Saskatchewanâ€™s Political Right on TILMA
This week, I am back home in Saskatchewan, where debate on TILMA is really heating up.Â (My location and time zone also explain why Andrew filled in for me on todayâ€™s Labour Force Survey.)
Brad Wall leads the Saskatchewan Party (the renamed Conservatives) and hence the Official Opposition.Â While some TILMA proponents have withdrawn from the deeply flawed Conference Board study on BC, he continues to cite it shamelessly.Â
The Government of Saskatchewan commissioned its own Conference Board study on TILMA.Â I predict that it isÂ as bad as the one done for BC.
The main argument from Wall and others on the political right seems that be that, as â€œthe lowest cost jurisdictionâ€, Saskatchewan would fare well under TILMA.Â Of course, the whole premise is flawed since Saskatchewan already has â€œfree tradeâ€ with Alberta, BC, the rest of North America, and many other parts of the World.
However, it is fascinating to hear the political right admit that SaskatchewanÂ currentlyÂ has a strong competitive position relative to Alberta and BC because of low business costs.Â On every economic issue other than TILMA, Wall and company claim that Saskatchewan is woefully uncompetitive compared with these provinces. Indeed, the ongoing campaign for provincial tax cuts and deregulation largely depends on ignoring Saskatchewanâ€™s already low business costs.
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