Ontario taxpayers shouldn’t bail out Laurentian University

A bailout would only encourage risky financial decision-making at other universities

Ontario taxpayers shouldn’t bail out Laurentian UniversityIt’s a bad idea to keep adding water to a leaky bucket. Millions of dollars have been gushing out of Laurentian University for years. And it’s not right to plug the holes with taxpayers’ cash. Laurentian University is facing a debt crisis of its own making, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s political opponents are calling…

Ontario’s insane three-day COVID-19 roller-coaster ride

Political messages that flip-flopped. Controversial policies announced, modified and removed at a mere snap of the fingers

Ontario’s insane three-day COVID-19 roller-coaster rideSeventy-two hours – 4,320 minutes – three days. Doesn’t sound like an enormous stretch of time. In most cases, it’s not. Yet what Ontario experienced from Friday, April 16, to Sunday, April 18, could easily be described as an insane roller-coaster ride for the ages. Wild highs and lows. Political messages that flip-flopped and flop-flipped. Controversial…

Hardworking Ontarians need help, and Ford can give it to them

He should honour his 2018 promise and cut the provincial gas excise tax

Hardworking Ontarians need help, and Ford can give it to themGoing for a drive is one of the few things families can do to get out of the house, but now they’re being hit with gas prices that have spiked to their highest point in two years. Filling up a minivan now costs $95. But it shouldn’t cost that much because Premier Doug Ford promised…

Ontario needs to introduce recall legislation

The people need a way of giving politicians the pink slip more than just once every four years

Ontario needs to introduce recall legislationIn a democracy, voters are supposed to be the boss, so we should always have the ability to fire politicians for poor performance. Unfortunately, in Ontario, voters often need to wait years before handing out a pink slip that should have come long ago. But there’s a simple way Ontarians can change that: Premier Doug…

Religious freedom equals educational freedom

The claim that merging Ontario’s government-run and Catholic school systems will save “an estimated $1.6 billion a year” is blarney

Religious freedom equals educational freedomIn terms of cultural insensitivity, the latest call for ending Ontario’s Catholic school funding wins the shamrock, coming, as it did, on St. Patrick’s Day. But if we overlook that faux pas, we still have to consider the pot of gold that would be saved by absorbing Catholic schools into the government-run system. Or do…

Political welfare raising its ugly head in Ontario again

Ford has changed his tune about political welfare now that he’s Ontario’s premier

Political welfare raising its ugly head in Ontario againOntario Premier Doug Ford use to stick up for taxpayers against political parties that were trying to plunder more of our money. But now Ford seems eager to let political parties stick their hands further into taxpayers’ pockets. Ford rightly railed against political welfare when he was vying for the Progressive Conservative leadership in 2018.…

Ontario needs to look to Quebec for debt management strategies

Governments need to start planning for the recovery and developing plans to put their finances in order

Ontario needs to look to Quebec for debt management strategiesBy Steve Lafleur and Jake Fuss The Fraser Institute As expected, every government budget in Canada this year has been covered in red ink. The pandemic has squeezed tax revenue while governments have boosted spending to combat the public health crisis and deep recession. But after a year of social distancing and with the rollout…

Ontario government’s budget built on a hope and a prayer

Ford government acting like an ostrich with its head firmly buried in the sand

Ontario government’s budget built on a hope and a prayerAs Ontario’s finance minister rose in the legislature to present the government’s 2021 budget, it became painfully clear that the Ford government is acting like an ostrich with its head firmly buried in the sand. When the Ford government released its first pandemic budget in November of 2020, then-finance minister Rod Phillips promised that a…

Ballooning sunshine list a slap in the face to taxpayers

A 10% pay cut for all sunshine listers would save beleaguered taxpayers more than $2.5B

Ballooning sunshine list a slap in the face to taxpayersWhile most Ontarians were barely getting by during lockdowns, the bill for Ontario top bureaucrats ballooned in 2020. There are still 800,000 Ontarians looking for a job. So, it must be jarring for them to see Ontario’s sunshine list, which discloses the municipal and provincial government employees making more than $100,000 per year, increased by…

Policy uncertainty continues to hurt Canada’s mining industry

To attract the investment required to develop resources, mitigating the risks of policy uncertainly needs to be a top priority

Policy uncertainty continues to hurt Canada’s mining industryBy Jairo Yunis and Elmira Aliakbari The Fraser Institute The COVID recession has hurt Canada’s natural resources sector, with supply disruptions, commodity price declines and greater uncertainty regarding future demand. Not surprisingly, capital investment in the Canadian mining industry has dropped to its lowest level since 2009. Of course, business investment should be a key…

Students will be stuck paying the pandemic debt tab

The lingering financial fallout from the pandemic will cost our students for the rest of their lives

Students will be stuck paying the pandemic debt tabThe pandemic has been hard on students of all ages. As many parents can attest, their children have missed the social interaction at school and have struggled to focus during online learning. Post-secondary students have missed out on important and exciting life experiences, too. But even after in-class and on-campus learning has resumed to near…

Fat-cat Ontario politicians shouldn’t laugh off taking pay cuts

The least elected officials could do is to take a pay cut to show some solidarity with the suffering taxpayers

Fat-cat Ontario politicians shouldn’t laugh off taking pay cutsFew images could inspire as much disgust as a bunch of fat-cat politicians laughing at the suggestion of pay cuts while hundreds of thousands of their constituents struggle with the stinging reality of job loss. But Ontarians didn’t have to use their imaginations last week because this loathsome spectacle was on full display in the…

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries dispute

Non-Indigenous fishers in Atlantic region need not be worried that Indigenous rights will come at the expense of conservation

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries disputeA dispute in Ontario may help us understand ongoing tensions over the lobster fisheries on the East Coast and offer a solution. The war over Indigenous fishing rights has played out before in Canada. As we reflect on recent violence in Nova Scotia over the lobster fisheries, it’s important to know if there are any…

Ontario government must avoid fiscal mistakes of its predecessors

The government must craft a credible short-term plan to eliminate the budget deficit

Ontario government must avoid fiscal mistakes of its predecessorsBy Steve Lafleur and Jake Fuss The Fraser Institute The Ford government released Ontario’s 2020/21 third quarter fiscal update last week. As expected, the numbers were ugly. The Department of Finance now anticipates a $38.5 billion budget deficit for this fiscal year. Moreover, the Financial Accountability Officer projects that while the deficit will decrease substantially…

Ontario must quickly balance budget in wake of pandemic

Deficits might seem like an abstract problem for the future but in Ontario this simply isn’t the case

Ontario must quickly balance budget in wake of pandemicBy Steve Lafleur and Jake Fuss The Fraser Institute New Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy inherits a difficult job from Rod Phillips. The province’s fiscal challenges long predate the pandemic. The province has mostly run uninterrupted budget deficits since 2008-09. The governments of both Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne sketched out long paths to budget…