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Dr. David Robinson

The Municipal Act makes you stupid

Last month I talked about Christmas presents for politicians. Here is another: Perverse Cities by Pamela Blais, is the perfect gift for your local council member. The book has a great subtitle: Hidden Subsidies, Wonky Policy and Urban Sprawl.

The models are good enough: 2050 and all that

Tip the globe so you are looking down on the North Pole. It is surrounded by seven countries. The Northern Rim Countries (NORCs), are the USA, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Greenland and Canada.

How bad will it get?

Say Jeff Rubin is right. Say energy prices go through the roof. Will it really be the “end of growth” as Rubin claims? Jeff Rubin was once the chief economist at CIBC World Markets.

When do ideas have sex?

What do Dryden and Temiskaming Shores have in common? And what do they have to do with ideas? More importantly, what do they have to do with ideas having sex? And how in the world am I going to make a serious economic column with an introduction like

A growing oil sector or a lower dollar?

In March, the premier of Ontario was attacked for defending Ontario’s manufacturing sector.

Got a dog in that fight

There is a battle going on for a big chunk of Northern Ontario. On one side is the global economy, desperate for minerals, desperate to minimize costs and leave behind as little as possible.

What is holding Northern Ontario back?

Premier Brad Wall is proud of Saskatchewan. The province is booming. Migration from other provinces is up 40 per cent —people are streaming in from places like Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta.

Playing games with electricity prices

Timmins lost 670 Xstrata jobs because Quebec has lower electricity prices than Ontario. Cliffs is making noises about refining in Manitoba because Manitoba offers cheaper electricity rates.

Let's declare war on carbon

American presidents like to declare war on abstractions. Lyndon Johnson went to war on poverty, Ronald Reagan went to war on drugs, George W. Bush went to war on terror. But these were all such timid wars.

Identity crisis

Everyone connected to the economy seems to be having an identity crisis.