Canadian News and Politics

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Canada has almost 20 per cent fewer doctors per capita than OECD average

Canada has almost 20 per cent fewer doctors per capita than OECD average
VANCOUVER—The number of doctors in Canada (per person) lags far behind other developed countries, and if current trends continue, Canada likely won’t close the gap in the coming years, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Physicians play a crucial role in Canada’s health-care system, but compared to other developed countries, Canada has a low ratio of physicians to people,” said Steven Globerman, international business professor at Western Washington University, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of The Supply of Physicians in Canada: Projections and Assessment.

By Fraser Institute - Thursday, January 18, 2018 - Full Story

Unemployment rate now less reflective of overall labour market performance due to demographics

Unemployment rate now less reflective of overall labour market performance due to demographics

VANCOUVER—A falling unemployment rate will not necessarily indicate a healthy growing labour market in the future, in part because Canada’s population is getting older and more Canadians are retiring from the workforce, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Historically, the unemployment rate and the employment rate worked in tandem—when one went up, the other went down—but that’s not always true anymore,” said Jason Clemens, executive vice-president of the Fraser Institute and co-author of Why the Unemployment Rate is No Longer a Reliable Gauge of Labour Market Performance.

By Fraser Institute - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - Full Story

Will universal daycare come to Ontario?


Economics is not an exact science. This is why President Harry Truman asked for a one-armed economist because he was tired of being told “on the one hand…, but on the other hand…” But it is basic Economics 101 that if a business’s costs increase, that business will end up raising its prices.

On Jan. 1, 2018, Ontario’s minimum wage increased from $11.60 an hour to $14 an hour, an increase of 21 percent. And this percentage does not include related increases employers must pay for contribution to their employees’ costs for Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan. Also not included in the increase are other wage hikes employers will have to give their workers who made more than $11.60 an hour at the end of 2017 but less than the now minimum wage. This large increase is a disaster for the province.

By Arthur Weinreb - Monday, January 15, 2018 - Full Story

Opioids in Canada: One-in-eight have family or close friends who faced addiction

Angus Reid Opiod Pol
January 11, 2018 – The thousands of deaths across Canada as a result of opioid use and addiction has been a dominating public health, public safety, and public policy issue for more than two years.

Beyond the headlines and the grim statistics, a new public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute finds this nationwide epidemic striking close to home for a significant number of Canadians. One-in-eight (12%) – the equivalent of nearly 3.5 million Canadian adults – say they have close friends or family members who have become dependent on opioids in the last five years.

By Angus Reid Institute - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - Full Story

CPP tax increase and Ottawa’s income tax changes mean higher taxes for virtually every Canadia

 CPP tax increase and Ottawa’s income tax changes mean higher taxes for virtually every Canadian family  class=
VANCOUVER—More than 90 per cent of Canadian families with children will pay higher taxes once the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) tax increases are fully implemented, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The first of seven increases to the CPP tax, which all workers must pay, will start this time next year.

By Fraser Institute - Thursday, January 11, 2018 - Full Story

Mayor needs to make sure taxpayers aren’t stuck with union bills

United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg president Alex Forrest
REGINA, SK: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the City of Winnipeg to establish a clear and firm policy to ensure that taxpayers aren’t paying the bills for unions.

“It’s bad enough to find out taxpayers are footing the bill for 60 per cent of the salary for the firefighters’ union president who is on leave from the city, but it’s even worse to find out the mayor and council didn’t even know about the one-sided deal,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the CTF. “Taxpayers shouldn’t have to cover the costs on both sides of the bargaining table – the City of Winnipeg needs to get a handle on the situation and make it clear: unions need to pay their own bills.”

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Todd MacKay – CTF Prairie Director- Thursday, January 11, 2018 - Full Story

Canada’s biggest cities much less dense than other major U.S., international urban centres

Canada’s biggest cities much less dense than other major U.S., international urban centres
TORONTO—Canadian cities—including Toronto and Vancouver, which are experiencing an affordability crunch—can accommodate much more housing supply as they have much lower population densities than other major urban centres around the world, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Compared to their international peers, Canadian cities have much lower levels of density, and thus an ability to expand the supply of housing,” said Josef Filipowicz, senior policy analyst with the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Municipal Studies and author of Room To Grow: Comparing Urban Density in Canada and Abroad.

By Fraser Institute - Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - Full Story

How Tim Horton’s Blew it Bigtime!

 HOW TIM HORTONS BLEW IT BIGTIME
No matter how destructive you think Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s idea was to increase the province’s minimum wage law a whopping amount, a couple of Tim Hortons’ franchisees and the franchisor played it wrong. In the end, with the help of the business-hating media, Wynne has emerged the winner in the battle over whether the increase in the minimum wage is good or bad.

Ontario’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, took effect on Jan. 1 (You know a law can’t be good when it contains the word “fair.”) Among its provisions, the provinces minimum wage increased from $1l.60 an hour to $14. Under the legislation the minimum wage is set to increase again to $15 an hour in January 2019. Although businesses should and do expect minimum wages to increase as other prices do, the 2018 increase represents a 23% increase in low wage levels. As employers have to contribute to the employees Canada pension and Employment insurance payments, the cost to these employers will be more than just the $2.40 increase in the hourly wage.

By Arthur Weinreb - Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - Full Story

COVER-UP OF RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN HIGH RIVER FORCED ENTRIES

COVER-UP OF RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN HIGH RIVER FORCED ENTRIES
On August 7, 2014, a telephone poll of all listed phone numbers in High River, Alberta showed that 53 percent of High River respondents would refuse orders to evacuate their homes in the event of another flood. On September 9, 2016 another telephone poll of all listed phone numbers in High River produced similar results: less than half of High River residents trust the RCMP to protect their homes and property in the event of another emergency evacuation order.  No newspaper has reported the results of these polls (or the other two telephone polls conducted for the National Firearms Association) and no government has bothered to conduct an independent poll to verify or clarify these results.

By Dennis R. Young - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - Full Story

Ontario wishes you a merry Christmas and a petty new tax year

Ontario wishes you a merry Christmas and a petty new tax year
A new year in Ontario always comes with a few predictable staples; fireworks, champagne, a countdown to midnight, and petty increases to taxes and regulatory fees by the provincial government.

We’re not talking about big picture changes to income taxes. There is no significant change there. A two-child, single-income family earning $60,000 per year will have no change to their income taxes.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Thursday, January 4, 2018 - Full Story

Manitobans don’t want a carbon tax

Manitobans don't want a carbon tax
An Insightrix survey asked 603 Manitobans a simple question during December: Do you support or oppose a carbon tax in Manitoba? Fifty per cent oppose a carbon tax while 31 per cent support it and 19 per cent are unsure.

Here’s the reason for that opposition. A carbon tax will cost Manitobans $260 million per year, but there’s no evidence it will stop global climate change. In fact, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation analysed Manitoba’s performance on indicators cited in the province’s Climate and Green Plan. The numbers show that even without a carbon tax, Manitoba is already outperforming the nation generally and even British Columbia with its carbon tax.

Unfortunately, the province is unswayed by facts.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Todd MacKay – CTF Prairie Director- Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - Full Story

Top business leaders—like top athletes, musicians, actors—highly sought after, very well

Top business leaders—like top athletes, musicians, actors—highly sought after, very well compensated
VANCOUVER—Historically high levels of compensation for top business leaders in Canada is not unusual, given the high levels of compensation that top global athletes, musicians and actors also receive, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Top performers in any industry—sports, music, movies and the global business community—are compensated at historically high levels because they are in high demand globally, there are limited substitutes and they’re highly mobile, making it fierce competition for the very best,” said Jason Clemens, Fraser Institute executive vice-president and co-author of CEO to Worker Pay: A Broader Examination.

By Fraser Institute - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - Full Story

Trump tax cuts could spell trouble for Canada

Trump tax cuts could spell trouble for Canada
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once remarked that Canada’s relationship with the United States was like sleeping next to an elephant: “No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

Well, forget twitches and grunts. With the biggest tax cut in decades being signed into law south of the border, the elephant is about to start doing somersaults in the bed – and if our own politicians don’t take action, the Canadian economy could end up getting squashed.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director- Tuesday, January 2, 2018 - Full Story

CTF Releases New Year’s Tax Changes for 2018

CTF Releases New Year's Tax Changes for 2018

  • Quebec’s lowest income tax bracket drops from 16% to 15%
  • Federal small business tax rate drops to 10% from 10.5%
  • British Columbia cuts Medical Services Premium in half and hikes taxes on high income earners
  • Bracket creep remains a problem in several provinces
  •  Carbon tax hikes in Alberta, while new carbon taxes loom on the horizon nationally


OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) has released its annual report crunching the numbers on new year’s tax changes for Canadians, most of whom will only see minor changes in their tax bill for 2018.

Federally, Employment Insurance (EI) premiums will rise slightly, costing employees and employers an additional $9 and $13 per year, respectively. The indexation of the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will also come into force on July 1, 2018, leading to a slight decrease in payments to eligible families on January 1st.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director- Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - Full Story

Manitobans oppose carbon taxes - survey

Manitobans oppose carbon taxes - survey
WINNIPEG, MB: An Insightrix Research survey commissioned by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) shows that 50 per cent of Manitobans oppose a carbon tax and only 31 per cent are in favour.

“Premier Brian Pallister continues to ignore an obvious fact: Manitobans don’t want a carbon tax,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the CTF. “Premier Pallister’s carbon tax will cost Manitobans $260 million every year, but there’s no evidence that it will actually impact global climate change and Manitobans simply don’t support the scheme.”

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Todd MacKay – CTF Prairie Director- Thursday, December 21, 2017 - Full Story

Terminate the Damaging Green Energy Agreement on Schedule

Terminate the Damaging Green Energy Agreement on Schedule
Bob Yaciuk, leader of the Trillium Party of Ontario, has formally called for a full and open public discussion of the role of solar and wind energy in Ontario – before the Ontario government extends or replaces the GREEN ENERGY INVESTMENT AGREEMENT.

Mr. Yaciuk said: “Ontario’s citizens and businesses must be protected against the damaging increases in electricity prices that have been caused by this agreement that the Liberal government signed with the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and Samsung, not to mention the effects of the rural communities that are suffering under the effects of these renewable projects. The contract must not be extended beyond its scheduled end on December 31, 2017.”

The Agreement, as modified in 2013, called on KEPCO and Samsung (Korea Consortium) to design, construct and operate 1000 megawatts (Mw.) of wind powered plants and 300 Mw. of solar generating facilities in three phases before December 31, 2016 and to manage those facilities until the Agreement formally ends on December 31, 2017.

By News on the Net - Thursday, December 21, 2017 - Full Story

Actually, Minister Joly got it right with Netflix

Actually, Minister Joly got it right with Netflix
In September 2016, Heritage Minister Melanie Joly launched a review of the federal government’s cultural policies with the laudable goal of making them “better suited to today’s digital reality.”

The result, released a year later, was rather short of a revolution, including such predictable boilerplate as more taxpayers subsidies for cultural corporate welfare (also known as the Canada Media Fund (CMF)), and more tax dollars to help promote Canadian content abroad. There would even be a new Creative Industries Council, creatively created to help the creative industry counsel the government on creativity.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director- Thursday, December 21, 2017 - Full Story

Mid-year budget update shows progress

Mid-year budget update shows progress
WINNIPEG, MB: The Manitoba government is making progress to balance the budget with a slight decrease in the deficit and spending restraint in the wake of a dip in revenues, but more work is needed as annual interest payments are projected at $981 million.

Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, will be available to comment on the mid-year budget update between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Legislature.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Todd MacKay – CTF Prairie Director- Thursday, December 21, 2017 - Full Story

Eastern Ontario hospitals see climbing electricity costs

Eastern Ontario hospitals see climbing electricity costs

Hospitals in eastern Ontario (including Ottawa, Napanee, Cornwall and Kingston) that have reported data show an average 28 per cent increase in electricity bills
TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that the electricity bills for hospitals in eastern Ontario have been increasing dramatically over the last five to six years.

Today, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is releasing data for the Royal Mental Health centre in Ottawa, the Lennox & Addington County General Hospital in Napanee, Kingston Health Sciences, Providence Care in Kingston, and Cornwall Community Hospital.

The newly released documents show that the hospitals faced the following changes to their electricity costs:

HospitalTime Frame% ChangeTotal Increase
Royal Mental HealthCentre5 years39% increase$311,611
Lennox & Addington County General Hospital5 years33% increase$141,947
Kingston Health Sciences5 years4% decrease($154, 686)
Cornwall Community Hospital5 years4% increase$41,831
By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - Full Story

Canadian Taxpayers Federation reacts to Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative

Canadian Taxpayers Federation reacts to Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative
OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) Federal Director Aaron Wudrick released the following statement in response to today’s federal government announcement regarding the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative:

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation - Monday, December 18, 2017 - Full Story