The Tax Changes for Small Businesses Won’t Amount To Much

The fussing over Finance Minister Morneau’s personal financial disclosures has distracted attention from the rather more important issue of the changes to proposals for taxing small business.

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Conflict of Interest

Suppose that in 2014 you were interested in building a new house, one more environmentally friendly than your current dwelling which, in any event, will be wearing out by the early 2020s.

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Another Bad Day for Electricity Customers in Nova Scotia

The energy from Muskrat Falls is not going to be available until at least 2020. But the transmission lines are all built at a cost exceeding $1.5 billion. You are going to pay the interest on that debt while we wait.

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Resource Industries Will Suffer if Regulation is Not Trusted

If we are to have viable resource industries, we must have a strong and effective regulatory environment. That is not where we are today.

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Trump Hits A Bump

For the first time since he became president, Trump has had to make a very visible retreat from a position he had been ardently defending.

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Big Decisions Rarely Emerge From Consultation Processes

Some decisions are bigger than others. Paradoxically, big decisions are less amenable to community consultation than small ones, but they often represent the focal point for voters when they cast their ballots.

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The Liberals Need To Staunch the Flood of Asylum Seekers

Immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers are very distinct groups. A flood of asylum seekers threatens our warm acceptance of the other two.

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The Cost and Value of Universities

In 2018 Nova Scotian taxpayers will spend more than $400 million dollars in support of universities, and another $26 million in student scholarships and bursaries.

The students themselves spend more than that amount on their share of tuition and fees. In addition, most of them study away from home and pay for food and accommodations in the city or town where they study.

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The Teachers’ Plan Deficit Needs to be Addressed

The government and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union are doing a disservice to taxpayers and today’s teachers, who are paying for the inadequacy of past contributions by and for the teachers that retired long ago.

In contrast, the public-sector pension plans for civil service and health care workers are well-funded and can be expected to keep their promises to pensioners over the long term.

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Investments in Public Spaces Must be Justified On Their Own Merits

The city planned to pay for the convention centre with property taxes on the other buildings in the Nova Centre. It didn’t work, and it was always a bad plan.

In late 2010, Halifax City Council voted to commit $56.4 million, matched by both the province and federal government, toward the cost of the convention centre portion of the Nova Centre project. Part of the proposal was that that some or all of the city’s funding could be financed by the property taxes on the commercial part of the project.

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Transit Choices

A study of the possibilities for commuter rail is underway. It looks expensive. That is not the only option that should be considered. Read More »