Federal Port Review, 2015-2016

Federal Port Review, 2015-2016

By Theo van de Kletersteeg

Canadian Sailings has recently completed another annual study comparing financial and other performance data related to federally-operated Canadian Port Authorities from 2015 to 2016 (Data for 2017 will not be available until July or August).

Toronto Port Authority

Because its financial statements include the operations of Toronto Island Airport, they are not comparable to those of other ACPA ports. Accordingly, Port of Toronto was not included in the study (except as noted).

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OPINION: Further possible unintended consequences

By Theo van de Kletersteeg

As is explained in the adjoining article, business and personal relationships among North Americans will likely be among the casualties of a NAFTA renegotiation process that fails or that produces unsatisfactory results.

In many respects Canada has taken open U.S. borders and free trade for granted. By and large, Canadians were able to move across the border with very little formality. However, ever since 9/11 and the creation of Homeland Security, things have become more difficult, little by little. Admittedly, when it appeared that business began to be affected negatively, bi-lateral discussions were successfully conducted to ease restrictions and facilitate the movement of goods and people.

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OPINION – Carbon math explained! Is Canada making a serious effort to meet its obligations?

OPINION – Carbon math explained! Is Canada making a serious effort to meet its obligations?

By Theo van de Kletersteeg

The other day I stumbled across an article in The Economist that represented the first comprehensive, and yet simple explanation of the relationship between carbon in the atmosphere, and global warming.

Scientists and green supporters have explained to us during the past decade or so that global temperature increases must be kept well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, if we wish to avoid the more egregious consequences of climate change. Accordingly, the 2015 Paris Agreement requires that signatories to the Agreement implement programmes to reduce national carbon emissions to levels that are thought to result in global temperatures to be kept in check, and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”, compared to the 0.9°C temperature rise that has taken place since 1870.

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Opinion – Uproar over federal income tax proposals – have alternatives been considered?

By Theo van de Kletersteeg

A good many of Canada’s small business community, notably farmers, incorporated professionals and small business owners are upset over one or more of the income tax changes proposed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Change upsets the status quo, and creates winners and losers, and the current proposals are no different. With the federal government being in chronic deficit, it should be no surprise that it is looking for new sources of revenues, and this time, rather than increasing taxes on the middle classes even more, it appears to have found a possible source of revenues that would be paid for by entrepreneurs and professionals, in other words, people of above-average incomes. The current government’s strategy of extracting higher levels of income taxes from upper income Canadians has both merits and significant potential long-term pitfalls neither of which will be discussed here.

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OPINION – NAFTA: Are we ready to deal with the onslaught of curveballs the U.S. will throw at us?

By Theo van de Kletersteeg

At a July 25 news conference in Ottawa, CBC reporter David Cochrane asked the PM if he was prepared to accept a renegotiated NAFTA deal that did not contain a dispute resolution mechanism. Mr. Trudeau responded by stating that his government’s goal is to conclude a “renegotiated and improved NAFTA agreement that will grow our economies and help our citizens”, and one which will contain a fair dispute resolution mechanism. Some journalists quoted an unnamed “senior Canadian official” who reportedly said that the PM considers the current dispute resolution chapter (Chapter 19) in NAFTA to be a “red line”, and would walk away from the negotiations if the U.S. insisted on abolishing Chapter 19, as it has demanded. Chapter 19 provides for multinational tribunals to rule on disputes when a NAFTA member wishes to impose anti-dumping duties on exports from another NAFTA member. The provision has been a thorn in the side of the U.S. – of the 71 cases brought before the tribunals over the years, almost 60 per cent sought redress from duties imposed by the U.S.

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OPINION – Is Canada facing its Pearl Harbour?

OPINION – Is Canada facing its Pearl Harbour?

By Theo van de Kletersteeg

I came to Canada in 1967, a year of momentous importance to Canada which, at the time, celebrated its 100th Anniversary, and welcomed the world through Expo ’67. As a young immigrant from Holland, Canada seemed to be a dream come true. I found a well-paying job one day after arrival in Montreal, and the money I earned was sufficient to pay my rent, buy groceries, and enjoy wonderful evenings and weekends at Expo ’67. Life was good. Eager to learn about Canada, its system of government and its economy, things got even better as I learned that “Canada Inc” was well financed, with very low budget deficits, and negligible debt. Practically speaking, unemployment did not exist, and neither did inflation. In my first few years in Montreal, it was not uncommon for me to receive annual pay increases of 10 per cent or more which, because of stable income taxes and near-zero inflation, amounted to sizeable increases in spending power. Unfortunately, the good times did not last and by the early seventies it became evident that things were becoming more difficult.

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