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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The Essential Question Is Whether We Want Our Rural Communities To Survive and Prosper

The article of January 20th in support of resource industries prompted many supportive emails. It also received a decidedly frosty response from a tight-knit posse of activists, some of whose viewpoints were printed in the January 27th opinion section.

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Trudeau’s Speech: Let’s Pretend There Are No Tough Decisions

Justin Trudeau spoke to the Liberal faithful for just under 30 minutes on April 21st. He loves to talk about “sunny days.” The list of topics he didn’t discuss was as revealing as the ones he did.

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The plan to pay doctors more is timely, but there are risks

There was so much to talk about in Tuesday’s budget that big chunks of it were released in the preceding days.

Arguably, the most important element was the multi-faceted boost to family physician compensation. It has several attractive features:

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To Have a Bright Economic Future, We Need Many More Nova Scotians

The Liberals have produced another barely balanced budget, but we still have a lot of debt and will need a rejuvenated population for long term viability.

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The Teachers Union Concern Was Always the Union Dues

When parties experiencing a testy relationship come to an agreement, the necessary concessions often come from a group that is not represented at the bargaining table.

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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 »