Saturday, December 31, 2005
'What could be more timely with the income trust scandal just getting nicely under way now? I mean, there is yet another RCMP investigation of this government going on right now,' Mr. Norquay said"
Friday, December 30, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
Lambert, 49, is the second sponsorship scandal whistleblower to become a candidate for the Tories. Allan Cutler, the civil servant who blew the whistle on questionable practices within the civil service concerning the sponsorship program, is also running for the Conservatives in the riding of Ottawa South.
Lambert said Friday he was proud of the role that he played in bringing the sponsorship scandal to light."
I think people are getting a little tired of their making a new promise every day.'"
Saturday, December 17, 2005
But, since we can't believe essentially anything Martin promises based on his party's literally scandalous track record; since we can't take Layton's bombastic socialism with much more than a grain of salt; and since Duceppe has merely bystander status outside Quebec -- we'd give the first English debate to Harper, purely on points. "
Friday, December 16, 2005
Corlett needs an MRI so his doctor can make a diagnosis and decide whether he needs surgery or not.
In the meantime, he can't even lift his arm, much less work on airplanes.
'I can't work because they don't have work for a one-armed person,' said Corlett.
Like many patients who will use The Maples clinic, Corlett didn't have to pay out-of-pocket for his MRI. Instead, his insurance company did. Like many Manitobans, Corlett has private disability insurance and it's in his insurance company's best interest to get him an MRI as quickly as possible so he can be treated and return to work.
In fact, the insurance company was planning to fly him to Calgary for an MRI until The Maples announced it would be providing MRIs.
'Why do I have to go to Calgary when we've got one in Winnipeg?' said Corlett.
How can government possibly have a problem with this? Government sends Workers Compensation Board patients to clinics for preferential treatment.
Why can't a private insurance company send one of its clients to a clinic, too?
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a recent Quebec case that government cannot prevent people from buying private insurance and using it to obtain medical services if government is not providing that service in a timely fashion.
Clearly, the Manitoba government is not providing elective MRIs in a timely fashion.
So I'd say The Maples clinic has the blessing of Canada's top court.
Besides, if people like Corlett aren't getting their MRIs in Manitoba, they'll go out-of-province for them and they'll take their "
The poll of 2,013 Canadians conducted from December 9-13 says 17% of respondents believe politicians plan to implement the pledges they make.
The most cynical voters are in Quebec and Ontario, where 78% of respondents said they don't trust the leaders to keep their promises. "
It appears that we Canadians are not stupid ,complacent believers in our political leaders -just cynical. That is not surprising based on our "Political non performance and lack of delivery. PR
Good point-Just how democratic are we really ? Not allowing a registered national party to speak , one with 6% of the national vote -is neither democratic or nor wise. They have a right to be heard not censored by mediia default. PR
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Paul Martin -Unbelievable and no real substance? PR
This is what happens when you follow Paul Martin around for even a little while on the campaign trail. You hear no end of grand pronouncements. Sweeping commitments. Stirring appeals. And then you take a short stroll and peek behind the curtain and you discover that Oz the Great and Terrible is barely there. All that's there is a guy putting on airs. I have spent most of a year steering clear of the Prime Minister whenever I decently could, given the unfortunate reality of my employment as an Ottawa political columnist, because I took an early dislike to his huffing and puffing and I did not want to torment him or bore my readers. Last week was a bit of a reunion. I was quickly reminded how easy Paul Martin is to like and how hard he is to believe.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The trouble with making policy predictions in Canada is that no matter how obvious the prediction is, a loud liberal chorus will shout it down as ridiculous.
And when the prediction comes true, all earlier denials are simply forgotten.
Last week, for example, all the much-derided predictions of gun owners over the past ten years came true.
We knew they would and they did, when Paul Martin promised to solve Toronto's "national" gun-crime crisis by confiscating virtually all half-million registered legal handguns across the country.
So it's true. The reason for gun registration from the start was future confiscation.
Repeated previous denials by the likes of then-Minister of Gunnery Anne McLellan are now officially expunged.
The only fig leaf this leaves to cover the Liberals' shame (if they are still capable of feeling such a thing) is to insist that they will allow provinces to opt in or out of the confiscation as they wish.
Now this is an interesting idea.
When challenged in court by the provinces in 1996, Ottawa justified the registry by insisting it falls in the category of criminal legislation, which is federal.
If not, it would be a regulation of civil property -- a provincial jurisdiction.
That's what the provinces argued it was. But the judges (federally appointed) sided with Ottawa, as they usually do.
So to be absolutely clear, back in 1996 it was firmly established that regulating guns is a federal criminal law jurisdiction.
Are the Liberals now saying provinces may opt in and out of federal criminal laws? Apparently they are.
I have two questions.
What provision in our Constitution allows Ottawa to amend the Constitution at will by reassigning one of its "exclusive" powers to the provinces?
And does it work the other way around? Could a province, say, decide not to enforce the gun registry sections of the Criminal Code? Or is this power of unilateral, arbitrary amendment reserved to the federal government?
Martin's election promise emphasizes once again that Canadian gun control is entirely about politics, not law and order. This is a matter of record, not opinion.
The Liberal government was warned in 1993 by John Tait, chief Justice bureaucrat at the time, that a universal gun registry would be expensive, ineffective, and a source of political outrage.
That outcry from angry white males was exactly what the Liberals wanted, of course, and now they're doing it again. They probably have no intention of following through after the votes have been counted.
If I owned a pistol, I'd ignore this ban whether it passes or not.
As Alberta MLA Ted Morton has pointed out, the Supreme Court has consistently ruled against categorical government bans on anything -- as we saw with tobacco advertising, child pornography and private health care.
In fact this election promise opens up all kinds of potential litigation against the gun registry in general -- starting with Ottawa's novel idea that the criminal law can be different in one province than another.
The Klein government would be doing Harper and the national Conservative party a favor (for a nice change) if it announced immediately that it will challenge this law in court if it is ever passed in Parliament.
Link Byfield is chairman of the Edmonton-based Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy, and an Alberta senator-elect.
Interesting points made -lets see first we confiscate all the registered guns from the law abiding - give total freedom to the non-registered criminal elements -and then hire only politically correct "our special law enforcers " to ensure our "Liberally determined political peace - hmmmm - sounds like Orwell's 1984 to me . PR
That's what the group of Liberals in Ottawa represent.
They think they know how to spend your money better than you do. Which is why Social Development Minister Ken Dryden said earlier this month that stay-at-home parenting and home-based child care 'is not child care.'
Only government-sanctioned child-care centres offer real child care, according to Dryden. And if you want child-care support from the government, you have to choose child-care centres, the Liberals insist.
They're not about to hand you a cheque for $1,200 so you can blow it on beer and popcorn. Or coats and cars. "
Do you not get tired of having the self interest groups or hypocrites in Ottawa spending your beer and popcorn money ( high taxes) for their favourite boondoogle projects. It is outrageous to think that parents can not manage their lives without a champaign childcare monopoly run by the special childcare think police. The arrogance is just overwhelming. PR
Monday, December 12, 2005
'The federal government is turning Canadians into victims one family at a time.' "
Interesting story about a new class action that is trying to get justice and accountabilty from the Federal government. Those that believe they have been wronged should join the "class" - It is great that there are people in Canada that believe the courts can make a difference.Use them if you have the courage of conviction, the time and the money. PR
The dubious distinction was awarded to Canada by Transparency International. The Berlin-based group made the determination in its latest global corruption barometer.
Canada's standing was determined based on a public opinion poll taken in the months after Auditor General Sheila Fraser accused the Liberal government run by Jean Chretien last year of 'breaking every rule in the book' with the sponsorship scandal.
The survey was taken before the Gomery inquiry heard sensational allegations of Liberal party operatives stuffing their pockets with wads of cash while others were accused of pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars for little or no work. "
" With such a low opinion of parents or taxpayers-there is just nothing to do but let Father Martin and the liberal family to decide how to use and spend your money. S.O.S -QJ
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Wind energy leads the way in clean energy IPOs and secondary offerings at $1.5 billion from 2001 to 2005, followed by solar with $1.4 billion. Fuel cells were $496 million, while biofuels reached $254 million.
New Energy believes the volume of clean energy investment is large, growing, and diversified by asset class, geography, and technology. However, the firm cautions that the investment volume is far from the volume and profile needed to match the growth in global energy use."
Friday, December 09, 2005
CTV.ca News Staff
Liberal Leader Paul Martin is proposing a sweeping ban on handguns to combat growing gun-related violence in Canada's cities.
'Handguns kill people -- that's why they exist, and they're taking too many Canadian lives,' said Martin during his 'safer communities announcement' at a school near Toronto's violence-plagued Jane and Finch area this morning."
Interesting that we have learned nothing from the gun registry - This is a good idea but how do you execute it? PR
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
It is election time! No politician is immune.
Where is my donkey? Gomery!
A young man named Paul bought a donkey from an old farmer for $100.00. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day. When the farmer drove up the next day, he said, "Sorry son, but I have some bad news...the donkey ison my truck, but he's dead."Paul replied, "Well then, just give me my money back."The farmer said, "I Can't do that. I went and spent it already."Paul said, "OK then, just unload the donkey anyway".The farmer asked, "What are ya gonna do with him?"Paul said, "I'm going to raffle him off."To which the farmer exclaimed, "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"But Paul, with a big smile on his face, said, "Sure I can. Watch me. I justwon't tell anybody that he's dead."A month later the farmer met up with Paul and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?"Paul said, "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars a piece and made a profit of $698.00."Totally amazed, the farmer asked, "Didn't anyone complain that you had stolen their money because you lied about the donkey being dead?"And Paul replied, "The only guy who found out about the donkey being deadwas the raffle winner, when he came to claim his prize. So I gave him his$2 back plus $200 extra, which is double the going value of a donkey, so he thought I was a great guy."
Paul grew up and eventually became the Prime Minister of Canada, and no matter how many times he lied or how much money he stole from Canadian voters, as long as he gave them back some of the stolen money, most of them thought he was a great guy . ( This seems to be particularly true in Ontario.)
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
The project�s relevance in Canada can be summed up with one person�s name: Jacques Chaoulli. The Qu�bec doctor had sued his provincial government on behalf of a patient who faced long waiting times for orthopedic surgery. In June, Qu�bec�s Supreme Court ruled that a longstanding ban on private health insurance violated the patient�s rights. Although the decision was later stayed for a year, to allow the provincial and federal governments time to respond, it threw down a gauntlet to our Medicare system. Canadians are tired of being pushed around.
Hjertqvist cited the case as one of several elements in the growing demand for consumer empowerment in healthcare, with escalating costs and unhappiness with waiting lists high on the list. As affluent boomers near the age at which they will max out our healthcare resources, they are increasingly intolerant of the system�s demand that they suffer in silence. If Dr. Mark Godley is willing to sell a private MRI scan at the Maples Surgical Clinic for $695, what exactly gives Health Minister Tim Sale the gall to tell people they can�t spend their own money, or even buy insurance coverage, to get it? Better they should wait months and have taxpayers provide it for $300?
After providing the intellectual ammunition for the 1990s revolution in healthcare delivery in Stockholm�splitting the purchaser from the prov"
"Parents can spend that money however they wish. You can choose the child-care option that best suits your family's needs.' The new allowance would come on top of current child benefits, including the income tax deduction for child-care expenses.
That strikes us as a far better option than the Liberals' insistence on helping fund government-approved day care centres, in that it also recognizes the value of stay-at-home parents -- parents who were left out in the Liberals' five-year $5-billion plan to subsidize day care.
Harper said his party doesn't agree with the concept of government forcing only one child-care option on parents.
'The only people who should be making these choices are parents, not politicians, not the government. "
Fantatastic -imagine giving parents the needed access to their own money to take care of their kids -rather then another liberal government monopoly in the make. This is a great choice - good thinking -revolutionary indeed by the conservatives PR That is a real empowerment and choice idea for the better.
More on fixing the system -first step let's find out where it is bleeding-PR As usual -officials do not see a problem -speak out
Although cases of defrauding the health care system exist -- including payment claims on prescriptions that were never filled and the staging of fake auto accidents for insurance claims -- regulatory bodies that oversee health professions don't see a widespread problem.
From doctors who bill for non-existent appointments to dentists who perform major restorative work on healthy teeth and organized rings that recruit every sort of health professional, economic crime saps billions of dollars a year, by some accounts, from the over-burdened health system.
It is a little-discussed phenomenon, yet one physician was handed an 18-month jail term for bilking medicare of almost $1-million. A chiropodist purloined $900,000 from the country's biggest hospital, garnering virtually no media attention. Even the Mafia and Russian mob have their hands in the health business, police and insurance investigators say.
Ordinary Canadians ultimately pay the price as dollars are drained from the public system and private insurers pass on the extra cost through higher premiums or service cuts.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Well we can certainly buy into the concept of bloated government at 40.5% of the GDP- that is too high and costs too much of our money- PR Anything to reduce our tax burden is the right direction
Harper mulls income-splitting among tax cuts as campaign enters Week 2: "Harper, a trained economist, is itching to fix a bloated system he says is way out of whack.
'There's been overwhelming evidence . . . that Canadians were being massively overtaxed, resulting in huge unnecessary surpluses that were only having the effect of causing the government to be badly managed.'
'That's not the purpose of government - to turn a huge profit.'
'When government is rolling in money, it tends to get very inefficient, full of scandals, full of mismanagement.' "
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Big ideas should shape the campaign -fundamental reforms to reduce the size of governement is needed
The federal election provides an opportunity to consider fundamental reforms to government.
Ensuring Canada's competitiveness means looking at smarter tax and spending policies.
Tying public sector expansion to growth and inflation would free up billions of dollars for tax cuts.
Complex problems need structural repair, not more money.
Fundamental reforms to reduce the size of government is needed
"Every mile is two in winter," said a long-dead British poet. His words will resonate with campaign troops dragged out in the depths of January for a new federal election. But cold air also sharpens the mind. Let's hope that it will turn voters away from nasty rhetoric and towards some fundamental thoughts on policy reform needed in Ottawa.
Canada moves into the election in surprisingly strong fiscal shape, but it would be naïve to ignore some powerful forces that loom on the policy horizon. These forces are disrupting major portions of the Canadian economy and will require some heavy lifting in response.
Compared to the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush government or the paralyzed German coalition, Canada shines like a star, the only G7 country with a fiscal surplus and declining debt. But, domestically, things look much murkier. During the 17 months of minority government, when not engrossed in the Gomery inquiry, our politicians have lurched around with hasty spending programs. Only on the eve of an election did we see a patchwork of tax reductions, heavily weighted, of course, to the distant future in 2010 -- an eternity in politics.
Consider that the Chinese will be exporting cars to Canada soon at $7,000 a pop, one example of the huge pressure they will place on our entire manufacturing sector. Brain work like legal and accounting services is trickling over to India, which does it overnight for a tenth of the local cost. Meanwhile, Canadian taxes, which discourage investment and retard productivity, generally top the range compared to competing jurisdictions.
World-flattening forces that are speeding up international trade are placing unsustainable pressure on Canada's wealth-creating private sector. At some point, the private sector will no longer be able to foot the bill for the increasingly obsolete policy models that riddle the public sector. How long, for example, can our politicians pour billions into the black hole of unreformed health care, a low-performing monopoly that resists measurement and simple accountability, with little or nothing to show for it? We must break away from the simplistic tendency to throw money at complex problems and avoid structural reforms.
Consider what our competitive position would be had federal spending held constant in line with population growth plus inflation. We would have had $17.1 billion available now for federal tax cuts, enough either to cut corporate taxes by 50 per cent, personal income taxes by 20 per cent, or chop the GST to four per cent. Instead, we spray piles of cash at the usual hodgepodge of programs, particularly health care, which suffer from flawed design more than a shortage of resources.
Or consider the research that estimates the optimal size of government—the size where economic growth is maximized—is 30 per cent of the economy. The size of government now is 40.5 per cent. To put in perspective how difficult it will be to get that number down, consider that the $17 billion mentioned above tax would reduce the government size by only one per cent to 39.5 per cent. Not so much, but a critical move in the right direction as the Chinas and Indias of the world gear up to eat our lunch. Reducing the size of government relative to the economy will not only stimulate much higher rates of economic growth, it will ultimately deliver more revenue to our treasury.
Let's consider where the forces of globalization will force the policy revamp to go. The public sector will have to retreat from the in-house production of commercial services and buy them instead from competing suppliers. The efficiencies will be substantial. We will also see a much needed "sorting out" of the roles of different levels of government. The feds should abandon areas where they have minimal competence and no jurisdiction in our constitution. This means getting out of daycare, infrastructure programs and various social transfers, plus egregiously counter-productive regional subsidy programs, including equalization.
These delay and retard policy innovation, while preserving an oversized, low-performance public sector that delivers so little while keeping spending and taxes counterproductively high. Ontario and Alberta have both twigged to the fact that the "haves" simply pay "have-nots" to stay poor. In the brave new world of China and India, this simply will no longer be on.
Finally, while these changes will be fought tooth and nail by the many interest groups that drive our public policy, somehow we will have to implement two basic reforms. First, in light of the vote-buying scandal, a fundamental redesign of government to install firewalls between politicians and the administration of government programs, like the system functioning superbly in New Zealand. Second, we need an economic constitution which prevents the type of spending frenzy recently witnessed in Ottawa.
Don't hold your breath this election. But the train of better policy is coming, folks. Our political parties had better to get in front of it before it runs them over.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Both the Liberals and Conservatives have promised voters tax cuts should they be elected in the Jan. 23 election. Yet neither party's cuts even come close to offering the level of relief Canadians need. Even after the Liberals' promised income tax reductions or the Tories' GST cut, the average Canadian's taxes would still be one-third higher than the average American's and nearly 10% higher than the average for taxpayers in all industrialized nations. The full cost of Ottawa's addiction to high taxes is made clear in a new study by Global Insight, a Toronto-based economics research firm: slower economic growth. "
winnipegsun.com - Editorial - Honesty on health care: "Conservative Leader Stephen Harper announced his party's wait time 'guarantee' yesterday. It's not really a guarantee. It's more like a benchmark or a target for provinces to follow. But within the government monopoly system that we have in Canada, it's not a bad approach to take.
Harper says maximum wait times for medically necessary services should be established across Canada.
Failure to provide the service -- be it for hip surgery or MRI scans -- within that established timeframe would mean patients could demand government send them out of province to receive the treatment.
The cost of sending patients to other provinces or the U.S., Harper says, would be an incentive for provinces to meet their targets.
It's not a real guarantee because patients would have no recourse if care weren't provided within the maximum wait time. "
Friday, December 02, 2005
Winnipegsun - Editorial - Tory GST plan puts Martin on the spot
"Martin says he'll leave the GST as it is, and instead focus on cutting personal taxes. 'I believe that's fairer, I believe it's more sensible.' Hmmm. Funny but we would have sworn that just a year-and-a-half ago the PM was dead set against just such tax relief when it was proposed by Harper during the last election campaign.
The fact is we're overtaxed in every area imaginable, and that's what has allowed the feds to ring up massive surpluses year after year. Martin needs to understand that Canadians are fed up with paying and paying and paying and then being offered token relief from a government that hopes we'll forget whose money they're spending in the first place.
Tax cuts shouldn't be on an either/or basis. Cut the GST. Cut income taxes.
Let us decide for ourselves how to spend our cash. "
A real issue becomes clear -no waffling - the conservative promise to reduce it to 5% - good move to but more money in your pocket PR>
The promise places the Liberals in a difficult position. The party rolled into office 12 years ago on a promise to "replace" the GST, but never delivered on the pledge.
The promise was spelled out in the party's campaign bible of promises -- the Red Book. Who co-wrote the Red Book? Paul Martin -- then a relatively unknown opposition MP, and later the finance minister who apologized for the fact the Liberals could not replace the tax.
Now, as Prime Minister, Mr. Martin's back is against the wall, trying to explain why the Conservatives' proposed GST reduction is bad public policy.
In the 16 years since the tax was first proposed by Brian Mulroney's Tories, the GST has haunted both parties, like an albatross they could not shake.
The impetus for the tax came in 1986, when the United States launched tax reform.
Here in Canada, it was difficult for exporters to compete with their U.S. counterparts. The problem was the 13.5% manufacturers' sales tax (MST). It was a hidden tax built into the price of an item, and tended to favour imported goods over exports. In 1989, Mr. Mulroney proposed to replace it with the GST. Initially pegged at 9%, it would be added at the cash register. It was a public relations disaster.
All 10 premiers opposed the tax. Lobby groups railed against it. One poll showed 80% of Canadians objected.">Hated tax made and killed careers: "The promise places the Liberals in a difficult position. The party rolled into office 12 years ago on a promise to 'replace' the GST, but never delivered on the pledge.
The promise was spelled out in the party's campaign bible of promises -- the Red Book. Who co-wrote the Red Book? Paul Martin -- then a relatively unknown opposition MP, and later the finance minister who apologized for the fact the Liberals could not replace the tax.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
He must do so with a focused campaign that hones in on the irrefutable proof of Liberal corruption over many years.
In fact, there are only three main messages Harper must drive home to the Canadian electorate. First, he must keep the issue of corruption central to this campaign. Second, he must clearly explain how his party will be different, and how it will spend our money more responsibly. And third, and perhaps most crucial, he must convince Canada -- especially Ontario -- he is not the bogeyman many believe him to be. That is just the product of a Liberal spin machine in overdrive"
'Reducing the tax individuals pay on dividends will encourage savings and investment and will help establish a better balance between the tax treatment of large corporations and that of income trusts,' said Minister Goodale. 'This action will benefit Canadians and result in bottom-line tax savings for them.'
As a result of this surprise announcement the Canada Revenue Agency will resume providing advance tax rulings on flow-through entity structures"
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Curtains for the Liberals
After 12 years, four governments and two prime ministers, it's not just time to boot the federal Liberals out of office. It's time to drive a stake through their hearts, before they rise up again and bleed this country dry.
After losing a historic non-confidence motion in the Commons last night by a vote of 171-133, Paul Martin and the Liberals must now be driven from power by Canadians.
They must be defeated -- and not just because of the Liberal venality, arrogance, greed and theft exposed in AdScam.
They must be defeated because our health-care system has failed too many Canadians while the Liberals boast of piling up record surpluses of our money.
Because Liberal corruption is directly responsible for the revival of the separatist threat in Quebec.
Because the Liberals' naive belief in mollycoddling criminals has left them paralysed and unable to respond to the ongoing gangs and guns crisis in Canadian cities.
Over the past 23 days, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Liberals have made $24.5 billion in election promises -- more than $1 billion a day or $44 million per hour! They hope this brazen vote-buying will somehow make voters forget the brazen corruption of AdScam.
But does anyone really believe that any of that money is going to improve the lives of average working Canadians?
After all, the Liberals have made big promises and bribed us with our own money in election after election after election.
Ask yourself, after 12 years of Liberal rule, is our health-care system better or worse? Are waiting lists for surgery and diagnostic tests longer or shorter? Is our military stronger or weaker? Do our immigration and refugee system, and our criminal justice system, inspire more confidence, or less?
No wonder Martin launched his campaign last night with the same old tired fearmongering about Stephen Harper and the Conservatives taking the country "backward."
The Liberals have scarcely moved anything forward except spending your money.
'We need to consider in an unemotional way what works elsewhere,' he said. 'This should be about what works, not what used to work.'
Flynn noted there is already a lot of private delivery of health services in Canada, including most doctors' practices, and said politicians should stop trying to portray any private involvement in health care as a betrayal of medicare.
'I think actually the public is getting tired of that. I think they recognize that private health care is something that's a reality in Ontario, a reality in the rest of Canada,' he said. 'Let's try to be clear about what it is we're talking about.'
Flynn has just completed a tour of 26 Ontario cities and towns and said it's obvious 'that our current system is not providing timely access to quality health care' in any community. "
By James Wallace"
What a great system - the more you improve your property -the more you pay the government. This is a dubious real incemtive for those that add real value, and have pride of ownership.
it would be interesting to apply the same rule to government services. In other words -if there was a reduction in value of the service -based on poor delivery or reduced service -the tax assessment would go down . It would be nice to get a tax rebate for services not delivered
Monday, November 28, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
There's no doubt about it -- retirees are steaming mad over attack on income trusts by Finance Minister Ralph Goodale and they are trying to make their voices heard in Ottawa. Unfortunately, so far the government hasn't even acknowledged their legitimate concerns.
I have today sent the following message to Mr. Martin and Mr. Goodale: You're playing Russian roulette with the life savings of thousands of Canadian retirees and seniors with your "indecision" on income trusts. We sit and watch the valuations of our trust portfolios dwindle every day because of the climate of fear you've created in the trust sector. Waiting until your February budget is cruel and unusual punishment for Canadians on fixed incomes trying to make ends meet and heat their homes this winter. The least you can do is make a statement that you will "grandfather" existing income trusts. We invested in good Canadian companies under the rules you created. We don't deserve this." – R.C.
"The problem with we peon Canadians responding to the Minister of Finance's disastrous musings on income trusts is that the federal government and its employees are too far removed from the life of ordinary risk-taking Canadians. With marvelous salaries, secure jobs, and pensions, the Ottawa Finance Department cannot possibly relate to our struggle for investment and retirement survival. So the idea that there could be any meaningful acceptance of our views must be purely fanciful. The so-called 'opportunity to be heard' plays us for the fools we Canadians are. What a lamentable and shameful situation!" – R.S.
"I depend on personal investments and the various income streams generated by them to provide retirement income. Much has been written about how this issue is being handled. There is no doubt that the Liberals have no clue what it is they are doing but they are going to do something to at least satisfy the egos of the upper echelon of government officials. (They now will end up with egg on their collective faces, and you can bet they will disburse the blame as far as possible).
"Instead of trying to convince the Liberals to change their minds on this issue by criticism of their policies and procedures, more has to be done to let them know directly that they work for the voters. There is very little written on the subject of the power of the voter. A huge sector of the population (Baby Boomers) is either in the stage of early retirement or saving and investing for retirement. These voters have a phenomenal ability to impact governments in terms of what they demand. The message needs to be put out to the Liberals that their future is in their own hands. The Liberals will brush off any criticism on this matter as they have in the past (Dingwall, Sponsorship, etc), but they do understand one thing Angry Voters". – E.S.
Friday, November 25, 2005
winnipegsun.com - Editorial - Reverse racism continues: "How lovely that it only took three days worth of public backlash for the federal Public Works Department to rescind an utterly racist and discriminatory hiring policy that would have seen the department only hire, well, anyone but able-bodied white men for the next several months.
'It was misconstrued by some as being non-inclusive and this was not the intention,' said a spokesman earlier this week. 'So as a result of the concern expressed in this regard, the department is rescinding this special measure.'
So that's that, right? Hardly. "
Before he got into his car last night, he was asked whether he was worried about his own situation with former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers being sentenced to 25 years in jail for his role in an accounting scandal.
He brushed off the comparison.
'There was a colossal bankruptcy, 50,000 people lost their jobs, tens of billions of dollars were lost and there was a $4-billion accounting fraud. Keep a little perspective, guys,' he said.
'This isn't Enron. This isn't WorldCom. This was a magnificent company that the people who seized it used as a platform in which to persecute and defame the people who built it. [They] have torn it apart and destroyed it at the expense of the shareholders.... Those are my thoughts for the evening.'"
Thursday, November 24, 2005
"It's too bad we had to go through all this trouble," said Grace Hanaway, Thomas' wife, adding she's relieved it's finally over. "Some people may need help but they (government) have got to sort it out properly and fairly."
And that's exactly the problem with the legislation and policies that govern the Public Trustee process.
There are almost no checks and balances in the system and no accessible appeal mechanisms. And once the Public Trustee takes over, it's very difficult to get them out of your life.
In fact, it's impossible without going to court and spending a few thousand dollars on lawyers' fees.
Hanaway, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, became ensnared in the system after he underwent a psychiatric assessment at a geriatric centre he was attending.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
winnipegsun.com - Manitoba - Sale passes buck Interesting Canada 2nd in health spending ,30th in delivery
'We don't have any choice, they're the body that sanctions us,' Health Minister Tim Sale said when pressed by reporters in the legislature yesterday. '(The feds) are the ones that will levy fines if this machine contravenes the act and they're also the ones that won't levy fines if it doesn't.'
The legalities of selling elective MRI scans outside of a hospital became a hot-button issue in Manitoba when Maples Surgical Centre in Winnipeg purchased a scanner earlier this month.
'Growing by the day'
Once the private clinic receives its accreditation from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, it will begin providing MRI scans at $695 to its list of patients that is 'growing by the day,' said Dwayne Venter, the general manager of the clinic.
'Hopefully it'll be within the next two weeks,' said Venter. 'I've got people contacting me, it's growing by the day. They're almost banging down the door.'
The Tories and Venter insist federal and provincial legislation does not prohibit private clinics from selling elective MRI scans."
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
CREDIT: Pat McGrath/Ottawa Citizen
Belinda Stronach, Minister of Human Resources
TORONTO -- Ontario and Ottawa have agreed two labour market deals that will put $1.3 billion in federal cash over the next six years into job training for the province's residents and recent immigrants.
The Canada-Ontario labour market development agreement will transfer millions of employment insurance dollars to the province, starting with $30 million in the first year and rising to $314 million in each of the fifth and sixth years.
The funds will go towards training, apprenticeships and helping immigrants enter the labour market.
A labour market deal between the province and federal government has been anticipated since late spring.
Business experts have said the agreement is important for addressing a shortage of skilled workers in the province, particularly in northern communities.
Federal Human Resources Minister Belinda Stronach and Chris Bentley, Ontario's minister of training, colleges and universities, announced the deal in Toronto.
Monday, November 21, 2005
The destruction wrought by federal Employment Insurance (EI, formerly UI) on eastern provinces has been widely documented for two decades. Yet the federal government keeps expanding the program.
Two years ago EI was extended to workers who quit their jobs for six weeks to care for terminally ill family members. How kind.
Trouble is, Conservative EI critic Lynne Yelich revealed last week, it cost Ottawa almost $70 million on administration to dole out $11 million in "compassionate care" claims.
Forgive me for being uncompassionate, but this is simply one more reason to abolish the whole program.
EI has an interesting if depressing history. It was Ottawa's first invasion of the provinces' responsibility for social spending and required a special amendment to Canada's constitution by the British Parliament in 1940.
UI started sensibly enough, but in 1971 it was ramped up into a gigantic vote-getter, especially in rural Quebec and the Atlantic.
The idea was to save small towns by using EI to subsidize "seasonal" jobs in fishing and forestry --jobs which hitherto had not qualified for benefits. This became known locally as "Lotto 10-42" -- work 10 weeks and loaf for the next 42.
In his excellent book "Retreat From Growth," maritime economist Fred McMahon documents the devastating effect UI inflicts on the Atlantic economy.
During the 1960s, before the feds showed up to "help," the region had almost caught up to the rest of the country. Unemployment was only slightly higher than the Canadian average, private job-creating investment was the same, and education and skill levels were rising.
Then came Lotto 10-42, along with a raft of bogus "job creation" grants to help people get their 10 weeks to qualify for benefits.
It didn't matter what the jobs were, and still doesn't -- fixing park benches, counting cars, making fibreglas caskets in Cape Breton. Atlantic political careers are won or lost on the delivery of EI make-work grants.
A maritimer who "hoards" a make-work job longer than the EI qualifying period is considered selfish. The wage rates of these bogus jobs are set exactly high enough to deliver the maximum EI benefit.
Meanwhile, real jobs frequently go begging for lack of anyone willing or skilled enough to do them, private investment lags, and Atlantic skill levels have dropped, because you can't collect pogey in school.
Ottawa might as well have handed out heroin. In some towns 90% of the people are addicted.
It got so ridiculous that in 1993 even the federal Liberals decided to scale it back. Resentment flared, and the Liberals dropped from 31 Atlantic seats to 11 in the 1997 election. Benefits were later significantly restored.
The question is, who will end this ridiculous program?
Well, not the federal Liberals. Nor the federal Conservatives. Nor the "have-not" provincial premiers. Politically they can't.
Only the premiers of the "have" provinces, Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and B.C., have a motive to end it, because their workers are paying for it through higher-than-necessary EI premiums -- $800 annually per Albertan and $900 per Ontarian.
Until the "have" province premiers push for a constitutional amendment restoring EI responsibility to the provinces, nobody will fix the problem, and the whole country will go on paying the price.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Hamilton: "Goodale admits Canadians overtaxed
But cutting GST not the answer, says Federal Finance Minister
Friday, November 18, 2005
Finance Minister Ralph Goodale says that Canadians may be overtaxed but the Goods and Service taxes will remain in effect. (CP PHOTO/Fred Chartrand)
OTTAWA -- Canadians may be overtaxed, but cutting the goods and services tax is not the answer, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale said Friday.
Goodale was responding to media reports that the Conservatives could pledge to cut the GST as part of their platform in the coming federal election. In a round-table discussion with The Canadian Press, Goodale said that would be one of the least effective and most costly tools for improving economic productivity and Canadian living standards. "
Saturday, November 19, 2005
She told the aboriginal affairs committee that some First Nation communities have been under boil-water advisories for years.
And we have had a federal Liberal government for years ... 12 of them to be exact.
Yet this is same gang, from Martin on down, will go on the election trail -- either days or weeks from now -- and tell us with a straight face that it was the Opposition that disrupted plans to sort out the problems on reserves. That only a Liberal government can be trusted to put things right.
It would be amusing if the truth weren't so tragic. "
National Post: "White males need not apply
Internal e-mail reveals hiring ban at Public Works
Saturday, November 19, 2005
1 | 2 | NEXT >>
A major federal department has temporarily banned the hiring of able-bodied white men in an unusual move critics say could spark a backlash against the very disadvantaged groups it is meant to help."
Friday, November 18, 2005
CTV.ca | Black's career takes a further step into darkness: "Black's career takes a further step into darkness
'His astonishing career as well as the vagaries of his romantic and family life provide practically unlimited possibilities for dramatization.''"
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Why is Prime Minister Paul Martin silent on the growing moves to privatize health care in Quebec, which even his own party in that province now supports?
Quebec already has more private medical clinics than any other province in Canada -- including Martin's favourite whipping boy when it comes to medicare, Alberta.
Martin can't plead ignorance about the huge number of private clinics in Quebec. His own doctor runs one.
Last weekend, the Quebec wing of the federal Liberal party endorsed a resolution calling for the expansion of private health care in that province as a way of combating unacceptably long waiting lists for medical treatment. "
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
- Inflated salaries means inflated living costs- can you afford or sustain your 4000 sq ft house or palace for 2-if your real salary or personal revenue is reduced dramatically . (Conserve and save - lower your consumption habits and expectations.) CYA.
- Can we sustain inflated salaries and wages when we compete with the rest of the world?
- Check what a policeman, teacher, judge, jailgaurd, doctor, nurse,other workers are paid in China or India -the reality check .
- Are you worth the money when those in China produce the same products for 10% of what you produce?
Do you really believe that a corrupt and bloated "over tax it" government that has failed in economics 101 can help you? The fall of the " roman empire" is a economic reality. Greed and everyone for themselves will continue to prevail at great personal cost for those that pay for the misadventures of over inflated non performancers. If you can't compete you will perish.
Be aware , forearmed and forwarned - get ready for the unpleasantness of economic reality.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Another bereaved daughter was in the legislature gallery yesterday afternoon, also asking for accountability from the health minister.
Mimi Raglan's mom -- Frances Raglan -- was mistreated at Riverview Health Centre and died after being discharged in October 2001.
'It's outrageous there has been no apology to us. My mother was clearly put on the wrong treatment plan,' said Raglan.
Health Minister Tim Sale acknowledged the error and apologized for the family's grief but wouldn't commit to remedial action. "
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
National Post: "Gomery Report
PR We have lots of people with talent to do so- get rid of the administrators who do not have the will or brains to act.
Hamilton: "More water woes near Walkerton
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
By Vincent Ball
Local News - Tuesday, October 11, 2005 @ 01:00
What do you get when you mix more than 300 volunteers with national donors, corporate sponsors and about 80 local partners?
The fulfillment of a father�s dream.
�Every day for the last 15 years I�ve had a dream of building an accessible home for my daughter Amber,� Fred Pelzer said. �For the last three weeks, I�ve been living that dream.�
Thanks to Habitat for Humanity Brant, Fred, his wife Connie and their four children � Amber, Freddie, Matthew and Madison � will be able to live the dream for years to come.
They are the recipients of the first accessible home built by Habitat for Humanity Brant. It was constructed on land donated by Empire Communities in West Brant, with help from an army of volunteers backed by a lengthy list of corporate donors. "
Deep-sea divers have long known the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) -- a method for efficient delivery of pure oxygen -- to treat those with the 'bends,' a condition that can occur as a diver rises to the surface and the changing pressure causes nitrogen gas bubbles to form in the lungs, tissues and bloodstream, leading to a potentially lethal blood flow blockage. Today, doctors use HBOT to treat a number of other conditions -- carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning, wounds that aren't healing properly, serious burns, soft tissue and bone infections and certain complications from radiation therapy. While everyone agrees about the usefulness of HBOT for these conditions, there is another usage that is generating much debate -- the practice of using HBOT to address neurological problems, including brain damage from strokes.
HBOT administers 100% oxygen (versus the 21% that is in the air we breathe) in a chamber with an air pressure considerably greater than the air around us. The pressure dramatically raises the number of oxygen molecules entering the bloodstream -- by as much as 2,000%. The vastly increased oxygen level allows the oxygen to reach bone and tissue that it normally can't reach, where it may accelerate healing. The oxygen also can enhance functioning of white blood cells, the infection fighters, which may improve aspects of immune system function. It is the ability to heal tissue that has neurologists evaluating HBO for use with stroke patients. Harry T. Whelan, MD, medical director of the Froedtert & Medical College Hyperbaric Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, is "
Friday, October 07, 2005
1. A large bureaucracy for administration. Did you know that the IRS, with over 150,000 employees is the largest tax bureaucracy since ancient Rome? Its tentacles reach out and have hold on over 200 million people.
2. A system that puts taxpayers through 'odious examinations...and exposes them to much unnecessary trouble, vexation, and oppression.'
3. A system that encourages evasion.
4. A system that obstructs the industry of the people, and discourages enterprise which might otherwise give 'employment to great multitudes,' i.e. jobs. That obligates people to excessive payments and thereby takes away the funds that would promote commerce, industry and employment. "
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
National Post: "The government of Alberta, which privatized its retail outlets a decage ago, profits more from provincial liquor sales than Ontario or Quebec, a new study has found.
The Montreal Economic Institute compared the three provinces' liquor industries and concluded Alberta's private retail system not only racks up greater profits for the government, but has also spawned more outlets and a greater number of products for consumers to choose from."
Sunday, October 02, 2005
"The province has at the very least been extremely opportunistic in delivering this blow to Stelco," apparently hoping that in all the confusion surrounding Stelco no one would notice the province dealt "a death blow" to Stelco and is "playing chicken with the lives of Stelco's employees and others . . . to cover up its own regulatory failures," the bondholders allege.
The group also outlines a series of complaints it has with Stelco's restructuring process and plan, including:
-an "excessive" downpayment of $400 million into the pension deficiency
-a $100 million convertible not issue, which is "extremely expensive, to the benefit of Tricap alone"
-a failure to search for competing financing proposals
-the intentional exclusion of Stelco's creditors from negotiations on the restructuring plan
-Stelco's attempt to boost the fee it will pay to UBS as a financial advisor, and a request to hire BMO Nesbitt Burns for further services
Also on Friday, Alex Morrison of Ernst & Young, the court-appointed monitor in the case, said voting creditors which "likely represent over 50 per cent, by dollar value, of the claims . . . have all indicated that, if a vote were to be held today, they would vote against the plan."
Thursday, September 29, 2005
September 28, 2005
CREDIT: CP, Tom Hanson
David Dingwall, president and CEO of the Canadian Mint and former Public Works minister.
OTTAWA -- The head of the Royal Canadian Mint has resigned amid allegations of ethical misdeeds, making him the fifth Crown corporation boss to leave in controversy since Paul Martin became prime minister"
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Macleans.ca | Top Stories | Politics | Federal health minister tiptoes around Alberta's study of private insurance
CALGARY (CP) - Canada's health minister refused Monday to be drawn into a debate over Alberta's examination of private health-care insurance.
'Alberta has basically said they are reviewing the situation and I don't think it's appropriate for me to make any pre-emptory comments,' Ujjal Dosanjh said Monday. Dosanjh - buoyed by a new poll which shows Liberal fortunes soaring over Stephen Harper's Tories federally and even rising in traditionally anti-Liberal Alberta - did not seem to want to say anything that might rock that boat."
Sunday, September 18, 2005
In a more sane country, Toronto would realize the gun registry has been exposed as an expensive waste of money and would punish the Liberals for lying to them by voting them out. And the Grits would shut down their useless registry and put the money into actual police officers fighting crime.
Sadly, neither of these things is going to happen. These lessons will go unlearned."
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
"It's very upsetting after the number of wrongful convictions that have happened in this country," Dalton said.
"The list is getting very long."
Lockyer said Canada needs an independent tribunal to review claims of wrongful convictions such as one set up in the U.K. eight years ago.
It has already found more than 50 murder convictions were unjustified.
"All we have now is a sort of a piecemeal examination of a case here and case there primarily brought forward by our organization," said Lockyer. "It's just not good enough."
Lockyer said Ontario has been "the worst province" when it comes to dealing with such cases and that promises made after the notorious wrongful murder prosecution of Guy Paul Morin have gone unkept.
© Canadian Press 2005
Friday, September 02, 2005
But the resulting gas price hike? It happened instantly, hitting us here in Canada faster than Katrina did -- and harder. This, even though the gas being sold was refined and distributed long before Katrina developed.
True, in light of the horrendous human misery in New Orleans and throughout southern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, gas prices may seem a small matter, and griping about them rather unseemly.
No more unseemly, however, than the fact that the tragedy of Katrina has been a bonanza for gas companies -- and government coffers.
There's little we can do about the market forces now driving the price of oil. But the sudden windfall in taxes -- particularly for Ottawa -- is another story.
As Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director John Williamson noted this week, one-third of the price of a litre of gas is taxes -- and the GST is charged on top of all the other taxes, meaning a sudden spike like this is highly profitable for the feds.
The CTF has repeatedly called on Ottawa to reduce fuel taxes three ways:
1. End the GST tax-on-tax -- a savings to the consumer of, on average, 1.5 cent/litre.
2. Scrap the dishonest "deficit elimination" tax (the government hasn't had a deficit in eight years, so why are we still paying this?), for another 1.5-cent reduction.
3. Cut the federal gas tax itself by 2 cents, bringing the total price reduction to 5 cents/litre.
Cynics argue, of course, that a nickel per litre either way won't make much difference. Finance Minister Ralph Goodale himself has refused to cut gas taxes, suggesting gas companies would just hike their prices accordingly anyway (which they deny). Meanwhile, the feds now portray their gas gouging as noble, saying big cities need their new gas tax transfer (only a fraction of the billions raised).
Nonsense. The CTF is right on this. It's blatant overtaxation, and the feds' excuses don't wash anymore. Our roads and infrastructure may be crumbling, but the feds are rolling in gas tax revenues -- up 18% over a decade ago. Small wonder they have no intention of helping consumers fight high gas prices.
Talk about sickening.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Manitoba's Public Trustee, who took over Hanaway's life on June 6, continues to confiscate Hanaway's pension cheques, open his mail and pay his bills. "
Immigrants at work
By Amanda Pratt
Local News - Saturday, August 20, 2005 @ 01:00
He came to Canada with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, four years experience working for a manufacturing company and three for the government. She had a bachelor’s degree in public administration and sociology, with a combined seven years experience as a teacher and an office manager.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Monday, August 15, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Friday, July 29, 2005
They take the money, pay your bills, give you an allowance and charge you fees for their so-called work.
For example, they take a 3% cut of your income, charge 3% to disperse income and levy a 0.9% annual asset management fee. "
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
And he couldn't believe his eyes when the Public Trustee informed him in writing that he should reduce the number of visits to his mother, Jean Sienkiewicz -- who was in hospital at the time -- to two or three times a week.
The story of Jean Sienkiewicz -- who died earlier this year at the age of 77 -- is another Public Trustee horror story and part of an investigative series by The Sun that has triggered a legislative review of the office by the Doer government.
Sienkiewicz was taken over by the Public Trustee in 2003 after the province's director of psychiatric services appointed them committee while Sienkiewicz was in hospital suffering from leg ulcers. "
The most telling example, according to the report, is in the auto industry. The coalition estimates that costs related to border delays, and auto makers' reporting and compliance requirements, have added $800 to the price of a North American-made car.
'Simply hardening the border, simply layering further layers of costly bureaucracy on the border, does not make you safer. What it does do is drive up cost,' said Perrin Beatty, president of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.
'It damages your economy, and you are misallocating your security resources.'"
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Thursday, July 21, 2005
James Balfe, a Windsor chartered accountant, wrote in a brief six-paragraph letter that a forensic audit wouldn�t likely yield results �due to lack of evidence, so the city cannot justify proceeding to a full-scale investigation,� James Balfe, a Windsor chartered account, wrote in a brief six-paragraph letter.
He also recommended that the city hire a consulting accountant to direct staff as it processes the last claims of a program that has committed nearly $5 million in performance grants toward about 20 projects worth a total $20 million to renovate or construct new buildings in the core. "
Monday, July 18, 2005
A controversial 'responsibility to protect' doctrine is gaining ground at the UN
LUIZA CH. SAVAGE
It isn't often that Lloyd Axworthy, Canada's former foreign minister and lion of the political left, has an idea that could appeal to American neo-conservatives and evangelical Christians. But the Paul Martin government is now promoting an Axworthy-generated plan to prevent genocide and atrocities that is slowly gaining adherents -- and some of the Liberals' most powerful allies could prove to be pro-war American conservatives such as former House speaker Newt Gingrich -- if both sides can overcome the divisions and suspicions engendered by the Iraq conflict."
Manitoba, Sask. courts to hear charter cases
By STEVE LAMBERT, Canadian Press
Courts in Manitoba and Saskatchewan will be asked this week to decide whether provincial smoking laws are a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
By John Paul Zronik, expositor staff
Local News - Wednesday, July 13, 2005 @ 01:00
Peter Venczel�s legal battle with Brant County over the right to ride his motorcycle has cost him more than $10,000. "
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Friday, July 01, 2005
Winnipeg Sun: NEWS - Mackintosh orders Public Trustee reviews: "Mackintosh orders Public Trustee reviews
By FRANK LANDRY, LEGISLATURE REPORTER"
Thursday, June 30, 2005
FCPP Publications :: Ruth Richardson, NZ Finance Minister 1990-93: "'All monopolies are destructive of consumer and public interest whether they are public or private . . .'"