Newsletter

CPC Eglinton Lawrence EDA - Charities should not become political lobbyists | Financial Post - 05/09/2017

Last week brought another reason for the chattering class to celebrate. The federal Liberal government removed a gag order on all those pristine charitable organizations that had their freedom of expression suppressed by the previous, controlling Conservative government. The reign of fear and repression is over. Charities are free at last. But free to do what? Well, activists will be free to pursue their political objectives, while avoiding taxes and attracting donations subsidized by the taxpayer. And here I was worried something inappropriate was going on... Read more

Joe Oliver: Banning embedded mutual fund fees will only hurt the investors we should be helping | Financial Post - 04/17/2017

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) may soon make a fateful decision: Whether to ban embedded fees. These are sales and trailing commissions paid by mutual fund companies to brokers and advisers that sell their funds, which is the alternative to investors paying the broker for guidance. Banning embedded fees risks limiting the availability of investment advice to middle-income Canadians. Beyond that, the decision raises a broader issue, the overarching need for balance in regulating our capital markets... Read more

Joe Oliver: Trump's low tax plan saved Morneau's do nothing budget from inflicting more harm to the Canadian economy. | Toronto Sun - 04/01/2017

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is not a physician, so he obviously has not taken the Hippocratic oath, “First, do no harm.” Morneau’s bedside manner may have reflected his promise to consider our “feelings”. As a patient under his care, I would feel better with a sound diagnosis... Read more

Joe Oliver: Drunk on spending, the Liberal government’s too addled to see the idiocy of raising capital gains taxes | Financial Post - 14/03/2017

Rumours are swirling that the March 22 federal budget will significantly increase the capital gains tax. This would be very bad policy, especially since the U.S. government intends to move in the opposite direction. Still, the Liberals may be tempted to go down that route because they find themselves in a fiscal pickle, to a significant degree of their own making... Read more

Fiscal Policy - Back to the Future | Financial Post - 23/01/2017

The Liberal government’s recent cabinet shuffle signalled no change of course on fiscal policy, in spite of the dramatic deterioration, over a two-year period, of Canada’s projected fiscal situation from budgetary surpluses to deficits extending to mid-century. Andrew Coyne and Colby Cosh, writing earlier in the National Post, evinced little worry on the subject. Does this sound the death knell of fiscal responsibility as a widely accepted idea? I certainly hope not because, as George Santayana wrote, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Paradoxically, while many remember his quote, they frequently forget history’s lessons... Read more

Joe Oliver: As U.S. energy prepares to roar, Canada’s Liberals cling to their morally superior denial | Financial Post - 10/01/2017

President-elect Donald Trump is determined that America exploit its vast shale oil and gas reserves. The result will be an energy boom with global implications, some especially problematic for Canada. Hydraulic fracking has already had an immense impact on America’s economy. The Brookings Institution reports that, from 2007 to 2013, energy consumers gained US$74 billion a year in lower energy costs brought by increased fracking. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, between 2012 and 2014, energy development and lower energy costs generated US$3.5 trillion in GDP and 4.6 million new jobs. This despite a collapse in oil and gas prices... Read more

The madness of tossing money at international carbon credits | Financial Post - 21/12/2016

The federal Liberal government is determined to impose on the provinces an escalating national carbon tax that will slow growth, undermine competitiveness and degrade our standard of living, all for no discernible impact on global temperatures. Not content with that impending disaster, it now admits it will take action that can only be described as extremely foolish and ill advised — the transfer of billions of dollars to foreigners for useless scraps of paper, euphemistically called international credits. All this for the political and ideological purpose of pretending that Canada is doing something that will make a difference to the problem of climate change, which it is not.... Read more

Joe Oliver: The Liberals must adapt to Trump — but they’ll need to abandon their low-carbon, high-tax ideology first | Financial Post - 22/11/2016

Some Canadians, their hair on fire, are terrified about the terrible things an appalling Donald Trump might do to his country and the world. They need grief counselling.... Read more

Joe Oliver: Our post-national prime minister | National Post - 3/11/2016

A year ago, Justin Trudeau mused to The New York Times Magazine that “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada.” Can you image the head of the U.S., France or China making such a statement? Is there a national leader who could survive such an astonishing repudiation of his or her country’s identity? Undeterred, Trudeau then asserted that “Canada is the world’s first post-national state.” All of which caused the reporter to characterize his comments as radical. Got that right.... Read more

Joe Oliver: Trudeau talks up ‘social licence,’ but will bulldoze protesters if he wants something built | Financial Post - 25/10/2016

You have to hand it to the anti-development crowd. They are great at employing evocative language to mislead the public and intimidate opponents. Take their tactic of relentlessly demanding “social licence.” It has become a powerful slogan evoking the aura of popular consent, which is integral to a parliamentary democracy. Yet the real objective of their demands is fundamentally anti-democratic — a deceptive justification for spin doctors to stifle dissent, for hooligans to physically disrupt public hearings, for militants to distribute scaremongering and patently false propaganda in the guise of saving the planet, and for opponents to launch lawsuits to delay and ultimately derail projects.... Read more

Joe Oliver: Canadian pipelines’ Greek tragedy is ruining our energy economy | Financial Post - 28/9/2016

Well, one is better than none. A recent trial balloon signalled that the prime minister will approve one major oil pipeline project and it is likely to be Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion from near Edmonton to Burnaby, just east of Vancouver.... Read more

Joe Oliver: We have no choice but to slap a tax on Toronto houses being bought by foreigners | Financial Post - 21/9/2016

I’ll admit I am outside my comfort zone in recommending a tax hike. However, I have always taken a pragmatic rather than ideological approach to fiscal policy and what I’m about to recommend is not a tax on Canadian residents. So, here goes. The Ontario government should quickly impose a 15 per cent tax on purchases by non-residents and foreigners of residential property in certain Greater Toronto Area (GTA) communities. In the interest of full disclosure, I do have an interest in a cooler Toronto housing market, since my wife and I are looking to buy a new condo in the city. But what’s at stake is much larger. Increased foreign buying is going to exacerbate an overheated real estate market, to the detriment of all Torontonians and at risk to the broader economy.... Read more

Joe Oliver: When will Canadians finally say ‘no’ to all these expensive, dysfunctional fiscal and climate policies? | Financial Post - 13/9/2016

Gloomy fiscal and economic news has intruded on Canada’s sunny ways. The Fraser Institute reports that Canadians pay 11 per cent more in taxes than they do for food, housing and clothing combined. Part of the reason is that combined federal and provincial debt has reached $1.3 trillion, or about $36,000 for every man, woman and child. The federal government is determined to see the national debt increase, having tripled-down on its campaign deficit promise, and most provinces are adding to the problem. Interest payments have ballooned to $61 billion annually, the economy shrank 1.6 per cent in the second quarter, economic growth is projected at a discouraging 1.3 per cent this year and RBC’s CEO said last week it could take Canada’s economy 15 years to reinvent itself.... Read more

Stephen Harper will be remembered for impressive legacy | Toronto Sun - 28/8/2016

On Friday, our 22nd prime minister, Stephen Harper, ended a remarkable political career that included uniting conservatives and serving as leader of the country for almost a decade. He leaves behind a proud legacy — enhanced collective prosperity and security, and a principled Canadian presence on the world stage.... Read more

Joe Oliver: Regulations are sinking small and medium-sized enterprise growth | Financial Post - 8/8/2016

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are burdened by costly and intrusive regulation. That is a national problem because SMEs are significant drivers of economic growth and employment. They contribute 30 per cent to Canadian GDP, representing over 90 per cent of privately employed individuals and over 95 per cent of private jobs created during the last decade.... Read more

Joe Oliver: Kathleen Wynne’s cap-and-trade scheme is just a cash grab dressed in fake green garb | Financial Post - 25/7/2016

The Ontario government has a seemingly endless pipeline of costly moral imperatives to foist on its hapless constituents. Next year, Ontarians will be subjected to yet another high-minded boondoggle: cap and trade for carbon emissions. It will cost consumers billions, undermine the competitiveness of job-creating businesses and do virtually nothing to combat global warming.... Read more

Joe Oliver: The last thing homebuyers need is new taxes in the name of a hyped-up ‘housing crisis’ | Financial Post - 14/7/2016

Frenzied residential real estate prices are a hot topic in Canada’s two hottest markets. Rising demand caused by immigration, domestic migration and natural population increases is competing for a fixed supply of land in the urban core. Combined with very low interest rates, the average single-family home sells for $1.2 million in Toronto and $1.6 million in Vancouver.... Read more

The EU should take heed of Brexit message. My personal encounter with the Commission showed the power of a single unelected commissioner in a Union of over half a billion people. | Financial Post - 6/7/2016

The reaction to Bexit by some commentators, including several in Canada, has been near apocalyptic. Shock, anger and bitterness were accompanied by accusations of racism, atavistic parochialism and isolationism. The vote was greeted with withering contempt for the country’s supposedly crypto-fascist leadership and Little Englanders who were either ignorant or bigoted, or likely both..... Read more

Joe Oliver: How to avoid the coming Canadian future of higher taxes, slower growth and unaffordable programs | Financial Post - 22/6/2016

Will an intractable demographic headwind doom Canada to slow economic growth for the foreseeable future? Perhaps, because the most effective initiatives are politically challenging and currently favoured policies can make things worse.... Read more

Conservative Party Convention: 26-28 May 2016--Vancouver - 10/6/2016

This is a report on the 2016 conservative party convention which was recently held in Vancouver. Never having attended a political convention, the 2016 Vancouver convention was an eye-opener; not to mention fascinating... Read more

Private sector versus public sector infrastructure - 9/6/2016

Attached is a paper I co-signed with the Montreal Economic Institute, comparing private sector pipeline projects to public infrastructure spending.... Read more

Ontario's jolting electricity plan | Financial Post - 6/6/2016

What explains the Ontario Liberal government’s $7 billion Climate Change Action Plan, which will infringe on people’s freedom, impose debilitating costs, set impossible targets and fail to produce meaningful reductions in GHG emissions? The only answer can be ideological fervour, divorced from economic or practical reality.... Read more

Don't be fooled by the bloated March deficit. The Liberal government needed a $9.4 billion deficit in March to get to a $2 billion deficit for the full fiscal year. | Financial Post - 27/5/2016

Well, that was predictable — which is why I predicted it. On Friday, the Department of Finance’s Fiscal Monitor finally revealed a deficit of $2 billion for 2015­–16, due to a blockbuster deficit of $9.4 billion in the last month of the year alone.... Read more

Joe Oliver: Liberals keep driving recklessly in reverse trying to damage their Conservative foes | Financial Post - 2/5/2016

Last month, I wrote about the Liberal government’s single-minded determination to overturn almost every Conservative policy initiative, irrespective of Canada’s economic interests, international responsibilities or plain common sense. The list of reversals has gotten even longer... Read more

Joe Oliver: Supply management is milking the poor — and no party will stop it | Financial Post - 13/4/2016

Supply management (SM) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, but we shouldn’t be joining any celebrations. SM costs Canadian families a small fortune in higher prices for milk, eggs and poultry, reduces consumer choice, stifles innovation, prevents farmers from developing export markets and undermines our bargaining power in trade negotiations. The Liberal government, as the professed friend of the middle class, should oppose it. So should the NDP, because it disadvantages poor people the most. Conservatives should take a stand against it for those reasons, but also because families with children are especially hard hit and because SM is a protectionist intrusion in the marketplace. Instead, there is emphatic agreement among all the federal political parties that it must be preserved. The provincial governments of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are vocal supportersl.... Read more

Massive deficit spending cannot be justified by a faltering economy | Financial Post - 7/4/2016

A reborn deficit colossus is slouching towards Gomorrah while our growing economy refutes any pretext for such obsessive profligacy. Am I being too harsh? Not based on the data. Since we are talking economics, data are kind of important.... Read more

Regretful longing for fiscal probity and the fact the Conservatives left the Liberal government with a surplus, not a deficit. | The Globe and Mail - 23/3/2016

Re A Government’s First Budget: The Day To Stand And Deliver (March 21): Barry Campbell reminds readers of his Liberal roots when he says that the “New Balance sneakers, as worn by Joe Oliver, spoke to wistful fiscal probity.” Not really. My footwear clearly signalled that the budget was balanced. (The previous year had returned a surplus as well.) I had not contemplated that a successor Liberal government would introduce large deficits, so regretful longing for fiscal responsibility would come later.... Read more

Joe Oliver: While Canada’s PM posed for selfies, John Kerry slapped us in the face | Financial Post - 14/3/2016

Mercifully, Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr was not in Washington when Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. does not need any more Canadian pipelines. You see, unlike Justin Trudeau’s in-laws, Carr did not make the cut for the official visit with the Prime Minister, even though the U.S. trades more resources with Canada than any other country in the world by far... Read more

Shared from Twitter: The Honourable Joe Oliver joins the Montreal Economic Institute -- MONTREAL - 9/3/2016

The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) is proud to announce the nomination of the Honourable Joe Oliver as "Distinguished Senior Fellow." The former Finance Minister of Canada will take part in certain research projects, in particular on files related to public finances and natural resources... Read more

Joe Oliver: How Justin Trudeau can avoid a historic energy blunder | Financial Post - 8/3/2016

The inability to diversify our energy markets is jeopardizing Canada’s prosperity. Quebec’s application for an injunction on the Energy East pipeline, First Ministers’ divided views on a national carbon tax and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Academy Award confusion of a Chinook with global warming are the latest sundry developments impinging on this critical problem. Pipeline construction is stymied by politics and undergoing contested regulatory reviews, preventing transport of oil to eastern Canada or to tidewater and tankers to foreign markets. As a result of a relentless campaign waged by well-funded opponents, public opinion has moved from belief in exaggerated claims about environmental risk to toleration of the damaging consequences of inaction, to the cusp of capitulation to the truly mad — an energy powerhouse abandoning energy exports. That would be a historic blunder... Read more

Joe Oliver: The ORPP — Ontario’s new Lada | Financial Post - 2/3/2016

During the dark days of the Soviet Union, the slightest hint of disenchantment with Uncle Joe Stalin could win you a trip to the gulag. A less risky outlet for the frustration of grinding poverty and lack of political and economic freedom was sardonic humour directed at the incompetent policies and inferior products foisted on the population by central planners. Since the early 1970s, the Lada was a favourite target, a clunker of a car you could wait decades for the privilege of purchasing. The stories are legion.... Read more

Joe Oliver: Why equalization no longer works | Financial Post - 10/2/2016

Equalization is about to loom large in federal-provincial relations and will make the prime minister’s promise to meet with his provincial counterparts increasingly uncomfortable. The significant regional restructuring of economic fortunes, resulting from the precipitous decline in resource-based revenue, will reallocate billions of dollars in transfer payments — some from previously “have not” to “have” provinces. Several of these adjustments will be counter-intuitive and will likely engender embittered political reaction from provinces that perceive themselves as losing out. A reordering of transfers will also raise the larger issue of whether the program should be fundamentally revamped..... Read more

Joe Oliver: Canadians should beware the consequences of climate change … policies | Financial Post - 3/2/2016

The Liberal government sure is talking the talk about the overarching challenge of climate change. The question for Canadians is what the consequences will be once it starts walking the walk. Well, hold on to your wallets, because the answer may be grim: income and corporate tax hikes, consumer “fees,” intrusive regulations, extravagant review processes and massive government expenditures. Yet the actions of other countries are running counter to progress in the fight against global warming and our contribution will be a rounding error, if even that.... Read more

Get off the fence and ratify TPP | Toronto Sun - 31/1/2016

Barely five weeks after the 1993 election, then Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announced Canada would ratify the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), thereby breaking a solemn campaign pledge not to do so without substantive changes, which never happened.... Read more

Joe Oliver: Canada’s foolish pipeline flubs | Financial Post - 27/1/2016

Sammy Davis Jr. sang “What kind of fool am I?” as a man who had missed out in life by never falling in love. Call it a stretch, but those lyrics somehow began swimming through my head the other day when I heard that an oil tanker from the U.S. had arrived in Europe. It was a historic thing because, last December, President Obama lifted a 40-year ban on the export of domestic oil.... Read more

Joe Oliver: Ontario's fiscal train wreck | Financial Post - 29/12/2015

Ontario’s deteriorating fiscal situation is an overarching problem for the province, as well as a cautionary tale for the federal government, its new BFF. Right-wing ideology or partisan politics have nothing to do with the irrefutable conclusion that Ontario is in fiscal trouble.... Read more

Time to get behind pipeline creation | Toronto Sun - 28/12/2015

Occasionally it takes an incredibly long time for people to get the screamingly obvious. Personal bias can make for wilful blindness. Or opinion leaders may not talk about things that go counter to their preferred narrative.... Read more

Year End Message from the EDA President, Greg Piasetzki

I am writing to thank all of you for your support over the last year whether through volunteer time or financial contributions to our association or the national party. It was not the year that we would have wished for. Our record in government was not enough to convince Canadians that we deserved another term in office. Whether Canadians have made the right choice we will know in due course.... Read more

Joe Oliver: Trudeau should hold a referendum on electoral reform | National Post - 7/12/2015

Last week’s Speech from the Throne brazenly informed Canadians that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to forever change the way governments will be elected in Canada. Since it received very little attention during the campaign, I believe that any attempt to tamper with our electoral system for partisan purposes without consulting the people is a dangerous proposition..... Read more

Joe Oliver: Now is not the time for soft power | National Post - 24/11/2015

It is still early days, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “sunny ways” have been mugged by a very dark reality — terrorism perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant (ISIL). That reality has put paid to his “don’t worry, be happy” attitude and calls into question the soft-power philosophy trumpeted by Liberal supporters, former members of the Department of Foreign Affairs and most of the Laurentian elite. More urgently, it raises questions about the new government’s response to the carnage in Paris and the United Nations Security Council authorization of “all necessary measures” to combat ISIL..... Read more

Deficits as far as the eye can see | Financial Post - 24/11/2015

As Yogi Berra observed, it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future. But one of the most time-honoured traditions we can count on is that a new government will invariably discover to its amazement that the cupboard is bare, finances are in tatters and its ability to fulfill its promises are compromised.... Read more

Beware of Government Deficits - 16/11/2015

Canadians elected a Liberal government because they wanted change. One change Justin Trudeau promised was deficit spending. Granted, during door-to-door election canvassing, precious few people told me they wanted to pay more taxes or spend our way into more debt. Still, it was part of the Liberal platform, so he has every right to incur deficits, however much I may believe it is risky..... Read more

Keystone shows us that relying on others leaves Canada vulnerable - The Globe and Mail - 11/11/2015

Now that Keystone XL has been rejected by U.S. President Barack Obama, the spinmeisters are busily at work trying to rewrite history for partisan or ideological purposes. So, let me deal with the prevailing myth that if only Canada’s previous government had taken seriously the need to reduce carbon emissions, Mr. Obama might have approved the pipeline project. It’s important to debunk the myth, because arriving at the truth has implications for our national interest.... Read more


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