As Ontario continues to undermine its economic future with growing debt, the province does not receive near the critical scrutiny it should from the media and financial markets. In reading CIBC World Markets latest Economic Insight, its not hard to understand why.
The economic news coming out of Ontario in recent days has been far from positive. The province's economic and fiscal position is weak and new analysis released by the Ministry of Finance suggests its economy will remain sluggish for the foreseeable future.
There is no question that a great education is essential to success in the 21st century. Completing high school, for example, markedly reduces the chances of unemployment or the probability of remaining trapped in low-income jobs.
The importance of education to a childs future success explains the increasing interest on the part of parents, and therefore politicians, in ensuring not only a functioning but thriving education system. Supporting parents in choosing their childrens education and fostering competition between schools is vital to such efforts.
Its been two decades since the Alberta government exited the business of selling beer, wine and spirits to consumers.
After several months of labour activists putting pressure on the Ontario government to increase the provincial minimum wage, Premier Kathleen Wynne finally succumbed and announced that she will increase it to $11 per hour from the current $10.25 rate.
What a world it would be if governments could simply legislate higher pay for low-wage workers without any ill effects. But we live in the real world and here public policy should be informed by evidence, not just good intentions. The reality that many labour activists fail to realize is that when governments mandate wage floors, there are real adverse effects. And the people hurt are often the most vulnerable with the least skills.
As anyone who has ever watched puppies tussle over a bone knows, nothing will lead to acrimony quicker than competition for an object everyone wants. Keep the puppy image in mind. Replace it with provincial governments, many of whom now have a stake in the federal transfer program, equalization.