Death and taxes: the fundamental unfairness of taxing estates

We already have too many taxes in Canada. And they tend to be unfair, inefficient and oppressive. We don't need another

Death and taxes: the fundamental unfairness of taxing estatesA long-dead and largely unlamented tax has recently been rediscovered and embraced by certain people: the death tax, or estate tax. But inheritance taxes were abolished in Canada in 1971 by the Liberal government when a capital gains tax was introduced. In Canada, estates are already taxed on the difference between the market value of…

Canada can’t afford to be bullied by Trump on trade

What the president really wants is the surrender of Canadian sovereignty, to create a semi-colonial dependency

Canada can’t afford to be bullied by Trump on tradeU.S. President Donald Trump is, once again, blaming Canada for delays in concluding North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations. There's nothing new in this but this time Trump is bringing in high-powered congressional guns to lambaste Canada. Trump loyalist and Republican Congressman Steve Scalise lowered the rhetorical boom: “Mexico negotiated in good faith and…

We shouldn’t teach ethnic languages in public schools

Teaching such languages is better done by parents and ethnic associations. Schools must focus on core subjects

We shouldn’t teach ethnic languages in public schoolsThe Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called upon governments to make the teaching of Indigenous languages in public schools a priority. No one would disagree with the idea of having more Indigenous people become familiar with their ancestral languages. Many Canadians want their children to learn their ethnic languages. Parents with Scottish roots might…

The high cost of pathological gambling

Are the profits from government sponsored gambling worth the cost in human lives, broken relationships and misery?

The high cost of pathological gamblingSince the early 1990s permanent casinos have been springing up in communities all across Canada. Our government has relaxed its views on gambling and made it much more accessible to adults everywhere. In more recent years this has expanded to include government-run online gambling portals as well. With this increase in availability has come an…

The increasing – and disturbing – militarization of U.S. sports

The NFL and other pro sports leagues don't celebrate the military as gestures of patriotism. The only motivating factor is money

The increasing – and disturbing – militarization of U.S. sportsAmerica’s major professional sports leagues – most notably the National Football League – have increasingly teamed with the military and corporations to serve up ugly forms of paid and forced patriotism. “The melding of sports and the military should be seen as inappropriate, if not insidious,” says William Astore, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant-colonel…

Compassion is at the heart of the best of humanity

Those who show the greatest compassion are among the most powerful and influential, because they’re driving change

Compassion is at the heart of the best of humanityThe Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines compassion as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with the desire to alleviate it.” What we rarely consider, however, is that compassion is a tremendous source of strength. The people who have shown the greatest compassion in our world are among the most powerful and influential. The Book of Joy is…

The Liberal government’s tax plan a failure

Politicians treat successful Canadians as natural resources to be annually harvested and squeezed for as much money as possible

The Liberal government’s tax plan a failureA few years ago, the federal Liberals told Canadians that they would help the middle class by raising taxes on the rich. According to the early evidence, the plan has flopped. This was entirely predictable. In 2015, the C.D. Howe Institute (formerly chaired by the current federal finance minister) called the policy a “losing proposition.”…

Proportional representation breeds unstable governments

B.C.’s electoral reform referendum could lead to more shaky coalitions and less effective government

Proportional representation breeds unstable governmentsSome see the upcoming B.C. referendum on electoral reform – whether the province should switch to a proportional representation (PR) voting system – as a blatant attempt by the B.C. Green Party to secure more power. While it’s clear that under any form of PR, the Greens could increase their seat share, there would also…

Was the 2008 financial crisis exacerbated by official misjudgment?

Countries as disparate as Ireland, Iceland and Greece showed that misplaced financial exuberance has many pedigrees

Was the 2008 financial crisis exacerbated by official misjudgment?We were on a train from London to Edinburgh when the financial crisis erupted in September 2008. The newspaper headlines were downright lurid and the detailed stories provided little comfort. A financial catastrophe was about to descend on all of us. As relatively recent retirees, we felt particularly vulnerable. There’d be no time or opportunity…

Is intolerance doing permanent damage to artistic integrity?

Special interest groups demanding a say in casting choices flies in the face of diversity and freedom of expression

Is intolerance doing permanent damage to artistic integrity?Visiting the Globe Theatre in London, England, is an unforgettable experience. When viewing the modest grounds and realizing that the ‘groundlings’ – the people in the cheap seats – were sometimes privileged to see original Shakespeare plays, it brings home the long and important history of the performing arts. On our tour of the theatre,…
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