Drinking Local: Round Two

Last week’s article on local producers of alcoholic beverages drew a lot of correspondence. Some of it was supportive, but most found the argument unsatisfactory. The matter merits further exploration.

Many readers think the tax versus subsidy argument is a valid test:
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Stealth Taxation By Cap And Trade

The federal government gave provinces a choice between collecting a growing tax on carbon emissions, or setting up a “cap and trade” system. Nova Scotia has chosen the latter—but, for homeowners and drivers, the result will look quite a bit like the former.
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Politicians Have Trouble Understanding Power Rates

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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Chasing The Jobs

This week’s Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) announcement of a big payroll rebate agreement with IBM has sparked a renewed debate on the appropriateness of the program.

That announcement increased the number of possible jobs added from 500 to 750 and the average salary from $50,000 to $73,500. The maximum achievable incentive increased by $10.4 million to $22.6 million.
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The Liberal Platform

The Liberal platform is essentially the same as the budget that was presented at the end of April, with the elements repackaged in partisan red. The budget was immediately followed by an election call so the details did not get much attention.

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Health Care—It’s Complicated

“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”

So said Donald Trump on February 27th. Trying to choose the stupidest thing he has ever said is a daunting task, but this one is a strong contender.
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A Tale Of Two Government Programs

In early February, there were two strikingly different news reports about the economy of Southwestern Nova Scotia.

The first was a CBC report on Riverside Lobster International, a seafood processor in Meteghan.
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Making Schools Work

The Council to Improve Classroom Conditions is steaming along. In the process of addressing particular issues, it is revealing some larger truths.
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CPP Changes: Don’t Pop The Champagne

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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Building Boom

More than two years ago, one of Halifax’s prominent developers was asked whether he was worried about there being too much product on the drawing board, or already underway.

His response was, “Either we are all right or we are all crazy.”
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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 »