Canadian News and Politics

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To tackle the tax haven problem, simplify the tax code

To tackle the tax haven problem, simplify the tax code
Are you paying all the tax you’re legally required to pay—and if not, is that okay?

That’s the question at the heart of the controversy over offshore tax havens, whereby mostly wealthy individuals structure their financial affairs to minimize their tax burdens. It’s a different question than issues around tax evasion—a black-and-white issue where the laws prohibiting it should be properly enforced, meaning the authorities should pursue violators and prosecute them as appropriate. By contrast, tax avoidance—where people use legal means to reduce the amount of tax they have to pay—is a much trickier subject. It primarily raises a moral question: is it wrong for people to try to legally minimize their tax burdens?

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, CTF Federal Director- Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - Full Story

Patrick Brown Will Meet his (Kitchener) Waterloo over Carbon Taxes

ONTARIO PC LEADERSHIP CANDIDATES
Who says Ontario politics is boring? Noooo-body! 

Take for example- this wacky Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race.

Who will be the last man/woman/person/non-binary cisgender zee standing?

By Mitch Wolfe - Sunday, February 18, 2018 - Full Story

More than 80 Ontario high schools show improvement in math, despite worrying trend province-wide

More than 80 Ontario high schools show improvement in math, despite worrying trend province-wide
TORONTO—Despite recent headlines about disappointing math scores in province-wide testing across Ontario, some secondary schools are bucking the trend, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual Report Card on Ontario’s Secondary Schools, 2018 released today.

By Fraser Institute - Sunday, February 18, 2018 - Full Story

Macdonald-Laurier Institute draws big crowd for discussion on Canada-U.S. relations

Macdonald-Laurier Institute draws big crowd for discussion on Canada-U.S. relations
From left, Veso Sobot with U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft, Yvonne Huang with New Jersey-based Formosa Plastics, Congressman Pete Sessions and Craft’s husband, Joe Craft, at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute dinner, held at the Canadian War Museum on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips


The Macdonald-Laurier Institute picked a hot topic of conversation – the future of Canada-US relations – for its annual dinner held Tuesday at the Canadian War Museum.

Attendance was up by 50 per cent this year as 330 people from business, politics and policy, and public service were all ears to what new U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft and others had to say about trade relations between our two countries.

American President Donald Trump’s shifting attitude toward the North American Free-Trade Agreement has created anxiety for Canadian firms that do business on both sides of the border.—More…

By News on the Net - Saturday, February 17, 2018 - Full Story

Here’s how to balance the federal budget

Here's how to balance the federal budget
During the 2015 election campaign, the Trudeau Liberal platform was clear: if elected to form a government, they would run three “modest” deficits of under $10 billion per year, with a return to balance in the fourth year.

So how have the Trudeau Liberals fared so far?

Rather than the promised “modest” deficits, they’ve run much larger ones: $17 billion for 2016-17, and $19 billion for 2017-18. In the process, they have added almost twice as much public debt as originally promised. Even worse, they have still not presented any plan whatsoever to get back to balance (although thankfully, the Department of Finance’s long-term fiscal projections show the government is still on track to balance by … 2045.)

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director- Friday, February 16, 2018 - Full Story

Aboriginals need help that works

traditional headdress on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
On giving thanks for his commitment to indigenous issues, the Tsuut’ina First Nation near Calgary bestowed the traditional headdress on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and gave him an aboriginal name Gumistiyi, which translates as the one who keeps trying.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week: “We need to get to a place where Indigenous peoples in Canada are in control of their own destiny, making their own decisions about their future.”

That contradicts what Indians and Inuit have always told me. Young or old, they don’t believe that legislation and phony recognition of aboriginality can enable themselves or their children for the much-vaunted Middle Class where they want to belong. They say leaders don’t speak for followers, and they don’t see equality of citizenship and opportunity as culture-specific, or that it conflicts with their identity. As individuals, they want help that works, and they aren’t getting it. That’s what Chief Poundmaker thought he was getting when he affirmed Treaty Six in 1876.

By Colin Alexander - Thursday, February 15, 2018 - Full Story

20th annual CTF Teddy Awards for government waste

20th annual CTF Teddy Awards for government waste
OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today held its 20th annual Teddy Waste Awards ceremony, celebrating the best of the worst in government waste from the past year. CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick served as host, joined by the CTF’s pig mascot Porky the Waster Hater and talented event hostess Jessica. The awards event took place on Parliament Hill in the Charles Lynch Press Theatre.

The Teddy, the pig-shaped award given annually by the CTF to government’s worst waste offenders, is named for Ted Weatherill, a former federal appointee who was fired in 1999 for submitting a panoply of dubious expense claims, including a $700 lunch for two.

“Every year, the competition is stiff, but we narrow it down to a handful of the most ridiculous stories,” said Wudrick. “Sadly, we are never short on nominees, as governments seem to be very good at finding new ways to waste money.”

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, CTF Federal Director- Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Full Story

Piers Morgan: Canada’s Leader of the Unofficial Opposition

Piers Morgan: Canada’s Leader of the Unofficial Opposition

As the entire English-speaking world knows by now, Canada’s prime minister recently made a fool of himself by correcting a woman’s grammar. At one of his town hall meetings, designed to bolster Trudeau’s sagging popularity, a woman asked him a long convoluted question. When the woman said the word “mankind,” Trudeau rudely interrupted her and said we don’t say “mankind,” we say “peoplekind.” At least the PM said “we” instead of “Canadians.” Who the “we” is will undoubtedly remain one of life’s mysteries.

The news of Trudeau’s silly political correctness went around the word with a great deal of coverage in the U.S. and the U.K. It was all critical of our beloved Sock Boy although some in the left wing media pointed out it was only those who are “right wing” who were critical of Trudeau.

By Arthur Weinreb - Monday, February 12, 2018 - Full Story

Ontario PC leadership candidates sign CTF ‘No Carbon Tax’ pledge

Ontario PC leadership candidates sign CTF ‘No Carbon Tax’ pledge
OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) held a press conference in Ottawa today with two Ontario PC leadership candidates; Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, and met with Caroline Mulroney on February 9.

All three candidates signed a “No Carbon Tax Pledge,” promising to repeal the Wynne cap-and-trade carbon tax, to oppose a federal carbon tax, and not to impose a provincial carbon tax if elected premier.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation - Sunday, February 11, 2018 - Full Story

How are Canadians at risk from counterfeit pharmaceuticals?

How are Canadians at risk from counterfeit pharmaceuticals?
VANCOUVER—Counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs pose a real risk to Canadians because they are showing up in brick-and-mortar pharmacies, not just on the street and online, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Pharmaceutical counterfeiting is a growing problem around the world, including Canada—no medicine is immune, and the consequences can be deadly,” said Kristina Acri, Fraser Institute senior fellow, associate professor of economics at Colorado College and author of Pharmaceutical Counterfeiting: Endangering Public Health, Society, and the Economy.

By Fraser Institute - Thursday, February 8, 2018 - Full Story

PCs need to dump the ‘People’s Guarantee’

PCs need to dump the 'People's Guarantee
With the departure of Patrick Brown from the PC Party, there is an opportunity for the old platform (a.k.a “The People’s Guarantee) to disappear with the old leader.

All three PC leadership candidates have indicated that they are willing to move away from the People’s Guarantee. Caroline Mulroney has said the platform is a “starting point,” while Christine Elliott qualified her support for the platform, saying she intends to run on it “for the most part.” Doug Ford has said he would change around 10 per cent of the platform.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Thursday, February 8, 2018 - Full Story

The next Ontario PC leader has no choice but to fight carbon taxes

The next Ontario PC leader has no choice but to fight carbon taxes
The next leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives needs to take a page from Saskatchewan’s playbook, and be a national leader against carbon taxes.

Striking down the Wynne cap-and-trade carbon tax is an obvious start. Cap-and-trade is overly bureaucratic, sends billions of dollars out of the province, to Quebec and California, and lacks transparency as it doesn’t appear on our rising energy bills.

But Ontario families and businesses who pay for cap-and-trade deserve more than just its repeal—they deserve a commitment that the next premier will fight a deficit-laden federal government from imposing a carbon tax on us.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Thursday, February 8, 2018 - Full Story

Time to retire pre-retirement bonuses

Time to retire pre-retirement bonuses
There are some things people are generally willing to do without being paid: have a nap, eat ice cream, take a day off, etc. Most people, after decades at a good job with a generous pension, aren’t short of reasons to retire so the concept of giving employees a pre-retirement bonus is a bit odd.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of a pre-retirement bonus, the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union describes this benefit under the title Pre-Retirement Bonus in its collective bargaining agreement with the Winnipeg Region Health Authority.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Todd MacKay – CTF Prairie Director- Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - Full Story

Pre-election spending increase at Queen’s Park tops $7 billion, highest since 2009 recession

Pre-election spending increase at Queen’s Park tops $7 billion, highest since 2009 recession
TORONTO—The Ontario government is ramping up program spending by more than $7 billion this year, or nearly six per cent—more than three times higher than the average increase in the years following the 2009 recession, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Ontario remains heavily indebted, so there are big risks associated with ramping up program spending again, but that’s exactly what the Wynne government is doing,” said Ben Eisen, director of the Fraser Institute’s Ontario Prosperity Initiative and co-author of Repeating Past Mistakes? Spending Restraint Critical for Ontario’s Fiscal Health.

By Fraser Institute - Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - Full Story

Grassroots First Nations people need accountability protections

Grassroots First Nations people need accountability protections
It’s worrying to see an old watchdog blindly wander away from its post especially when a keen-eyed replacement is kept from standing guard.

The federal government is moving to provide 10-year grants to some First Nations with little bureaucratic oversight. Essentially, Ottawa would add up the amounts due to individual First Nations for education, housing, etc., and transfer the total for the chief and council to spend as they wish. It’s an unprecedented proposal (the feds routinely pull strings on transfers to provinces), but it got little attention.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Todd MacKay – CTF and Harrison Thunderchild (Elder)- Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - Full Story

MLI To Host Canada-US-US Dinner Featuring US Congressman Sessions and US Ambassador Craft

MLI To Host Canada-US- Dinner Featuring US Congressman  Sessions and US Ambassador Craft
OTTAWA, ON: The Macdonald-Laurier Institute is hosting the premier event of 2018 on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at the Canadian War Museum, bringing the best and brightest from both sides of the border to chart a course forward for the future of Canada-US relations.

There is currently no more important issue facing Canada than the future of its relationship with its southern neighbour, ally and largest trading partner, the United States. Canadians are faced with a confounding lack of information and insight into what is driving the thinking of the American political leadership and public opinion.

By Macdonald Laurier Institute - Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - Full Story

Trudeau compares ISIS fighters to Greek, Italian, Portuguese immigrants

Trudeau compares ISIS fighters to Greek, Italian, Portuguese immigrants
This was bad. Even for him.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held one of his town hall meetings. The PM is currently crisscrossing the country in an attempt to bolster his sinking popularity. While many things coming out of the mouth of the most unqualified prime minister in history are bad, this comment was particularly disgusting.

Related: Justin Trudeau: Maybe he is just really, really stupid

By Arthur Weinreb - Sunday, February 4, 2018 - Full Story

Why Doug Ford Has a Great Shot to Win the Ontario PC Leadership

Why Doug Ford Has a Great Shot to Win the Ontario PC Leadership
The winds of change seem to be blowing in Doug Ford’s favor. The Ontario people have experienced 15 years of McGuinty-led then Wynne-led Ontario Liberal corruption, scandal, fiscal mismanagement+ incompetence. The mighty province of Ontario has gone from being an anchor of Confederation and a “have” province, to a “have-not” province.

The provincial debt is a staggering $400 billion+. Over $12 billion must be paid to service that debt alone. With interest rates going up in the US and in Canada, those annual debt payments will skyrocket. Utility costs, both for homeowners, landlord/tenants and businesses have increased tragically under the Liberal government.

By Mitch Wolfe - Sunday, February 4, 2018 - Full Story

Recession could push federal deficit to between $46 and $120 billion by 2020/21

Recession could push federal deficit to between $46 and $120 billion by 2020/21
VANCOUVER—With the federal government running deficits during times of positive economic growth, Ottawa’s annual deficit could reach $120 billion in the next few years if Canada enters a recession, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“By running deficits in good times, if and when Canada’s economy slows down—or worse, hits a recession—there’s a very real risk Canada’s existing deficits could grow substantially,” said Jason Clemens, executive vice-president of the Fraser Institute and co-author of Federal Deficits and Recession: What Could Happen.

By Fraser Institute - Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Full Story

Canadian Courts are Correcting Course on Intellectual Property Issues

Canadian Courts are Correcting Course on Intellectual Property Issues
OTTAWA, ON--  Canadian courts, in particular the Supreme Court of Canada, have in recent years issued intellectual property (IP) judgments that were problematic, even erroneous, Munk Senior Fellow Richard Owens said today. This has led some observers to claim that there is a trend to the courts favouring users’ rights over creators’ rights.

These problematic decisions have had serious consequences, including invalidating patents on important drugs, and encouraging widespread copying of educational publications. They have suppressed innovation and removed billions of dollars from Canada’s economy. But, as Owens’ latest MLI paper makes clear, a series of more recent decisions has reaffirmed the courts’ proper, strong defence for IP rights. The paper, released today and titled “Straightened Up and Flying Right: Canadian Courts Offer Renewed Support of IP Rights,” is about the process of error and correction that we have seen in recent years.

By Macdonald Laurier Institute - Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Full Story