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The National Post

1998 -
Canada's best newspaper

According to data collected by the Canadian Manufactureres and Exporters association, productivity gains in U.S. industry have exceeded those in Canada by 25% in the last five years. A big part of the U.S. advantage can be traced to after-tax profit margins, which were 30% higher. Thanks to this extra money, U.S. business investment in new technologies and equipment was, in relation to national GDP, 33% higher in the United States than in Canada. If the current trends are projected forward to 2010, Candians could face a living standard that is only half that of our southern neighbour.

Sep. 3, 2001 - from its editorial "Counter-productive"
Insanity has been described as the state of mind that inspires a person to repeat the same action with the expectation of a different result. The collective mental health of the federal Liberal government will be on display this fall when it unveils its new and much-anticipated innovation strategy. In the past, the federal Liberals have repeatedly thrown money rather than fresh ideas at this file with little to show for it. What Canada needs is tax reform tailored to the underlying problems dragging down Canadian productivity. But what we will likely get is the standard men of wasteful mega-projects.

Sep. 3, 2001 - from its editorial "Counter-productive"
There is no body of reputable peer-reviewed research that provides anything like a justification for asking ... highly personal questions on gun licence application forms. The fact that the Minister of Justice is doing so nonetheless supports the view that the gun registry is not about safety - that its only real purpose is to allow the Liberal government to posture on the side of gun control. Intrusive, spurious personal questions should be removed from the gun licence application forms, and the answers already given by two million people should be purged from government databases.

Sep. 4, 2001 - from its editorial "Justice knows what you did last summer"
Canada's public health system is rushing headlong into a wall of rising costs and unlimited expectations, and conditions are such that provinces have no choice but to innovate in ways that push against Ottawa's interpretation of the notoriously-vague Canada Health Act. If Canadians are to be made to endure an Ottawa-imposed government health monopoly, the least they should expect is maximum flexibility in the way officials run that monopoly. Decisions should be made as often as possible by the officials closest to the patients.

Jun. 20, 2001 - from its editorial "Cross-border health..."
You do not have to be a poisoner of the environment and oppressor of the poor to recognize the [anti-free-trade] protesters' arguments about coupling free trade to environmental protection and labour standards as comically flimsy. Democracy requires that Argentina's environmental standards be decided in Argentina, not [at free trade summit meetings], just as Guatemalans themselves should be free to decide what level of pay they will accept for working in a foreign-owned factory. Capitalist acts between consenting adults should not be subject to interference from busybodies in countries thousands of miles away.

Apr. 18, 2001 - from its editorial "Quebec gathering..."
Free university tuition is a bad idea. Experience shows that the demographics of higher education do not change significantly when tuition becomes free, and thus the additional subsidy is merely an inter-class wealth transfer that flows from poor to rich. Countries that once experimented with it, such as Australia and Britain, have reversed themselves of late and are now charging fees for higher education.

Mar. 28, 2001 - from its editorial "Sell the water, but don't soak the poor"
It is fashionable to suggest that today's governments should be held responsible for sins committed hundreds of years ago. ... But sorting out history's guilty and innocent is no easy task. Slavery has been practised for thousands of years by many peoples and races. Native Indians enslaved one another long before Europeans arrived. Before Africa was colonized, slavery on that continent was widespread and uncontroversial. In Sudan and Mauritania, Black Africans are still enslaved. In the past, blacks were bought by white traders, but they were sold by other Black Africans and Arabs. Should the apology and reparations come only from the buyers and not the sellers?

Jan. 31, 2001 - from its editorial "History's wrongs"
Some whites were slave owners in the 19th century and earlier, but others were abolitionists. In fact, the nations of the West are unique in human history in that they abolished slavery due to principled opposition from their free classes.

Jan. 31, 2001 - from its editorial "History's wrongs"
That many African countries are in disarray is beyond doubt. But colonialism is only a small and decreasingly important reason for this. As the United Nations itself concluded in a major 2000 report, Overcoming Human Poverty, most of Africa's current problems are due primarily to tribalism, poor government and corruption.

Jan. 31, 2001 - from its editorial "History's wrongs"
An apology and reparations [from governments] for slavery and colonialism would be wrong in principle. Even worse, perhaps, is that it would do no good at all. It would stoke rather than extinguish the flames of trumped-up grievance.

Jan. 31, 2001 - from its editorial "History's wrongs"
The Supreme Court of Canada's unanimous ruling in R. v. Ewanchuk is a classic example of ... ideologically twisted logic. While supplanting the criminal law's historic insistence on individual responsibility with a feminist indictment of an entire sex, the Court refused to admit that it was departing in any way from established legal principle.

Mar. 01, 1999 - from its editorial
... A pro-family policy might even be popular. Almost everyone has a family - even members of non-traditional ones.

Feb. 26, 1999 - from its editorial
... the tobacco 'settlement' was a merger between Big Government and Big Tobacco, not an exercise in public health. In return for prosecutorial immunity, the tobacco companies have essentially agreed to collect an extra few dimes in taxes on each pack of cigarettes. The gargantuan dollar amount simply reflects the nominal value of years of tax hikes. Of course, politicians declared the settlement to be a victory against tobacco companies. That's a lot easier to sell to the public than just another tax grab.

Aug 28, 1999 - from its editorial
Union officials claim their concern [about volunteers in schools] is over the quality of work performed by volunteers. The [Canadian Union of Public Employees] president frets, for instance, that that a parent working in a school library might not reshelve the books poperly, as if the Dewey decimal system is an obscure secret known only to CUPE members. ... Countless studies prove that the presence of parental volunteers in schools is a positive addition to the learning experience. Parents are not clamouring to repair school boilers or re-tar the roofs. Rather, they are seeking greater involvement in their children's education. This should be their right, and perhaps their duty as well.

May 10, 2000 - from its editorial "Parents, not scabs"
... the World Health Organization [is] essentially a United Nations of hospital bureaucrats ... [it has] unanimously directed the world's governments to put anti-smoking ads on cigarette packages ... The first and most obvious question is who will listen to the WHO? ... Many of the world's foreign ministers will likely be surprised to learn that their countries' advertising laws have been rewritten by delegates in a Swiss hotel. ... The trifle of free speech might not have stopped the WHO, but it might trip up the proposed advertising laws in a hundred domestic courts around the world.

Dec. 18, 2000 - from its editorial "WHO's in charge here?"
[Dalhousie University accepts an anonymous grant with the condition that an unqualified left-wing Sierra Club activist activist be hired as professor] Some professors still believe in teaching about arts and sciences the way they are - not the way politicians want them to be. Some universities still place an emphasis on objective truth, not the spin of an anonymous foreign donor. Dalhousie University used to be such a place.

Jul. 28, 1999 - from its editorial
The speed with which the phrase 'family values' became a term of sarcastic derision among politicians and policy-makers tells us more about politicians than about families. Far from vanishing quietly into the sunset of inevitable social change, the traditional family is in fact fighting hard to stay intact in the face of official hostility.

Feb. 26, 1999 - from its editorial
The failures [of our social welfare system to prevent poverty] are the result not of powerful social trends before which government is helpless - the self-serving explanation of too many public servants - but of a 'progressive' Canadian income tax and welfare system that treats families with children badly and encourages dependency.

Feb. 26, 1999 - from its editorial
Increasingly absurd attempts to make cigarette packaging unattractive are a smokescreen for the fact that no government really wants to ban tobacco -- taxing it is too lucrative. Tax is the true addiction. In the United States, the famous 12-figure tobacco industry "fine" is simply an amortized tax hike.

Dec. 18, 2000 - from its editorial "WHO's in charge here?"
Moral scapegoating has become disturbingly familiar within the legal system. It is now legally acceptable to sue tobacco firms for the health choices of private citizens, or to fault a tavern owner for his patron's drunkenness. The technical term for such laws is injustice. Public health advocates should not turn tort law into a random regime of accident compensation...

Mar. 09, 1999 - from its editorial
Statistics Canada announced this week that crime rates have fallen to their lowest level in 20 years. So why do so many Canadians feel like crime has never been worse? For one thing, the overall decline of crime masks a sharp increase in violent crime, and a staggering rise in youth crime. So, while less serious crimes have petered off, violent crime is actually up by 57% over the last 20 years. Violent crimes by youths have increased even more steeply. The number of minors charged with violent crimes is up 77% over the past ten years - a damning indictment of the Young Offenders Act if there ever was one. And violence by young girls has increased 127% since 1988, with the most dramatic growth coming from categories such as murder and hostage-taking. No wonder nearly a million Canadians have signed a petition demanding Anne McLellan, the Justice Minister, overhaul the Young Offenders Act.

Jul. 20, 2000 - from its editorial "Inside the crime stats"
... the Firearms Act specifically allows ... an aboriginal to own guns, even if he has a criminal record, or a history of violence [either of which would prevent non-aboriginals from owning weapons] ... The aboriginal loophole [in the Act] is not an accident. The Justice department positively encourages its use. The federal gun registry even has a special aboriginal Web site, which encourages aboriginals to use such exemptions ... Even aboriginal children are given special gun rights ... And there is no need to worry about the pesky Canadian Firearms Safety Course, as other gun owners do.

Jan. 8, 2001 - from its editorial "Guns and loopholes"
It is now official: Canada is more productive than the United States. In fact it turns out that we have been outperforming our southern neighbours since 1961. Thus claims Statistics Canada, the official number cruncher of the federal government. If you find these results oddly surprising, you are not alone... If we were truly more productive than the Americans all this time, would we have an unemployment rate that is almost double the U.S. rate, an economic growth rate that pales in comparison, and a stock market that has returned only a fraction of what the U.S. has enjoyed? Common sense suggests not.

Mar. 25, 1999 - from its editorial