Practical ways to tackle our emissions problems

Climate warriors spend a great deal of time condemning current practices without offering realistic solutions

Practical ways to tackle our emissions problemsIn the past several months, we’ve heard dire and angry imprecations and accusations from the new climate crusaders. They demand total obeisance to their escalating demands. Any critics to their approach to catastrophic global warming are denounced as deniers or heretics. A new religious-political-social movement has sprung out of this trend: Extinction Rebellion, with the…

Industrial world held hostage by China

The COVID-19 crisis has amplified the warning: dependence on Chinese products is a key vulnerability for Western nations

Industrial world held hostage by ChinaMany key pharmaceutical ingredients used in North America reportedly come from China or, in the case of generics, India. In turn, India imports key ingredients from China. So diverting imports from China to India might not reduce our dependence on Chinese manufacturers. In addition, China reserves the right to provide its citizens with vital drugs before…

One government after another fails in face of COVID-19

Governments around the world have been tardy, negligent, dysfunctional or otherwise an impediment to an aggressive and successful outcome

One government after another fails in face of COVID-19While residents around the world deal with restrictions imposed to minimize transmission of COVID-19, many wonder how we got into a predicament where thousands die, millions are infected, and millions more lose their jobs or investment nest eggs. There were preliminary indications as far back as Nov. 17 that some people who frequented the wet…

Canada must regain its competitiveness 

We need tax reforms and other initiatives that will help spur entrepreneurial spirit and encourage investment

Canada must regain its competitiveness Canada is gradually losing its competitiveness – but it can be regained. According to the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), a graduate business school and research centre, we’re down three spots from 2018 to 13th. Canada is now ranked below the United States and Switzerland, as well as other energy-dominated nations such as Norway,…

Putting an end to Quebec’s energy vulnerability

The province's aversion to pipelines and its ban on fracking create serious problems. It's time to let free enterprise pave the way to a better future

Putting an end to Quebec’s energy vulnerabilityAlberta Premier Jason Kenney has suggested to Quebec that pipelines would prevent events like the recent propane shortage caused by the CN Rail strike. The lack of propane hampered harvest for Quebec farmers, and endangered users of propane heating in seniors residences, hospitals and mobile homes. Critics have noted pipelines don’t usually carry propane. But…

Government roadblocks cripple energy industry

Certainly there are factors beyond domestic control, but some simple regulatory changes and a general will to help industry will go a long way

Government roadblocks cripple energy industryAndrew Leach, an energy and environmental economist at the University of Alberta, recently observed that a number of things challenge the oil and gas industry in Canada, particularly the oil sands sector. And some of those challenges aren’t the fault of Canadian politicians or environmental activists. He noted that the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers…

Airport land lease fees inflate Canadian travel costs

The land leases that the federal government requires of the 26 largest public sector airports under its control in Canada are entirely avoidable

Airport land lease fees inflate Canadian travel costsTravellers will be annoyed at yet another hike in the airport improvement fee (AIF), from $20 to $25, on every airline ticket originating at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). But that’s a relatively minor irritant compared to another major airport expense that raises costs to airlines and, as a result, air fares. The land leases that…

Capitalism has its own moral virtues

Dictating social outcomes for corporations is unnecessary and unproductive

Capitalism has its own moral virtuesIn a time where capitalism is under attack from several directions, it’s also being undermined by the very individuals and organizations that should be defending it. The Business Roundtable, a group of chief executive officers of more than 100 of the largest publicly traded corporations in the United States, recently issued an open Statement on…

Moral investment constraints too onerous for pension funds

Never mind that reducing the choices available to a fund manager can result in negative consequences for pensioners

Moral investment constraints too onerous for pension fundsSome Canadian institutional investment and pension funds have faced scrutiny recently because they owned or own shares in American prison-management companies GEO and CoreCivic. That criticism is unwarranted and unfair. These firms operate prisons, detention centres and rehabilitation facilities in the U.S. Given that the U.S. incarcerates more people than anywhere else in the world,…

CMHC nudging more aggressively into housing market

The risk of housing price declines piles onto the risk CMHC already takes on when insuring mortgages

CMHC nudging more aggressively into housing marketCanada’s federal government will soon participate in the property bubble in a direct, equity-owning way through its new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive. But the merits of the program are questionable. Since the end of the Second World War, it’s been federal government policy to help low-income would-be home buyers via Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.…