Maintaining momentum for a Canadian energy strategy

At a late February meeting in Halifax, the Winnipeg Consensus Group (WCG) pulled together over 60 participants from think tanks, ENGOs, industry and government to discuss how to maintain momentum for a Canadian energy strategy. Many of the participants had been present at previous WCG meetings in Winnipeg (2011) and Banff (2010), and thus the

Read More

1 cent Solution to a Billion Dollar Problem (Part IV)

Solutions to policy problems seldom enjoy unanimous, much less unqualified, support. The “Penny Tax” is no exception. In this final segment, I respond to the critics. Criticism: The infrastructure deficit is fictitious.  It compares what “is” spent (observable) with what “ought” to be spent (unobservable). Many infrastructure “needs” are really “wants,” “whims,” or “dreams.” The Canada West Foundation

Read More

1 cent Solution to a Billion Dollar Problem (Part III)

As a former colony and dominion of the British empire, Canada has inherited a number of practices and traditions that developed and evolved in Great Britain.  Canada’s parliament—based on the Westminster system—is but one example. A less well-known but not unimportant “hang-over” from Canada’s colonial days is the heavy reliance of our local governments on

Read More

Ontario coming to the table: Creating a Canadian energy strategy

Off the cuff and intemperate comments by political leaders seldom advance the greater public good. However, last week’s media firefight between Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Alberta Premier Alison Redford may turn out to be a very positive step forward in the quest for a Canadian energy strategy. Admittedly, participants in this pursuit, including me,

Read More

1 cent Solution to a Billion Dollar Problem (Part II)

If the size of the municipal infrastructure funding challenge is the daunting bad news, then the encouraging good news is that the tax burden in Canada has eased significantly over the past 20 years. Personal and corporate income taxes have fallen since the mid-1990s, and so have sales taxes like the federal GST.  All of

Read More

The Russian Doll: Understanding the opposition to a new pipeline to the West Coast

At first blush, the challenge created by a pipeline that would ship oil from Alberta to the BC coast seems quite simple: figure out how to address the environmental impact so we can unlock the economic benefits that the pipeline will bring. If only it were this simple. Opposition to a new pipeline from Alberta

Read More