Newfoundland needs a legislative budget officer

While no single solution will resolve the province’s fiscal crisis, an LBO would ensure that elected officials are informed in their deliberations

Newfoundland needs a legislative budget officerOur 40 members of the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly are constitutionally required to deliberate and vote on billions of dollars’ worth of spending contained in budgets, supplementary estimates and program proposals annually. And yet outside of those select few MHAs who bear the title of finance minister or premier, our elected representatives lack…

Wanted: A global energy sector leader

Assume that Canada was sent a job posting by a headhunter. It sought applicants for the world’s top oil and gas jurisdiction

Wanted: A global energy sector leaderHere’s a project for my energy and social media colleagues. Let’s build a tool for Canadians to understand how important the oil and gas sector is to this country – and will be for decades. We can pass it on to Canadian politicians who need to upgrade their energy-related knowledge. Assume that Canada was sent…

Killing the goose that laid the golden egg

Increasingly harsh and ever-shifting resource-related government policies are killing jobs and making Canadians poorer

Killing the goose that laid the golden eggWith the cancellation of TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline – after the company spent $1 billion trying to jump through ever-changing regulatory and political hoops – Canadians should remind themselves where much of our country’s recent economic uptick originated: in resource exploration and extraction. This was illustrated again, just before the TransCanada announcement in early…

Energy debate stuck in a rut – and what we can do about it

It’s increasingly clear we need to step outside the echo chambers that shape Canada’s polarizing energy narratives

Energy debate stuck in a rut – and what we can do about itCan families help get Canada out of its energy policy rut? If oil and gas companies and governments funded family reunions, it might help. Sound crazy? Family gatherings could accomplish something that’s eluded Canadians by using an established social space to have the frank and balanced discussions about energy that lead to policies more broadly…

Trudeau’s small business tax grab will hit Atlantic Canada hard

Ottawa’s plan is confiscatory and destructive for a region where everyone already pays far too much in tax

Trudeau’s small business tax grab will hit Atlantic Canada hardImagine for a moment you live in Saint John, or Halifax or any other city, town or hamlet in Atlantic Canada. For years, you resisted the temptation to advise your children and grandchildren to move away from the region, even though opportunities, jobs and decent incomes are in short supply. Nevertheless, you long encouraged your…

The no-zero policy finally gets a failing grade

But dumping the misguided practice in Newfoundland and Labrador schools is just the beginning – much more reform is needed

The no-zero policy finally gets a failing gradeThe long-standing no-zero policy in Newfoundland and Labrador schools is no more. The chief executive officer of the English School District recently announced that teachers are once again free to deduct marks for late work and assign marks of zero when work doesn’t come in at all. This is a significant step forward, not only…

A Canadian delicacy claws its way back into the market

Lobster is so popular these days, McDonald's ditched its McLobster due to higher prices. Still, things are looking up for the 'chicken of the sea'

A Canadian delicacy claws its way back into the marketLobsters are not easy on the eyes. The first person to discover that these hideous crustaceans were edible deserves a medal. Lobster was once the poor man’s protein and fed mainly to prisoners. These days, the chicken of the sea is enjoying more love than ever – U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel…

Minimum wage prices low-skilled workers out of a job

Governments should abolish the fruitless minimum wage if they want to do right by young and low-income persons

Minimum wage prices low-skilled workers out of a jobBy Marco Navarro-Genie and Matthew Lau Contributors High unemployment in Atlantic Canada is a longstanding problem. For over four decades, unemployment rates have consistently exceeded the national rate. It is critical for the provinces to reduce barriers to work. Yet governments do the opposite when they raise the legislated minimum wage, as all four Maritime…

Atlantic Canada’s golden opportunity for U.S. immigration

Tell them Atlantic Canada is building, and that they will be key players in the growth of Canada’s most beautiful region as it prepares for the 21st century

Atlantic Canada’s golden opportunity for U.S. immigrationAtlantic Canada should move quickly to capitalize on political and strategic uncertainty south of the border by identifying, seducing and recruiting some of the best and brightest Americans to relocate northward. Encouraging this migration should be the key element of a Canadian strategy shaped by Americans’ uneasiness about the new administration of President Donald Trump. For Atlantic…

Staking out the moral high ground in the energy debate

Othering can help understand energy discourse in Canada – and its tension and polarization – in a sector where natural sciences sensibilities ought to prevail

Staking out the moral high ground in the energy debateUnderstanding “othering,” a theoretical notion studied in the social sciences, could help the petroleum sector connect with Canadians. Othering is about declaring something or someone to be the ‘other’ and, in so doing, reduce that other’s ability to enjoy the same virtues to which you have laid claim. “Othering is the process of casting a…