Category: Federal Politics

Kenney’s “equalization rebate” grabs the spotlight

It was Alberta time again in Ottawa with the province’s demands for a re-jigging of the previously obscure Fiscal Stabilization Program (FSP) dominating coverage of this week’s annual meeting of Canada’s finance ministers. Other longstanding issues – such as increased health transfers – were shoved into the background as attention was focused on Alberta’s appeal for $2.4 billion from the feds. Also known the “equalization rebate,” the potential payout is being framed as a peace offering to the demons of western alienation, an opportunity for the Trudeau government to connect its money with its post-election soothing words. The FSP,...

Read More

Post-election Reflection #3: Whatever happened to the Climate Emergency?

As discussed a couple of weeks ago, health care, identified in an Ipsos poll as the main issue, was barely raised by the main parties during the election campaign. Climate change, ranked number two in the same poll, came up more often – mainly to highlight absence of a credible climate policy in the Conservative platform. But since the election, discourse about climate change has joined health care near the bottom of the political agenda. Consider what’s been happening in the two-plus weeks since the election. Early last week, 27 young people from Our Time made news when they...

Read More

Post-election Reflection #2: The alienated west

Trying to sum up the federal election results and reactions in Alberta and Saskatchewan moves one to aphorism and metaphor. “Cutting off the nose to spite the face” comes to mind as an apt description of the vengeful dispatching of every Liberal candidate between the Manitoba and British Columbia borders, leaving the two provinces without representation in the cabinet or government caucus. And the one about the guy who, convicted of murdering his parents, begs the judge for clemency because he’s an orphan, captures the reaction to the realization that the ballot box tantrum could well leave the two...

Read More

Post-election reflection #1: So long to a Liberal monopoly

Last winter, in the midst of the SNC-Lavalin scandal, I confidently predicted during a session of political gossip that the Liberals would lose half of their 32 seats in Atlantic Canada. Lucky for me, no one forced me to put money on it. Last week’s election, with the Liberals holding all but six of their seats in this region came as a surprise, at least to me. Back in February I thought that the image tarnishing from SNC-Lavalin and the cringe-worthy India trip from a year earlier would combine with the shortcomings of the Liberal record to at least...

Read More

Election 2019: Fact checking the fact checkers

Monday night’s English-language leaders’ debate produced a fresh flurry of media fact checking, a worthwhile effort to separate the credible wheat from the rhetorical chaff. Within the mainstream media, CBC has “Fact Check”, CTV “Truth Tracker”, Global has its “Reality Check” and the Canadian Press “Baloney Meter.” Some of the work is quite straightforward, such as the CBC’s exposure of the lies the Conservatives are spreading about a Liberal plan to hit Canadians with the capital gains tax when they sell their homes. Andrew Scheer’s distortions about Canada’s foreign aid payments also registered high on CP’s Baloney Meter. Some...

Read More

Tax cuts are the wrong approach to affordability issue

It would hardly be an election campaign without promises of tax cuts. And that’s more the case in this trip to the polls, during which affordability vies with climate change and health care for top spot on the issues list. And when the cuts can be framed, as both the Conservatives and Liberals have done, as helping the little guy, it looks like political gold. Except that, as the saying goes, everything that glitters is not gold. The income tax cuts promised by the Conservatives and Liberals will bypass the most needy while increasing the after-tax incomes of those...

Read More

Richard Starr, The man behind the Point

About Richard

RICHARD STARR has had careers as a journalist, public servant, broadcaster, political staffer and freelance policy adviser. He is author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, a former radio and TV producer and weekly newspaper editor, and the author of three non-fiction books. Starr has lived in Dartmouth for more than 30 years.

Subscribe to Starr’s Point

Support Provided by