Alberta government documents show economic benefit of refining bitumen in Alberta

Alberta Department of Energy documents show the economic benefits of upgrading raw bitumen from the oil sands in Alberta instead of exporting it.

Canada gets “D” in Conference Board of Canada report card on innovation

In its report card, “How Canada Performs”, the Conference Board of Canada gave Canada a “D” for innovation. It found Canada ranked 14th out of the 17 countries surveyed and lack of innovation was harming the economy.

What makes the report card surprising is that the Canadian government spends more on research and development, as a percent of GDP,  than any of the other countries surveyed. The problem is how the money is spent.

Government action on land development needed for economy and environment

Loss of industrial land harms environment as well as economy. Dealing with the problem requires governments take a more aggressive role in protecting industrial land.

When factory owners can make more money selling their land for condos than manufacturing goods, they are going to close the factories, as economist Jim Stanford pointed out in a recent column.

Unpaid internships about exploitation not work experience

This video from Operation Maple looks at how interns are being used as unpaid labour. There are 300,000 unpaid interns in Canada today and many are finding that they are being used to replace paid employees.

Facts missing in supply management debate

As with too many debates on economic issues in Canada, in the debate on supply management the facts are being pushed aside by ideological assumptions.

The best example is the amount Canadians pay for milk compared to other countries. Canadians actually pay less for milk than consumers in Australia and New Zealand - like Canada, these countries don't subsidize dairy farmers - but you would never know that from reading most opinion pieces opposing supply management.

Boeing 787 problems a reminder government regulations protect business as well as the public

For several decades large corporations and the lobby groups they fund have been pushing to reduce government regulation. But as concerns about the Boeing 787 show, when legislation and regulations to protect the public are weakened, businesses can suffer too.

Media reports are linking safety problems with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to a weakening of government regulation.

October numbers show Canada's manufacturing sector still facing challenges

The release of Statistics Canada's monthly Survey of Manufacturing for October, 2012 showed a 1.4% drop in sales. The worst decline was in aerospace and motor vehicle assembly – two industries that provide good, well paying jobs.

Hostess Brands bankruptcy lesson in damage done by focus on short-term returns

The November 29th decision to give the Hostess executives who oversaw the company's collapse a $1.8 million bonus illustrates why a company that had sales of $2.5 billion (US) last year is now being shut down.

While Hostess management are trying to blame the union for the company's collapse, it's becoming clear that mismanagement by investment funds was to blame.

Rule change for filmmakers raises issues about support for cultural industries

Some filmmakers are worried that Telefilm Canada's decision to only provide support to companies that have had at least one commercially successful film in the last five years will make it impossible for newcomers to enter the industry.

Finance Minister's update shows weakness of federal reliance on resource exports

The larger than expected federal deficit due to declining natural resource prices shows the problem with the federal government reliance on the resource sector to provide economic growth.

According to the federal Finance Minister's November 13, 2012 Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections, falling resources prices are the main reason government revenues will be lower than expected. The drop in revenues is expected to add $5.8 billion to the deficit for the current fiscal year.