“Big-scale” Problem Meets “Small-scale” Solution (Part II)

Every now and then I’m asked—in public, mind you—for a little “crystal-balling.” What’s going to happen with this issue?  Who’s going to win that campaign?  What’ll happen here?  How’s it going to shake out there?  If there’s one Q&A or media query that I hate, it’s being asked to make “the prediction.”  I’m not very

Read More

“Big-scale” Problem Meets “Small-scale” Solution (Part I)

Ever since the Great Depression of the 1930s, a key goal of economic growth and development in the West has been the drive to secure a more diverse economic base. Successes on this front include the aerospace industry in Manitoba, the Canadian Light Source synchrotron facility in Saskatchewan, medical research facilities and programs endowed in

Read More

“Smart” Debt vs. “Stupid” Debt

From the 1950s to the 1970s, borrowing was one of the single largest sources of municipal infrastructure financing.  But after the deficit and debt scare of the 1990s, and the fiscal belt-tightening that followed, borrowing on the public credit became almost universally despised.  The conventional wisdom that developed is that all government expenditure—including infrastructure—should be

Read More

I-4: Investment, Invention, Innovation, and Infrastructure

With the Christmas shopping season in full swing, many of us have already seen, heard, or read the inevitable news stories about how much consumers are planning to spend this year, the results of the latest consumer confidence survey, and the overall state of the retail sector.  Behind this type of commentary lies an unspoken

Read More

Dealing with “Dirty Dirt”

The name Eric Malling still makes me smirk. Born in Swift Current, a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, and a product of Carleton’s School of Journalism, Malling earned a national reputation as an edgy and hard-hitting investigative journalist, first as host of CBC’s The Fifth Estate and later as host of CTV’s W-5 With Eric Malling. Interesting,

Read More