National Newswatch

Premiers should rally behind struggling rural Canada

Nov 18 2019 — Sean Speer — The Council of the Federation meeting on December 2 will be an opportunity for provincial and territorial premiers to set aside their differences and coalesce around a set of shared priorities to advocate to the federal government. One key issue of common interest is Canada’s growing regional economic disparity in general and the urban-rural divide […]

We need to restore our diminished politics

Sep 18 2019 — Sean Speer — As we make our way through the 2019 election, there’s widespread anticipation that the campaign will be marked by a combination of personality, negativity and identity politics. Policy differences will be minimized and faux disagreements will be accentuated. Voters will be asked to choose based mostly on caricatures of the various political parties and their […]

Mr. Morneau’s “gap filling” approach on pharmacare is the right course

Oct 2 2018 — Sean Speer — There’s tremendous interest in how Ottawa’s budget commitment to “move forward” on national pharmacare will take shape, especially since Ottawa’s positioning has been difficult to read. Government members on the Health Committee have enthusiastically endorsed a single-payer public prescription drug plan. Yet Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said that we need a plan “that deals […]

What’s the best model for fiscal reform?

Mar 23 2018 — Sean Speer — Deficit reduction and fiscal reform seem to be recovering as political issues in recent weeks. New polling shows that Canadians aren’t as permissive of rising spending and ongoing deficits as some might think. This is a positive development for those of us in favour of fiscal probity.

What’s the source of the federal deficit?

Mar 6 2018 — Sean Speer — Last week’s federal budget projects annual deficits for the foreseeable future. The deficit for the current year is even set to grow relative to last year. Red ink is the distinguishing mark of the Trudeau government’s fiscal policy. A post-budget debate has ensued about the source of Ottawa’s deficits. The government and some of its […]

Government should adopt principle of family-based taxation

Aug 25 2017 — Sean Speer — Ottawa’s proposals to reform the tax treatment of small businesses have generated considerable debate to say the least. Consultations are still ongoing but proposals to limit the use of “income sprinkling” to family members, curb passive investment income, and the conversion of a corporation’s regular income into capital gains would represent substantial changes to Canada’s […]

Conservatives need to build a concrete vision

Mar 3 2017 — Sean Speer — This past weekend’s Manning Centre conference in Ottawa was a chance for conservatives, libertarians, and others who make up Canada’s centre-right movement to assess the current state of the country’s intellectual and political life. There are reasons to be pessimistic. Hard-fought battles on taxes and spending are being reversed. Public support for free trade and […]

Creative destruction, the rise of Donald Trump, and what it means for Canada

Nov 24 2016 — Sean Speer — Donald Trump’s surprising election victory has produced a wellspring of early commentaries on its meaning for Canada. His pronouncements about trade, climate change, defence spending, and a range of other issues will invariably affect Canadian interests and it is critical that we are ready for the potential eventualities. But Canadian policy-makers also need to derive […]

Less funding, fewer strings should be Ottawa’s spur for the provinces on health care reform

Oct 18 2016 — Sean Speer — This week’s meeting of federal, provincial, and territorial health ministers should be about how to reform Canada’s health-care system. We certainly need it. Not only does Canada rank poorly with regards to wait times and access to doctors and medical technologies relative to most of our peers, we also have one of the most expensive […]

Trudeau budget good for everyone but taxpayers

Aug 27 2016 — Sean Speer — Next year’s federal budget is months away but budget consultations will soon start in earnest. The deadline for pre-budget submissions to the parliamentary finance committee is the end of this month. Stakeholders, consultants, and special interest organizations are scrambling to make the case for why their industry, region, or client deserves federal dollars. Expectations are […]

Ottawa should get out of the way on health care: Sean Speer for Inside Policy

Jul 25 2016 — Sean Speer — Last week’s Council of the Federation meeting ended with renewed calls from the provinces for more federal dollars even if they come with more strings attached. Health care stakeholders, federal officials, and even provincial politicians seem determined to have Ottawa play a greater role in the formulation of priorities, the allocation of resources, and the […]

It’s time to retire the drive for CPP expansion: Sean Speer in Inside Policy

Jun 9 2016 — Sean Speer — Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is set to meet his provincial and territorial counterparts later this month to discuss an expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The meeting is expected to be more than the usual photo-op and talking points that characterize most federal/provincial exchanges. The survival of the government’s pledge to enrich the […]