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OTTAWA — A new federal agency designed to fuse public and private dollars to help build infrastructure in Canada could end up building new roads and bridges south of the border — so long as they conne...
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Chris Warkentin said he expects the government to institute improved spending practices for units often used for training and teleconferencing.
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The BC Lottery Corporation's big schmooze-and-booze conference should have taxpayers, who pick up the tab, singing the blues. BCLC lost $208,642 on its 2016 New Horizons in Responsible Gaming conference. The conference attracted only 85 paid registrants.
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The work was approved even before the department knew how it would be paid for.
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There should be public outcry for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to end these expensive traditions. It is due time the Canadian taxpayer stops paying for the Royal Family's expensive vacations. We are an independent sovereign nation, and it is time our politicians to stop wasting money.
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Finance Minister Bill Morneau will soon release the government's Fall Economic Statement and the expectation is for more stimulus spending and higher deficits. The surrounding debate in Ottawa has been mostly focused on "how" and "what" of deficit spending and insufficiently on "why" and "when."
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Like many diagnoses of slow growth, the effects of bad government policies often get overlooked. This matters because unlike commodity swings or global forces, governments can actually influence the direction of policy. But in recent years, we've seen an onslaught of growth-hindering policies in Canada such as spending-induced debt increases, higher taxes and increased regulation.
"I think a different mix of policies would be more favourable for the world."
The first budget delivered by the Liberals signaled a return to 1970s Trudeaupian Liberalism, not just with its flagrant disregard for balanced budgets and ballooning debt, but also by disregarding a core accountability under our Constitution: Canada's military.
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We'll find out Tuesday afternoon.
We've seen this story before in the mid-1990s, when out-of-control deficits and an impending sovereign debt crisis led to painful spending cuts and tax increases. The government is wrong to make the return to budget balance conditional on strong economic growth. Population aging is already taking its toll on long-term projections, and too many unforeseen events can derail the fiscal path. Only tight fiscal discipline can balance the budget within a reasonable timeframe, protecting Canadians' standards of living from future large tax increases and cuts to government services.
$4.3 billion spent outside of the country will buy you a lot of thanks from some organizations such as the UN or from climate change conferences. That type of spending will also earn you a lot of selfies to up your political profile. But in the end it is our taxpayers footing the bill.
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The Liberals plan to find billions in savings from eliminating a number of tax breaks, cutting back on government spending and cracking down on tax evasion.
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The contracts will be posted to the public online and updated on a quarterly basis.
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Ontario, as with many governments, is lucky its debt interest payments are not substantially higher given its almost doubled debt. That has everything to do with historically low interest rates. But luck is not a long-term strategy for governments -- at least not ones that prefer prudence over accidental fiscal offerings.
The assumption that government is best placed to care for us also overlooks a fundamental truth. Most people already care about people beyond their immediate circle. They express that care through kindness, volunteering, support for charities and in a thousand other ways. That's a more accurate and holistic understanding of compassion.
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During this tax and budget time, let's consider two "tectonic realities" about governments and numbers -- helpful to think about, given that there is plenty of "underground" action. It explains why governments often get themselves (and taxpayers) into trouble later.
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Contrary to a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, introducing a national sales tax, or value-added tax (VAT) creates a real opportunity for the United States. The nation could shift from its heavy reliance on income taxes (both absolute and comparative) to a consumption tax without affecting the budget deficit.
The Ontario government claims that it's shortchanged because Ontarians send more federal tax dollars to Ottawa than what the federal government directly spends in Ontario. But does this prove that Ontario's government deserves more money from the federal government?
The Liberal finance minister assumed that taxes were useful but indeed a loss -- not to government, but to the citizens who pay the tax. Taxes are necessary, but we must be judicious about the money sent to politicians and civil servants. That includes understanding the money first belongs to Canadians.
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Over the past decade, the province of Alberta treated boom-time resource revenues like a permanent state of affairs. That set the province up for fiscal failure, for multiple lost opportunities. One high-profile example is the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund.
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Taxes are indeed needed to fund important government services, critical both to a well-functioning economy and more generally, civilization. But there is a point when a larger, more interventionist government, combined with a heavier tax burden, can stunt economic growth and social outcomes, or achieve those outcomes only at great additional cost.
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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.
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De Jong should be commended for B.C.'s exclusive membership in the balanced budget club. But with its commitment to the status quo, the government misses an opportunity to build an even better economic future.
Canada’s governments spend way more on seniors than they do on everyone else, according to a new report by Generation Squeeze, “a national campaign to build a Canada that works for all generations.” W...
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France's economy saw only a weak rebound after 2009 with real GDP growth rates of about two per cent in both 2010 and 2011 before slowing to a crawl with only 0.3 per cent growth in 2012. In comparison, Canada positively raced ahead, experiencing real GDP growth of 3.4, 3.0 and 1.9 per cent in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively.
While the government has talked the talk on taxes, it has yet to walk the walk. In fact, the fiscal update announced additional tax increases including plans to levy a temporary (until 2017) increase to payroll taxes on financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. Quebec's fiscal problems run deep so small fixes won't cut it. More fundamental reform is needed to put Quebec on the right fiscal track.
The key question for the new premier is: will he follow the lead of former Premier Don Getty--and raise taxes as both the premier and finance minister are hinting--or Ralph Klein, who controlled spending and reduced taxes? The answer will affect the fortunes of all Albertans.
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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.
By 2017/18, the government expects that over 10 cents of every revenue dollar collected by Queen's Park will go to servicing past debt rather than public services that Ontarians care about such as health care and education or tax relief that improves the province's tax competitiveness.
There are multiple reasons why governments choose the policy paths they do. Political survival is perhaps the most obvious explanation. But as with any organization, divesting of unnecessary businesses, projects and tasks that are off-mission helps sharpen the focus. That matters if one cares about smarter, more effective government.
Too many use Orwellian language to propose something contrary to the public good. But, considering the reality of power, the term "taxpayer" helps people focus on the real cost of political decisions that favour a narrow interest, ones which can injure the good life for everyone else.