Nova Scotia government faces debt tidal wave

Rising government debt can dampen economic growth and divert billions of dollars away from important public priorities

Nova Scotia government faces debt tidal waveBy Jake Fuss and Alex Whalen The Fraser Institute Just three months ago, provincial Finance Minister Karen Casey released a budget projecting an operating surplus, which would have been the Nova Scotia’s fifth consecutive balanced budget. However, due to COVID-19, circumstances have changed dramatically and the province now expects to run a large deficit this…

Pandemic police need to curb their shaming rampage

We’re in this together – let’s all try to remember that some people just need a helping hand rather than insensitive criticism

Pandemic police need to curb their shaming rampageThe pandemic disaster the world finds itself in the middle of is bringing out both the best and worst in people. And some behaviours are just annoying. One of the most annoying trends is the emergence of busybodies who are eager to pass judgment on others before they have all the facts. They’re the ‘pandemic…

The amazing wild horses of Sable Island

As we approached the island, our anticipation rose and ebbed as we watched the weather. We weren’t sure if, after travelling so far, we could even land

The amazing wild horses of Sable IslandAs a guide, I often get to travel to exciting destinations. For example, I recently participated in an adventure to the Canadian Maritime provinces that took me to Sable Island. I’ve felt the urge, almost the need, to visit this magical place for most of my adult life. I’m not sure really why since it’s…

Beaverbrook: A Canadian who liked to win

Relentless and focused, Max Aitken wasn’t squeamish about cutting corners to get what he wanted in business and politics

Beaverbrook: A Canadian who liked to winMax Aitken – widely known as Lord Beaverbrook – is the subject of a new biography by English author Charles Williams. Max Beaverbrook is a readable book on an interesting and controversial character, one whose balance of attributes is ambivalently encapsulated in the subtitle Not Quite a Gentleman. Aitken was born in Maple, Ont., in…

Embracing the unfamiliar down home

The East Coast isn’t quaint, slow, lazy or anything else others in the rest of Canada might assume. But it does tend to defy expectations

Embracing the unfamiliar down homeIf you live in one of Canada’s muscular metropolises, you might think about the Atlantic provinces once, maybe twice, a year. And when you do, you might be tempted to dismiss them as welfare states – unlike, say, Calgary. After all, most people “down home” draw unemployment at least half the year. They’re just as…

A political matchup made in heaven

What if voters had to choose between candidates with proven track records, like McKenna and Stanfield, rather than Trudeau and Scheer?

A political matchup made in heavenLet us, for a moment, imagine an alternate universe in which the leading candidates for the office of prime minister enjoy unalloyed respect across Canada. Here, on the centre-left, is Frank McKenna – a Liberal. Over there, on the centre-right, is Robert Stanfield – a Progressive Conservative. Yes, I hear you. The former, who spent…

Towing the party line in the Internet age

It’s worthwhile remembering that before the Internet, instant messaging, social media and meme merchandising, depending on where you lived, almost nothing was private

Towing the party line in the Internet ageOne morning in the late 1980s in the middle of Nowheresville, a young woman, prompted by a profound sense of neighbourliness, impressed a couple of city girls by introducing them to her new pony, all of 12 hands tall. At the sight of the hoofed beast loping down the stone path towards our family homestead,…

Pieridae Energy ramps up LNG project on East Coast

CEO Alfred Sorensen talks about moving the Canadian industry from its infancy and servicing a growing international market

Pieridae Energy ramps up LNG project on East CoastAlfred Sorensen is CEO of Pieridae Energy. What is Pieridae Energy and what does it do? Sorensen: Pieridae Energy is Canada’s only fully-integrated LNG company. We are looking to build the US$8 billion, 10-million-tonne-per-year Goldboro LNG liquefaction facility off the East Coast near Halifax to supply much-needed natural gas to Europe. In a nutshell, our…

Equalization inequalities must be addressed

Encouraging short-term stability at the expense of economic performance and fairness is folly when alternatives are available

Equalization inequalities must be addressedIn recent years, equalization and other regional subsidies have captured the attention of many Albertans. Much useful research has been done at the University of Calgary and by the former Wildrose Party. There has been extensive comment in Alberta’s media on Canada’s fiscal arrangements, including equalization. Issues connected with regional subsidies are important to all…

New coalition seeks to create a compelling LNG narrative for Canada

The group is hosting a session on Jan. 15 in Calgary to gauge interest. So far, nearly two dozen organizations plan to attend

New coalition seeks to create a compelling LNG narrative for CanadaCanada's oil and gas industry long ago lost control over the narratives that shaped the worldview of its oil sands sector. Sadly, that perspective includes much of Canada. The sector is constantly reacting to competing narratives expertly controlled by outside forces much more proficient at storytelling than we’ve been. As a result, Canada's global reputation as…

Bad public policy chokes out economic growth

Nova Scotia's continued ban on fracking isn't supported by evidence. And it has severely curtailed spending and job creation

Bad public policy chokes out economic growthWith an estimated 1.6-plus-trillion cubic feet of natural gas under foot, Nova Scotian policy-makers are choking out economic growth potential with bad public policy. Their hasty decisions regarding the not-so-new technology of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking, which has been around since the 1950s) were justified by claiming to have been based on incomplete, unavailable or…

School choice a good first step to quality education in Atlantic Canada

Adopting the Alberta charter school model would give parents and children more choice and allow them to enjoy the benefits of competition

School choice a good first step to quality education in Atlantic CanadaCanadians experience the enormous economic benefits of competition daily. For most consumer goods, over time, Canadians pay less and get more. Businesses compete to offer customers the best products at the lowest prices; those with offerings that consumers judge unsatisfactory are eventually forced to go out of business. As long as there’s competition, consumers are…

Halifax and Vancouver the gateways to a nation

A comparison of east and west portals to the Canadian adventure, then and now

Halifax and Vancouver the gateways to a nationI spent most of a recent week in Halifax. It was my first real exposure to the Maritime’s major portal of immigration to North America. Its 400-year story from Mi’kmaq homeland to contemporary cosmopolitan city in some respects parallels Vancouver’s much shorter role as western portal to Canada (about 160 years). It’s hard to know…

Atlantic Canada should abandon government liquor monopolies

It’s time to focus on preserving public safety while permitting a market system to thrive through the entire supply chain, from producer to consumer

Atlantic Canada should abandon government liquor monopoliesBy Alex Whalen and Ian Madsen Atlantic Institute for Market Studies In October 2012, Gerard Comeau left his home in Tracadie, N.B, and drove to Quebec to buy alcohol. Comeau, a retired power lineman, knew he could buy the same alcohol for less in Quebec. However, upon returning to New Brunswick, Comeau was stopped by…

Minimum wage prices low-skilled workers out of a job

Governments should abolish the fruitless minimum wage if they want to do right by young and low-income persons

Minimum wage prices low-skilled workers out of a jobBy Marco Navarro-Genie and Matthew Lau Contributors High unemployment in Atlantic Canada is a longstanding problem. For over four decades, unemployment rates have consistently exceeded the national rate. It is critical for the provinces to reduce barriers to work. Yet governments do the opposite when they raise the legislated minimum wage, as all four Maritime…