Danny Williams and Oil Royalties

In April 2006, Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams walked away from proposed Hebron development because the multinational oil companies were not offering sufficient benefits for his province. The national media and federal government heaped scorn on this decision. A couple of days ago, Williams secured a new deal that gives the province a 4.9% equity stake in Hebron, a 6.5% “super […]

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Herding cats: climate change edition

The premiers cannot agree on how to cooperate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One might think that ten middle-aged white men might have more in common, but no. In all cases, vested economic interests trump climate goals, even though, as the Stern review points out, the cost of doing nothing will be much greater than the cost of action. Apparently, […]

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The Premiers’ Meeting and Internal Trade

Last week, while I was out of the country and away from this blog, the Government of Saskatchewan formally rejected TILMA. The news release announcing this decision quite reasonably unveils working groups to address the few inter-provincial problems that may exist, but strangely refrains from outlining any of the strong arguments against TILMA. However, media reports reflect the Minister’s success […]

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What Did the IMF Say?

Under the headline “IMF Admonishes Canada,” the Financial Post reported on Wednesday: The IMF added its voice yesterday to the growing chorus of observers urging Canada to undertake a 21st-century overhaul of its financial system, saying it should create a single securities regulator, open its banking system to foreign competition and mergers and tear down interprovincial trade barriers. . . . […]

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Two Tory Tactics and the Wheat Board

The following column by Bruce Johnstone, The Leader-Post’s Financial Editor, does a much better job than I did of explaining the Conservative government’s flawed barley plebiscite. This column, which is particularly interesting coming from an ardent free-marketer like Johnstone, touches on a couple of the Harper government’s favourite tactics: 1. “The Thin Edge of the Wedge” – holding a plebiscite […]

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Labour Mobility: The Thin Edge of the Wedge?

A couple of hours ago, Industry Canada put out the following press release.  In forecasting this release last night, Canadian Press again repeated the Conference Board’s thoroughly discredited estimates of TILMA’s benefits. As far as I know, the proposed April 2009 deadline for “full labour mobility” is the deadline toward which provincial governments were already working with the regulated professions […]

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TILMA: A Report from the Front Line

On Tuesday, I testified before the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on the Economy, which is holding public hearings on joining TILMA. The Legislative Assembly is broadcasting the hearings and promptly posting the recordings. To see my presentation, click “Video 1” for June 5 and use the bar immediately below the screen to advance the time to 48.5 minutes. A […]

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Marc’s testimony to the Senate

Both Erin Weir and I gave testimony to the Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce in the past 24 hours, and I think we made an impression by challenging their assumptions about “interprovincial trade barriers” and bogus “solutions” like TILMA. My testimony follows: Presentation to the Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce By Marc Lee, Senior Economist Canadian […]

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My call with the Senator

Out of the blue yesterday I got a call from the Chair of the Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, Jerahmiel S. Grafstein. An honour, I suppose, because he was personally inviting me to testify before the committee on interprovincial trade barriers. I was somewhat caught by surprise and had no idea who he was (turns out he’s a […]

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