Posted August 19, 2016

Budget Balancing Act

With the notable exceptions of oil-dependent Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, the provinces have been moving to balance their books.

Each of the other eight is moving toward fiscal balance. Some are faster than others—BC is already there, and Nova Scotia has good prospects to be there next year. The rest are proceeding more slowly.
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Both the engineering and the finances of electric utilities are devilishly difficult to understand. At the same time, the cost of electricity is politically sensitive, as is the environmental impact of any form of generation—including fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables. Premiers meddling in areas that they don’t fully understand often create big problems for their provinces and for themselves.
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The review of possible highway twinning projects adds to a growing list of choices designed to be inoffensive.

Twinning major highways can reduce the number of accidents, shorten travel times, and make driving quicker and less stressful. The CBCL report on twinning Nova Scotian highways begins with two sound premises.

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When a political party’s platform contains well over a hundred promises, it is likely that some of them will prove to have been ill-considered. The successful Liberal campaign in 2015 is no exception.

It turned out that bringing 25,000 government-supported Syrian refugees to Canada before year end was logistically impossible. If achieved, it would have created huge problems with finding lodgings.
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The proposed changes to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) were agreed to on June 20th by the federal government and all the provinces except Manitoba and Quebec. They are mildly useful, and will have some unexpected consequences.
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