February 2014

Income splitting: so divisive it's splitting the Tories

Discouraging women from working outside the home is surely not an appropriate goal for tax policy. But that may just be the motivation behind the Harper government's plan to introduce "income splitting" for families — an expensive tax gift to traditional families with one breadwinner and a stay at home spouse.

The gift is already proving costly to Conservative party unity. The Harper government's own finance minister is speaking out against the...

Contractors deserve prompt payment

How long would you be willing to wait to be paid for your work?  A normal paycheque may be held back for a couple of weeks or a month, but most of us can be pretty certain when it will arrive.

Not so in for many contractors and their subcontractors in the Ontario construction industry. They often have to wait months or even years for payment, even though they are out of pocket for the labour and materials costs of keeping up their end of the bargain.

This problem is not unique to Ontario or in fact Canada. However, the fact that we have not changed the rulebook is very unique...

The unbalanced Harper budget

Presumably, Jim Flaherty considered the same economic picture of the country as the rest of us when planning the 2014 budget.

That picture is not rosy.

Almost one and half million Canadians are currently out of work. The unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at 7% and the employment rate (the proportion of the working age population with a job) has yet to recover since the great recession. For youth, the unemployment rate is almost double that, at 13.9%.

Add to that the growing proportion of precarious, part-time jobs, record-high levels of household debt, and...