Alberta Politics: Why Canadians are lucky Rona Ambrose was hanging around the Caribbean with a billionaire

PHOTOS: The scene abroad N. Murray Edwards’ yacht imagined. Actual Canadian bitumen billionaires and their onboard guests may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real N. Murray Edwards, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau aboard a helicopter, although not the Aga Khan’s, Opposition Leader Rona Ambrose in a yacht harbor, and J.P. Veitch, Ms. Ambrose’s significant ...

Alberta Politics: Canadian newspaper industry advances on Ottawa, hands out, awash in red ink and democratic platitudes

PHOTOS: Stop the presses! … I mean the losses! Put me through to the red ink department … I mean the tax department … Actual Canadian newspaper owners may not be as committed to jobs as the sign on the press suggests. Below: Edward Greenspon of the Public Policy Forum and late of the Globe ...

Alberta Politics: Past PC taxes disappear down conservative Memory Hole amid apocalyptic claims about similar NDP policies

PHOTOS: Then finance minister Robin Campbell and premier Jim Prentice explain their plan to increase taxes in March 2015. Criticism was mild. Below: Premier Ralph Klein and Stockwell Day, who was Mr. Klein’s provincial treasurer in the late 1990s (CBC photo); Wildrose MLA Heather Forsyth, who was interim Opposition leaders in 2015, and Wildrose Finance ...

Alberta Politics: Right-wing newspaper owners want your taxes to subsidize their obsolete, mismanaged, biased publications

PHOTOS: A typical daily newspaper press, once a common sight in small cities and larger towns throughout North America. This one was photographed through a window Tuesday in Brigadoon, Alberta, so it should be good as is for another 10 years. Oh, wait, I made it out of town this afternoon … it must’ve been ...

Alberta Politics: It’s official: Departure of oil sands and hockey billionaire Murray Edwards had nothing to do with taxes

ILLUSTRATIONS: Alberta’s terrifying Temple of Tax, found on the media midway. So scary it even frightens billionaires away. Really! Below: Dr. Samuel Johnson, noted wit, N. Murray Edwards, oil sands billionaire (CBC photo), and Mr. James Boswell, biographer. It’s official. The departure of oil sands and hockey bazillionaire N. Murray Edwards from Alberta had nothing ...

Alberta Politics: If you were secretly relieved by yesterday’s NDP Alberta budget, you weren’t alone …

PHOTOS: Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci addresses the media during a lockup early yesterday afternoon in Edmonton before reading the 2016 Budget Speech to the Legislature. Below: CFIB Alberta spokesperson Richard Truscott, Edmonton-Centre MLA David Shepherd and author and environmentalist Naomi Klein. Admit it, Alberta, after yesterday afternoon’s Budget Speech was read by Finance Minister ...

Alberta Politics: A class of refugee the National Post and Wildrose Party can finally love: billionaires in tax flight

PHOTOS: N. Murray Edwards talking about himself in a screen capture from a Facebook video. Below: The National Post’s Kevin Libin and the Wildrose Party’s Derek Fildebrandt, united in their fearless championing of the Canadian overdog. Bottom: Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, sitting while the rest of us stand to attention. N. Murray Edwards, where are ...

Alberta Politics: Do billionaires fleeing Canadian taxes deserve public subsidies for their Alberta franchises?

PHOTOS: CNRL Executive Chairperson N. Murray Edwards, a billionaire. (Wikipedia photo). Below: Twitter gadfly Dave Beninger (Facebook grab), Law Professor Catherine Brown (University of Calgary photo), former Alberta Premier Alison Redford and billionaire hockey team owner Daryl Katz. Bottom: A typically fair and balanced story on one of the many front pages of the Edmonton-Calgary-Sun-Journal-Herald-Sun. ...

Alberta Politics: Tories’ Senate gambit shows Harper still runs the party and the party still holds Parliament in contempt

PHOTOS: The Senate chamber, empty, as it should be. Below: Stephen Harper, apparently still the de facto leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Conservative Opposition’s threat to use its majority in the unelected Senate to thwart the Trudeau Government’s plan to repeal two ...

Alberta Politics: Baked Alaska and the Fraser Institute: what changes, and what doesn’t, when oil prices fall and the money melts

PHOTOS: Alaska Governor Bill Walker illustrates about how much is left in the northern state’s budget now that oil prices have gone south. (Alaska Dispatch News photo.) Below: The wild rose, official flower of both Alaska and Alberta; baked Alaska, going up in flames. Looks like Alaska is totally … baked. As in, done like ...

Alberta Politics: Big Tobacco’s doubtful claim high taxes encourage cigarette smuggling finds support on Alberta’s Wildrose benches

PHOTOS: Young cigarette smokers in 1910. The tobacco industry and its friends on the Opposition benches think high tobacco taxes are a problem. Below: Wildrose Party Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt, an advocate of this view; NDP Finance Minister Joe Ceci, whose Bill 4 will enable higher taxes on tobacco. It looks as if Wildrose Finance ...

Alberta Politics: Go figure! Major tobacco corporation’s unique Alberta lobbying effort focuses on Wildrose finance critic

PHOTOS: The benefits to young people of a low-tax regime for cigarettes. Real portrayals of the joys of smoking may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Cigarette smuggling – bad for the books for sure; Wildrose Party Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt, whose 2012 Canadian Taxpayers Federation publication argued contraband cigarettes are a problem that could ...

Alberta Politics: Fast food and fair wages: What happens when a good idea from Alberta hits the big time in New York?

PHOTOS: New York, New York … You gotta love it! Below: Fast food, New York City style. Below that: New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Alberta’s New Democratic Party government got a powerful boost from an unexpected quarter yesterday for its plan, which is controversial among certain well-heeled interest groups, ...

Alberta Politics: ‘Alberta is not Greece yet’ … Why do we have to pay for Jack Mintz’s mythmaking?

PHOTOS: Calgary in the near future, as fancifully described by the usual suspects at the University of Calgary, if the NDP doesn’t start delivering Conservative polices with alacrity. Below: U of Calgary Professor Jack Mintz, grabbed from Imperial Oil’s annual report; former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge. VICTORIA, B.C. “Alberta is not yet Greece, ...

Alberta Politics: The Speech from the Throne: NDP’s new political funding rules turn the Tories’ world upside down

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley gives a thumbs up in the Legislature for her government’s Speech from the Throne yesterday. Below: Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell reads the speech (Government of Alberta photos). There weren’t any real surprises in the Notley Government’s first Speech from the Throne yesterday, although the ban on corporate and union donations ...

Alberta Diary: Hockey millionaires and pharmacare tell you everything you need to know about who the Canadian Taxpayers Federation really works for

The Montreal Canadiens in 1912-13. Now the highest-taxed hockey players on the continent, they’re still the best and likely to stay that way. Below: Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions President Linda Silas; U.S. anti-public-health-care fruitloop and Canadian Taxpayers Federation ally Grover Norquist. For a while now it’s seemed as if the so-called Canadian Taxpayers Federation ...

Alberta Diary: Campaign Diary Volume 11: The uncomfortable truth about taxes and radical tax cuts

Radical cuts can’t be accomplished without harm – anyone who says different, like the city council candidate above, is presenting an illusion. Actual St. Albert city council candidates may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The philosopher Aristotle. A St. Albertan has asked me the tough question that all city council candidates are going to ...

Alberta Diary: Uh-oh! Premier Alison Redford wants to have a ‘conversation’ with us

Fireside chats? Alberta Premier Alison Redford as she’ll likely see herself while softening up the province’s citizens for the March 7 Budget Speech on CTV tonight. Below: Ms. Redford as Albertans may see her. Below that: the real Ms. Redford; Conference Board Chief Economist Glen Hodgson. Oh dear. Premier Alison Redford wants to have a ...

Impolitical: Republicans on the no new taxes road to ruin

The Republican party in the U.S. has taken that road for almost two decades now and our Prime Minister has imported that no new taxes philosophy to Canada. Conservative sycophants all over the country have followed his lead. Yet at years end, take a look at what’s happening in our neighbour to the south. The ...

Bullshit in absolutes: or how ‘liberal’* economists argue with themselves

We can perhaps amend an old Ethiopian saying to read “absolutes are for infants and kings”.  It is catechism worth remembering when arguing with liberal economists.  For theirs is not a just sport.    In fact, one should never mix sport with justice.  As Berlin said long ago (1958): Everything is what it is: liberty ...