Mintz Hits a Triple

I had been fiddling with my last post in spare moments since the federal NDP convention. I fiddled long enough that Jack Mintz beat me to the punch in critiquing the proposal to eliminate corporate tax on small-business profits. His op-ed appeared in yesterday’s Financial Post. His priority is to slash the general corporate tax rate down to the same […]

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Worst Idea at NDP Convention 2009

Strangely, neither of the two most hyped issues at last weekend’s federal NDP convention reached the floor for debate. I have nothing to add to the discussion about changing the party’s name. However, the proposal to not tax small-business profits compels me to elaborate the case I made when Nova Scotia Liberals promised to slash the provincial small-business tax to […]

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Reading the entrails of BC’s election

Three-peat. Hat trick. The media is full of jubilation for the re-election of the Campbell Liberals. But looking at the numbers, it was actually quite close: the BC Liberals got 45.7% of the popular vote, compared to 42.2% for the NDP. This slim margin validates the Angus Reid polling camp, which came closest on estimating the popular vote, compared to […]

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More Cheers for Maloway

As an early booster of Jim Maloway’s private member’s bill, I am delighted to see it already achieving some results. Yesterday’s Globe reported that the airlines have countered by giving “new enforcement powers to CTA to serve as the industry watchdog on a range of consumer issues. They include ensuring airlines provide meal vouchers for four-hour delays, pay for hotel […]

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Simpson on the US Budget

Jeffrey Simpson has a good assessment in today’s Globe: Mr. Obama’s budget – hugely consequential for the United States and of importance to Canada, too – represents a U-turn from the disastrous policies of the Bush administration and of the Republican political revolution that began decades ago. Imagine a U.S. budget that simultaneously offends rich farmers, everyone making $250,000 a […]

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Three Cheers for Maloway

Canadian airlines are squealing that MP Jim Maloway’s proposed “Air passenger bill of rights” would “send airfares soaring and throw flights into chaos.” What strikes me is that American airlines already provide much of what Maloway suggests. They frequently over-book flights, but always offer free flights to induce passengers to volunteer to be bumped. In these cases and other instances […]

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Blakeney on Royalties, the Charter and NAFTA

Allan Blakeney, Saskatchewan’s Premier from 1971 until 1982, just published his memoirs, An Honourable Calling. Book launches are scheduled in Regina (Nov. 25), Saskatoon (Nov. 27), Moose Jaw (Dec. 2) and Ottawa (Dec. 9). A few years ago, Blakeney had me pull together some facts and figures for his chapter on oil, so I was quite interested to read the […]

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Saskatchewan’s Tax Cuts

The conventional wisdom may be that political parties cannot successfully campaign against tax cuts. But the federal NDP recently achieved its second-best electoral result ever by running squarely against Harper’s corporate tax cuts. South of the border, the US Democrats just won a massive victory partly by campaigning against the Bush tax cuts. In public opinion polls, citizens often prefer better […]

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Afghanistan by the Numbers

Today’s Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) report provides the following estimates. Total Cost of the Afghanistan War (2001-02 to 2010-11): $18.1 billion Past Cost (2001-02 to 2007-08): $10.5 billion Future Cost (2008-09 to 2010-11): $7.7 billion These figures are incremental costs, “costs that would not have been incurred except for the operation. Alternatively put, these would be the total savings to […]

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Saskatchewan Rejects TILMA Yet Again

Notwithstanding the newish Saskatchewan government’s public rejection of TILMA, the Canadian Press recently reported: The [Alberta] premier says Bill 1 will be framework legislation to facilitate a sweeping 2007 trade deal with British Columbia known as the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA). “We have to move on it,” says Stelmach. “There are other provinces now waiting to see […]

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“Junkyard Jack”

An open letter to Susan Riley (Ottawa Citizen) Dear Susan I always enjoy your columns, but feel compelled to modestly take issue with yesterday’s highly critical piece on Layton and the NDP. http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/columnists/story.html?id=380c76cc-f1cc-4aa8-84d7-4aadebd0ec1f   Yes, Layton is sometimes unduly macho combative and, yes, the frequent attacks on the Liberals do sometimes grate, especially if they allow Harper to get off […]

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The Saskatchewan NDP on TILMA

The Saskatchewan NDP Caucus has just posted an appropriately critical description of TILMA followed by a catalogue of the Saskatchewan Party’s support for this agreement. The Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly will soon begin public consultations on TILMA, but the material posted makes it fairly clear that the governing NDP will not sign the agreement.

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Ralph’s Revenge

As I mentioned below, I am home in Saskatchewan this week. As a result, I have seen the latest “Parliamentary Update” from my former Member of Parliament (MP), Ralph Goodale. It is, of course, normal that MPs of all stripes deploy these publicly funded “householders” to present themselves and their activities in a positive light. When the Liberals were in […]

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Prime Minister Layton?

An unstated, and almost certainly correct, assumption underlying the speculation about a spring campaign is that the Harper government’s defeat on a confidence vote would result in an election. However, as Andrew Coyne correctly points out, the Governor General could instead call upon someone other than Harper to form a government able to command the House’s confidence. Harper would want […]

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