Monthly Archive: January 2014

Three’s not even a crowd

I saw a statistic recently that between 1892 and 2012 the stock market rose 9 per cent a year. I thought that was a huge annual increase, far beyond what I’d ever heard before, so I asked a group of friends who have worked on Bay Street for their thoughts. Yes, they said, that sounds about right, but don’t forget that’s a gross number. You have to subtract fees, take account for inflation and pay taxes. The real number, net, net, net, as they said, is more like 3 per cent annually. Three per cent! Such a low result came...

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Scots wha hae

Flush with success in the early going of his mission to Israel, Stephen Harper has announced that his next sortie will be to Scotland. “There are five million Canadians of Scottish origin. We hope to snare all of their votes,” said a spokesman for the prime minister who asked for anonymity because of his Irish roots. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, not wanting to fall behind in the global quest for popularity, said he will travel next week to the Philippines to shore up support through the families of nannys working in Canada. The prime minister’s trip to Scotland will include...

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A horror story

I’ve just been reading a horror story and it’s not by Stephen King. The title is “The State of Ontario’s Indebtedness: Warning Signs to Act.” Published by the Fraser Institute, you can read it here. Let me summarize it for you. Every year Ontario runs a deficit and that loss does not go away. It gets added to the debt. No surprise there, but no one seems to be paying attention. Certainly Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa seems content with the way things are. But compared to California, which is supposedly a basket case, we’re far worse off. Ontario’s...

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Hopes, dreams and aspirations

Rather than make foolish predictions this year, here’s the top seven things I’d like to see:  1. The Ontario Securities Commission charge some high mucky-muck we all know with a criminal offence, rather than just the usual passing parade of small-fry pump-and-dump artists. 2. The rear-end of Rob Ford in this fall’s mayoralty race. No apology required when he exits public life. 3. Prime Minister Stephen Harper offer the same loyalty to staff and MPs that he expects from them. 4. Well-written stories worth reading in my local papers. 5. Tolls on major Toronto roads to raise revenue and reduce...

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The crystal ball revisited

Time to revisit the predictions I made a year ago for 2013. You can read them here or believe me when I describe them. My first idea was so far off base I got both parts wrong. I said that Sandra Pupatello would be chosen leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and be defeated in an election later in the year by Tim Hudak and the Progressive Conservatives. Of course, Kathleen Wynne got the nod, there was no election, and Hudak doesn’t look like he will ever win despite the government’s multiple failings. One wrong. Second, I said that the the all-new...

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Disorder of Canada

When the Order of Canada was launched in 1967 I had the naive notion that it would honour only a select few deserving Canadians. After all, the high-minded motto is Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam, which can be translated as, “They desire a better country.” How many people could pass muster to make it over that stratospheric bar? Well, it turns out, quite a few. Another in the semi-annual list of honorees has just been released and there are far too many names announced that don’t deserve such status. Indeed, the number of winners is beginning to be embarrassing. While the top level,...

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