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Quick Hits, Volume XXIII
28/01/2005

A week or two ago I read a column by John Crosbie defending the Newfoundland position in the equalization payments debate. I found it to be based on some terribly weak arguments and I was left no further along that I was the last time I wrote on this subject.

I got partway through a rebuttal when I ran out of time. It doesn't matter, because John Crosbie did a better job of taking himself down back in 1990. Paul Wells reports on the details:

Crosbie acknowledged that rising resource revenues would result in lower equalization payments. He urged Newfoundlanders to rejoice at the prospect. "That's the whole point of the formula... This is nothing to complain about; this is something to be joyous about. So why would they try to pretend that Newfoundland gains nothing from the royalties? I mean, this is absolutely bloody nonsense...."

Exactly.


Via the Globe and Mail I learned that Don Valley East Councillor Shelley Carroll has become the City's first blogging councillor.

From the look of what I've read, she seems to be doing a good job of actually expressing her opinions rather than blandly announcing meetings, etc. My former MP, Carolyn Bennett wasn't about to get into any debates on her blog, but I suppose that's what comes with being a cabinet minister. Anyway, here are a couple of posts Carroll has done on this year's Toronto budget process: January 12, January 20.


I have written a few times before on the debates about how to address the border-crossing problem in my hometown of Windsor. (Most recently here and also here and here.) Now, a new plan is out, authored by the somewhat-famous "Gridlock Sam" Schwartz.

Sam considered the 5 existing plans on the table and dumped them all in favour of his own. The new plan is to build a second bridge downriver in an industrial area, connected to an extended 401, partly tunneling through residential and ecological areas. Paul Martin says he has money, but who knows what his promise is worth.

If you accept that a new bridge is necessary -- Schwartz says the current bridge will far exceed capacity by 2023 -- then this plan seems to be a good one. It offers a second route while disturbing as few residents as possible. But I am fairly biased in the matter since one of the other options practically goes over my parents' roof.


Andrew at Bound by Gravity writes about our federal government's surpluses and concludes:

I believe that Canadians should demand part of their tax money back instead of passively watching it disappear to pay back the debt; there will be little harm in doing this since the government already has a good debt repayment plan in place. We are one of the most highly taxed peoples in the world - it's time to reduce our burden a little bit.

I've been in the workforce for the past 8 years. Meanwhile, the people who voted in the debt-incurring governments, and who enjoyed much of the benefits of such debt are preparing to retire and drop out of the main pool of taxpayers. So, as far as I'm concerned, I see no reason to slow down the pace of debt-repayment.

I'd rather pay as much debt down as reasonably possible before the Baby Boomers retire. I don't favour raising taxes to do it even faster, but I do prefer debt repayment to a tax cut today.


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