning, the Corus Radio star failed to twinkle light on the glacial pace of re-implementing PST as decreed by referendum voters in ...

Northern Insight: Still Looking after needy minorities – RERUN

First published May 2010. From the reliable Justine Hunter and Ian Bailey at the Globe and Mail, read HST backlash could prove to be B.C. Liberal’s Waterloo. This excerpt: Mr. Canseco, a vice-president with Angus Reid Public Opinion, said the only demographic where the Liberals have not seen a double-digit drop in support since the ...

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: BC Liberals reward friends

When Kevin Falcon presented his budget, corporate media cheerleaders turned immediately to the reliables for comment — people like John Winter (BC Chamber of Commerce), Jock Finlayson (BC Business Council) and Phil Hockstein (Independent Contractors and Businesses Association). Vancouver Sun writer Jonathan Fowlie quoted John Winter as saying the budget is “very responsible.” At the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: McGuinty’s Business Tax Breaks

An interesting nugget in last week’s Drummond report is Table 11.1, an updated version of Table 2 from “Ontario’s Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth” (2009). It provides a sectoral breakdown of the McGuinty government’s recent business tax breaks: providing HST input tax credits, cutting the corporate income tax, and eliminating the corporate capital tax. ...

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Liberals dig giant hole in NDP budget

According to Finance Minister Kevin Falcon, B.C. will scrap the HST, return to the PST on April 1 2013 and repay $320 million per year to the federal government in each of the next five years to return the $1.6 billion transition funding provided by Ottawa. According to Elections BC, the next provincial election is ...

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: I-RO-NY [ ahy-ruh-nee ]

The REPLAY below from September 2010 seems particularly relevant after Jonathan Fowlie exposed the story of HST pamphlets going from printer to shredder by the truckload. The original waste is bad. Worse is demonstration that unprincipled politicians will throw good money after bad if there is a chance to hide embarrassing mistakes. That resulted in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: December 1, 2011

In the midst of a week of acrimonious debate over both the substance of the Cons’ dumb-on-crime legislation and the government’s procedural maneuvers to prevent even improvements which it recognized as necessary, December 1 served as a comparative beacon of cooperation (as noted specifically by Don Davies). The Big Issue That’s because the government bill ...

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: Dumb-ass schnooks we are

Replay from May 27, 2011 because the issues have not changed: Too-polite Canadians accept almost any declaration from people in authority. We are naive, complacent schnooks. Dumb, as well; the proof is all around. Implementation of HST and the alterations BC Liberals now propose provide indisputable evidence that they have lied repeatedly to us. HST ...

Progressive Proselytizing: Emphasizing neutrality with respect to the progressive/regressive spectrum

Deficit neutral bills are a stalwart tool of the savvy politician. They allow for the sidestepping of the often raucous and partisan debates about the size of government and the size of deficits. With deficit neutral bills, there is a sense to which the policy can be considered on its own merits and not as ...