Thursday, September 23

FP Comment

Climate change, FP Comment, Terence Corcoran

Terence Corcoran: Get ready for CLIMATE-21 fossil fuels virus lockdowns

Breadcrumb Trail Links FP Comment Does COVID-19 justify the global carbon plans? Author of the article: Terence Corcoran Before we link COVID and climate, and let doctors run the economy, maybe we could raise the possibility that UN-driven climate and economic models might be as wrong, even more wrong, than the COVID curve models. Photo by Cole Burston/Bloomberg files Article content Somewhere deep in the cranium of the climate intelligentsia a seed was planted to produce the florid idea that the global COVID-19 virus could serve as inspiration for humankind to once and for all tackle the looming climate crisis. Mark Carney, the global master of modern corporatism's climate crusade, dedicates a whole chapter of his book Value(s) to the COVID/climate nexus. “If we come toget...
FP Comment, oilsands, Philip Cross

Philip Cross: Ottawa can’t cap oilsands output so Trudeau should stop saying he can

Breadcrumb Trail Links FP Comment The Liberals ceded direct control over oilsands emissions when it implemented a carbon tax instead of a'cap-and-trade' system Author of the article: Philip Cross After choosing a carbon tax as its tool for lowering emissions, Ottawa is not in a position to directly control the oil industry's output, writes Philip Cross. Photo by Reuters/Patrick Doyle Article content During a weekend campaign stop at Granby, Que., Justin Trudeau defended his government's purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline by saying “The biggest concern that people have around the pipeline is,'Oh, we're going to see oilsands expansion.' No , we're not." The promise to curtail the oilsands echoes his famous 2017 remark to a gathering in Peterborough, Ontario, that "We ca...
Election 2021, FP Comment, William Watson

William Watson: On the road to Havana — The Liberals’ pig-headed net-zero carpolitik

Breadcrumb Trail Links FP Comment Election 2021 Committing to turn your transportation system upside down without yet having tech to manage it economically almost certainly qualifies as a category of derangement Author of the article: William Watson A re-elected Liberal government will require that by 2030 half of all passenger vehicles sold in Canada produce zero emissions, while all must be zero emission by 2035. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Bloomberg files Article content We are now well past the mid-way point of 2021. (Don't say this column never delivers the facts!) We're having a federal election September 20. The results will probably be known by October 1 — earlier if the number of mail-in ballots is less than predicted. Which means that even if the Liberals are returned...
Election 2021, FP Comment, Matthew Lau

Matthew Lau: Trudeau’s failure on economic growth is a firing offence

Breadcrumb Trail Links News FP Comment Election 2021 The numbers do not lie; over the past six years, Canada has become a worse place to do business Author of the article: Matthew Lau The progressive program Justin Trudeau has enacted over the past six years has made economic growth worse. Photo by Shannon VanRaes/Reuters Article content Justin Trudeau wants his government upgraded from a minority to a majority. The problem is that, judging from its results, the progressive program he has enacted over the past six years is a firing offence, not grounds for promotion. From 2015-Q4, when the Liberals came to power, to 2019-Q4, the final full quarter before the coronavirus pandemic, real GDP per capita increased by only 3.3 per cent in Canada, compared to 7.5 per cent in...
Diane Francis, FP Comment

Diane Francis: Joe Biden’s presidency will bring a geopolitical reset

Article content continuedThe rest of Biden's “green” initiatives appear to be mostly aimed at replacing coal-fired power plants with natural gas or renewables. The rest is aimed at retrofitting decrepit infrastructure and creating green jobs.Biden said he will end drilling on public lands, but not fracking. He is against the Keystone XL pipeline between Alberta and the US Gulf Coast, but the fact that it will be built by unionized workers and replace oil from Venezuela may change his mind.Russia, like China, is in for a tough time. Biden will increase assistance to Ukraine and push America's NATO allies, including Canada, to pony up more financial assistance. He will continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was designed to make Europe more dependent on Russian gas, and incre...
FP Comment

Opinion: COVID’s two new solitudes

Article content continuedThe default tactic of shutdown seems partly due to fear and partly to the desire to shield our weak health-care system from criticism and collapse. What strategy this short-term risk-avoidance tactic serves has not been clear. But without a clear strategy, how to measure the utility of any tactic? With nothing to fear for itself, the public sector can too quickly dismiss alternative, more immediately difficult policies, such as those proposed in the Great Barrington Declaration — which at least have the virtue of being actual strategies , not stopgap tactics such as we have now. But stopgaps are less a problem for the public sector, which doesn't so urgently need to return to normalcy.Shutting down is a consequence of political as well as structural motives. It ...
Bank of Canada, FP Comment, inflation

Opinion: Inflation may be back sooner than you think

Article content continuedFirst, the bank's three different measures of core inflation, which abstract from the more volatile components of the consumer price index, are already running at close to two per cent. In fact, the so-called “CPI-median” measure, currently at 1.9 per cent, has not dipped below 1.8 per cent since the beginning of the pandemic. All three measures suggest the weakness of headline inflation may be temporary. Its fall has been driven by big drops in a few items, most notably energy, that make up a large portion of the CPI basket.Second, the MPR included a substantially lower estimate of the economy's potential output since the bank's last estimates in April 2019. By the end of 2022, the bank thinks potential output will be three per cent lower than it had expected i...
Canadian debt, Canadian Economy, FP Comment

Aaron Wudrick: Chrystia Freeland comes bearing good news

Article content continuedIf all that doesn't worry you enough, consider Freeland citing journalist Kevin Carmichael's line that “it's unfair to saddle the next generation with our debt, but it would be worse to bequeath them a weak economy.”The unstated assumption, of course, is that the government has either the capacity or wisdom to simply “make” a strong economy to bequeath.Set aside for a moment whether this is possible in theory. What has the Trudeau government's track record on this front been in practice? It can't provide any paperwork for a staggering 20,000 infrastructure projects. Its billion-dollar “innovation superclusters” project is failing to hit every single one of its promised targets. The much-hyped Strategic Innovation Fund was supposed to create 56,000 jobs at a cost...
FP Comment, Terence Corcoran

Terence Corcoran: Big Tech actions are not’censorship’

Article content continuedTo achieve those ends, Section 230 essentially exempted the social media giants from legal liability for the content that moves over their platforms. It also gives the companies the authority to make decisions on the content that moves over their platforms.The section contains 26 key words: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” Earlier this month one US lawyer described this sentence as "the source of bedrock service provider immunity for third party content made available through a provider's infrastructure, thus enabling the growth of a vigorous online ecosystem."About which Trump has tweeted: “REPEAL SECTION 230!!!.” More than a...
FP Comment, Philip Cross, tax the rich, wealth tax

Philip Cross: We do not need a wealth tax

Article content continuedThe recent increase in wealth was led by younger generations. The wealth of baby boomers rose by 64.6 per cent between 2010 and 2019, while for Generation X it increased 133.9 per cent and for millennials, 465.5 per cent. Even so, over half of wealth was held by people more than 55 years old, which means a tax on wealth could easily morph into a tax on age.[related_likes /]It is worth clarifying that most wealth is held by individuals, not corporations. At the end of 2019, household net worth in Canada stood at $11,876 billion (ie, $11.876 trillion) compared to just $622 billion for corporations and $268 billion for government. Given this distribution, it is clear that a wealth tax would not shift the tax burden to firms. Most firms simply do not hold enough liq...