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Photo: Kat R/flickr
| May 6, 2015
Columnists

Take courage, Atlantic Canada: Join forces and reject Harperism

Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr

Premier Stephen McNeil grumbled about a few little things but declared himself generally satisfied with the federal budget. My heart sank. Sometimes I think we're out to prove Stephen Harper right: that we do have a "culture of defeat" on the East Coast.

The proof of it would be our official acquiescence to Harperism, one of the tenets of which is that Atlantic Canada is of no account and can be safely chucked to the sharks, but also that Maritimers in particular have a residual innocence and can still be bought.

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| April 27, 2015
| April 24, 2015
Premier Kathleen Wynne endorsing Adam Vaughn in 2014
| April 24, 2015
Photo: Jason Spaceman/flickr
| April 24, 2015
Columnists

Nova Scotia budget repairs the boat but doesn't do any fishing

Photo: bambe1964/flickr

It's at risk of being lost amid the commotion over cuts to the film tax credit, but last week's budget, for better or worse, marked a milestone on the icy road to wherever it is we're going in the rickety wagon of Nova Scotia politics.

That is, after years of working up to it, a government has finally touched the brake on public spending and seriously tried to streamline public services. Backed by major reports advising this, considerable public support, a somewhat improving economy and dry runs by previous governments, the budget, in the main, represents a large consensus. Significantly, I thought, neither the opposition parties nor the public sector unions complained very much.

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Columnists

Will falling oil prices create a federal deficit? It doesn't matter.

Photo: Carissa Rogers/flickr

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Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr
| January 21, 2015
Columnists

What happens when oil prices go down instead of up

Photo: Sten Dueland/flickr

Luck plays a part in any political career. Napoleon famously asked of a general recommended to him for his military prowess: "so he is good -- but is he lucky?"

A barrel of oil that was selling in the US$110 range last summer, now sells for less than US$70. That was not the future Stephen Harper and his ruling Conservatives expected when the party leader touted Canada as an energy superpower, based on massive petroleum reserves -- the world's third largest after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela -- locked away in the bitumen sands of Alberta.

But there is good news for the Conservatives in the bad news.

Lower gasoline and heating oil prices will put money into the pockets of strapped Canadian workers, helping to drive up consumption and employment.

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