This budget certainly does a lot of things. It ignores struggling families desperately in need of daycare options. In 2006, the Conservatives cancelled the Liberal National Daycare Program, opting instead for a $100/month subsidy. Canadian families know how to stretch a buck, but $100 does not stretch very far.
A few small tax perks were closed this budget time around. But the revenue resulting from tweaking non-resident trusts and a handful of other insider loopholes are estimated at only $50 to $80 million in 2015-16. It makes one wonder if Jim Flaherty is committed to the business of fair taxation.
Economic Action Plan 2014 is what Canada needs. It continues to support jobs and growth; supports families and communities; and highlights the road to a balanced budget in 2015 without cutting transfers to individuals or the provinces.
Mr. Flaherty may indeed eliminate the deficit in 2015-16 as planned. We hope he does. But his plan as conceived still contains considerable risk that shouldn't be ignored. More conservative revenue forecasts and lower program spending would reduce these risks and help to ensure he can deliver on his promise.
Despite all the craziness, our Mayor, the happy warrior kept repeating the simple message of "Subways, subways, subways." Lo and behold, Prime Minister Harper just announced this week that he is coming up with $660-million to complete the financing of the extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway line from Kennedy Station, underground along to the Scarborough Town Centre.
My first order of business would be to banish the heinous credit default swaps, which, believe it or not, are bets on whether a country or company will go broke. I can hear the conversation at home in the evening: 'Hello dear, what did you do at the office today?' 'Aw, just the usual. I placed a $3 billion bet that Spain will go bankrupt by the end of the year.'
Under Stephen Harper, household debt has exploded. The average household debt-to-income ratio (the amount of debt the average Canadian household owes for every dollar of their annual disposable income) has risen from $1.31 to $1.64 -- which is where the United States was before the housing market crashed.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty went to Russia for the G20 conference this week, and decided that this would be a good time to pressure the world into cutting government spending and implementing austerity measures. Unfortunately, to the leaders at the G20 -- stuck as they are between deficits and sinking economies, between the option of printing money and doing nothing -- Harper and Flaherty are just as likely to come off as a bunch of self-righteous jerks.
Our Finance Minister's concerns regarding Canadians' personal debt loads have been well-illustrated through his policy initiates and warnings over the past year. The common sense money advice he is reported to have given his own children, however, may be far more telling in terms of revealing how the Minister views debt.
Recent political drama in Toronto has brought its numerous power struggles into the spotlight. Between the hovering possibility of Premier Kathleen Wynne dissolving the city's infrastructure and the ongoing conflicts between Rob Ford and his cabinet, the recurring question is: who really controls Toronto?
Stephen Harper has finally shuffled his cabinet but if his aim was to turn the page on a year full of scandals, it looks like he failed by simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. A better bet would have been to take the lemons he'd been handed and make himself a batch of cabinet lemonade with courageous appointments like these.
I am writing an open letter to urge you to show leadership and honour your commitment to meet and work with the provinces to provide Canadians with the opportunity to increase their retirement investments in the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP). You have the opportunity to do the right thing and improve the pension savings of all working Canadians in this country.
We don't know for sure who will be tapped for the job of Governor of the Bank of Canada. What we do know is that the individual will be a Canadian. No other nationalities were invited to apply. But, in 2013, does such a citizenship restriction even make any sense? Or is it just another manifestation of good, old-fashioned Canadian parochialism?
If there was a theme in the recent federal budget, it was how chock full it was with new corporate welfare. The underlying refrain was how big governm...
Published for the Prince Arthur Herald On March 21, 2013 Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tabled Canada's 2013 budget, Economic Action Plan 2013, with a...
What was the most important thing last Thursday's budget contained? The correct answer, at least in the eyes of the Canadian editorial page scene, is "the restructuring of foreign aid bureaucracies." By my count, that esteemed pape churned out no fewer than 10 editorials on the subject within 24 hours of budget day