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Dr. David Robinson

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.

Slavery, war, and the Ontario election

Left is left and right is right, and never the twain shall meet, to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling. Of course it isn’t true anymore. You may have noticed that the Conservatives and the NDP have the same tax policies and similar environmental policies.

Party Time in the North

Ontario goes to the polls on Thursday, October 6, 2011. As a publicly-minded Northern economist, I feel it is my duty to dig into the party platforms for proposals that will promote economic development in the North.

The coming dark age

The Dark Age begins in less than 10 years. Sometime before 2021, southern Ontario will begin rolling brownouts and plant closures. It will happen in the summer because Torontonians really need their air conditioners.

Global trends and the price of northern Ontario

If Northern Ontario were a company its stock would be shooting up. The stockholders would be getting rich. You shouldn’t get too excited though – you own a lot less than one 100,000th of one percent of the stock in the company.

A Tale of Two Norths

Planning for the provincial North is suddenly very popular. Ontario delivered its plan March 4. Quebec presented Plan Nord May 9. Saskatchewan is working on a northern plan. Manitoba’s is redoing its 2000 Northern Development Strategy.