Federal - Commentaries
A two-front fight to give Canadians a break on booze
December 06, 2017With the holiday season underway, many Canadians will be taking the time to enjoy a few drinks, whether at office parties, with friends or at home with their families. With the holiday season underway, many Canadians will be taking the time to enjoy a few drinks, whether at office parties, with friends or at home with their families. It won’t be cheap. The sobering fact is most Canadians aren’t even aware that the taxman makes a killing every time they raise a glass.
The CRA fails Canadians in more ways than one
November 27, 2017The release of an Auditor General’s report is rarely a happy occasion for the government of the day, and this fall’s offering from federal Auditor General Michael Ferguson was no exception. Perhaps most surprising was Ferguson’s audit of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s call centers and their staggering inability to handle taxpayers’ calls, and to answer questions properly.
Taxpayers take a bath with Marine Atlantic
November 17, 2017Canada's federal Crown corporations are a motley bunch. A few, like the Bank of Canada, are mostly viewed as indispensable. Most, such as a litany of museums or port authorities, attract little attention because of their benign purpose and relatively small budgets. Some, such as Canada Post, are now seen as increasingly anachronistic in a rapidly changing world.
Public art, private dollars: The example Calgary should follow
September 11, 2017Currently, more than 50 Canadian cities have a public-art program. Many of them either shake down developers to fund public art, or set aside a percentage of a government infrastructure budget for public art. Not surprisingly, the results have often been embarrassing.
The Trudeau Liberals have a transparency problem
September 01, 2017When news broke recently that Rana Sarkar had been appointed as Canada’s consul-general to San Francisco at a salary somewhere north of $220,000 – well above the official pay range which tops out at $140,000 – the Prime Minister’s principal adviser, Gerald Butts, took to Twitter to defend his friend, noting that Sarkar was a highly qualified candidate and was, in fact, taking a pay cut to help serve his country.
Bill Morneau's attack on the middle class
August 23, 2017Finance Minister Bill Morneau recently announced a plan to crack down on “tax planning using private corporations” by closing “loopholes.” Given the chosen wording, you would be forgiven for assuming these were of interest only to a handful of high powered tax lawyers and accountants. Yet if adopted, these changes would mean a dramatic tax hike for millions of Canadians and impact countless small businesses.
Canada's aerospace industry is a giant pyramid scheme
August 14, 2017Recently, federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced $10 million in funding for the Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT) located in Winnipeg. CATT describes itself as “a perfect example of a partnership between industry and research/education.”
Morneau's 'tax escalator' a bad precedent
June 12, 2017Most taxpayers probably breathed a sigh of relief that Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s spring budget didn’t include any headline-grabbing tax hikes, such as increases in income taxes or business taxes. Rumoured new taxes on health and dental benefits and capital gains thankfully never materialized.