So why doesnt ours? This is not big news: we do not much like paying any bills, and theres probably never been a time when we didnt grumble in particular about taxes. But somehow tax has gone from irritant to four-letter word, not to be uttered in public and certainly not to be discussed favourably in politics. It seems the Canadian political consensus is that youd have to be nuts to talk about taxes unless youre talking about cuts. As we argue in our new book, Tax Is Not a Four-Letter Word, the Canadian tax conversation has become dangerously distorted. Any reasonable discussion of taxes must take into account the highly valued public services they buy. But in Canada, and throughout much of the Anglosphere, these inextricably linked concepts taxes and public services have somehow become divorced. We now live in an environment in which the first question we ask of any policy idea is How much will it cost? whereas we never ask of tax cuts What will we lose? Canadas slow-motion austerity may blind us to the consequences, but they are no less real: a less resilient and generous country and a stunted political imagination. Its not surprising then that even as federal taxes as a share of GDP keep hitting new lows, even after billions in cuts over the last couple of decades by all levels of government whatever their political stripe, more reductions are in store. Income splitting, for instance, would put money in the hands of middle-class families, many of whom feel stretched by decades of income stagnation. But a strong case has been made by experts that this tax cut would treat families inequitably, would create disincentives to work for some and would deprive federal and provincial governments of billions that could be used to better serve families and children say, infrastructure or child care. And yet theres no indication that any party will fight this or any other cut.
CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs as energy shares rise on Gulf storm threat
energy output, the price of oil rose on supply concerns. With the U.S. government shutdown dragging into a fourth day, investors watched closely as Republican members of the House of Representatives got together to chart their next course of action. But the market appeared to shrug off fears that lawmakers will fail to resolve the budget crisis and prevent a debt default. Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments, said the TSX will tread water until the U.S. political situation is resolved but will make gains as the economy improves and commodity prices stabilize. “Everyone is sitting on their hands, waiting for Washington to make their move,” he said. “They’ll have their bickering and fighting, but ultimately they’ll come to an agreement.” “I don’t see it having a huge impact on Canada,” he said, but added that the longer the U.S. impasse lasts, the more negative it could be for the Canadian market. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 37.36 points, or 0.29 percent, at 12,772.48. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, advanced 0.3 percent. Royal Bank of Canada rose 0.4 percent to C$66.23, and Toronto-Dominion Bank was up 0.4 percent at C$91.53. Energy companies climbed, with Suncor Energy Inc added 1.2 percent to C$36.67, playing the biggest role of any single stock in leading the market higher.
Rogers Wireless said it will not offer the new BlackBerry Z30 smartphone as part of its lineup, dealing a blow to the struggling company as it tries to pull itself out of a deep hole. “We have a longstanding relationship with BlackBerry and continue to be big supporters of the company and their products,” a Rogers spokeswoman said in a statement. “The device manufacturers we work with bring a number of devices to market every year. We pick which devices to carry based on the needs of our customers and the decision not to carry this model was made several months ago.” Rogers currently carries the Blackberry Z10, Q10, and Q5, which the carrier said “can meet our customers’ demands for a BlackBerry device.” The company said “this is the way we’ve always done it,” pointing out that it declined to sell the BlackBerry Storm or the 9300. BlackBerry said the Z30 will instead be available in Canada on Bell, Telus , and MTS starting on Oct. 15. As noted by the Canadian Press, Rogers’s decision not to carry the Z30 has angered some who believe the carrier is abandoning BlackBerry in its time of need. “While some media reports have suggested that Rogers’ decision not to carry the device represents a change in our relationship with BlackBerry that’s simply not the case,” Rogers said. “We remain committed to BlackBerry and look forward to continuing to work together.” BlackBerry unveiled the Z30 in late September. As PCMag’s Sascha Segan described it , the Z30 is a “Galaxy S 4-sized maxi-Berry with a 5-inch screen, a bigger battery, and stereo speakers that runs the new BlackBerry OS 10.2.” Two days later, BlackBerry said it would drop two devices from its lineup for a total of four phones: two high-end devices and two entry-level devices in all-touch and QWERTY models. The Z30 will be the company’s high-tier smartphone, while BlackBerry will “re-tier” the Z10 so that it appeals to a more entry-level audience. More recently, however, BlackBerry announced plans to sell its business to a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, which will take the troubled phone maker private in a $4.7 billion deal. Cerberus Capital Management is also reportedly interested in the company, the Wall Street Journal said . Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 2:30 p.m.