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Quick Hits, Volume XLVIII -- (Mostly) Election 2006
21/12/2005

Answers to the important questions are coming soon.


The headline at the top of today's National Post reads "Layton Wooing Toronto". One thing I can tell you for sure is that Jack Layton is winning the lawn sign race quite handily here in Toronto-Danforth. Based on what I've seen, he outnumbers Liberal Deborah Coyne about 50-1.


In part of his campaign for Toronto, Layton yesterday said that he'd work to have the federal gas tax transfer to municipalities immediately ramped up to the full 5 cents per litre. It stands at 1.5 cents now, but Paul Martin has a multi-year plan to bring it up to 5.


Jack Layton is doing the politically-necessary thing by declining to say that he's looking forward to cooperating with Stephen Harper. Of course Jack Layton would rather be Prime Minister himself, and the job of his campaign is to run to win. But the Globe and Mail has it wrong, I'm sure, when they suggest that Layton couldn't work with Harper the way he has with Martin. On the contrary, there is plenty they could do. In fact, Stephen Harper's recent comments suggest that they could cooperate on that gas tax transfer, mentioned above.


Calgary Grit has a small post up that illustrates very clearly why Paul Martin simply has to go.


I'm not at all happy with the weak federalism stances of the PM candidates, and neither is Andrew Coyne. Isn't anybody going to stand up for Canada?

We're considering exchanging one headwaiter to the provinces for another.


The Globe and Mail posted a review of Paul Martin's and Stephen Harper's views on the "fiscal imbalance".

My view is that the federal-provincial fiscal imbalance means quite different things to different people. When Quebec complains about the fiscal imbalance, what they really want is for Ottawa to send more of the money it collects to Quebec City. They may claim they want Ottawa to vacate tax room and let the provinces step in, by they don't seem to want it as evidenced by Duceppe's reaction to Harper's GST-cut promise.

Stephen Harper has jumped on the "fiscal imbalance" bandwagon, but he's just putting a new spin on a desire to cut taxes federally.

Meanwhile, the provincial-municipal fiscal imbalance is completely different. Here, at least in Ontario, municipalities have had a bunch of provincial responsibilities dumped on them. But, unlike the provinces, they don't have the taxing power to do anything about it.


Stephen Harper did a photo-op at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre, which is more famous for its boxing club. The boxing club has programs for civilians, and they're great; I went there for years. It's a great work-out with great coaches and I'd recommend it highly for anyone living in the downtown area.


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