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Jeffrey Simpson: What Iowa can and can’t tell us - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
Why Rubio will likely win the nomination. But for the wrong reasons
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 03, 2016
Marco_Rubio  Campaign_2016  GOP  nominations  politics  Jeffrey_Simpson  candidates 
february 2016 by jerryking
Jeffrey Simpson: Slow growth now, no growth later - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
Slow growth now, no growth later
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 13,2016

The population is aging. Commodity prices are low. Oil and natural gas prices are hitting rock-bottom. The Canadian dollar has plummeted. Most governments are in deficit, or heading into deficit (read Ottawa). Innovation and the commercialization of research lag that of other countries. Productivity, the country’s long-term bugbear, remains sluggish....all the green traffic signals have turned to yellow or red. Yet this slow-growth economy, which might persist for a long time, is wrapped in a political culture that seems to favour slow or no growth, or seems to think that government infrastructure programs, useful in themselves, will solve the long-run problems.....Everywhere, projects are blocked or delayed, because environmentalists, aboriginal people, non-governmental organizations or even provincial governments oppose them....Many of these blocked or delayed projects with large-scale economic spinoffs are natural resource projects, which the federal government says might be saved with more “robust” oversight. The government is kidding itself in this belief, since the opponents don’t care what the regulatory process is. They oppose development pure, simple and always.

Far beyond natural resource constipation, the contradiction arises between slow growth and the huge desire of citizens for more government services, without higher taxes. Of special concern is Canada’s persistent low productivity, to which no easy answer exists, except that a slow-growth mentality doesn’t help.

...Don Drummond, working with Evan Capeluck, recently explained the challenge in a paper for the Centre for the Study of Living Standards, which looked at productivity trends in all provinces. Projecting these trends forward, they said most provinces and territories will not be able to balance revenue growth with new spending demands (especially for health care) without higher taxes or spending cuts.

Put another way, unless long-term growth can be improved – a trend that will require productivity improvements – Canada is heading for a poorer future with fewer programs and/or higher taxes.
growth  Jeffrey_Simpson  economic_downturn  anti-development  natural_resources  economic_stagnation  megaprojects  productivity  Don_Drummond  slow_growth  low_growth  weak_dollar  signals 
january 2016 by jerryking
First lesson, Liberals: You can’t do everything at once - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015

Donald Savoie’s latest book, What Is Government Good At? Arguably Canada’s pre-eminent scholar of public administration, the University of Moncton professor says governments often fall down in “implementation.” They conceptualize policies and introduce them, but then implementation falters.
Jeffrey_Simpson  Liberals  books  priorities  advice  implementation 
november 2015 by jerryking
Jeffrey Simpson: Want to be a world player, Canada? Get ready to spend - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
Want to be a world player, Canada? Get ready to spend
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Oct. 30, 2015
Jeffrey_Simpson  foreign_policy  Liberals 
october 2015 by jerryking
Jeffrey Simpson: For Tories, a long list of difficult questions - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON

The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015

Having recently been centre stage, the Conservatives might be tempted to figure out quickly how best to return there. Nothing could be more counterproductive.

They should use their prolonged period of being marginal players to figure out what they should say when centre stage truly beckons again, because for now, and for the foreseeable future, the vast majority of Canadians don’t want to hear from or about Conservatives, so bitter is their memory of the Harper years....Leadership puts the proverbial cart before the horse. What the Conservatives need – this is the cart – is to ask themselves at length and in depth: Where did we go wrong? Was it just that we overstayed our welcome and “time for a change” defeated us?

Or was there something deeper about who we were, what we stood for, how we made decisions, how we communicated them to Canadians, how we related to other Canadian institutions such as provinces, the business community, aboriginals, the news media, officers of Parliament, the civil service, non-governmental groups?

Why were we at daggers drawn with scientists, civil servants, “experts,” journalists, the cultural community, even part of the business community (telecommunications, railroads)? Is that where we want to be as Conservatives?

How did we manage to fritter away about a fifth of the support we had secured in the 2011 election by voting day 2015? Why are we by far the least-favoured second-choice party, with the fewest number of people who would consider voting for us? Is it the correct strategy to try for a maximum of 40 per cent of the electors?
Stephen_Harper  Federal_Election_2015  Conservative_Party  introspection  Jeffrey_Simpson  politics  leadership  soul-searching 
october 2015 by jerryking
Jeffrey Simpson: It really is all about Harper, pro and con - The Globe and Mail
Oct. 14, 2015 | The Globe and Mail | JEFFREY SIMPSON.

the persona of Mr. Harper, more than anything else, is the centre of the Conservative campaign, and therefore the campaign is about him, more than anything else....Mr. Harper is running against the most powerful current in politics: time for a change. He must have known about this current when he decided to contest one more election, but he took the plunge. He would know enough Canadian history to appreciate that every prime minister who has tried to stretch his time in power lost at some point in the eight-to-11-year range. Canada does not have term limits in law; it seems to have them in practice.

More than any other factor, the time-for-a-change current focuses on the prime minister, who, in our system of government, is hugely powerful....Mr. Harper, unlike former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien, was, and remains, a highly polarizing figure.
Jeffrey_Simpson  Stephen_Harper  Federal_Election_2015  Conservative_Party 
october 2015 by jerryking
A crisis for many years, and many reasons, to come - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Sep. 05, 2015

The reasons are easy to identify, the consequences extremely difficult to assess, the solutions complicated and uncertain.

Europe is politically stable and prosperous; Africa and the Middle East are not. Europe’s population is steady or declining; Africa and the Middle East have exploding numbers. Europe’s geography is not seriously affected by climate change; parts of Africa and the Middle East, already dry, are getting drier and therefore less fertile.

War is all but unimaginable in Europe; military conflict is a fact of life in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya. Human rights are respected throughout Europe (with a few exceptions); human rights are systematically abused by authoritarian and theocratic regimes in some African and many Middle Eastern countries. Women have made startling advances in almost every walk of European life; women are still discriminated against in too many parts of Africa and the Middle East.

These pressures pushing or enticing large numbers of people toward Europe will not disappear. If anything, they will intensify as the years go on, because climate change, demographic pressures, fierce intrareligious rivalries, the lack of respect for pluralism and a host of other entrenched realities will not bend to moral entreaties or military interventions from Western countries.
mass_migrations  refugees  crisis  Europe  failed_states  Jeffrey_Simpson  root_cause  Non-Integrating_Gap  Functioning_Core  emerging_countries  developed_countries  demographic_changes  decline  climate_change  religious_intolerance  migrants  human_trafficking 
september 2015 by jerryking
NDP win fits historic pattern - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 07 2015,

Alberta was growing fast until recently. Having so much money, PC governments siphoned much of it into public services. On a per capita basis, for example, Alberta spends the most on health care (along with Newfoundland), and yet demands for even more spending never relented. The province needed more schools, more university and college places, more police, more roads, more of everything. As these services expanded, so did the number and clout of public-sector unions, who formed the spine of the NDP’s victory on Tuesday and to which the new Premier, Rachel Notley, will now be beholden. They will expect some degree of munificence from her, and she will be hard-pressed, given the province’s straitened fiscal circumstances, to accede to all of their demands.
Jeffrey_Simpson  Alberta  elections  NDP  Preston_Manning  public_service  public_sector  unions  history  reform  provincial_governments  Wildrose  Rachel_Notley  creeping_normality  complacency  Ralph_Klein  dynasties  populism 
may 2015 by jerryking
Asia doesn’t vote for subways, it builds them - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
SEOUL — The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 02 2015

The key in North Asia is the assumption that urban transit is a public good that must be given priority in funding and planning. These countries don’t engage in the fits and starts of Canadian cities; they plan to improve every year. It happens in authoritarian China, but also in democratic Japan and South Korea....Governments here don’t put matters to a plebiscite. They do what governments are supposed to do: they decide. The Chinese don’t care much about Not in My Backyard. Democratic countries have to pay more attention to public opinion. Judging by the public transit in North Asia, people understand that without large and efficient systems, their cities will be less manageable and competitive.
public_transit  Jeffrey_Simpson  Japan  South_Korea  China  public_goods 
may 2015 by jerryking
The loneliest of all prime ministers - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Feb. 21 2015

Prime ministers are always alone. Although surrounded by ministers and aides and civil servants, and cheered on by partisan crowds, they are ultimately alone at the top.

On their shoulders does the political fate of the government repose. On their decisions is the shape of the government determined. On their personalities and preferences are priorities established.

Prime ministers are not first among equals. They are first, period. It has always been this way.......Prime minister Pierre Trudeau, formidable to say the least, had around him people such as Gérard Pelletier, Jean Marchand, Marc Lalonde, Allan J. MacEachen, Donald S. Macdonald, John Turner (for a time), staffers such as Jim Coutts and Ivan Head and advisers such as Keith Davey and Martin Goldfarb. Each was formidable. Of course they were all pro-Trudeau and did his bidding when decisions were made, but they could and did push back from time to time.

Prime minister Brian Mulroney had a no-nonsense chief-of staff in Derek Burney, and talented ministers such as Don Mazankowski, Michael Wilson, John Crosbie, Lucien Bouchard (for a little while) and Lowell Murray, among others, and Paul Tellier, as cabinet secretary for seven years.

Prime minister Jean Chrétien had ministers such as Paul Martin (with whom he had a sometimes conflictual relationship) and Lloyd Axworthy, and a very powerful chief-of-staff in Jean Pelletier.
Jeffrey_Simpson  politicians  Stephen_Harper 
february 2015 by jerryking
Ontario will eventually have to pay the piper - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Dec. 13 2014,

Fortunately, Bonnie Lysyk, the province’s Auditor-General, is not beholden to the vagaries of politics and speaks truth both to power, where it most likely will not be heeded, and to the general public, where it will be ignored. As she plaintively wrote in a report this week, the office has been warning about the debt for three years but “has attracted little public attention.”

The AG urged “legislators and the public to start a conversation about paying down the province’s total debt.” Note the words “paying down.” Not stabilizing, but reducing. A tall order.

The AG’s numbers were stark. Even if the government balances the books by 2017-18 (which is rather implausible), net debt will have more than doubled in a decade....The AG could have added three other factors that will make Ontario’s situation even more difficult than the report conveyed.

First, the population is aging, and aging comes with more costs for the government. Second, health care is now rising at just 2 per cent a year (compared to about 7 per cent from 2000 to 2010). It’s doubtful that this modest rate of increase can be sustained. Third, the population’s aging will contribute to lower rates of economic growth, which in turn will crimp government revenues at current levels of taxation.
debt  Jeffrey_Simpson  Ontario  aging  slow_growth  auditors  speak_truth_to_power  grey_tsunami 
december 2014 by jerryking
Canada’s all about energy … to send elsewhere - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Dec. 24 2014

Natural resources such as energy are provincially owned with national implications. Where we sell, to whom and for what prices, and how we exploit the resources have fiscal-policy and sometimes foreign-policy implications. Natural resources contribute to the country’s standard of living, and to regional differences, which Ottawa through equalization is charged with trying to flatten.

A “Canadian energy for Canadians” approach would not see Uncle Ottawa bullying its way into provincial jurisdiction. Rather, it would invite the federal government to suggest to provinces that it stands ready to assist them financially in projects that would move Canadian energy across the country.

Think about hydroelectricity. We don’t have anything like a national grid in Canada. We don’t even have effective regional grids, but rather bits and pieces of regional grids. We’ve got highways and train tracks linking the heartlands of Quebec and Ontario, but we don’t have an energy corridor from surplus-producing Quebec to Ontario.
Jeffrey_Simpson  energy  natural_resources  hydroelectric  federal-provincial_relations  power_grid  electric_power 
december 2014 by jerryking
Why competent city government matters - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Oct. 29 2014

Everywhere, “densification” of downtowns is the order of the day, which makes eminent sense, provided the increasing density is done properly from planning, lifestyle, transportation, and carbon emissions reductions perspectives (which hasn’t been the case in central Toronto’s condo-land, as one example).

Cities are on the front line of many issues that transcend their boundaries, climate change being one. Municipal governments have a host of powers – garbage, building codes, development, transit – that directly affect carbon emissions. What they do, or don’t, is consequential for the country’s overall record.

Similarly, how cities integrate newcomers to Canada affects the entire country’s civic life and economic prospects. Thus far, the melding of so many immigrants into the Canadian mainstream has been one of the country’s most significant accomplishments. It happens, overwhelmingly, in neighbourhoods, schools and other urban public places.
cities  mayoral  densification  Toronto  government  Jeffrey_Simpson  urban  urban_intensification  arrival_cities  neighbourhoods  competence  Michael_Thompson  social_integration 
october 2014 by jerryking
2015 is the Harper election - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Sep. 17 2014
Jeffrey_Simpson  Stephen_Harper  Election_2015 
september 2014 by jerryking
Pipeline decisions: Predict at your peril - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 18 2014,
pipelines  Jeffrey_Simpson 
august 2014 by jerryking
Wynne’s Ontario can no longer afford to ignore fiscal reality - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jul. 05 2014,

Now, having systematically fled from reality before and during the election, and having been rewarded handsomely for this evasion, Ms. Wynne and her government face the difficult task of beginning to tell the truth. This volte-face is always hard for a government that lives and dies by what pollsters tell politicians that voters want to hear, rather than by what they need to hear.

Squaring the circle of Ontario’s deteriorating fiscal situation with the expansionist Liberal budget will require spending restraint of a kind for which the party did not prepare the electorate, because the spending restraint will have to be tighter than anything the Liberals imagined.
Jeffrey_Simpson  Kathleen_Wynne  Ontario  deficits  budgets  credit-analysis  credit-ratings 
july 2014 by jerryking
Ontario PCs offer a bit of doable, a lot of dreamland - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 30 2014

Conversely, there are two very doable and sensible ideas in the Conservative arsenal. Private clinics of the kind that operate in other public health systems, authorized, regulated and reimbursed by the state, should be allowed to do routine, repetitive surgeries. And arbitrators, when settling public-sector disputes, must take into account the “ability to pay,” instead of just ratcheting up settlements based on comparisons with other groups of workers.
Jeffrey_Simpson  elections  myths  Ontario  Tim_Hudak  transit  provincial  Progressive_Conservatives  Queen’s_Park 
june 2014 by jerryking
Ontario’s ‘none of the above’ election - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 24 2014

Start with economic growth after inflation. From 1982 to 2013, it averaged 2.6 per cent. From 2014 to 2035, it will be 2.1 per cent. Roughly speaking, therefore, growth will be about 20 per cent slower.

The labour force will grow more slowly largely because of an aging population, a change being felt throughout Canada. Labour productivity will be flat at best, and quite likely lower than from 1985 to 2000. In the meantime, global competition will intensify.

Manufacturing has been declining as a share of the economy in North America and Western Europe. Ontario’s decline was halted temporarily back when the Canadian dollar plunged to nearly 60 cents, but those days are long gone.

The province’s cost competitiveness – this is one of the two or three central challenges – has been poor. Unit labour costs have gone up by a little over 5 per cent per year over the last 13 years, compared with just over 2 per cent in the United States.

When a province’s unit labour costs rise more than twice as fast as the country where it does 78 per cent of its trade, the results are obvious: plant shutdowns, unemployment and not enough new capacity added. Automobiles are the classic case: plant openings in Mexico and the U.S., but none recently in Ontario.

Business investment in machinery and equipment has lagged the Canadian average and is far below the United States. Research and development, a pathway to innovation, also lags. It’s better than the very poor Canadian average, but far below the U.S. Take away the healthy financial sector and the Toronto’s overheated housing market, and what do you have?

In Toronto and Ottawa, where prosperity is sustained, it’s easy to forget the swaths of the province in the southwest, north and east, where very little new economic activity has been taking place. The old industrial cities – Hamilton, Windsor, St. Catharines, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie – and smaller cities, such as Leamington, are nearly all suffering in one form or another.

For most of the past quarter-century, Ontario provincial governments have run deficits. Slowly, the debt has risen. Such is the situation that Ontario now receives yearly small payments from the country’s equalization scheme. (And such is the absurdity of the scheme that Ontario taxpayers remain net contributors to Ottawa, which then turns around and gives a small portion of the revenues back in equalization.)

The Ontario government has reached far, but failed to execute: clean energy, gas plants, e-health, Ornge air ambulance, nuclear cost overruns. No wonder trust in government is low. For almost a decade, the Liberal government let health-care spending rip – 7-per-cent yearly increases without commensurate improvements in the system. (Spending increases are now down to 2.5 per cent a year.)

Very, very powerful – and very, very conservative – public-sector unions and associations in schools, universities, health care, policing, firefighting and municipal government make change very, very difficult.
Ontario  elections  turnout  Jeffrey_Simpson  challenges  long-term  slow_growth  low_growth  Queen’s_Park 
may 2014 by jerryking
The end of our illusions about Russia - The Globe and Mail
Jeffrey Simpson

The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Mar. 26 2014,

"Russia can neither be ignored nor ostracized, no matter how chauvinistic its behaviour, nor should it necessarily be feared. Russian chauvinism has always been one-part nationalism, one part awareness of internal weakness, which is why Russia’s historical relations with the countries of Western Europe have oscillated between co-operation and confrontation."....What Russia wanted, and still wants, is a sphere of uncontested influence. When the West, possessed of a post-Cold War triumphalism, would not grant that sphere, as Vladimir Putin and his cronies defined it, Russia rebelled.
Russia  Ukraine  Vladimir_Putin  Jeffrey_Simpson  post-Cold_War  triumphalism  chauvinism 
march 2014 by jerryking
Canada Post: We’ve got mail, but not for long - The Globe and Mail
Jeffrey Simpson

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Dec. 13 2013,

The world of communications is radically changing, as can be attested by newspapers and magazines, book publishers, retailers of all kinds (a shout out to Ottawa’s Shopify for its astounding success), businesses large and small. As a personal test, ask yourself how many e-mailed Christmas messages you received this year compared to, say, five years ago. Now think about five years from now, when the cost of sending cards will be $1 within Canada instead of the current 63 cents....Canada Post is increasingly irrelevant for a lot of people, because they are online for just about all their communication needs. But nothing gets people more riled up than having something they are accustomed to taken from them. They can also get very irritated at paying much more to maintain a service they already receive.
Jeffrey_Simpson  Canada_Post  Communicating_&_Connecting 
december 2013 by jerryking
Kenney’s confident enough to speak his mind - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 29 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Jeffrey Simpson.

Three times – once privately and twice publicly – Mr. Kenney has deviated from the line established by his boss. This just isn’t done in a government where there is little love for the Prime Minister, but plenty of respect and a whole lot of fear.

It is widely assumed in Conservative circles (and beyond) that Mr. Kenney will seek the party leadership when that time comes....as the government’s multicultural point man, he has collected a database of just about every person who has attended the hundreds and hundreds of ethnic events where he’s appeared. If there’s a Polish hall or a Chinese banquet room he hasn’t visited, just wait – he’ll soon be there enough.

Moreover, he’s gotten things done as minister. Big changes to the country’s immigration and refugee laws took place under his watch. Civil servants who have worked with, or watched him, admire his political smarts, drive and sense of where he wants to go, even if they disagree with him. His French is passable.
Jeffrey_Simpson  Conservative_Party  Jason_Kenney  leaders  leadership 
december 2013 by jerryking
Ford nation stands by its man. No. Matter. What.
Nov. 20 2013 | The Globe and Mail | by Jeffrey Simpson.

There is now in Canada, according to all sorts of polls, about 30 per cent of the electorate that is hard-core Conservative/conservative. For them, public policy is almost exclusively about paying lower and lower taxes, while, of course, demanding the same level of services. As long as their leaders deliver on that promise, or keep talking about delivering even if they don’t, this is the prism through which all is judged.

You can see the contradictions everywhere in the Conservative/conservative world. Conservatives who support Mr. Ford are the “tough on crime” voters of the kind also targeted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. You would logically assume therefore that a mayor who confesses to having broken laws – smoking crack cocaine, for example – would be just the sort of public person the Conservatives/conservatives would revile. Apparently not.

The kind of people who decry high taxes should be furiously against a subway to Scarborough that will cost much more than the light-rail option many urban planners say is more appropriate and cheaper for a sprawling suburban area. But instead, Mr. Ford pitches the subway, and gets $660-million from his Conservative friends in Ottawa for an option that represents a squandering of public money, given the light-rail alternative.

Conservatives, at their philosophical best, have always placed a high premium on personal responsibility. They believe, much less than liberals or socialists, in the social factors that influence personal behaviour. For Conservatives, individuals are responsible for their behaviour, not their upbringing, surroundings or social conditions.

In Rob Ford, here is a man who revels in calling himself a conservative, yet has displayed a flagrant and persistent disregard for personal responsibility, as well as having failed to act in a responsible way as mayor. Rather than being condemned by supporters for this betrayal of the conservative creed based on self-control and personal responsibility, he has been elevated to some weird kind of cult figure, deserving of sympathy and support.

The Conservative/conservative core, as we see in the federal government, is resistant to evidence if it conflicts with ideological nostrums. As in Fordworld, federal ministers look facts in the face and deny them, prefer to lecture rather than reason, to posture as the friend of the “people” against undefined but dangerous “elites,” and live in an intellectually self-contained world where curiosity is banished and slogans take the place of deliberation.

Conservatives of years ago saw society as organic, all being part of the whole, and tried to fashion policies that brought people together, whereas the new Conservatives/conservatives, à la Mr. Ford, see society as inherently divided between a mythical sense of the “people” and their foes. And for this attitude, those who fall on their side of this divide reward leaders with loyalty that cannot be shaken.

Toronto has tried for decades to become a “world-class city,” a phrase shopworn from overuse by those hoping that it might some day become just that. Cities that are truly “world class” never have to use the phrase; only those that are not employ it. Just as Somerset Maugham once described himself as sitting in the first row of the world’s second-class writers, Toronto fears that is where it sits among cities, while desperately wishing it was not so.

Now along comes Mayor Ford to wreck even that ambition, a subject of ridicule and parody from Germany and Britain to Mexico and the United States, giving new definition to the old nickname for Toronto within Canada – Hogtown – without his supporters apparently caring a fig.
Jeffrey_Simpson  Rob_Ford  Toronto  conservatism 
november 2013 by jerryking
Canadian business, heal thyself
Oct. 18 2013 | The Globe and Mail |Jeffrey Simpson.

, the lessons BlackBerry/RIM once followed still seem urgent for the Canadian economy: research, innovation, productivity improvements, global perspective beyond the United States.

On Oct. 1, the Council of Canadian Academies summarized seven years of studies into Canada’s capacities in science, technology, innovation and productivity, releasing a report, Paradox Lost (the title must have come from the fertile brain of the brilliant Peter Nicholson, a member of the advisory group), that laid it on the line.

The government has been doing its part, especially in funding university research, the council concluded – although more money would always be welcome. What’s lacking is an “aggressively innovative business sector.”...Canadian companies rely excessively on U.S. innovation. They are content either to play an upstream role (extracting resources) or as subsidiaries of foreign companies. Too many Canadian businesses settle, the council reported, for a “profitable low-innovation equilibrium” (a fancy way of saying second-best) that conditions Canadian business’s behaviour and ambitions.....This problem of lagging innovation and inadequate R&D coincides with four major trends that will slow Canadian growth. First, the United States is in relative decline. Second, the growing global appetite for commodities means environmental challenges and volatile price swings. Third, scientific revolutions in fields such as genomics and nanotechnology will shape business and social life, but Canadian firms are behind the curve in both areas. Fourth, our aging population will be a drag on economic growth (and government revenues).
Jeffrey_Simpson  R&D  innovation  economic_stagnation  resource_extraction  America_in_Decline?  commodities  volatility  aging  complacency  Peter_Nicholson  aggressive  beyondtheU.S.  genomics  nanotechnology  productivity  paradoxes  laggards 
october 2013 by jerryking
Jeffrey Simpson: Would it hurt our PMs to respect each other? - The Globe and Mail
May. 04 2013 | Globe & Mail | JEFFREY SIMPSON

Those with a taste for Canadian history should read Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s eulogy to Sir John A. Macdonald. Their parties had fought ferociously over big issues, and the partisanship of their day was ubiquitous. But great men seek public occasions to display respect to each other and, in so doing, invite their fellow citizens to respect the institutions of democracy.
Canadian  history  eulogies  Jeffrey_Simpson  civility  partisan_warfare  etiquette  post-partisanship  Jean_Chrétien  Brian_Mulroney  Pierre_Trudeau  courtesies  Sir_John_A._Macdonald  Sir_Wilfred_Laurier  leaders  politicians  nation_builders  Confederation 
may 2013 by jerryking
The sound and fury of two debates
Jan. 28 2003| The Globe and Mail | JEFFREY SIMPSON.
Jeffrey_Simpson  Saddam_Hussein  Iraq 
march 2013 by jerryking
Timing is everything for PM's New York trip - The Globe and Mail
Jeffrey Simpson

From Friday's Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Sep. 28 2001
Jean_Chrétien  9/11  Jeffrey_Simpson  crossborder 
march 2013 by jerryking
The Difference Between Them and Us
March 19, 2003 | G&M Page A23 | By JEFFREY SIMPSON
Jeffrey_Simpson  Jean_Chrétien  Iraq 
march 2013 by jerryking
Why Canada gets no respect in Washington
Jan. 29 2003 | The Globe and Mail |JEFFREY SIMPSON.

It's not so much that Canada is for or against U.S. policies, although the Americans would obviously prefer that we were with them all the way. It's more that Canada often cannot make up its mind, or delays so long that when a decision is taken it's become irrelevant, or backs the U.S. with what a Canadian diplomat has accurately called "calculating calculation." These habits are layered with that reflexive and, to U.S. ears, intensely irritating and totally groundless blather about Canada's moral superiority.
Jeffrey_Simpson  crossborder  foreign_policy  anti-Americanism  feckless 
march 2013 by jerryking
Tony Blair, the man for our times
Oct. 03 2001| The Globe and Mail | Jeffrey Simpson
Tony_Blair  Jeffrey_Simpson  United_Kingdom  9/11 
march 2013 by jerryking
Mid-sized Canadian manufacturing, up in smoke
Feb. 15 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Jeffrey Simpson.

From 2006 to 2010, the BDC found, “the number of Canadian mid-sized firms decreased by 17 per cent (from 9,370 to 7,814).” Manufacturing suffered the biggest losses: From 2001 to 2010, more than half of the mid-sized manufacturing firms disappeared (the number falling from 2,807 to 1,381).

Maybe they disappeared because they got bigger? No such luck. Only 1.4 per cent grew to become firms with more than 500 employees, whereas 14 per cent went from mid-sized to having fewer than 100 employees. Not surprisingly, Ontario suffered the most from the downdraft of mid-sized manufacturing firms.

Why is all this happening? The BDC offers three plausible reasons: the parity of the Canadian dollar with the U.S. greenback, competition from China (and other places) and the brutal recession of 2008-2009.

Other reasons could be added: spotty innovation and research, inadequate access to financing for growth, an uneven record of searching for foreign (read: non-U.S.) markets.
manufacturers  Ontario  Jeffrey_Simpson  Mittelstand  Germany  BDC  mid-sized  mid-market  beyondtheU.S.  loonie  parity 
february 2013 by jerryking
Too many first nations people live in a dream palace
Jan. 05 2013 | The Globe and Mail | JEFFREY SIMPSON.

Large elements of aboriginal Canada live intellectually in a dream palace, a more comfortable place than where they actually reside.

Inside the dream palace, there are self-reliant, self-sustaining communities – “nations,” indeed – with the full panoply of sovereign capacities and the “rights” that go with sovereignty. These “nations” are the descendants of proud ancestors who, centuries ago, spread across certain territories before and, for some period, after the “settlers” arrived.
Today’s reality, however, is so far removed in actual day-to-day terms from the memories inside the dream palace as to be almost unbearable. The obvious conflict between reality and dream pulls some aboriginals to warrior societies; others to a rejection of dealing with the “Crown” at all; others to fights for the restoration of “rights” that, even if defined, would make little tangible difference in the lives of aboriginal people; and still others, such as Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, to go on a hunger strike....Stephen Harper was correct in refusing a face-to-face meeting, since a prime minister should not be blackmailed into doing what any group or individual wants....Much of the rhetoric surrounding Chief Spence is of the usual dreamy, flamboyant variety, a mixture of anti-capitalism and anti-colonialism, blended with the mythology (blasted by the reality of what one actually sees on too many reserves) about environmental protection and the aboriginals’ sacred link to their lands....To imagine that isolated communities of a thousand or so people can be vibrant and self-sustaining, capable of discharging the panoply of responsibilities of “sovereignty,” is to live within the dream palace of memory.
aboriginals  Jeffrey_Simpson  self-delusions  protests  economic_development  emotional_blackmail  Stephen_Harper  myths  anti-capitalism  anti-colonialism  self-reliance  self-sustaining  sovereignty  anti-development 
january 2013 by jerryking
The trends that changed our world
Dec. 28 2012 | - The Globe and Mail | JEFFREY SIMPSON

What are the top 10 trends that have shaped the world in the past half a century and which person, associated with one of those trends, has changed the world the most in that time, for better or worse?

Here’s one person’s list (not necessarily in order of importance): 1. collapse of the Soviet Union; 2. rise of China; 3. Islamic jihadi fundamentalism; 4. civil rights; 5. environmental concerns; 6. end of colonialism; 7. fight for women’s equality; 8. widening democracy; 9. high-tech revolution; 10. prolonged peace among the Great Powers.
trends  Jeffrey_Simpson 
december 2012 by jerryking
Memo to Toronto school board: Are you nuts?
February 2, 2008 | G& M pg. A23 | Jeffrey Simpson.

Given the provincial election results, it is hard to fathom how the Toronto District School Board could be sanctioning "Afrocentric schools" that, although theoretically open to all, are clearly designed for black students only, or almost only. How could it be that having rejected an extension of religiously based schools just a few months ago, the province's largest city will now countenance the creation of racially based ones?

Of course, the board was pressured, as boards often are, by interest groups with a cause - in this case, the theory that inadequate educational achievement can be improved by changing the curriculum. That poor achievement - a 40 per cent dropout rate by black students - is supposed to be lowered if the curriculum is more Afrocentric, which will be quite a trick in mathematics, physics, biology, foreign languages, basic civics, and even the broad sweep of world and Canadian history.
The theory is largely unsound. The much more frequent explanations for poor student achievement, for blacks or any other group, have much less to do with curriculum than factors over which schools have little control: dysfunctional families, troubled neighbourhoods, few role models (absent fathers), poverty, gangs or, in a few immigrant communities, attitudes toward education (especially for females) that are not easily reconciled with mainstream Canadian ones.

All the discourse about inclusiveness, that usually forms a staple of trendy, leftish discourse, has been discarded by the Toronto board in favour of its opposite: membership based overwhelmingly on one characteristic of the human and educational experience - race. As such, it is at profound variance with an important goal of a "public" school system, and should therefore be rejected.
Jeffrey_Simpson  African_Canadians  TDSB  identity_politics  Afrocentric  education  schools  dropouts  public_schools  race  achievement_gaps  family_breakdown  dysfunction  fatherhood  out-of-wedlock 
august 2012 by jerryking
A university degree’s value is incontestable - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 20 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Jeffrey Simpson.

"Whether you measure by the rate of employment or income earned, going to university and graduating improves income and everything that accompanies higher income. Students and their parents understand this truism, which is why entrance demand for universities (and colleges) remains strong."..." the gap between income and prospects for humanities versus science grads is way lower than between all university grads and those without a university degree.

It’s worth bearing this incontestable fact in mind after watching the most startlingly incomprehensible event in Canada this year – at least to those who try to see the world rationally: six months of demonstrations in Quebec. There, students already paying the lowest fees by far in North America took to the streets in large numbers to reject paying modestly more (which would have still left Quebec’s fees the lowest on the continent) and, in some cases, to reject paying any tuition fees at all.

Drunk with their own street power, the leaders of the most militant of the student groups vowed last weekend to keep up their “class struggle” (their words) because they represent “the people” (again, their words), although every public opinion survey suggests that an overwhelming number of Quebeckers disagree with the students’ position on fees. They vowed to make their position heard on behalf of “the people” (read: themselves) throughout the provincial election campaign expected to begin shortly.

Students in Quebec, and elsewhere in Canada, should check with Statistics Canada. In 2009, according to data from the agency’s Labour Force Survey, those with a bachelor’s degree had an unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent, about 2.5 points below the national rate. Those with graduate degrees were doing even better, at 4.6 per cent."
Colleges_&_Universities  Quebec  Jeffrey_Simpson  achievement_gaps 
july 2012 by jerryking
Canada is 'back' on the world stage? Hardly
Jun. 13, 2012 |The Globe and Mail |Jeffrey Simpson.

"It is all so penny-wise and pound foolish, especially for a country that once prided itself on punching above its weight and, more important, understood that this is a relatively small country with huge international interests. Now, Canada has retreated into an anglospheric worldview coupled with a focus on trade deals, but lacking any sense of a wider conception of international affairs.

Hectoring and lecturing undoubtedly appeals to the Conservative Party's core voters. It does not impress other governments, including friendly ones."
Jeffrey_Simpson  Canada  foreign_policy  worldviews  punch-above-its-weight  middle-powers  world_stage 
june 2012 by jerryking
Warning: The boom out West is both a lure and a trap
April 26, 2008 | Globe and Mail | JEFFREY SIMPSON.

"But the hardest thing in politics is to think ahead, way ahead. The No. 1 question every government in these provinces should ask is:
Can't we do better?

Better means transforming more raw materials in Canada, wherever possible. Better means thinking not just of a Western gateway as a
transportation system, but as a way of putting industries and people together to add value to what is shipped.

Better means not just drilling and scouring, but figuring out how to lead the world in sustainable development, so that when China and
India and others decide they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, Canadian companies and governments can show them how, and sell them the technology and know-how.

Better means making universities even better than they are, because using today's money to invest in tomorrow's minds is the best investment for when the commodities boom weakens. "
Jeffrey_Simpson  Ontario  federal-provincial_relations  politics  Alberta  equalization_payments  commodities  value_added  Colleges_&_Universities  beforemath  dissatisfaction 
june 2012 by jerryking
Jeffrey Simpson - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON

From Friday's Globe and Mail

Last updated Friday, May. 25, 2012
austerity  Colleges_&_Universities  students  cutbacks  Quebec  Jeffrey_Simpson 
may 2012 by jerryking
Watching a once-great party circle the drain - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 09, 201
Jeffrey_Simpson  GOP  America_in_Decline? 
march 2012 by jerryking
Exploiting Canada’s resources can be a fool’s game - The Globe and Mail
Jeffrey Simpson | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012
Jeffrey_Simpson  productivity  natural_resources  competitive_advantage 
february 2012 by jerryking
Can Ottawa spark innovation? It hasn’t yet - The Globe and Mail
Jeffrey Simpson | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 01, 2012
innovation  productivity  Jeffrey_Simpson 
february 2012 by jerryking
Mark Carney: The man who speaks the truth - The Globe and Mail
Mark Carney: The man who speaks the truth
JEFFREY SIMPSON | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011
Mark_Carney  Jeffrey_Simpson  Bank_of_Canada 
december 2011 by jerryking
So much more than a nose on our currency - The Globe and Mail
Dec. 10, 2011 | Globe and Mail |JEFFREY SIMPSON.

If Richard Gwyn’s books were published in the United States, they’d be catapulted instantly onto all the bestseller lists and remain there for a long stretch....In Canada, Mr. Gwyn has produced a wonderfully researched, engagingly written two-volume biography of Sir John A. Macdonald, beautifully presented by Random House Canada. This is history on a grand scale, with a riveting central character and a country being literally built around him.

Nation Maker is an appropriate title for the second volume. Canada came together under Macdonald’s watch, and with his care. In the same time frame, the Meiji Restoration thrust Japan into the world, Bismarck united Germany and Il Risorgimento resulted in a united Italy. Canadian modesty aside, Canada has been a good deal less disruptive of the international order than these three countries for the past century and a half. Put that way, Canadian history is something to ponder, even celebrate.
Richard_Gwyn  history  historians  writers  Sir_John_A._Macdonald  Canada  Canadian  Jeffrey_Simpson  nation_builders  book_reviews 
december 2011 by jerryking
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