Thanks to former Prime Minister Paul Martin, I think we've all been conditioned to think that balanced budgets are very good things. But not all deficits are bad. It is prudent or even smart to slash and scrap into a surplus like Stephen Harper has done. Especially considering that Canada's infrastructure deficit is estimated at nearly $400 billion -- and growing.
In the 2015 federal budget, the Canadian government announced its intention to create a $300-million initiative to encourage private investment, job creation and growth that will fight extreme poverty in developing countries. Canada is the last G7 country to create a public arm to support private investment in development. Some of our counterparts have been in this business for over 50 years, doing good and making money at the same time.This initiative looks even tardier when one considers that successive Canadian governments since the early Trudeau era have bandied about the idea of creating a public entity to catalyze more private capital for development.
We spend money almost every single day, but unfortunately our expenses aren't always productive. Even if you have a seemingly air-tight budget, you may still be wasting your money on trifles. How so? Perhaps you are still paying for something that's on its way to becoming obsolete or simply isn't all that practical.
Instead of demanding more money from the federal government, Ontario could a) cut provincial spending or b) reform everything from labour laws to regulation to tax policy and electricity policy, to unleash the economy and thus produce more at-home tax revenue or c) both. Ontario should not expect continued billions in annual equalization payments. While the exact decline in equalization is unknown -- it depends on how badly the resource economies and their provincial treasuries are hit -- Ontario should face reality and act accordingly.
91 per cent would rather spend time with their partners watching Netflix or enjoying a home cooked meal. This was our favourite stat, because it shows your significant other probably doesn't want a big spectacle for Valentine's Day -- and of course, a cozy night at home is really easy on the wallet.
Travelers looking to save money on accommodations can consider staying in a hostel, pitching a tent and camping or even give housesitting or couch surfing a try. While the sky is the limit when it comes to fine dining around the world, travelers can save money on food by cooking meals or eating local, street food.
When you've caught the last scraps of tinsel floating around the house, and your New Year's resolutions have fallen by the wayside, there's still a final holiday tradition left to enjoy: dreading the arrival of holiday bills. Yes, this time every year, thousands of Canadians are struck with cases of Bill Avoidance Disorder (B.A.D. for short). Think you've come down with a case? Try all of the following, and call us in the morning.
The current Quebec government is at least trying to tame its deficit and start chipping away at its huge debt. But there are some people out there who question whether or not Quebec's public debt is really such a serious problem, and therefore whether our provincial government's "austerity" policies are truly necessary.
Predictably, the success or failure of your plans may be determined even before the strike of midnight. 'Tis the season for peak gym-membership sales and promises of budgeted spending. Whatever your goals are for 2015, there are a couple of safeguards you can implement to ensure that you aspirations are accomplished.
When a government underspends to the extent we are seeing with the Harper government, the estimates become unreliable. Parliamentarians aren't able to find out how much the government is actually spending until months after the end of the fiscal year. As a result, they can't inform the public about what programs and services have been diminished in time to make a difference. The way the underspending scheme stifles debate reminds me of the Harper government's omnibus legislation, except it's even worse.