‘We’re either a free-market economy or we’re not’: The best comments from Hub readers this week

A sale sign advertising up to 50 per cent off in a store at the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet on Boxing Day in Richmond, B.C., on Tuesday, December 26, 2023. Ethan Cairns/The Canadian Press.

This past week saw Hub readers focus on the different issues and current events related to the state of Canada’s economy and other high-profile topics, including what a federal regime change would mean for businesses, Canada’s economic future, the CBC lacking a proper mandate, how Trudeau’s economic agenda is failing Canada, and the need for nuclear power in the country.

The goal of Hub Forum is to bring the impressive knowledge and experience of The Hub community to the fore and to foster open dialogue and the competition of differing ideas in a respectful and productive manner. Here are some of the most interesting comments from this past week.

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Poilievre’s unpredictable flirtation with labour

Monday, January 15, 2024

“A day of reckoning is desperately needed for corporate Canada. They can’t keep having it both ways. We’re either a free-market economy or we’re not.”


Canada’s economic future is looking grim—especially when compared to the U.S.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

“As long as the Trudeau government keeps putting up roadblocks to development and increasing taxes on almost everything we need to run a business, there will be a very grim future for Canada.”

— Daryl Watt

“A good indicator is American manufactured food products disappearing from Canadian shelves as manufacturers from the USA find they cannot make a profit after shipping costs, ie Kleenex, Skippy peanut butter, some cereals. Shipping costs of all products around the world will double and triple. We ain’t seen nothing yet, as they say!”

Paul Crawford

“Today’s article on Canada’s economic future presents in my view an accurate assessment of Canada’s past economic performance and future challenges. I agree we have to focus far more on per capita GDP growth than national GDP growth.

The federal government has mismanaged the controls on the influx of people into Canada which is noted in a report from the National Bank which was reported in the Globe and Mail (business section) in two articles on January 16. Our immigration system was broadly supported by most Canadians; however, the influx of foreign students and individuals on temporary work permits was not properly considered by the federal government despite concerns raised by the civil service in 2022.”

Mark S

Enough with committees and consultations. The CBC needs a mandate with teeth

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

“The CBC caters to an ever-shrinking audience, but many Canadians consider it to be fundamental to maintaining the Canadian identity. Make CBC a subscription-based service and stop the government funding. Those who watch it or claim it’s still an important, relevant institution can directly support it. The rest of us can continue to ignore it, knowing that it is not consuming government funds that would be much better allocated elsewhere.”

Martin Davidson

“I’m an 82-year-old senior who has listened to CBC Radio, while watching CBC TV less so, for 60-plus years. For me, Radio One and Two are essential to all Canadians from coast to coast to coast and inland. It is a vital link for our nation, supporting the population as well as the regional communities small and large that need to feel they are part of the whole. It’s essential for a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, and multicultural population. One major deficiency is the almost tepid lack of a reminder that we are a bilingual country. Radio Canada is unique but the broadband CBC radio #1 and #2 doesn’t weave the French fabric into our national conscious mindset.”

Mike Slinger

“Journalism is composed of various degrees of fact gathering (relevant data), analysis (connections), and opinion (conclusions). Bias becomes a bigger and bigger factor as one moves from facts to opinion. Even if just limited to fact-based reporting, the selection, ordering, and wording of undisputed facts is an activity infected with bias.

The best antidote to inevitable bias is the diversity of good faith thought in a news organization. That is, professional journalists with diverse acknowledged default perspectives (e.g. conservative or progressive) doing their best to be on guard for their inevitable biases.”

Paul Attics

“The CBC still has a place on the Canadian airwaves, but in a scaled-down format. I could accept a reduced CBC that separates Radio Canada as a separate corporation, maintains the Northern services, and maintains most radio and podcast services.”

Dennis Denney

“I don’t own a television, never have, so I cannot comment on that part of the CBC. I do use CBC Radio One sometimes. Not nearly as much as I did 25 years ago. Their programming has become less interesting. Maybe because I am getting too old. Maybe because they lack funding. Maybe they are producing less interesting content. I was once a very staunch defender of the CBC Radio, but now I can almost envision not having it anymore. Almost. It isn’t a desirable future but liveable. Canada would suffer culturally without the CBC, but has been suffering culturally anyway.”


Trudeau’s empty-calories economic agenda is failing Canada

Thursday, January 18, 2024

“The decision to not align people-coming-in (immigration, students, temporary workers) with the current infrastructure and resources (health care, schools, housing) is a massive and ongoing failure of management on the leadership that controls the flow: the current federal government.”

Paul Attics

A view of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant at Ishwardi in Pabna, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Oct.4, 2023. Mahmud Hossain Opu/AP Photo.
Canada needs reliable nuclear power now more than ever—just ask Alberta

Friday, January 19, 2024

“This new partnership for developing small nuclear power generation is a welcoming development for sure—albeit long overdue in IMHO. That said, it is hardly the solution to Alberta’s current problem. The lead times for even small nuclear are long and could face the same pushback from the NIMBY syndrome. Frankly, the real solution is to expand natural gas power generation, a resource that is both plentiful and inexpensive and produces power that is far more reliable and far cheaper than either wind or solar (and I might add with less full-cycle environmental costs).

Instead, our federal government is pushing this ‘net zero’ policy which is at best an ill-conceived policy and at worst a policy driven by an eco-ideology. Either way, Canadians will pay and we will reap little or no benefits—not even all these jobs of which Minister Freeland speaks.”

— Stephen McClellan

“Alberta is a red herring. Power is a provincial jurisdiction and, as Premier Smith says, let the feds stay in their own lane. Alberta has kicked the issue of power down the road for a long time. The failure of the grid is on Smith, not the feds. No other Western province is in the same situation as Alberta. Alberta put all its eggs in one basket, fossil fuel, it paused renewables, and when the plant went off grid and the weather turned very cold, Albertans were left in the cold. Smith’s passion, like Poilievre, for blaming everything on the feds, is an abdication of her duty to Albertans.”

A. Chezzi

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