Federal Feature Posts

Canada Revenue Agency study says corporations illegally avoiding taxes

Canadian corporations failed to pay between $9.4 billion and $11.4 billion in taxes in 2014, the difference between taxes legally owed and those collected - according to a study released Tuesday by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). That means 24 to 29 per cent of all the corporate income tax legally due in Canada didn't get paid that year. This most recent  CRA report examines the federal corporate income tax gap for the tax year...

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Global anti-monopoly regulators descend on big tech – Canada’s Competition Commissioner wants increased powers

Free services are good for consumers. And monopolies tend to be bad for them. However, the big tech platforms such as Facebook and Google have elements of both—a combination that is vexing policy makers around the world as they struggle to figure out how best to regulate the giant platforms and their unusual business models. In North America in particular, anti-trust policy is almost always used as a remedy only when consumers are paying more...

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Federal watchdogs issue privacy guidelines for fall federal election

Political parties should respect Canadians’ privacy rights and obtain “meaningful consent” before they collect citizens’ personal information, Canada’s privacy watchdog and top elections official say. There are currently no rules governing how political parties can collect, store and analyze personal information about Canadian voters, and no oversight into how political parties currently do so. The advice came Monday from federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien and chief electoral officer  Stéphane Perrault ahead of October’s national election....

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Ford populism and the 2018 Ontario election

Introduction This is the first in a series of articles on the upcoming June 7, Ontario election. The series will look at both the partisan political strategies and policy issues at play during the election. This article takes an in-depth look at the dynamics of Ford populism and the basis of its appeal to its supporters. The basic argument is that the core appeal of Ford populism is cultural resentment against the professional class as opposed...

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The root of fake news in Canada: Facebook and other advertising-based social media

Introduction This article contends that the increasing spread of “fake news” is a direct result of the rise of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. These companies have undermined traditional, fact-based newspapers, and have encouraged the growth of web-based, fake news sites in the following ways. They have undermined the business model of fact-based, quality journalism by garnering the lion’s share of digital advertising at a time when print-based advertising was collapsing;...

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Will federal tax review lay the groundwork for real tax reform in next budget?

Will a low profile review of federal tax expenditures lay the groundwork for tax fairness in the Spring federal budget? Last Spring, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that his Liberal government would be undertaking a comprehensive review of tax “expenditures” found in the federal tax code. According to Morneau, the aims of the review are to simplify the system and make it more progressive. In the process, he hopes to find $3 billion in...

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Justin Trudeau’s big infrastructure mistake

November 14 was a big day for the Trudeau government’s infrastructure plans. In the afternoon, Prime Minister Trudeau attended a “summit" for foreign investors focussing on investment in areas like infrastructure, technology, natural resources, and renewable energy. The summit was hosted by Blackrock Capital Investment Corporation, the world's largest asset management company with $5.1 trillion dollars under management. All told, BlackRock brought two dozen of its clients to Toronto from around the world to meet with Trudeau. Blackrock...

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What the New CPP Agreement Means for You

There is no question that Canada’s finance ministers reached an historic agreement in Vancouver on June 20. There is also no question that the changes in CPP design that the ministers agreed upon represent an eventual increase in CPP benefits for all workers when compared to the current CPP design. That said, two additional questions need to be asked when assessing the agreement: 1)      To what extent are the workers most in need of a boost in...

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Climate change policies hit corporate push back

Prime Minister Trudeau received considerable media attention earlier this week in his appearances at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. But beyond the photo-ops starring our telegenic PM, the question still remains as to what exactly Canada is bringing to the table in Paris? The context The purpose of the Paris UN conference is to somehow reach an agreement covering the post-2020 period that would require participating countries to set carbon-reduction targets that, while not legally binding on individual countries, will...

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Is Canada finally getting a national pharmacare program?

Momentum has been building for a national pharmacare program since a June meeting of provincial health ministers. Canada’s new Health Minister, Jane Philpott, says she plans to be in touch with her provincial counterparts to begin the preliminary work of establishing a new health accord which, according to some health experts, could include at least the broad outlines of a national pharmacare program. The 2004 Health Accord expired March 31st, 2014 after the Harper government refused to...

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