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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


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

Toronto Student Groups Whitewash Terrorism Against Israelis

A rally on May 13, 2017 in solidarity with Palestinian terrorists staging a hunger strike in Israeli prisons was endorsed by the York Federation of Students (YFS) and the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU), B’nai Brith Canada has learned.

Hammam Farah, one of the organizers of the rally, described its purpose as “supporting the demands of our heroic prisoners.” Chief among those prisoners is Marwan al-Barghouti, who was convicted of five counts of murder in 2004, along with dozens of other murderers linked to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, all of which are deemed terrorist groups by the Government of Canada.

By B’nai Brith - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - Full Story

Carbon taxes are harmful for farmers (and everyone else)

This column was originally published in the Winnipeg Sun.

Premier Brian Pallister now recognizes that carbon taxes are bad for farmers. It’s an acknowledgment echoing the precise points we raised on these pages back in March. But carbon taxes cause harm beyond the farmyard.

“Many of our farm families exclusively deal in commodities that they sell on the world market. They’d have no influence whatsoever over the price that they can achieve and so there is no way for them to recover additional input costs that they would incur as a result of a carbon tax,” Premier Pallister told the Winnipeg Sun. “Carbon pricing has the potential to very negatively impact on that sector.”

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Todd MacKay, Robin Speer- Saturday, May 13, 2017 - Full Story

Bid a Thankful Farewell to a Canadian Hero

On May 9, Canada lost a hero when James Richard Billingsley passed away at his home in Vancouver at the age of 94. This is a man all Canadians should get to know, because he played a role in securing the peace, freedom and prosperity Canada has enjoyed for decades.

His father Lorne Henry Billingsley was a veteran of World War I and one of the first victims of German gas attacks. James Richard Billingsley was the second of his eight children, raised in Saskatchewan in difficult conditions. Through the Depression of the 1930s, the family pulled together and prevailed.

James Billingsley enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan but in the spring of 1942 he left his studies to enlist in the Canadian Army. He served with the Eighth Canadian Reconnaissance Regiment, which saw plenty of action.

On April 12, 1945, troops of the Eighth Canadian Reconnaissance “B” squadron liberated Camp Westerbork in Holland, a Nazi transit station for Jews en route to extermination camps such as Auschwitz and Sobibor. The Canadians liberated 876 inmates and their actions surely saved many other lives.

James Billingsley’s major engagements included the Battles of Groningen and Oldenburg, on the enemy’s home turf. He was wounded in action twice, once by a German sniper. Army brass wanted to steer him into intelligence work but he returned to his unit and fought on.

By Lloyd Billingsley - Friday, May 12, 2017 - Full Story

Pallister’s carbon tax exemption for farmers acknowledges policy failures

REGINA, SK: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is claiming an important victory as Premier Brian Pallister admits carbon taxes are harmful for farmers and is now calling on him to acknowledge the same is true for all Manitobans.

“Manitoban farmers are the most efficient and environmentally conscious producers in the world and a carbon tax would punish them while their competitors in the United States and Australia continue to compete without the same disadvantage,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the CTF. “But an exemption for direct costs is only a partial solution as farmers will still get hit when a carbon tax increases costs for fertilizer, trucking and everything else. A carbon tax will ripple through the economy and harm farmers despite half-measure exemptions.”

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation Todd MacKay, Prairie Director -- CTF- Thursday, May 11, 2017 - Full Story

Per person government spending under Prime Minister Trudeau nearing record high, despite no recessio

VANCOUVER—This year, federal per person program spending under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has nearly eclipsed the all-time high recorded during the 2009 recession, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Looking back at government spending in Canada since Confederation, this year stands out because unlike most other spending spikes, there’s no recession or war to explain it,” said Jason Clemens, executive vice-president of the Fraser Institute and co-author of Prime Ministers and Government Spending: A Retrospective.

By Fraser Institute - Thursday, May 11, 2017 - Full Story

Protecting transgender people from Bill C-16

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
May 10, 2017
Re. Protecting transgender people from Bill C-16

Dear Prime Minster,

The Liberal Party election platform made science-based policies a central element of its approach to governance. It now seems that some of the bills your government is pushing are in blatant contradiction to scientific knowledge.

By Martin Tampier - Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - Full Story

2016 A Record-Setting Year for Antisemitism in Canada, B’nai Brith Audit Finds

TORONTO – The year 2016 was a record-setting year for antisemitism in Canada, B’nai Brith Canada’s Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents has found. Now in its 35th year, the Audit is the definitive and authoritative resource on antisemitism in Canada, cited regularly by law-enforcement agencies, government bodies, and human rights organizations around the world.

According to the Audit, which tracks and analyzes trends in hatred directed toward members of Canada’s Jewish community, 2016 saw a 26 per cent increase in antisemitic incidents over the previous year, and a six per cent increase over the previous high in 2014.

By B’nai Brith - Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - Full Story

Those who think Canada’s Defense Minister will resign are living in the past

In the past few days there have been calls for Harjit Sajjan to resign his cabinet post as the Minister of Defense. While it is certainly possible he might resign if he personally cannot take the heat, or if Justin Trudeau believes it is politically expedient to get rid of him, there is no way he will ever resign as a matter of honour.

By Arthur Weinreb - Thursday, May 4, 2017 - Full Story

Canada’s Bill C-16: Transgenderism and the Loss of Common Sense

Bill C-16 is intended to add the terms “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Bill also “amends the Criminal Code to extend the protection against hate propaganda set out in that Act to any section of the public that is distinguished by gender identity or expression,” leading many to believe it will lead to a severe restriction of open public discourse on this topic once the bill is passed. Forty Conservative members of parliament (MPs) have voted against passing this bill on to the Senate after its second reading in the fall of 2016. At the time of writing, it was at its second reading in the Senate. It would become law if approved by the Senate at its third reading.

The bill has been criticized because it is said to be unnecessary (transsexuals are already protected against discrimination under the current Human Rights Act) and violates the conscience of many Canadians by imposing the government’s views by law. The following four key issues with this bill are submitted for due consideration by our lawgivers and all others.

By Martin Tampier - Saturday, April 29, 2017 - Full Story

Green Corporate Welfare is Growing

(A version of this column originally appeared in the Financial Post on April 28th, 2017)

Here’s a warning for taxpayers already frustrated with corporate welfare directed to the aerospace and automotive sectors: selected energy companies are also increasingly in receipt of taxpayer cash, and the reasons offered up are often environmental in nature.

Some background: When it comes to energy corporate welfare, economists often argueover what is a subsidy.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Mark Milke- Friday, April 28, 2017 - Full Story

Ontario’s So-Called Balanced Budget Is the Diet That Makes You Fat

TORONTO, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is slamming the Ontario government’s claims to have balanced the budget after nine years of deficits, because the budget will add $12.6 billion in debt by 2019.

“It’s like a diet that makes you fat - it’s a so-called balanced budget that makes the debt get bigger,” said CTF Ontario Director, Christine Van Geyn. “The truth is that this isn’t a balanced budget when the debt clock keeps ticking higher.”

The budget also confirmed that Ontario continues to spend over $11 billion per year on debt interest, making interest the province’s fourth largest expense. Interest on debt is expected to grow, exceeding $12 billion next year.

By Canadian Taxpayers Federation -- Christine Van Geyn, CTF Ontario Director- Thursday, April 27, 2017 - Full Story

Ontario government adding billions in new debt, despite balanced budget

TORONTO—The Ontario government is adding billions to the provincial debt with its 2017 budget, released today, and has failed to respond adequately to the daunting fiscal challenges still facing the province.

“The government may have finally presented a balanced operating budget after nine consecutive deficits, but it still plans to add billions more to the debt and the province’s finances are still in trouble,” said Ben Eisen, director of provincial prosperity studies at the Fraser Institute.

Today’s budget calls for $34 billion in new debt over the next three years.

By Fraser Institute - Thursday, April 27, 2017 - Full Story