The federal government has pledged to introduce a modest, targeted vacancy tax in its recent budget in order to tamp down on the speculative housing activity that has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is difficult to imagine that such a small measure will make much of a difference on the overall costs and a responsible government would, before introducing new initiatives, examine and eliminate perverse incentives in this realm which previous have put in place and which continue to contribute to an overheating market.
Contextual analysis is what separates nuanced thinking in the justice policy realm from the basic Benthamite calculus still seemingly favoured by most of the political right. However, when it comes to the issue of guns and gun control, a great many left-wing politicians and activists have seemingly discarded this nuanced understanding for a combination of monocausal insistence and culturally-based revulsion. This singular focus betrays a lack of broader thinking on the issue as well as lack of understanding about the nature of guns and gun crime within our society.
In today’s political climate, ethical scandals such as the SNC-Lavalin affair or the WE Charity scandal have not been able to affect the outcome of federal or provincial elections as much as might have been expected. Instead, societal polarization and an increase in voter cynicism have led to voters becoming increasingly concerned with tangible results and gains such as the impact on their own finances, healthcare and other aspects of their own lives. Thus, calling out governments for failures in the realms of tangible results is likely to be more effective than raging on about insider scandals that only those already deeply engaged in the process care about.
With spiking case counts across the country during the second wave of COVID-19, many Canadians were understandably upset when reports came that a number of politicians jetted off to exotic locales for winter vacations after numerous pleas from politicians to stay at home. This has decreased public trust in government and has lead to individual members of the public not taking the problems posed by COVID-19 seriously. However, the case of New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Niki Ashton highlights that it may be worth questioning how COVID restrictions and regulations could be made more humane in the first place.
OPINION | Decriminalization is the beginning, not the end, of a compassionate approach to drugs and addiction
This article will highlight that, though it is an imperative from both human compassion and rational policy sense to back the decriminalization of drug use and possession, a robust policy to deal with the public health consequences of drug use must not fall into the libertarian fallacy of legalization as the inherent goal.