Dragging their feet against the inevitable

According to today’s paper, the City of Toronto plans to announce a deal to impose a five-cent tax on plastic bags at a news conference today with Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, and their lobby group, the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors. Missing in action? The news conference is not expected to include representatives of the Retailcontinue reading

Ideological cluelessness abounds

Harper speaks to reporters in Lima on November 23rd: “Recent private sector forecasts suggest the strong possibility of a technical recession at the end of this year and the beginning of next,” Harper said [November 23] at a news conference in Lima, where he was attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. “I am surprised atcontinue reading

Beige, brown, and resistant to change

Another reason to loathe Tim Horton’s, if you needed it — it’s the one kicking up the biggest fuss about the new packaging by-laws the City of Toronto plans. Timmy Ho’s refuses to change its cup to one of the corn-based, biodegradable versions you can get at your local granola-organic coffee outlet, or, in fact,continue reading

Good timing

Feeling poorer after checking your accounts online? Wondering how the five dog grooming businesses in your neighbourhood will fare during the recession? Well, here’s something else that will make you an adherent of the new austerity: the updated property assessments for 2008 will be mailed to old City of Toronto addresses the week of Octobercontinue reading

The Oracle of Ottawa

“My own belief is if we were going to have some kind of big crash or recession, we probably would have had it by now.” You have to wonder just why Stephen Harper would feel compelled to offer these thoughts today. I mean, I understand this comment, also from today: “The Canadian economy’s fundamentals arecontinue reading

Bottle up and explode

As one among the 29% of Canadians who, really, couldn’t care less about the increase in prices at the pump, I read the Canwest story “Pent-up anger unites nation” feeling like I imagine separatists do when Canadian nationalists bemoan the possibly imminent departure of Quebec: According to a new poll by Ipsos Reid, carried outcontinue reading

Fraser fantasies

I can’t believe I’m bothering to quarrel with a report from the Fraser Institute, but sometimes it’s just too tempting to resist. The right-wing think tank released a survey yesterday that will be the foundation of its urban policy research agenda, headed up by that champion of cities, former Ontario premier Mike Harris. Among thecontinue reading

The Price is Right

Shocking news from our friends at BMO: Canadian shoppers are still paying 18 per cent more on average than Americans for the same items, BMO Nesbitt Burns says in a study that suggests consumers aren’t reaping the benefits of a strong dollar. The rest of the article seems to indicate that, in fact, the reportcontinue reading

Nothing but blue skies does he see

Rudyard Griffiths of the Dominion Institute, who has become a pundit-for-all-seasons, sees gloom ahead: While the fear of a recession seems like the last thing on the mind of the average Torontonian, I for one cannot figure out how the Ontario economy can avoid a prolonged economic turndown, and most likely a nasty one atcontinue reading

The boom goes boom

– Urban is often a euphemism for “black”, “inner-city” or “low-income”. Unless, of course, you’re the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods, the FUN part of the Coalition After Property Tax Reform, in which case urban means… South Rosedale. – Have you heard? The housing boom is “officially over.” That’s according to Doug Porter of BMO Economics,continue reading