Canadian News

Canadian News and Opinion

Trapping Canada’s media darling on electoral reform

In 2015 Canada’s Liberal party promised electoral reform and campaigned on a commitment to ensure that 2015 would “be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.” The Liberals, led by Mr. Trudeau won about 39.4% of the popular vote and a total of 184 seats in a 338 seat House to form a majority government.

An all-party committee of the House was struck in June of 2016 to recommend an alternative voting method; it reported in favor of a proportional representation system in November; and was fully repudiated in February of 2017 when Prime Minister Trudeau announced that “a clear preference for a new electoral system, let alone a consensus, has not emerged” and therefore that nothing further would be done.

By Paul Murphy - Monday, June 19, 2017 - Full Story

First Nations activist wins precedent setting court victory for financial transparency

SASKATOON, SK: First Nations activist Charmaine Stick and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) are celebrating a precedent setting court victory to strengthen band members’ rights to demand financial transparency from their leaders.

“First Nations leaders have a sacred responsibility to serve the grassroots people and that means being open about what’s happening with our money,” said Ms Stick, a member of the Onion Lake Cree Nation. “For years I’ve been demanding answers from our leaders and they’ve told me I’d never get anywhere, but today’s court ruling proves that all of us have the right to hold our chief and council accountable.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation - Saturday, June 17, 2017 - Full Story

CTF applauds rejection of internet tax

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is applauding Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly for rejecting the Heritage Committee’s recommendation to impose a new internet tax on Canadians.

“A new internet tax is a terrible idea, and would make the internet less affordable for Canadians,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick, “Even worse would be using the revenue to create a new corporate welfare slush fund for the government to subsidize their favourite media outlets.”

The CTF has previously noted that taxpayers are already forced to spend billions subsidizing cultural industries, and the best way forward is fewer subsidies, not more.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, CTF Federal Director- Thursday, June 15, 2017 - Full Story

Hundreds of Ontarians are sending the Premier a message

TORONTO, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) has delivered 797 little rubber ducks to Premier Wynne in protest of her government’s wasteful spending.

The 797 ducks were ordered by individuals from across the province as a part of the CTF’s DuckOffQueensPark.ca campaign. The campaign was launched after it was uncovered that the government had paid over $121,000 to rent a giant inflatable rubber duck.

“When news of this duck became public, we received calls and emails from across the province. It’s almost as if the government is running out of ways to waste our money. That’s why we wanted to send the government a message,” said CTF Ontario Director, Christine Van Geyn.

“Since the Premier likes ducks so much, hundreds of hardworking taxpayers from across Ontario are sending her these 797 little rubber ducks as a message to her government to stop wasting money,” continued Van Geyn. “With any hope, this duck debacle will make the provincial government take a good, hard look at how they spend taxpayer dollars and start treating those dollars with more respect.”

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation - Monday, June 12, 2017 - Full Story

Morneau’s ‘tax escalator’ a bad precedent

(This column originally appeared on the Toronto Sun)

Most taxpayers probably breathed a sigh of relief that Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s spring budget didn’t include any headline-grabbing tax hikes, such as increases in income taxes or business taxes. Rumoured new taxes on health and dental benefits and capital gains thankfully never materialized.

But that doesn’t mean taxpayers got off the hook completely.

There were still a few small increases, including tax hikes on cigarettes, and a two per cent tax hike on beer, wine and spirits.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, CTF Federal Director- Monday, June 12, 2017 - Full Story

Ontario’s plan for ‘universal’ and ‘affordable’ day care won’t be universal and it sure isn’t afford

This column first ran in the Financial Post and is now free to reprint.

What could Kathleen Wynne possibly have left in her progressive bag of tricks? There’s an election one year away, and the premier has already offered universal pharmacare for kids, rent control and a $15 dollar minimum wage. What costly razzle-dazzle does the premier have left to wow voters?

Behold Wynne’s June 6th proposal of “universally affordable” child care—which is neither universal nor affordable. With this idea the premier is following in the footsteps of the NDP’s Thomas Mulcair, the NDP’s Rachel Notley, and of course the separatist former Quebec premier Pauline Marois.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn- Friday, June 9, 2017 - Full Story

June 9 is Tax Freedom Day, when Canadians start working for themselves and not government

VANCOUVER—Canadian families celebrate Tax Freedom Day on June 9 this year, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual calculations.

Tax Freedom Day measures the total yearly tax burden imposed on Canadian families by federal, provincial and municipal governments. If you had to pay all your taxes up front, you’d give government every dollar you earned before Tax Freedom Day.

 

By Fraser Institute - Friday, June 9, 2017 - Full Story

Manitobans reject carbon taxes according to government survey

WINNIPEG, MB: Results from the Manitoba government’s carbon tax survey show that 59 per cent of those who provided comments oppose carbon taxes, according to analysis done by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF). The CTF obtained the survey comments through a freedom-of-information request.

“The Manitoba government asked what people think of carbon taxes and people sent a clear message: Manitobans don’t want a carbon tax,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the CTF. “Premier Brian Pallister needs to listen to the people and oppose a carbon tax.”

The Manitoba government ran its online Climate and Green Plan survey from Mar. 3 to Mar. 31. While the survey failed to ask respondents whether or not they support a carbon tax, 3,700 people provided comments. The CTF has analysed those comments and more than 59 per cent of those who commented clearly oppose a carbon tax.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation - Thursday, June 8, 2017 - Full Story

Premier Wynne preaches her Fair Hydro Plan - How is This Fair

Ontario’s financial accountability officer states that the Wynne’s Liberals hydro plan could end up costing Ontarians up to $93 billion more if this plan is financed.  The best case scenario is it will cost Ontarians $45 billion more if Ontario can manage to balance the budget for the next 30 years. What this means is we are going to be paying a lot more money for hydro in the long run for a very short period of relief on a pre- election bribe.

What Premier Wynne failed to tell everyone is that Hydro One has applied for a large rate increase on distribution rates,disconnections / reconnections
removal of load limiters,account collections and access to their poles all increased , in 2018 a $2.79 per month increase- 2019 a $2.47 per month increase -2020 a $ 2.31 per month increase - 2021 a $1.95 per month increase and 2022 a $2.23 per month increase then we will have other rate increases. The OPG has also applied for a 69% increase to produce nuclear power by 2022.  Tis would add a further $5.25 a month to our hydro bill, a decision on this rate increase will come later this year, the increases will keep coming each year
Premier Wynne stated our rates would be tied to inflation for four to five years Do the math here people, how can Premier Wynne say she is going to temporary subsidize 25% of our hydro bill when our rates continue to rise.

By Guest Column -- Ross Ayotte- Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - Full Story

New Hydro Increases Looming

Thank you for your note Ross on Hydro One’s application to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) for a distribution rate increase.

Not only does the application request a distribution rate increase, but they are also applying to have the service charges on disconnection/reconnections, removal of load limiters, account collections and access to their poles all increased.

By Randy Hillier - Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - Full Story

Waterloo Region District School Board electricity costs up by more than $1.7 million

TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal a dramatic increase to the cost of electricity to the Waterloo Region District School Board since 2012.

The documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that in the last four years, bills for schools within the board rose from $7.1 million to $8.8 million. That’s a 25 per cent increase, even though the number of schools remained the same.

“How are the schools in Waterloo Region expected to provide top notch service to students when their electricity bills have grown by 25 per cent? The more money schools have to spend keeping their lights on, the fewer resources they have for students,” said CTF Ontario Director, Christine Van Geyn.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation - Monday, June 5, 2017 - Full Story

Minister Bains’ lackluster clusters

(This column originally appeared on the Toronto Sun)

Last week, federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced new details about the federal government’s plan to grow Canada’s economy: hand out nearly a billion dollars in taxpayer money to a few businesses who are willing to ask for it.

To the minister’s credit, he had the good sense not to express it in such candid terms. In the rich tradition of rhetorical poli-babble, he chose far more exciting phrases such as “jumpstarting innovation” “meaningful economic activity” and “superclusters”.

But try as he might to apply lipstick to this pig, it’s still the same old swine underneath.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, CTF Federal Director- Monday, May 29, 2017 - Full Story

Another ‘revenue neutral’ carbon tax that’s anything but

(This column originally appeared on the Huffington Post blog)

Did you really believe them when they said it would be revenue neutral?

Last week, the Trudeau government announced a ‘technical paper’ on its proposed federal carbon tax which suggests it will mimic Alberta’s carbon tax plan, quashing the optimism of those who believed the federal government when they said their carbon tax would be revenue neutral.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director, Paige MacPherson, Alberta Director- Saturday, May 27, 2017 - Full Story

WHAT DO THE LIBERAL’S MEAN WHEN THEY SAY EVIDENCE-BASED’ GUN CONTROL POLICIES?

In his 1993 report on the Gun Control Program to Parliament, Auditor General of Canada Denis Desautels wrote: 27.3 As well, our review of the new regulations indicated that important data, needed to assess the potential benefits and future effectiveness of the regulations, were not available at the time the regulations were drafted.” The Auditor General was referring to Kim Campbell’s gun control regulations in Bill C-17. The Justice Department defended their lack of evidence with this statement: “In any event, the legislation and regulations were driven by clear public interest considerations, which needed to be acted upon despite the absence of precise data.” The Auditor General went on to recommend: “27.50 The Department of Justice should undertake a rigorous evaluation of the gun control program.” They never did.

In 1995, the newly elected Liberal Government also ignored the Auditor General’s sage advice when it rammed its two-billion-dollar gun registration and gun owner licensing regime (Bill C-68) through Parliament, again ‘despite the absence of precise data.’

By Dennis R. Young - Thursday, May 25, 2017 - Full Story

What does Canada get for being on the UN Security Council?

(This column originally appeared in the National Poston May 18th, 2017)

Foreign travel. Embassies. Contributions to international organizations. Few people would claimthat international diplomacy is going to be cheap. But with recent news that Canada is gearing up for apotentially expensive campaignto secure a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2021, it’s fair for Canadians to ask: just how much is this special effort going to cost, and what precisely does Canada gain if it wins?

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation Aaron Wudrick, CTF Federal Director- Friday, May 19, 2017 - Full Story

Sault Area Hospital electricity costs soar

TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal a dramatic increase to the cost of electricity to the Sault Area Hospital since 2013.

The documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that in the last four years, the hospital’s electricity bill has shot up from $2.2 million in 2013 to $2.6 million in 2016. The increase reflects $443,917.56 increase to the bills over just four years, which is a 20.5 per cent increase.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Friday, May 19, 2017 - Full Story

Canadians paying $1.4 billion each year in gasoline tax-on-tax

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the federal government to end the practice of applying the HST/GST after provincial and federal excise taxes have already been charged. This practice of “tax-on-tax” was highlighted as part of the CTF’s 19th annual Gas Tax Honesty Day, with press conferences held across the country from Calgary to Montreal.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, CTF Federal Director- Thursday, May 18, 2017 - Full Story

On Gas Tax Honesty Day, taxpayers federation warns against threat of rising carbon taxes

TORONTO, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is slamming tax-on-tax at the pumps, and warning against the threat of rising carbon taxes in Ontario and across the country. The cost of the Ontario carbon tax was highlighted as part of the CTF’s 19th annual Gas Tax Honesty Day, with press conferences held across the country.

“The Wynne government brought in a new tax at the pumps that we don’t see on our bills when we pay. That means we actually pay sales tax on top of this new tax, which is sneaky and must be stopped. If Wynne hadn’t brought in her new carbon tax, the price on the signs today would say $1.10 instead of $1.15,” said CTF Ontario Director Christine Van Geyn.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation - Thursday, May 18, 2017 - Full Story

Historically long health-care wait times cost Canadians $1.7 billion last year

VANCOUVER—Long waits for surgery and medical treatment cost Canadians $1.7 billion—or $1,759 per patient—in lost wages and time last year, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Long wait times have real consequences for many Canadians who, in addition to experiencing increased pain and suffering, may lose income from not working and may also be unable to fully enjoy time spent with family and friends,” said Bacchus Barua, senior economist in the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Health Policy Studies and co-author of The Private Cost of Public Queues for Medically Necessary Care, 2017.

By Fraser Institute - Thursday, May 18, 2017 - Full Story