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Canada Pays Price for Environmental Extremists, Anti-Development Agitators and First Nations Obstructionists

June 3rd, 2019 · 14 Comments

The chickens have come home to roost.

Canada has dropped OFF the list of Top 10 competitive countries in attracting investment, development and jobs.

The International Institute for Management Development, based in Lausanne, Switzerland has ranked Canada as 13th in its 2019 ranking of financially attractive countries … slipping from 10th last year … continuing our decline to our WORST ranking since the index began in 1997.

“The ranking takes into account a wide range of ‘hard’ statistics such as unemployment, GDP and government spending on health and education, as well as ‘soft’ data from an Executive Opinion Survey covering topics such as social cohesion, globalization and corruption,” reports the UK’s Daily Mail.

“This information feeds into four categories – economic performance, infrastructure, government efficiency and business efficiency – to give a final score for each country.”

Top 10 in this year’s list: Singapore; Hong Kong; USA; Switzerland; UAE; Netherlands; Ireland; Denmark; Sweden; and, Qatar.

A big factor in Canada’s decline, according to the Huffington Post, started with the 2015 decline in world oil prices.

But it adds: “A lot of long-term problems in Canada’s economy seem to be finally catching up to us, and one major issue that expert after expert cites is Canada’s relative lack of innovation and creativity.

“The country’s business leaders have a reputation for being cautious, and following the crowd rather than taking risks on new ideas. That means Canada has fewer opportunities to create new businesses, and it makes the country uninteresting for foreign investors (except those looking to park cash in our housing market, that is).”

WHY aren’t business innovators and foreign investors as ready and willing to take risks and spend huge bucks in Canada anymore? And putting their money … creating development, jobs, expanding the public revenue base elsewhere?

I put it to you it’s the NEGATIVISM they see and hear towards development so often, so loudly, so stridently in Canada these days … from a minority of Canadians … the anti-development activists, environmental extremists, perpetual anarchists and First Nations obstructionists … but who too many governments pander to at all levels.

Judging from Canada’s decline in the rankings, I’d say increasing numbers of “global corporations” feel too many Canadians see them as enemies … especially when it comes to resource development and mining. (Some, in fact, have already given up and walked away, even after investing/losing hundreds of millions of dollars trying to get projects going in Canada.)

That word gets out.

How many billions in lost investment has Canada lost so far … and will it lose in the future …. because of our slip down the world’s investment competitive rankings?

None of this is to suggest we should not address the problems of the environment, development impact concerns and even land claims/jurisdictions.

However, the goal must be to seek solutions … ways to get to “YES” … not just to blockade, obstruct and prevent … but to get those developments/projects/investments/revenues/jobs.

And get Canada back in the Top Ten on next year’s competitive index … not see us drop further down.

Ironically, it’s often the very people who scare away investment … the anti-development crowd, environmental extremists, anarchists and First Nations obstructionists … who seem to scream loudest, demanding MORE public housing, MORE for welfare, MORE services/facilities on Reserves, MORE for public transit, MORE for health care, MORE for education and even MORE public spending to fund guaranteed incomes.

ANY country slipping to its WORST ranking ever in the competitiveness index will find it increasingly difficult to meet those demands. And Canada is no exception.

Especially, as long as our governments continue to pander and surrender to the loud obstructionist extremist minorities … and ignore the interests of the larger, but quieter, progressive majority.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can get First Alerts of all new postings on this Blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam … just First Alerts of any new postings.)

→ 14 CommentsTags: British Columbia · International · National

Horgan/NDP Playing the Public for Fools

May 27th, 2019 · 29 Comments

Premier John Horgan and his NDP government are laughing all the way to the bank.

First, they made it look like they ARE doing “something” about money-laundering and in BC and its impact on high housing prices by basically doing “nothing”: appointing a public inquiry.

Ho hum! As I pointed out on this blog, all that will do, is ensure the money laundering will continue for YEARS more … no REAL action to stop it NOW … as various governments, their developer and realtor friends, party financial contributors, the bureaucracy and all the lawyers involved continue to cash in from the process.

You can review that article here:

It will be a WASTE of millions and millions of public dollars … and in the end, I predict, tell us very little authorities don’t already know.

But the public and most of the media bought it.

So much so … Horgan/NDP have done it again … this time ordering an “inquiry” of sorts by the BC Utilities Commission into high gasoline prices: MORE STUDYING … instead of ACTION … in an attempt to satisfy the masses and the media … while the various governments, agencies and their corporate friends and supporters will AGAIN continue to cash in … and the public continues to suffer.

The BCUC will have the power to subpoena oil and gas company executives to explain how they set … or many would say FIX … gasoline prices in BC.

Great! Can hardly wait to watch them explain why BC has among the highest gasoline prices in North America; the least competition I’ve seen anywhere; the fastest increases I’ve ever noticed when world prices rise and the slowest drops I’ve ever noticed when world prices fall.

And hopefully we’ll see them defending their HUGE profits too, while they’re at it.

But that’s all only part of the picture.

Horgan/NDP have ORDERED the utilities Commission NOT to look at the BC government’s OWN policies … in other words, provincially-imposed TAXES and FEES, as they affect gas prices.

What a farce!

Who EVER heard of an inquiry being ORDERED in their terms of reference NOT to look at a MAJOR reason for the very problem they are asked to examine.

Ridiculous! What are Horgan/NDP afraid of … that they don’t already know?

I submit it’s THEIR OWN RIPOFF of the taxpayers … beyond any reasonable measure of taxation….. that they do not want focussed in on or publicized.

There’s the Provincial Metro Vancouver fuel tax 1.75 cents per litre in Metro Vancouver (7.75 cents elsewhere in BC); plus BC’s carbon tax 9.8 cents; the BC Transportation Authority tax 6.75 cents; TransLink tax in the Metro area 17 cents; Transit tax in Victoria 5.5 cents; Federal excise tax 10 cents … and then, dadding insult to injury, don’t forget the GST 5% … added to the total price.

That’s more than 60 cents a litre ADDED ON by governments/agencies in the Vancouver area.

And the TransLink tax will INCREASE another 1.5 cents per litre …. up to 18.5 cents per litre … July 1.

“B.C. drivers are being taken for a ride by politicians who are using them like tax-grab ATMs,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

And ironically, top wage earners aren’t feeling the pain as much as middle class, working families…. those in urban areas, who voted largely for the NDP.

Cutting in half the government/agencies’ extortion rate of taxation on gasoline … on top of reining in any corporate greed … would go a long way to restoring fairness in BC gas prices.

But the Utilities Commission won’t be allowed to say so.

Harv Oberfeld

→ 29 CommentsTags: British Columbia · National