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Opinion

Our country has lost its way

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7 minute read

March 7, 2019 – Red Deer, AB

Opinion from Terry Loewen

Canada has lost its way in so many different areas. I’m not sure what the brave men and women that fought 2 world wars would be thinking right now, but I’m sure they wouldn’t be impressed and probably heart broken!

I’m not sure how this country has become so divisive in such a short period of time, but it is extremely concerning to me. There is plenty of room to disagree and debate with each other, but this pure hate is something I’ve never seen in my 48 years on this earth. It seems people have fallen so far right or so far left, there is no common ground. I believe all common sense has vanished and I consider common sense one of the most important tool per see that one can use in most situations. Whether its business, personal, political, environmental or any other decisions you may make or think about, common sense will usually lead you to the right answer.

Whether it is in Canada or the U.S., people are throwing absolute non-sense ideas around, trying to persuade their Countrymen to come to their far tilted side and its wrong in my opinion. If you believe full-heartedly that Climate Change is a major issue, fine, but do your research and come up with a sensible solution. Don’t come out as a leader and say no more fossil fuels in 10 years and no more cattle! If you believe that the Oil Sands in Alberta are an issue, then do your research on the project and come up with solutions rather than just protest its existence.

All parts of Canada have major challenges, whether its economical, social, environmental or anything else, that need to be addressed. Being stubborn and divisive is not going to help the best interests of society. Let’s come together as a nation and show empathy to one another, use common sense, find common ground.  Find and implement solutions! That’s what Canada is about. Not what is happening right now.

What is disgraceful is the actions of our leaders! They have taken an Oath to do what’s in the best interest of the people they serve, and may I remind them, pay their salary. They may belong to a political party and I understand that parties have certain beliefs, but that doesn’t mean every belief is a fit for your Constituents! They are to vote what is best for their people, not their party! That is what they took the Oath to do and if they don’t do it, they should be thrown out of office. Yes, there are times that the people don’t have all the facts and may not understand all the issues, but not many and certainly not all are that way.

The very fact that there are Premier’s and a Prime Minister in this Country that are not only NOT following the Oath they’ve taken, but they are outright lying to the people they serve. Its frankly extremely insulting! For them to think they can stand up in public and try and shove so many untruthful remarks to us Canadians down our throats is repulsive.

The Prime Minister is now using the words “erosion of trust”! He’s not talking about himself if you can belief that? The situation that is at the forefront now is should the government let a company off the hook for illegal activities to save jobs? Are we in a corrupt country? It seems like a dream to me that this is the basis of this most recent lie and deception of the people of Canada. The answer is extremely simple, NO! NO, it is not alright to give a free pass to a company on illegal activity. It sets precedent for every other company in this country to do the same thing. As well, if the government is going to protect 9000 jobs for this company, it damn well better protect every other job in Canada, big or small! We all know this isn’t possible so follow the laws. Its unbelievable that the people in power, that are responsible to make and uphold the laws are trying to give free passes to people breaking the law. UNBELIEVABLE!

It is truly time for the people of this Country to stand up and take our rights back to fair and honest representation. I don’t have all the solutions, but I believe if someone is sworn into office and they are dishonest and corrupt in anyway, they should be removed from power immediately and put in jail! This isn’t a case of a person going to work and not doing their job, this is outright criminal in my opinion.

In conclusion, it’s time for our leaders to come clean, do what’s right for all provinces and territories; all Canadians.  Let’s get on with rebuilding this Country that millions of human beings gave their life for. I’ve always been extremely proud to say I’m a Canadian, but right now I’m embarrassed! Enough self interest and everyone from the top down, need to use some common sense and get this Country back to being Proud, Strong and Free.

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Why Are Canadian Mayors So Far Left And Out Of Touch?

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‘The City of Edmonton pays for a 22-person climate team but doesn’t know who on that team is responsible for what, or what that team has accomplished. Meanwhile, Council takes a pay raise and bumps our property taxes by 8.6%”  @michaelistuart

We just returned from a long trip to discover that the City of Calgary wants to potentially re-zone our neighbourhood. Bridle Estates is a collection of 175 bungalow villas for people aged 55-plus. While some people still work most of the inhabitants are retirees. The city’s earnest idea is to create low-cost housing for the tens of thousands arriving here in the city from away.

You can see why a city hall obsessed with white privilege wants to democratize our neck of the south-west corner of the city. Enforced justice has a great tradition. 1970s American cities decided that bussing was the antidote to segregation. After a SCOTUS decision allowing the practice in 1971 (back when liberals owned the court) progressives pushed through an aggressive plan to bus kids from the inner city to the leafy suburbs. And vice versa.

It worked like a charm. For conservatives, that is. It radicalized a generation of voters who soon installed Ronald Reagan as president, and empty buses went back to the depot. The Democrats went from the party of the people to the party people in Hollywood. With time dulling memories, contemporary Woke folk are reviving the integration dream. This time the mostly white suburbs will bear the brunt of the government’s immigration fixation (400K-plus in the third quarter).

There are meetings planned where citizens will be able to address their elected officials— no doubt in a respectful voice. But anyone who’s dealt with Climate Crisis Barbie— Mayor Jyoti Gondek— has much optimism. This is a mayor who exploited a three-way split in centre-right voting here to declare a Climate Emergency on her first day in office.

Then she rolled out hate-speech laws to protect her from being razzed in public. For this and other fabulist blunders— her messing with the new arena project drove a worse deal and a two-year delay in a home for the Calgary Flames— she faced a recall project (which failed to collect over 400K voters’ signatures).

With a housing bubble expanding everyday, Her Tone Deafness has decided that owning a home is so passé. ”We are starting to see a segment of the population reject this idea of owning a home and they are moving towards rental, because it gives them more freedom.” She added that people have become “much more liberated around what housing looks like and what the tenure of housing looks like.”

As the Calgary’s schmozzles and Edmonton’s dabble in climate extravagance illustrate the municipal level of government in Canada is a few lobsters shy of a clambake. Across the country major cities are in the hands of radical NDP soldiers or virtue warriors who would rather have symbols than sewers to talk about.

In Toronto, Jack Layton’s widow Olivia Chow is leveraging her 37 percent mandate to make Toronto a kinder, Wok-er city. In Vancouver and Victoria, B.C., the open-air drug agendas of new mayors and city councils have sent capital fleeing elsewhere. Despite crime and construction chaos, Montreal mayor Valerie Plante won a second term, by emphasizing her gender.

In times when the coffers were full, this ESG theatre might have been a simple inconvenience. But since the federal and provincial governments began shoving responsibilities and costs downward to municipalities there is no wiggle room for grandstanding politicians at the city level. Or for hapless amateurs.

With the public incensed over residential property tax increases on one side and the blandishments of aggressive developers on the other, competent governance has never been more needed in the urban areas. While feds can (and have) printed money to escape their headaches and the provinces can offload costs onto the cities, the municipalities have no room for risk.

The time bomb in this equation is the debt load that the three levels can sustain. After this week’s budget, federal spending is up $238B, or 80 percent since 2015.  Coming off this free-spending budget the feds have pushed the federal debt to more than $1.2 trillion this year (in 2015, the debt was $616 billion.) None of the provinces has shown any appetite for the 1990s-style cuts to reduce their indebtedness. Leaving cities to crank the property-tax handle again.

So far, Canada’s cities have been able to use friendly municipal bonds to ease their fiscal problems. But if the Canadian economy continues its tepid performance with no reduction in debt, financial experts tell us that there could be a flight from Canadian municipal bonds— with a consequent spike in interest rates elsewhere.

The backlash on free-spending governments will be severe— and restricted municipalities will be hardest hit. None of this is resonating with Canadians still flush with cash from Covid. The stock markets are still buoyant and those living in cashbox houses are counting their dividends. Willful denial is the Trudeau legacy.

Which is why so many Canadian were shocked last week when American AntiTrump media star Bill Maher did an intervention on Canadian conceits. Using the True North as his warning to America, Maher ripped apart the gauzy leftist dream of Canada as the perfect society, the Sweden north of Estevan. By the time he was done, the single-payer myth was bleeding on the ground.

Maher knows that the bill is coming due for free-spending Canada and its climate charlatans. (The IMF is already warning of a global crisis over debt loads.) The question is: will Canadians come to the same conclusion before it’s too late to save the cities?

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book Deal With It: The Trades That Stunned The NHL And Changed hockey is now available on Amazon. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his previous book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via brucedowbigginbooks.ca.

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Business

New capital gains hike won’t work as claimed but will harm the economy

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From the Fraser Institute

By Alex Whalen and Jake Fuss

Capital taxes are among the most economically-damaging forms of taxation precisely because they reduce the incentive to innovate and invest.

Amid a federal budget riddled with red ink and tax hikes, the Trudeau government has increased capital gains taxes. The move will be disastrous for Canada’s growth prospects and its already-lagging investment climate, and to make matters worse, research suggests it won’t work as planned.

Currently, individuals and businesses who sell a capital asset in Canada incur capital gains taxes at a 50 per cent inclusion rate, which means that 50 per cent of the gain in the asset’s value is subject to taxation at the individual or business’ marginal tax rate. The Trudeau government is raising this inclusion rate to 66.6 per cent for all businesses, trusts and individuals with capital gains over $250,000.

The problems with hiking capital gains taxes are numerous.

First, capital gains are taxed on a “realization” basis, which means the investor does not incur capital gains taxes until the asset is sold. According to empirical evidence, this creates a “lock-in” effect where investors have an incentive to keep their capital invested in a particular asset when they might otherwise sell.

For example, investors may delay selling capital assets because they anticipate a change in government and a reversal back to the previous inclusion rate. This means the Trudeau government is likely overestimating the potential revenue gains from its capital gains tax hike, given that individual investors will adjust the timing of their asset sales in response to the tax hike.

Second, the lock-in effect creates a drag on economic growth as it incentivises investors to hold off selling their assets when they otherwise might, preventing capital from being deployed to its most productive use and therefore reducing growth.

And Canada’s growth prospects and investment climate have both been in decline. Canada currently faces the lowest growth prospects among all OECD countries in terms of GDP per person. Further, between 2014 and 2021, business investment (adjusted for inflation) in Canada declined by $43.7 billion. Hiking taxes on capital will make both pressing issues worse.

Contrary to the government’s framing—that this move only affects the wealthy—lagging business investment and slow growth affect all Canadians through lower incomes and living standards. Capital taxes are among the most economically-damaging forms of taxation precisely because they reduce the incentive to innovate and invest. And while taxes on capital do raise revenue, the economic costs exceed the amount of tax collected.

Previous governments in Canada understood these facts. In the 2000 federal budget, then-finance minister Paul Martin said a “key factor contributing to the difficulty of raising capital by new start-ups is the fact that individuals who sell existing investments and reinvest in others must pay tax on any realized capital gains,” an explicit acknowledgement of the lock-in effect and costs of capital gains taxes. Further, that Liberal government reduced the capital gains inclusion rate, acknowledging the importance of a strong investment climate.

At a time when Canada badly needs to improve the incentives to invest, the Trudeau government’s 2024 budget has introduced a damaging tax hike. In delivering the budget, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said “Canada, a growing country, needs to make investments in our country and in Canadians right now.” Individuals and businesses across the country likely agree on the importance of investment. Hiking capital gains taxes will achieve the exact opposite effect.

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