April 13

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It’s always an interesting dynamic when the need to innovate through research and development criss-crosses with corporate requirements to be fiscally responsible, i.e. watching the debt. These often diametrically opposed forces come to mind when considering the necessity for business innovation, as stated by Microsoft Canada President Max Long. Then there’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s assertion that governments, businesses and individuals need to take superior care of managing debt. It’s a tricky balancing act to say the least. There’s no doubt Flaherty’s cautious approach during a turbulent five years worldwide has largely been a salvation for the Canadian economy while other countries languished, some teetering on bankruptcy to this day. But you have to spend money to make money. Finding that sweet spot and recognizing when to turn off the tap is often what differentiates a company’s survival and its demise. You can’t spend money you don’t have – at least not for long.

A vital industry that depends on capital investment is mining. You’ll find no bigger supporter than The Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Its president Perrin Beatty outlined the many requirements during a recent keynote address at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto. Beatty laid out comprehensive ideas that will not only help to sustain the industry but see it expand and continue to be an international leader.

It comes as no surprise former astronaut Marc Garneau catapulted himself out of the Liberal leadership race. My guess is he probably had an easier time manoeuvring the space shuttle than trying to engage Justin Trudeau in any meaningful dialogue on governing policy during those waste of time debates. We mentioned it months ago – that Trudeau needed to be challenged and pushed by members of his own party to ensure he actually has a substantive plan and the intestinal fortitude to go head to head with Stephen Harper and the governing Conservatives. But with everything to lose and nothing to gain, Pierre’s son was having none of that debate nonsense. After the toothless talks, the answer about his political substance remains inconclusive at best. So desperate for a saviour, a majority of Grits seem more than willing to simply anoint Trudeau as their new king without so much as having to prove his level of qualifications, knowledge and competency.

The debate continues in Toronto as to whether future expansion of the public transit infrastructure in Canada’s largest city should be focused on below ground subways or above ground light transit systems (LRTs). Yes, subways are far more expensive at the front-end and will undoubtedly cause colossal disruption for traffic – both human and vehicular for a substantially longer period of time – but that’s the price to pay to be in the big leagues. Once completed it would be a no-brainer. The last thing Toronto’s already clogged arteries can absorb is more humongous-sized, slow-moving street vehicles to exacerbate the congestion dilemma even further.

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