Thursday, January 04, 2018

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Brent Patterson rightly worries about the prospect that Justin Trudeau will choose to emulate Donald Trump's anti-social agenda (just as he's too often done with Stephen Harper's):
At the time of last year's federal budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau commented he would exercise prudence "to ensure that we have the capacity to deal with the environment that we find ourselves in". That was widely interpreted in the media as the federal government recognizing that Trump's corporate tax cuts were on the way and that those cuts would have implications for Canada.

There will also very likely be corporate pressure to cut regulatory protections for Canadians. Wudrick says, "It's not as if Canada can count on other advantages to mitigate being competitive on taxes; regulatory uncertainty, for example, helped kill large projects such as Energy East."

John Manley, the former Liberal cabinet minister who now heads the Business Council of Canada, says, "Initiatives such as tax reform, changes to environmental policy and deregulation [in the United States] could have serious consequences for Canada's economy." His prescription? Cut corporate tax rates to stay competitive, streamline the regulatory approval process, negotiate free trade agreements with Japan, India and China, and adopt less restrictive climate policies.

We'll see what the Liberals do regarding corporate tax rates in the upcoming federal budget (expected in March), but it has already signalled its intention to streamline the regulatory approval process, is pursuing 'free trade' agreements (including the Trans-Pacific Partnership that could be signed by March of this year), while its so-called "restrictive climate policies" have allowed for the approval of the 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and the 760,000 barrel per day Enbridge Line 3 pipeline - that together would generate 39-52 megatonnes of upstream carbon pollution a year.
- Owen Jones discusses the knighting of Nick Clegg as a prime example of how utter failure is no obstacle to lionization within an elite political class.

- Andre Picard writes that Canada can learn from California's experience in managing the legalization of marijuana. But of course that would involve some level of governmental interest and competence - both of which are sorely lacking within Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party administration.

- Meanwhile, Jeremy Barreto comments on Rachel Notley's success in developing affordable renewable power for Alberta.

- Finally, David Moscrop makes the case for an offer of guaranteed seats in the House of Commons for Indigenous representatives.

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