• The trouble with being a business that is also a cultural icon is that everybody thinks they own you. Take Tim Hortons, for instance. The new year started with a dustup between Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Tim’s franchise owners over her big pre-election minimum wage hike. The owners fought back, and now Big Labour has joined the fray. On top of all that, the chain is wracked by an internal fight between the American management team of the Brazilian global conglomerate that actually owns Tim’s, and a group of Canadian franchise owners who think they’re entitled to run the show. Charles Schuster reports.

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  • With the possible exception of executives of regulated utilities or owners of supply-managed farms, you rarely find socialists running private businesses. Except, apparently, in the near-failed socialist state of Greece. Canadian writer David Solway made this discovery at an antiquarian bookstore in Athens, where he learned from the hard-bargaining proprietor that socialists can be as good at taking other people’s money as they are at spending it.

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  • In the Hans Christian Andersen fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes, a vain leader struts around naked while expecting his subjects to admire his superior humanity. Today in Canada, political leaders strut around the country and the world swaddled in environmental vanity while expecting their subjects to welcome punitive carbon taxes and energy costs. Who will stand up to Justin Trudeau, Rachel Notley, Kathleen Wynne and the rest and say: “They’re only wearing a green fig leaf – and far from saving the planet, they’re making our country poorer!” Well, Paige MacPherson, for one.

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  • The CBC is Canada’s largest single source of news, information and entertainment. But like other domestic content providers, it’s bleeding audience to global infotainment megacorporations. More public money for the CBC might be the only way to keep producing a critical mass of Canadian stories, produced by Canadians, for Canadians. But in the last month, CBC has aired one documentary peddling debunked JFK conspiracy theories, and another promoting “decolonization” to mark Canada’s 150th birthday, and spiked a third because it offended some transgender activists. If this is Canadian content, writes Fred Litwin, he’s tuning out.

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  • Why does Jordan Peterson drive progressives nuts? Because he refuses to use their made-up pronouns? That hardly seems reason to compare him to Hitler. Clearly it’s something else. According to Mark Milke, Peterson is a proxy for a much bigger fight. It pits the Marxist idea that reality is a malleable, perfectible construct against the classical liberal view that reality is knowledge born of experience. The former is absolutist and authoritarian, the latter open to learning and debate, and the vicious campaign to discredit and silence Peterson reveals just how illiberal our society has become.

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  • There’s a Trudeau in the prime minister’s office. National energy policy is hurting Alberta’s economy. Quebec is making constitutional demands. Sound familiar? It feels like the 1980s all over again, only this time Alberta has an NDP government that is complicit with Ottawa, leaving the province almost defenceless. Jason Kenney is channelling Peter Lougheed and trying to rally Albertans for another epic battle with the feds, but Lougheed had an arsenal of supports that don’t exist today. If the province doesn’t get ready, writes George Koch, it’s going to get run over.

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  • 100 years ago this November the Bolsheviks overran St. Petersburg and Communism began its century of political tyranny and economic ruin. In the same month 28 years ago the Berlin Wall came down and Communism appeared destined for ‘dustbin of history’. But today, Marxist, socialist and even Communist ideals seem everywhere ascendant. Mark Jacka wonders why and finds that while the crimes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, et al have all but disappeared from the public and post-secondary education system of the West, their ideology remains as pervasive as ever.

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  • The math is not hard. New StatsCan data highlights an indelible link between lower taxes and less regulation and higher levels of investment and the productivity, jobs and growth that flow from it. The data also shows that natural resources remain, by far, Canada’s star attraction for investment. So why, wonders Matthew Lau, are Canadian governments working so hard to discourage resource investment with higher taxes and paralyzing regulation?

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