Privatization only way to help Manitoba Hydro – and the province

The badly managed Crown corporation put a whole province at risk of austerity and diminished economic opportunities

Privatization only way to help Manitoba Hydro – and the provinceAppeals to sentiment and other emotions won’t make Manitoba Hydro financially viable. Manitobans can’t wish away the debacle that cost the utility, and all Manitobans, billions of dollars. The problem started years ago and it will probably take decades to get out of the mess. Attempts at northern development and providing aid to Indigenous communities…

Time to unplug Manitoba Hydro

The Crown corporation is an archaic operation based on faulty principles, bad management and outdated market conditions

Time to unplug Manitoba HydroManitoba Hydro’s costly Keeyask dam project and Bipole III transmission line debacle – and the taxpayers’ likely assumption of much of the horrendous debt – were not inevitable. But Crown corporations have vulnerabilities inherent in being created and controlled by government. Risk begins with the false notion that Crown corporations are essential, providing services that…

Shove EDC off taxpayers’ shoulders and into the private sector

Canada's export credit agency is good at what it does. But part of that is taking risks with taxpayers’ money. It's time for that to end

Shove EDC off taxpayers’ shoulders and into the private sectorExport Development Canada (EDC) has a big problem – the kind of problem Crown corporations have no business courting. Canada’s export credit agency, EDC loaned Turquoise Hill Resources, a mining company, $1 billion. Unfortunately, Turquoise Hill allegedly transferred a considerable amount of money offshore to minimize the taxes it pays in Canada. EDC’s mission is…

The case for privatizing Crown utilities

Selling slow-moving, inflexible Toronto Hydro would benefit both taxpayers’ pocketbooks and the service they receive

The case for privatizing Crown utilitiesIncreasingly, Toronto Hydro Corp. poses an expensive risk to all Toronto citizens. The century-old electricity distribution company’s aging equipment is breaking down, and the utility can’t keep up with the building boom in the Greater Toronto Area. It can take months for a new building to get connected. Last week, the Frontier Centre for Public…

Time to spark a revolution in the power utility sector

Unsustainable debts, regulatory structure and evolving market conditions are holding utilities back

Time to spark a revolution in the power utility sectorNorth American power utilities are grappling with a growing crisis and dramatic changes are needed. Nearly all the utilities on the continent (privately held or Crown corporations), and even some Brazilian hydroelectric companies that trade on the New York Stock Exchange, have negligible or outright negative free cash flow. The reasons should concern Canadian taxpayers…

One big asteroid could ruin the mining industry

The space race is on and the payoff is an untold cache of precious metals, large enough to completely dwarf the world's biggest mining companies

One big asteroid could ruin the mining industryWhile not literally pie in the sky, asteroid mining used to be science fiction. It's getting closer to reality. Various private space companies have focused on launching satellites, with hazy side-bets on future colonization ventures. And now, technological advances make mining asteroids a legitimate prospect. There are millions of asteroids in space, many orbiting between…

Prepping for the reality of privatizing Canada’s power utilities

The uncertain future of Puerto Rico's badly managed power utility (PREPA) should serve as a clear warning to several provincial governments

Prepping for the reality of privatizing Canada’s power utilitiesPublic power utilities from B.C. to Newfoundland have expanded enormously, adding copious debt to provinces. This has burdened consumers and businesses with increasingly high power bills and will eventually lower their standards of living. With unsustainable debts, the provinces are going to be in trouble and restructuring looms for these companies. What’s happening in Puerto…

Canada needs to respond to U.S. tax reform

Companies in the U.S. will have more cash to give pay raises to employees, increase investment or raise dividends

Canada needs to respond to U.S. tax reformCanada needs significant corporate tax reform to remain competitive with the United States. Federal and provincial policy-makers need to act quickly. A contentious but mostly growth-boosting tax system overhaul finally passed through the United States Congress shortly before Christmas and was signed into law by President Donald Trump. While it didn’t simplify and clean up…

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 Contributors 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 the RCMP and charged…

A new kind of common market beckons Canada

There’s never been a better time to have a free-trade, investment and work-permit regime between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore

A new kind of common market beckons CanadaAs international trade deals devolve – or disintegrate – new opportunities should present themselves. Britain is leaving the European Union. Canada may be forced to leave the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if President Donald Trump’s conditions for Canada’s membership become too painful. Several other nations are in unsatisfactory trade and investment treaties, and…
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