Canadian News and Politics

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Taxpayers take a bath with Marine Atlantic

Canada’s federal Crown corporations are a motley bunch. A few, like the Bank of Canada, are mostly viewed as indispensable. Most, such as a litany of museums or port authorities, attract little attention because of their benign purpose and relatively small budgets. Some, such as Canada Post, are now seen as increasingly anachronistic in a rapidly changing world.

One Crown corporation most Canadians outside Atlantic Canada have likely never even heard of is Marine Atlantic, which operates cargo and passenger ferry services between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Yet, Marine Atlantic’s very existence is a consequence of a constitutional obligation agreed to by the federal government in 1949 as part of the deal that saw Newfoundland join Confederation. Under the terms of the Newfoundland Act, the federal government is required to “maintain… a freight and passenger steamship service between North Sydney and Port aux Basques.”

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director- Monday, November 20, 2017 - Full Story

Cambridge Memorial Hospital copes with rising electricity bills despite falling usage

TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that the electricity bills for Cambridge Memorial Hospital have faced a steep increase over the last six years.

The documents show bills that are steadily increasing, growing from $728,065 in 2011-12 to $1,397,804 in 2016-17, an increase of 92 per cent. During the same period, actual usage of electricity fell by 1,296,799 kW, or 6.7 per cent.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Monday, November 20, 2017 - Full Story

Manitoba already beating BC and Canada without carbon tax

WINNIPEG, MB: Even without a carbon tax, Manitoba is already showing strong results on environmental “potential indicators” identified by the provincial government, according to a report released today by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. The report, entitled Keeping Score: Measuring Manitoba’s Environmental Performance, shows results already achieved by the province provide a strong case for fighting a federal carbon tax.

“Premier Brian Pallister hasn’t provided any evidence showing a carbon tax will help the environment, but we know it’ll cost Manitobans $260 million every year,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the CTF. “According to the data, Manitoba is already doing better than British Columbia and the nation overall, even without a carbon tax.”

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Todd MacKay – CTF Prairie Director- Monday, November 20, 2017 - Full Story

The Lowdown On Getting High In Canada

The Lowdown On Getting High In Canada, Legal Marijuana
A $22.6 billion market!

When pot advocates like Marc Emery - the Canadian who ended up in a U.S. jail for selling strains of marijuana seeds over the Internet - referred to the illegality of smoking pot as “prohibition”, a lot of Canadians rolled their eyes. The idea that smoking recreational pot is akin to illegal alcohol consumption in the 1920’s and very early 1930s in the U.S. seemed a little rich.

By Rick Mills - Friday, November 17, 2017 - Full Story

Sweet Nothing: Fat and Sugar Taxes Don’t Reduce Obesity

Sweet Nothing: Fat and Sugar Taxes Don’t Reduce Obesity, fat and sugar taxes
OTTAWA, ON: In the midst of continued debate in Canada about the imposition of fat and sugar taxes, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today released a new study, Sweet Nothing: Real-World Evidence of Food and Drink Taxes and their Effect on Obesity which analyses the track record of food and drink taxes around the world.

“While theoretically appealing to many public health activists, food and drink taxes simply don’t work as advertised,” said journalist and study author Peter Shawn Taylor. “Evidence from the real world shows taxes on fat or sugar don’t reduce obesity and don’t make people healthier –  they do, however, disproportionately harm the poor, fill government coffers and cause substantial unintended negative consequences.”

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Aaron Wudrick, CTF Federal Director- Thursday, November 16, 2017 - Full Story

Bluewater Health in Sarnia copes with quickly rising electricity costs

TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that the electricity bills for Bluewater Health in Sarnia have faced a steep increase over the last five years.

The documents show bills that are steadily increasing, growing from $2,108,679.73 in 2012 to $2,959,844.34 in 2016, an increase of more than 40 per cent.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation - Thursday, November 16, 2017 - Full Story

Provincial climate plans will cost billions with likely little environmental benefit

Provincial climate plans will cost billions with likely little environmental benefit
CALGARY—A detailed review of provincial climate action plans and the results from countries around the world who have pursued similar policies indicate that the current provincial plans will cost Canadians billions and likely produce very little environmental benefits, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Across the country, ineffective climate policies will cost taxpayers billions with little to show for it,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute’s senior director of energy and natural resource studies and author of Canada’s Climate Action Plans: Are they cost-effective?

By Fraser Institute - Thursday, November 16, 2017 - Full Story

Hanover District Hospital sees electricity bill increase dramatically

TORONTO— Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that the electricity bills for Hanover District Hospital have faced a steep increase over the last five years.

The documents obtained by FOIP show bills that are steadily increasing, growing from $205,652 in 2012 to $321,320 in 2016, an increase of more than 56 per cent.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - Full Story

Brockville General Hospital copes with rising electricity bills despite falling usage

TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that the electricity bills for Brockville General Hospital have faced a steep increase over the last five years.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - Full Story

Collinwood General & Marine Hospital faced with rising electricity bills

TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that the electricity bills for Collingwood General and Marine Hospital have faced a steep increase over the last five years.

The documents show bills that are steadily increasing, growing from $434,706 in 2012-13 to $599,746 in 2016-17, an increase of 38 per cent.

By Canada Free Press -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Monday, November 13, 2017 - Full Story

MPP Hillier, PC Attorney General Critic, Calls for Break Up of Bill 174 Over Abuse of Process

(QUEENS PARK) Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington), Attorney General Critic for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, is calling out the government’s inclusion of unrelated aspects in its cannabis legislation as an abuse of process and has demanded that they are tabled and voted on separately.

By Randy Hillier - Friday, November 10, 2017 - Full Story

St Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener faces higher electricity bills despite declining consumption

TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that the electricity bill for St Mary’s have faced a steep increase over the last four years.

Electricity bills for the facility have grown from $1,198,734 in 2013 to $1,515,637 in 2016, an increase of over 26 per cent. In the same period, actual consumption of electricity fell at the facility by 114,648 kWh.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Thursday, November 9, 2017 - Full Story

Why Trudeau’s Playpen Politics is Actually Good for Canada

Why Trudeau’s Playpen Politics is Actually Good for Canada
Post Millenial

If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ever decides to re-write our country’s constitution — the way he is re-writing our national anthem — I’m pretty sure his revamped preamble would read something like this:

“We the People of Canada, in Order to form a more perfect Confederation, do ordain the idea that governing this nation should involve lots of zany fun and hilarity!!!”

By Gerry Nicholls - Thursday, November 9, 2017 - Full Story

More than 60 per cent of lower-income families in Canada now paying higher federal income taxes

More than 60 per cent of lower-income families in Canada now paying higher federal income taxesVANCOUVER—The majority of lower-income families in Canada with children are paying higher income taxes now because of the federal government’s tax changes, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Ottawa has enacted a series of tax changes that have actually raised income taxes on hundreds of thousands of Canadian families in the bottom 20 per cent,” said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Effect of Federal Income Tax Changes on Canadian Families Who Are in the Bottom 20 Percent of Earners.

By Fraser Institute - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - Full Story

Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehab in St Catharines sees electricity costs more than double

TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that the electricity bills for Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehab have faced a steep increase over the last six years.

Electricity bills for the facility have grown from $296,240 in 2011 to $497,803 in 2016, an increase of over 68 per cent.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - Full Story

Headwaters Health in Orangeville faced with skyrocketing electricity bills

TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that the electricity bill for Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville have faced a steep increase over the last five years.

The documents show bills that are steadily increasing every year. Electricity bills have grown from $482,724 in 2012 to $728,139 in 2016, an increase of nearly 51 per cent.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - Full Story

Pallister makes a bad carbon tax bet

This column originally ran in the Winnipeg Sun and is now free to reprint.

Premier Brian Pallister is betting his carbon tax, that’s more than twice as high as Ottawa’s initial requirement, will mean the province can get away with paying a lower carbon tax later.

Losing that bet could cost Manitobans millions.

Premier Pallister wants to impose a $25 per tonne carbon tax next year. That translates to a 5 cent per litre tax on gasoline. It’ll cost taxpayers $260 million annually. The premier plans to keep the carbon tax at $25 per tonne for five years.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Todd MacKay – CTF Prairie Director- Monday, November 6, 2017 - Full Story

Guelph General Hospital electricity bills continue to grow

Guelph General Hospital
TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that the electricity bill for the Guelph General Hospital has increased by $378,437 since 2012, or 35 per cent.

The documents show bills that are steadily increasing every year, despite the fact that since 2012 the hospital has completed nine energy reduction projects.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation - Monday, November 6, 2017 - Full Story

With U.S. out, Canadian support for ‘TPP II’ nearly doubles

With U.S. out, Canadian support for 'TPP II' nearly doubles
November 3, 2017 – When President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the days following his inauguration, many thought it would signal the death of, what was at the time, the globe’s largest trade pact.

But as TPP negotiations approach the ten-year mark, the agreement appears to be taking on new life. The remaining 11 nations met in May to revive the deal, and subsequent discussions have the signatories reportedly close to an agreement – without the U.S. Trade ministers from participating nations hope to have a deal in place ahead of their November 10 meeting in Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum.

By Angus Reid Institute - Friday, November 3, 2017 - Full Story

William Osler Health in Brampton faced with spiraling electricity bills as patients crowd hallways

TORONTO, ON: Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal a dramatic increase to the cost of electricity to William Osler Health System in Brampton over the last five years.

The documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that in the last five years, bills for the health centre’s main campus rose from $3.44 million to $7.76 million. That’s more than a 125 per cent increase. These calculations do not include costs for the new 20 Lynch campus, which opened in 2016.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Friday, November 3, 2017 - Full Story