Unequal partners: Power, profit and the public interest in P3s

Here we are again reviewing the evidence that private business can deliver essential public services and infrastructure at less cost and with better results than the public sector. With the recent federal government announcement of the public infrastructure bank public-private partnerships (p3s), it is now seeking to reassure Canadians that…
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The T-word (taxes) finally takes centre stage in Toronto

The City of Toronto’s annual budgetfest debates just got interesting. After months of Mayor John Tory avoiding the T-word (taxes), a city report released today puts important tax options on the table. These options include short-term measures needed to balance the 2017 operating budget and longer-term measures to pay for…
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Flimsy CETA declaration leaves public services, water policy vulnerable in Canada-EU deal

After a year of large public demonstrations against Canada-EU free trade, which have—refreshingly—given some European politicians cold feet, the Canadian government and European Commission have been scrambling to make CETA more palatable to EU member states before an important October 18 vote on the deal. Their main weapon is a…
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Pressing the reset button: A progressive vision for Ontario

The Ontario government has prorogued the provincial legislature, returning September 12 with a new throne speech. The impending throne speech has been cast as government “pressing the reset button” following a recent by-election loss and ongoing controversies such as election finance scandals, hydro privatization, and high hydro bills. Each of…
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Ten things to know about central agencies in Canada

From time to time, voluntary sector leaders—and advocates in general—come up with ideas for new spending and new social programs.  When they do this, they often focus too much on influencing elected officials, and too little on influencing senior public servants.  What’s more, it’s important that their proposals be supported by good…
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Should we end the alcohol monopoly in Quebec?

In the eyes of fans of the free market, the fact that Crown corporations are granted exclusivity over certain sectors of the economy comes across as one of the most scandalous of aberrations. For this reason, the idea that the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) should be privatized pops…
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