Good news

Dave Killion — December 6, 2011

Antony, your recent post about the wheat board reminded me that the federal government has been doing some other good things recently. For one example, the effort to eliminate the despicable long-gun registry continues despite hysteria from some parties. Another example? Many US citizens living in Canada (some for decades) were recently horrified to learn that they were required to file US income tax statements even when they had no US income. Worse still, those who had failed to do so are subject to potentially massive penalties even if they owed no taxes! Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has complained to the US government about this matter on several occasions, and the US government has announced that it is going to go easy on US citizens living in Canada. I must give credit where it’s due – the feds did good.

But wait, there’s more

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Sunday the government would eliminate tariffs on dozens more products used by Canadian manufacturers, aiming to lower their costs and encourage more hiring… 

We believe in free trade in Canada,” Flaherty said on CTV’s “Question Period” program. “Some of these old-fashioned tariffs get in the way. So we’re getting rid of them.”

I have previously expressed my skepticism at this government’s commitment to free trade, so I am pleased to see that Minister Flaherty has obviously been reading this blog and finds our arguments convincing. However, before anyone starts going soft on the state, remember that it’s a tried-and-true technique of cult leaders (and others wishing to control behaviour) to introduce a negative stimulus, then remove it as a “reward”. These are merely the first of many such positive steps that must be taken.


Antony Zegers says

Hi Dave,

Yes, they have done a few good things, but I find it very hit and miss. I’m quite annoyed about the new beefed-up copyright law, and the increased penalties for victimless drug crimes. I also wish they would do a better job constraining federal spending.

It would be nice if they kept up some more deregulation, perhaps freeing up the dairy farmers, or removing foreign ownership restrictions in telecoms.

It’s hard to tally up the advances and setbacks to figure out if we are making any progress. Perhaps they are better than the alternative, but I find it difficult to judge.

— December 6, 2011

G says

So is this free trade or “free trade”?

— December 6, 2011

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