Tag Archives: big government

A Review of Key Issues in Ottawa

Canada’s Parliament resumes with a Throne Speech on September 23rd. Here’s a review of the key issues Canadians should follow as our MPs return to Ottawa and the business of the Nation.

What is to become of the unanswered questions?

Here are ten issues that PM Trudeau hopes and trusts Canadians will soon forget when enchanted by the exciting promises presented in his Throne Speech.

The consequential fiscal facts on Canada’s economy

Here are current fiscal facts that are certain to be consequential for the country’s economy and our future prosperity.

Trudeau and Freeland “Moving Canada towards full-blown Socialism”

Canadians are placed on notice: PM Trudeau and Finance Minister Freeland will advance “a bold, new progressive agenda.”

A primer on the Trudeau Liberals’ Green Energy Plan

With the pretext of jump-starting the national economy in the wake of the pandemic’s fallout, the Liberals are telling Canadians they are ready to “build back better” with a bold, progressive environmental agenda. Their new national Green Energy Plan is expected to be one of the cornerstones placed in the Government’s Throne Speech.

A Pivotal Week for the Trudeau Liberals’ Green Agenda

There now is Trudeau, Freeland and Carney (with a cast of supporting actors McKenna, Guilbeault and Wilkinson) all aligned to “build back better” by shifting Canada’s economy away from oil and gas and towards green energy, and introducing bigger, interventionist government to caretake national welfare, immigration, childcare and universal basic income programs.

Morneau will leave an unenviable record as Finance Minister

The federal Liberals, under the watch of Bill Morneau, are outspending all past federal governments, including those governments that had to respond to world wars and global recessions.

The Trudeau Government’s horrible week of scandalous stories

Warren Kinsella: “There’s a name for a government like Justin Trudeau’s – a government run by those who seek status and personal gain at the expense of the rest of us. It’s a kleptocracy.”

 

These columns were first published in The Niagara Independent through the months of August and September. 

The consequential fiscal facts on Canada’s economy

The Niagara Independent, September 4, 2020  – In a CBC interview this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “We are asking Canadians to embark on an entirely different direction as a government. We are going to rebuild the Canadian economy in a way that was better than before.”

The Liberals’ intention to restructure the country’s post-pandemic economy is being described by many political pundits as a “bold plan.” One unnamed senior Ottawa mandarin stated in a Toronto Star article that the bundle of social programs and spending about to be showcased in the upcoming Thorne Speech is “a structural change in the way government in this country operates.” A senior Liberal political insider who is familiar with the plan (who wished to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak publicly) commented, “It’s all going to take money on a scale we haven’t seen before.”

Through a seemingly orchestrated series of insiders’ leaks, the Prime Minister’s backroom appears to be preconditioning Canadians for an economic recovery plan the likes of which we have never seen or experienced in our country. This foreboding forecast has many in Ottawa, on Bay Street, and in boardrooms and living rooms across the country bracing themselves.

National Post political newsman John Ivison reports, “Trudeau’s “literally frightening” spending plan has some Liberals, bureaucrats very worried.” In the Post’s feature column on Thursday, Ivison writes of the Liberals’ design to remake Canada in their own progressive image and he quotes an Ottawa insider as saying, “It is literally frightening. I am very worried about my kids’ future and their capacity to service that level of debt. The fact is that the government is embarking on a major policy shift and this is a government that is not worried by deficits of 10 per cent of GDP.”

In advance of the Liberals Throne Speech promises, here are current fiscal facts that are certain to be consequential for the country’s economy and our future prosperity.

On government spending, the deficit and national debt: In three months, between April and June, the Finance Department reports the government operated a $120 billion deficit. The Government recently projected a $343 billion deficit for 2021, but this does not include Finance Minister Freeland’s recent announcement of an additional $37 billion in spending. This fiscal deficit is more than the total federal government program spending was through last year – and more than all previous federal government fiscal deficits combined through Canada’s history.

By the end of the fiscal year, many expect the deficit to be nearing $400 billion. Canada’s national debt will have climbed beyond $1.2 trillion.

On the country’s economic health: With many businesses shuttered, it is not a surprise that the Canadian economy shrank from April through June. Statistics Canada reports Canadian economic output dropped by 11.5 per cent compared with first-quarter GDP in 2020. This is the largest recorded quarterly decline since Statistics Canada began reporting quarterly figures in 1961.

There is no good news in the current economic numbers: Government revenues plummeted by 37 per cent, down $52 billion over the quarter. Household spending on goods was down by 8.4 per cent, and down by 16.7 per cent for services. Business investment fell 16.2 per cent, as a direct result of plant closures, low oil prices, and heightened economic uncertainty.

On costly mismanagement of pandemic support funds: The Fraser Institute released a report that estimates one in every four dollars of pandemic income support payments — a total of up to $22.3 billion — was sent to people who did not need support.  Financial Post columnist Diane Francis opines Canada’s pandemic funding was “distributed with a fire hose, rather than targeted at those in need.” Francis points out Canada’s stimulus package is dramatically higher than what other countries – the equivalent of 15 per cent of its GDP, compared to 10.6 per cent in Australia, five per cent in France, 8.9 per cent in Germany, and 4.9 per cent in Italy.

On Canada’s economy showing signs of systemic weakness prior to the pandemic: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates the value of reduced output in Canada this year will be $113 billion. And recall prior to the pandemic the Canadian economy was absorbing the loss of $20.6 billion investment in the Teck Frontier mine project, as well as the collapse of Quebec’s $9 billion Energie Saguenay pipeline project – and a recorded $200 billion of investment lost in the Canadian resource sector since 2015. The IMF has recently calculated the total economic losses already incurred by Canadian businesses and those projected due to the pandemic will be $226 billion.

On rising personal / household debt: Today, one out of two Canadians are within $200 of insolvency at the end of each month. In fact, insolvencies are on the rise. Equifax Canada reports consumer debt is rising in Canada, reaching $1.9 trillion. Canadian households owe $177 for every $100 of disposable income (up from $106 in 1999). Just released IMF data factors that Canadian household debt is growing nearly 50% faster than the country’s economy. In a recent financial report for Global News, David Akin surmised that the pandemic “began as a public health crisis then metastasized into an economic crisis is likely to finish as a debt crisis that could end up swamping not only some governments but also hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of Canadian households.”

All the fiscal facts aside, the upcoming Throne Speech will regale for Canadians the Trudeau Government’s bold plan to spend our way to recovery – “to build back better.” This illusory panacea of unbridled government spending is summed up in the bromide offered recently by Finance Minister Freeland: “Our government has taken on more debt so Canadians didn’t have to.” What an absolutely wonderful thought – reassuring for many Canadians.

Yet, if you still subscribe to the adage that “there are no free lunches” (and you remain doubtful that “budgets will balance themselves”), then consider Ayn Rand’s cautionary statement about blissful reassurances: “We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/the-consequential-fiscal-facts-on-canadas-economy/

Trudeau and Freeland “Moving Canada towards full-blown Socialism”

The Niagara Independent, August 28, 2020  – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has revealed to Canadians that when the shuttered Parliament reopens on September 23 his government will deliver a Throne Speech to introduce “a bold, new progressive agenda” designed to restructure the country’s social safety net and address climate change. The Trudeau government is ready to bring in sweeping changes to Canada’s social welfare framework, revamping unemployment insurance, expanding health programs, and bolstering all forms of social assistance.

The Prime Minister has said a number of times in the last couple weeks that the pandemic crises provide an “unprecedented” opportunity to restructure the country’s economy and “fill gaps” in the federal government’s social safety netting. Trudeau asserts, “This is our moment to change the future for the better. We can’t afford to miss it because this window of opportunity won’t be open for long.”

Repeatedly PM Trudeau has signaled that his prescription for economic recovery is introducing more spending, more programs, and more government. Having installed Chrystia Freeland as his new Finance Minister, he has empowered a trusted ally who aligns with the PM’s ambitious government interventionist plan.

At her initial press conference, Finance Minister Freeland indicated she shares the PM’s vision, “This is a once in a lifetime challenge for our whole country and our commitment as a government is to do whatever it takes to support Canadians as we get through that challenge.” Freeland gushed that the government wants “to turn this tremendous challenge into a fabulous opportunity for our country.”

Yet, Freeland takes over the financial levers of a country drowning in debt, with a projection of $343-billion deficit in 2021. Through the past four years, the federal Liberals have outspent all past federal governments, including those governments that had to respond to world wars and global recessions. The government’s recent fiscal snapshot suggested the federal fiscal planning would not balance the budget until at least 2040 (and this was assessed before COVID-19).

Unfazed by these details, Finance Minister Freeland told a press conference this week: “Our government has taken on more debt so Canadians didn’t have to.” Freeland proceeded to report that the government intends to spend by the end of the fiscal year an additional $37 billion on an extension of CERB support program and an estimated $15 billion on an expanded unemployment insurance program. With these increased spending measures, the Trudeau government’s deficit this fiscal year will be nearly $400 billion and the federal deficit will have climbed beyond $1.2 trillion.

David Rosenberg, founder and chief economist of Rosenberg Research & Associates Inc. of Bay Street says the Liberals approach is nothing more than “a damn-the-torpedoes, full-steam-ahead fiscal policy response.” Lorrie Goldstein of Sun Media agrees, writing that “Trudeau’s big plan is to spend ourselves rich… all Trudeau’s bold vision for the future seems to be is a promise of more spending and more debt facilitated by low interest rates, which Canadians had best pray continue for decades to come.”

However, there is a much more significant and disturbing aspect to Trudeau’s and Freeland’s approach to fiscal planning than the Liberal’s increased spending. Financial reporter Kait Bolongaro of Bloomberg News editorializes that, in placing Chrystia Freeland at the helm of Canada’s finances, the PM “signals the most decisive lurch to the left in economic policy in at least four decades.”

Bolongaro foresees a much greater interventionist agenda as Freeland remakes the country’s socio-economic architecture: “It’s a major expansion of the federal government along the lines of the one overseen by Trudeau’s father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who increased program spending and deficits in the early 1980s to combat a recession.”

“In a minority government that continues to profit from pandemic protocol and prorogation, she’s been given the chance to put her affinity for far-left global economics into practice,” observes Bolongaro.

Ottawa political commentator Spencer Fernando concurs and goes as far as to warn: “The Liberals are moving Canada towards full-blown socialism.” In criticizing the new economic and social imperatives the PM and Finance Minister have foreshadowed for the impending Throne Speech, Fernando writes: “The Liberals are moving from measures that were good and important – providing people money when the economy temporarily collapsed due to CCP Virus – to something that is dangerous, providing a massive disincentive against work. So, the Liberals are going to simultaneously give out a bunch of money – at the expense of working class and middle class Canadians – to provide a disincentive to work… That is an absolute disaster, and all Canadians should be afraid of the consequences of this.”

Sun News political columnist Anthony Furey alerts Canadians to the opening of Parliament next month: “Is Trudeau really going to try to sneak an entirely new political agenda, one that he did not receive a mandate from voters for during the last election, into the same confidence vote that contains the renewal of COVID-19 measures? It looks that way.”

Furey suggests the Liberals’ philosophical shift in economic and social policy necessitates an election call: “This is cynical and dishonest politics. It would be far more honest to just separate the COVID-19 measures from what is sure to be a deeply ideological agenda. If Trudeau has finally given up pretending to be something of a centrist Liberal and is now embracing far-left progressivism, then he needs to seek a mandate from the people to enact it.”

So, Canadians are placed on notice: PM Trudeau and Finance Minister Freeland will advance “a bold, new progressive agenda” — and it is incumbent for Canadians to assess the costs and question where this shift to the left will lead our country.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/trudeau-and-freeland-moving-canada-towards-full-blown-socialism/

A Pivotal Week for the Trudeau Liberals’ Green Agenda

The Niagara Independent, August 21, 2020  – Canada’s drama-teacher-turned-Prime-Minister provided plenty of theatrics this week by first switching Finance Ministers and then bringing the curtain down on Parliament. With his performance, Justin Trudeau succeeded in consolidating power in his Prime Minister’s Office and placing trusted globalists in the government’s finance and economic portfolios.

This has been a pivotal week for advancing the Trudeau Liberals’ Green Agenda.

The Liberal organ Toronto Star highlighted a story recently in which Canadians learned PM Trudeau and his inner circle were strategizing on how to coincidentally shut down parliamentary debate on his government’s scandals and implement a “bigger and bolder” post-pandemic government intervention and green economy agenda for the country. We were told Trudeau and his insiders did not want a Fall election and were looking for a way to simply assert their will on the country.

Toronto Star reported an anonymous Liberal backroom stagehand explaining the theme: “[It’s an] opportunity for us to think big to think about child care, to think about how we can accelerate the transition to clean energy and how we can fight climate change, how we can help vulnerable people, how we can root out discrimination and level the playing field for working people and on all the progressive ideas that we’ve talked about and made progress on but in a different context. So can we actually present a big vision? I think we can.”

With the Star’s idyllic prelude, CBC reported their anonymous sources foreshadowing the first act of the week: “Trudeau, Morneau clash over green plans, soaring deficit.” The CBC script read: “A deepening rift between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his finance minister about coronavirus spending is also fueled by disagreements over the scope and scale of proposed green initiatives… Trudeau, who campaigned on a platform to tackle climate change, believes the 2021 budget should have an ambitious environmental element to start weaning the heavily oil-dependent economy off fossil fuels…”

Exit stage-left Morneau; enter wire-flying Mark Carney from his United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Action position; and…

PM Trudeau surprised his captive audience by heralding Minister-of-Everything Chrystia Freeland as Canada’s new Finance Minister and then directed his embattled Governor General Julie Payette to shutter Parliament – promptly closing down the work of the committees reviewing the billion-dollar WE scandal, the PM’s ethical breaches, and China-Canada relations.

PM Trudeau took centre stage to deliver a soliloquy on his actions (in case the audience was confused by what they just witnessed): “We need to reset the approach of this government for a recovery to build back better. And those are big, important decisions and we need to present that to Parliament and to gain the confidence of Parliament to move forward on this ambitious plan. This is our chance to build a more resilient Canada, a Canada that is healthier and safer, greener and more competitive, a Canada that is more welcoming and more fair.”

(As an aside, note the Prime Minster used the phrase “build back better.” This is a reoccurring mantra that environmentalists are echoing around the globe to describe their green agenda to be supported by a new global order. “Build back better” was also uttered by U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this week in his battle cry for a new American economic plan.)

On cue, Canada’s freshly ensconced finance minister used her first media scrum in Ottawa to reemphasize the Liberals’ plot. Finance Minister Freeland said matter-of-factly about restoring Canada’s economy from the COVID-19 pandemic: “To [the] question about decarbonization as part of our economic plan going forward: Of course, it has to be part of it. I think all Canadians understand that the restart of our economy needs to be green.”

So, in the Ottawa troupe, there now is Trudeau, Freeland and Carney (with a cast of supporting actors McKenna, Guilbeault and Wilkinson) all aligned to “build back better” by shifting Canada’s economy away from oil and gas and towards green energy, and introducing bigger, interventionist government to caretake national welfare, immigration, childcare and universal basic income programs. True to that Toronto Star prelude, the Trudeau Liberals are using the pandemic to fundamentally change the way the Canadian economy operates. (It’s a page ripped from Obama backroom advisor Rahm Emanuel’s playbook: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”)

The stage-managed events in the National Capital this week elicited scorn from a range of Canadian economists, financiers, energy experts — and from the editorial board of Canada’s leading national paper. Here is a sampling of the critical reviews:

  • Ross McKitrick, Economics Professor at University of Guelph and a senior fellow of the Fraser Institute assesses: “Green technologies that were known money-losers before the pandemic are still money-losers today. The only thing that’s changed is that we have even less money to work with, so the need to avoid wasting it is higher than ever. It’s critical to choose investments that will lead to real growth and job creation.”
  • Dan McTeague, former Liberal MP and now head of Canadians for Affordable Energy, panned the Liberals’ vision of “a new green, eutopia”: “Carney, like Butts, McKenna, and other Canadian climate fanatics, see this economic disaster as an opportunity for the deconstruction of the Canadian resource sectors. These are the sectors that contribute billions of dollars to our economy, and underwrite the affordability of everything we take for granted. Moving away from a resource-based economy will only result in greater financial hardship for Canadians, and more expensive energy for a long, long time.”
  • Jack Mintz of the School of Public Policy at University of Calgary is concerned about the $50 Billion price tag on the recommendations forwarded by the Government’s “self-appointed Task Force for a Resilient Recovery, arranged by the PM’s former principal secretary, Gerald Butts.” Mintz writes: “Subsidies will widen a federal deficit that has already turned from pink to deep COVID red… The Trudeau government seems bent on bribing voters with mountains of new debt that it will leave for others to pay.”
  • Sun Media editorial succinctly states: “We need recovery, not decarbonization… What the Liberals should focus on is getting the economy firing on all cylinders, not using an ideological agenda to favour one sector over the others.”

The closing lines for the week go to the Globe and Mail editorial board who are alerting Canadians to PM Trudeau’s powerplay. In its lead editorial entitled “Justin Trudeau’s cynical disdain for Parliament, and for Canadian voters,” the paper suggests the PM is jeopardizing our country’s economic prosperity and undermining Canada’s democracy. Referring to PM Trudeau as a “callow scion” who is “ruthless, cynical and disdainful” the editorial trumpets: “Canadians should be alarmed by the way the Prime Minister is cynically trying to use this national emergency to his political advantage.”

With the Ottawa theatre now dark, Canadians need to be ever-mindful about what is unfolding off-stage in the recesses of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

Photo: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a campaign stop at the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area in Sudbury, Sept. 26, 2019. 

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/a-pivotal-week-for-the-trudeau-liberals-green-agenda/

10 of Ronald Reagan’s quotes on Big Government

  • Government is like a big baby – an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
  • Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving; regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
  • Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.
  • Either you will control your government, or government will control you.
  • We are a nation that has a government – not the other way around…. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of haven grown beyond the consent of the governed.
  • Status quo, you know, that is Latin for “the mess we’re in.”
  • When a business or an individual spends more than it makes, it goes bankrupt. When government does it, it sends you the bill. And when government does it for 40 years, the bill comes in two ways: higher taxes and inflation.
  • Nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself.
  • Man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics. As government expands, liberty contracts.
  • The best view of big government is in the rear view mirror as we leave it behind.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Optimistically Canadians will have a $252 Billion deficit this year and more than $1 Trillion debt

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux waits to appear before the Commons Finance committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday March 10, 2020. Photo: Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Niagara Independent, May 15, 2020 –  A budget deficit of $252 billion this year and a national debt of more than $1 trillion? But then, who is counting?

Two weeks ago the Parliamentary Budget Officer Report was issued and it projected that, given the combined impact of the pandemic and the collapse of world oil prices, Canada will have a budgetary deficit of $252.1 billion this year. The country’s GDP (the value of all goods and services produced) will fall by 12 per cent for the fiscal year. This will result in federal tax revenues falling by $60 billion, while the government’s program spending will increase by $168 billion.

To put all these numbers in context, it is the worst financial statement in Canada’s history. The deficit figure that is about to blot the ledger books of our country is greater than in any single year during the Great Depression.

That was two weeks ago. Fast forward to this week when Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) Yves Giroux appeared before MPs to testify at a finance committee meeting. Giroux said the $252 billion figure he cited in his report is “optimistic” and that it is “a low-ball estimate” of how much the federal government programs will cost the federal treasury this fiscal year. He anticipated the figure to be higher as the government continues to spend billions of dollars on emergency economic support programs to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Giroux explained, “The figure of $252 billion is very likely to be the very optimistic scenario, as opposed to the number for the deficit for the current fiscal year. It’s very difficult to estimate what is a likely deficit figure given that details are missing for some of these potentially very expensive measures.”

Giroux also projected that the coronavirus lockdown could result in Canada’s debt climbing to surpass $ 1 trillion. The PBO replied to Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre’s question whether it was “possible or realistic” that the federal debt could reach a trillion dollars during this fiscal year. He answered, “Possible, yes. Realistic? Yes. Certainly not unthinkable.”

In follow-up to the PBO appearance, the Federal Department of Finance reaffirmed Giroux’s projection, saying that the department had no estimate on the amount of money spent by the Trudeau Government in the last nine weeks. As it turns out, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada is also not able to provide any performance audits of federal departments. It has been reported that the Trudeau Government has been withholding operations funding from the office, preventing it from conducting its regular schedule of audits.

So, one trillion dollars of debt: $1,000,000,000,000. Can Canadians carry this burden? The short answer is “yes.” Given the current projections, the PBO sees the federal debt-to-GDP ratio rising to 48.4 per cent this year (Trudeau Government has boasted it has always been able to keep it at a manageable 30 per cent). Even at this inflated rate, the debt-to-GDP remains below its peak of 66.6-per-cent back during the PM Jean Chretien years of 1995–96. In the mid-90s Canadians were paying 38 cents of every tax dollar to pay the interest on the national debt. As it is in our post-pandemic world, Canadians will be paying about 30 cents on the dollar in interest payments – but that depends on interest rates.  As Paul Boothe, a former senior bureaucrat at Finance Canada also explains, it will depend on the foreign government(s) who will set the conditions on the debt they will finance (about one-third of government’s debt).

For the PM, this is a problem for another day. Trudeau said recently, “There will be time after this is all done as we figure out how exactly this unfolds, where we will have to make next decisions on how that recovery looks. But right now our focus is on getting through this together as a country.” When pressed about how Canadians may be told what the country’s books look like, Trudeau offered, “We’ll find ways to share this with you but we have not yet been able to determine what the best way is of looking at a budget or an economic update or maybe another way of sharing information with Canadians about what we foresee for the months to come.”

It is difficult to keep track of the multiple financial commitments made by the Trudeau Government. The numbers are alarming. Last reported, more than 7.3 million Canadians have applied for emergency assistance. Another 96,000 employers have applied for the 75 per cent wage subsidy to cover about 1.7 million workers. Another 518,000 businesses have applied for $40,000 government-backed loans.

And there are increasing concerns being expressed by MPs and media about the lack of government controls in place to monitor its own spending. This week, details of how the federal government has suspended “compliance and enforcement” of the EI program during the pandemic were exposed. Federal civil servants revealed to media that massive fraud is taking place. There are as many as 200,000 cases being given the $2,000-a-month emergency payment; yet, questions to the PM about this $400-million-per-month-boondoggle were dismissed.

In a special column to the Globe and Mail, Preston Manning sounded an alert on the gross spending by the federal government. He wrote, “Sooner or later – and preferably sooner – Canadians will come to realize that the country is headed into a financial and economic crisis of unprecedented magnitude with, as yet, no realistic plan or demonstrated capacity on the part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s minority government to deal with it.”

Last word goes to an unlikely left-of-centre character, former NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, who was also highly critical of the Trudeau Government’s spending ways. Mulcair wrote in a Sun Media editorial: “Trudeau will have created $10,000 of new debt for every man, woman and child in Canada during his time in office. The sums are staggering. Trudeau swatted away questions on that, not because it isn’t a huge problem but because he knows there’ll be an election before he has to bring in new taxes to start dealing with it.”

Mulcair concluded his criticisms with a lament for Canada’s future taxpayers, “Once again, this generation of leaders is putting everything on the maxed-out credit card of our grandchildren. One of the greatest inequalities in our society is that which exists between generations and it’s getting more and more unfair.”

(Is it now not accurate to say that with this $1 trillion dollar debt legacy, Trudeau Jr. has far surpassed the dubious legacy of Trudeau Sr., the father of Canada’s debt and its deficit-spending tradition?) 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/optimistically-canadians-will-have-a-252-billion-deficit-this-year-and-more-than-1-trillion-debt/

Canadians Will Need to Brace for the “Second War”

The Niagara Independent, April 10, 2020 – In one of his daily addresses to the Nation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to questions about the country’s economic wellbeing by stating that his government had always kept a “rainy day fund” of money in case of a federal emergency. The PM told Canadians to be reassured that, though “it’s raining,” the country’s economy is in a strong position to outlast this storm.

Trudeau’s rain analogy was a direct swipe at a Globe and Mail lead editorial that was critical of the Liberal government’s fiscal mismanagement through good economic times. The editorial began: “One of the many things we’ve learned from the pandemic crisis is the importance of saving for a rainy day. Canada has failed for many years to do so. Now it’s pouring outside, and both governments and individuals will struggle to cope.”

The paper poured down on the government’s “sunny days” performance, stating: “Justin Trudeau’s Liberals instead kept ramping up spending, taking advantage of a booming economy…  Their apologists patted them on the back for their wisdom and foresight. If Mr. Trudeau had broken a little promise, what of it? Everyone did that. And the size of the debt didn’t really matter anyway; it was its size compared to GDP, you see. As long as that didn’t soar, well, not to worry. No rain was in sight.”

The Trudeau Liberal’s record over four deficit budgets have left Canadians with $78 billion of new debt. The Fraser Institute reports that the combined federal and provincial net debt has reached $1.5-trillion. Mirroring this government debt, Canadians’ personal and corporate debt are at record highs. Former Chief Economist for Statistics Canada, Philip Cross, surmised, “High debt levels across households and governments mean Canada is quite vulnerable to a downturn in the global economy … It is easy to imagine how the dominoes might fall.”

Canada’s debt realities are very disturbing when considering the country must now brace for the economic storm front that just battered China. Last week The Economist reported on “the jaw-dropping bad economic data” coming out of China as a precursor of what the rest of the world will likely experience. “In the first two months of 2020 all major indicators were deeply negative: industrial production fell by 13.5 percent year-on-year, retail sales by 20.5 percent and fixed-asset investment by 24.5 percent. GDP may have declined by as much as 10 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020.”

With the Canadian government’s proverbial cupboard bare, its $82 billion federal relief package will be paid for by borrowing money at record amounts – placing a yoke on the shoulders of future generations of Canadian taxpayers.

More disturbing is the fact that Canada’s pre-pandemic economy was showing signs of strain and systemic weakness. Canadians were absorbing news of the loss of $20.6 billion investment in Teck Frontier mine project and the possible collapse of Quebec’s $9 billion Energie Saguenay pipeline project. In total in the last five years, more than $200 billion in investment has been lost in the Canadian resource sector. The Conference Board of Canada has assessed, “With the economy already on precarious footing, the added shocks of the recent rail blockade protests, the arrival of COVID-19 and a collapse in oil prices have brought the country to the brink of recession.”

This week, Statistics Canada reported more than one million Canadians lost their jobs in March. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business reported that as many as 40 percent of small businesses are not expecting to survive the economic shock of the pandemic (the Business Development Bank of Canada factors that 1.1 million small-to-medium sized businesses provides approximately 7.7 million Canadian jobs). Also this week the Canadian dollar dipped further below the American greenback: if one were to spend $100 in U.S. dollars buying an item online today, it would cost $143 compared to $134 only five weeks earlier on March 1st.

Punctuating this cacophony of bad news, Bloomberg News reported Canadians’ consumer confidence has fallen to a record low, surpassing even the worst numbers from the Great Recession. Nik Nanos reported on Canadians stark non-confidence in their economy: “The reality is there is a second war going on, that has to do with our economic and prosperity being at risk… when you look at consumer sentiment it is a steep, negative cliff.”

Even with government relief, Nanos is not optimistic in the short-term: “For many Canadians their initial inclination is still not to spend but to squirrel away… we’re in the midst of a terrible thunderstorm right now from a consumer spending perspective. I would expect for any support Canadians get (including businesses) they will try to maximize it, optimize it, and to hold back…. just because you send out the cheques and support businesses and Canadians, it doesn’t mean they will automatically start spending.”

The numbers in the Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index are a “bleak picture of economic anxiety across regions, age groups and most income levels.”  Three in four Canadians believe the nation’s economy will worsen over the next six months. One in three Canadians say their personal finances have worsened over the past year. Almost one fifth of respondents now say they are worried about losing work. Nik Nanos sums up the numbers by stating, “This is unprecedented because there is no structural problem in the economy right now. But this is like a hurricane bearing down on the Canadian economy and just wiping out prosperity and putting jobs at risk.”

In another interview this week, Royal Bank of Canada CEO Dave McKay and CIBC CEO Victor Dodig both projected that the economic fallout of the pandemic will last well into 2021. Businesses will assume a more cautious mindset which will prolong the economic recovery. Dodig summed it up by saying. “What worries me most is making sure our clients are able to bridge to a period of normalcy. It’s impacted everybody’s income, because it’s just stalled, and the income replacement hasn’t fully funded what they’ve lost. People will get back on their feet, but they’ll be a little bit more sheepish. They’ll manage more cautiously.”

In overcoming the health crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, as Nik Nanos stated, Canadians will need to brace for the “second war.” With the country’s finances as they are, we can expect individuals and businesses to be shell-shocked. And then the deluge of government stimulus dollars is sure to leave Canadians treading water in a sea of debt for years to come. (Which reminds me of that quote… “War is hell.”)

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/canadians-will-need-to-brace-for-the-second-war/

On “Wild Pigs”

Take a moment to let this sink in.. and here’s a thought to remember as you read this: Marx said, “Remove one freedom per generation and soon you will have no freedom and no one would have noticed.”

There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting Communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist regime.

In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question.  He asked: “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch-line. The young man said that it was no joke. “You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free food. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

“Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in Canada. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of government programs to feed us from cradle to grave, while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.

One should always remember two truths:
1.  There is no such thing as a free lunch, and
2.  You can never hire someone to provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

If you see that all of this wonderful government “help” is a problem confronting the future of democracy in our country, you might want to share this with your friends.

God help us all when the gate slams shut!

A here’s a thoughtful quote to pass along:  “The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living.”

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(Received in my email today – and could not not reshare it. – cg) 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

10 quotes on bureaucracy

“You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.” – Thomas Sowell

“Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies.” – Honore de Balzac

“The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency.” – Eugene J. McCarthy

“Bureaucracy is the death of all sound work.” – Albert Einstein

“Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible impossible.” – Javier Pascual Salcedo

“Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.” – Franz Kafka

“Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have a vested interest in the chaos in which they exist.” – Richard M. Nixon

“Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.” – Mary McCarthy

“Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.” – Laurence Peter

“Bureaucracy gives birth to itself and then expects maternity benefits.” – Dale Dauten

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Federal Government continues corporate welfare spending spree

Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. 

The Niagara Independent, February 7, 2020 — Many Canadians feel the federal government should not be in the business of doling out corporate welfare cheques. From an economic standpoint, it is most often money down the drain. Yet the Trudeau Government continues to shovel taxpayers’ dollars to multi-million dollar corporations. There have been numerous corporate payouts and debt write-offs in the last four years. Perhaps the most egregious example of corporate welfare is the recent payout to credit card company MasterCard – yes, that MasterCard, which recorded a net income of nearly $4 billion in 2017.

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains took a break from hobnobbing with the wealthiest corporate leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to announce the Canadian Government is gifting $50 million to MasterCard to help the corporation set up a Vancouver office. Minister Bains held a press conference with the company’s CEO Ajay Banga (whose 2018 salary was more than $20 million and his net worth is over $200 million) and the only thing missing in the Minister’s presentation was the over-sized cheque and grip-and-grin photo. For this handout, MasterCard will develop a new centre to advance cybersecurity technology that is expected to employ 380 people.

When the Prime Minister was first asked about his Government’s decision to give MasterCard $50 million, his response was, “Over the past five years, we have been focused on growing the middle class and supporting those working hard to join it. That is exactly what we have done.”

With the Trudeau Government it seems every explanation includes platitudes about championing the middle-class. With the new federal cabinet, Canadians can now rely on the Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity Mona Fortier and her new departmental bureaucrats to stand up for their interests, even though she admits she cannot define “middle class.” In Parliament this week the Minister stated, “Canada has no official statistical measure of what constitutes the middle class.”

But the greatest insult to taxpayers in the recent $50 million payola to MasterCard could very well be this: while corporate welfare was being debated in the House of Commons, the Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity was touting the Government’s generosity in having provided Canadians with a $90-a-year tax break – which the Minister suggested will pay for a child’s summer camp. This Government has no issues with the logic that would have MasterCard receiving a $50 million handout while Canadians get handed $90 to supposedly pay for summer camp?

The Trudeau Government has a long track record when it comes to rationalizing their corporate welfare. Recall these handouts:

  • Former Environment Minister Catherine McKenna gave away $12 million to grocery chain giant Loblaws to purchase “low-emission” refrigerator units for its stores. Loblaws, having earned more than $221 million in profit in the prior three months, announced in January they will lay off 800 people at their Ottawa and Laval distribution centres.
  • The federal government handed Maple Leaf Foods $28 million (Ontario handed out $34.5 million) to help the mega-food company with construction of a new poultry operation in London, ON. What was not communicated in this corporate grant announcement was that when the new facility opens, Maple Leaf will close its facilities in Toronto, Brampton, and St. Mary’s – leading to a net job loss of 300.
  • The Trudeau Government doled out $595 million over three years to its favourite mainstream media newsrooms, picked by media’s anti-conservative labour union bosses at Unifor.

This list goes on: $2.7 milllion to Canadian Tire to put electric car charging stations at their gas bars, $40 million to BlackBerry’s automated car division even though the company’s CEO said they did not need the money and a $373 million loan to Montreal-based aviation company Bombardier (which later laid off 3,000 Canadian employees).

There are also those endless, inexplicable debt and loan write-offs for government-friendly corporations. Recall a few years ago, the Trudeau Government wrote off $2.6 billion to General Motors and Chrysler corporations only to have Chrysler lay off 1,500 employees in Windsor and GM to close its doors in Oshawa putting 3,000 people out of work. Then there is the government forgiving the Irving family of a loan worth $7.4 million – beyond the $35 million in non-repayable funding for its wallboard operations in the Atlantic. Imagine this government looking after the interests of the middle class by writing off multi-million dollar loans to James Irving, who is worth approximately $5 billion!

Of course there is the temptation to swipe at this Federal Government that is headed up by a Laurentian-minded, trust-fund Prime Minister. How does such a government relate to middle-class taxpayers when they are cozied up to their tight corporate fraternity? This is a fair question for the Middle-Class Prosperity Minister and her Liberal colleagues, given that the Trudeau Government wants to put middle-class Canadians at the centre of all its rationalizations. But, irrespective of the answer, middle-class common sense tells us that the cheques recently handed out to corporations were a waste of taxpayers’ dollars – and in principle and in practice, corporate welfare should end.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/federal-government-continues-corporate-welfare-spending-spree/

The Dead Horse Theory of Bureaucracy

The tribal wisdom of the Plains Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that, “When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.”

However, in the Canadian Government more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing riders.
3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.
5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.
7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance.
10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance.
11. Declaring that because the dead horse doesn’t have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and, therefore, contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

And, of course…

13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

 

The joke was selected from Epic Political Jokes & Quotes – the 150-page-plus e-book bursting with funny guffaws, “shaggy-dog” stories and sideways jokes about politicians and politics. Read more about it hereOrder your copy here.

Three Contractors and the Fence

Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence on Parliament Hill. One is from Ottawa, another is from Toronto, and the third is from Montreal. All three go with a government official to examine the fence.

The Ottawa contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. “Well,” he said, “I figure the job will run about $900 ($400 for materials, $400 for my crew, and $100 profit for me).”

The Toronto contractor also did some measuring and figuring, then said, “I can do this job for $700 ($300 for materials, $300 for my crew, and $100 profit for me).”

The Montreal contractor didn’t measure or figure, but leaned over to the government official and whispered, “$2,700.”

The official, incredulous, said, “You didn’t even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?”

The Montreal contractor whispered back, “$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Toronto to fix the fence.”

“Done!” replied the government official.  

And that is how our government procurement works.

 

FROM OUR E-BOOK

The joke was selected from Epic Political Jokes & Quotes – the 150-page-plus e-book bursting with funny guffaws, “shaggy-dog” stories and sideways jokes about politicians and politics. Read more about it here. Order your copy here.

This Federal Government Has a Spending Problem

The Niagara Independent, March 15, 2019 — Finance Minister Bill Morneau will be delivering his fourth federal government budget next Wednesday, March 19. Given the news that the government ran a budgetary surplus of $300 million through the first nine months of the fiscal year, many financial analysts and political pundits are expecting the Finance Minister to increase federal spending – yet again.

Avery Shenfeld, chief economist for CIBC, forecasts in a Canadian Press interview: “I’m expecting cheques to go out somewhere. Remember that in the last election the party that won was the one party not promising to balance the budget… The recent sluggishness of the economy is just one more reason to expect a budget that sends out some goodies.”

With the looming election this Fall, Canadians are likely to see Minister Morneau make new (costly) promises relating to a national first-time homeownership initiative and a new national pharmacare program to provide “free” basic drugs for all. Canadians will be told the government can afford these promises based on our strong economic performance and an attractive debt-to-GDP ratio.

Interestingly, the federal finance minister no longer speaks of “deficits” and of “balancing the budget.” His favourite economic metric now is Canada’s “debt-to-GDP ratio” – the federal debt figure divided by Canada’s total economic production.

Pundits believe Bill Morneau will also use this budget address to explain to Canadians that he and the Trudeau Government have a firm hold on federal government finances. His speech is sure to pre-empt the Opposition’s attack of the Liberals fiscal record through the past four years.

As the oft-heard criticism goes, Justin Trudeau ran in 2015 on a promise to stimulate and grow Canada’s economy by spending small, annual deficits of $10 million. Somewhere in the last few years this Liberal plan was abandoned and, today, the Finance Department projects the government is on track to run deficits until the year 2040, which will add approximately $300 billion to the country’s federal debt. (ed. – This is not as bad as it sounds given our debt-to-GDP ratio.)

The Liberals’ continuous deficits are fueled by their unbridled government spending. Federal spending has grown from just under $300 billion annually in the last year of the Harper Conservative government to almost $340 billion for this past fiscal year. In reviewing the post-WWII period in Canada, PM Justin Trudeau has presided over the fourth-largest average annual increase (3.1 per cent) in per person program spending. This unflattering record ranks behind only his father, Pierre Trudeau (4.5 per cent), Lester Pearson (5.3 per cent) and Louis St. Laurent (7.0 per cent). In fact, this Trudeau Government has now recorded two of the three highest-spending years in Canadian history – 2017 and 2018.

To place the current Liberal Government’s fiscal record into context with those of recent Prime Ministers’, both PMs Brian Mulroney and Jean Chrétien recorded average annual per-person spending declines of 0.3 per cent. Over the Stephen Harper Government’s 10 budgets, that government recorded an average annual per-person spending increase of 1.5 per cent.

The difficulty with the Trudeau Government’s continuous overspending is brought into sharp focus in a recent analysis released by the Fraser Institute.  Jason Clemens, co-author of the Institute’s report entitled Prime Ministers and Government Spending, observes, “Wars and recessions clearly affect government spending, but to see this high level of peacetime spending when the economy is also growing could spell trouble for Canadian taxpayers in the future.”

Clemens explains, “The past few years have seen rapid and historic increases in deficit-financed government spending in Ottawa, at a time when the economy is growing. Higher spending often leads to higher deficits and more debt that ultimately must be paid by taxpayers, which is why current spending levels represent a burden to current and future taxpayers.”

But on Wednesday Canadians will not hear about these facts – about the challenges presented by continuous deficit spending. Instead, Finance Minister Morneau will tell us about the Liberals’ attractive election promises. He will reassure us with an accounting of the country’s favourable debt-to-GDP ratio. Yet, as the Fraser Institute’s report suggests, it may be best to remember that all this government overspending does not add up for Canadians’ fiscal future.

 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/this-federal-government-has-a-spending-problem/

5 taxing memes

On this the day of the fiscal update announcement in Ottawa, here are five of By George’s favourite memes on the subject of taxes. Seriously, it is not a funny matter…

taxes

bg232

taxes4

calvin-coolidge

churchill

 

Join By George on Facebook and on Twitter for daily missives that are both provocative and entertaining.

You can zap your friends with these memes by right clicking on these images and copy/save to Facebook, Twitter or into an email.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Canadians are Adrift on a Sea of Debt (Part 2 of 2)

The Niagara Independent, November 9, 2018 – Recent government announcements and news reports have provided Canadians with an accounting of how much our Canadian governments are in debt. The current federal government, spending hundreds of billions of dollars, seemingly pays no heed to the size of their annual deficits. Add the sum of all provincial governments’ deficit budgets and one soon realizes that our governments are burying us in a deep, dank financial hole; from which no Canadian alive today will likely climb out. The reported numbers are startling.

In Ottawa, the federal government recorded a shortfall of $19 billion for the last fiscal year, repeating the deficit amount of the previous year. The government reports its federal spending continues to rise and is now $332 billion – $332,000,000,000 – the highest amount of government spending ever recorded.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and finance officials will be quick to point out that the $332 billion figure is higher than in the past because of a change in accounting practices. But, this explanation does not address the fact that the federal government spending continues to increase.

The trend of overspending in Ottawa has resulted in the government adding almost $20 billion to the national debt in the 2017-18 fiscal year. As of March 31, 2018, Canada’s net debt is $758 billion. PM Justin Trudeau recently indicated his government will not balance the books before the election. Neither he, nor the finance minister, will offer a target date for when the Liberals can commit to a balanced budget.

In late October, an independent report on the state of federal finances assessed that the government will require deeper-than-expected deficits in each of the next few years. Canada’s federal parliamentary budget officer concludes that there is only a 10 per cent chance the federal books will return to balance in 2021-22, and a 30 per cent chance of seeing black ink in 2023-24. Are Canadians left to assume annual deficit budgets are here to stay?

In a recent Financial Post editorial, Fraser Institute economists provided no reassurances about the federal finance minister’s ability to manage budgets. They opine: “Morneau seems unaware of the risks of running deficits during periods of economic growth. Specifically, running deficits outside of recessions (or pronounced slowdowns) risks a permanent imbalance between spending and revenues, like what happened in Canada throughout the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s. Simply put, it didn’t matter if the economy was growing, slowing or in recession. Ottawa could not balance its budget.”

At the provincial level, assessments based on past and current performances appear just as bleak. Last week, the Fraser Institute issued a report on provincial government debt which underlines “a serious problem.” Deficit budgeting appears to be systemic throughout the country – and especially burdensome in the province of Ontario. The report reveals: “Over the 10-year period from 2007-08 to 2017-18, total net provincial debt grew from $317.3 billion to $645.7 billion for an increase of 104 per cent. In addition, 50 per cent of the net debt belongs to Ontario – a proportion much larger than its population share of 39 per cent.”

Factoring in all of the latest news on our government’s finances, the combined federal and provincial debt currently stands at an astounding $1.4 trillion – a figure that has increased by more than 60 per cent in the past decade.

Canadians often hear Finance Minister Morneau crow that Canada has a very low federal debt-to-GDP ratio of just over 30 per cent. But, again, when factoring in all levels of government collectively, the Canadian governments’ debt-to-GDP in the last 10 years has risen from 69 per cent to 87 per cent.

Lots of figures. Lots of debt. Why should Canadians pay attention? Simply put, our current government spending and the national debt load directly impacts future governments’ abilities to respond to changing circumstances and global pressures. Our governments’ deficit budgeting curtails Canadians’ choices and opportunities – today, and for generations to come.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/canadians-are-adrift-on-a-sea-of-debt-part-2-of-2/

Identifying “Governmentium”

A research institution announced the discovery of the heaviest element known to science.  The new element has been tentatively named “Governmentium “. Governmentium has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 11 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

 

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

 

Since governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of governmentium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less than a second.

 

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 3 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization causes some morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

 

This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration.  The hypothetical quantity is referred to as “Critical Morass.”

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Just the facts on Canadians’ debt & taxes

To begin 2018, the Fraser Institute has provided Canadians with 10 financial facts about our government and its spending that we all need to better comprehend. By George reprints these alarming facts unedited.

 

1. The total tax bill for the average Canadian family will exceed $35,000 in 2017, or 42.5 per cent of their income—more than what the average family spends on housing, food and clothing combined.

 

2. While the federal government has claimed it “cut taxes for middle-class Canadians everywhere,” the reality is that 81 per cent of middle-class families in Canada are paying higher federal income taxes under the government’s personal income tax changes—on average, $840 more a year.

 

3. More than 60 per cent of lower-income families (those in the bottom 20 per cent of earners) in Canada now pay higher federal income taxes because of the federal government’s tax changes.

 

4. And that does not include the impact of the federal carbon tax mandate, the coming CPP payroll tax increase, the lowering of tax-free savings account contribution limits, or the proposed changes to the tax treatment of incorporated small businesses.

 

5. Canada’s high and increasing personal income tax rates on its best and brightest workers have made the country uncompetitive compared to other developed countries. The federal government increased the top federal tax rate to 33 per cent from 29 per cent, and increases to top provincial rates have been made in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and other provinces. Seven of our 10 provinces now have a top combined federal-provincial rate above 50 per cent.

 

6. The top 20 per cent of income-earners in Canada—families with an annual income greater than $186,875— will pay 64 percent of all personal income taxes and 56 percent of all taxes (i.e. income, payroll taxes, sales taxes and property taxes, etc.).

 

7. As if this isn’t enough, the federal government has failed to achieve its election promise to run $10 billion deficits in its first two years and thereafter balance the budget. Instead, since coming into office, it has run deficits of $18 billion in 2016 and $20 billion this year, additional deficits of almost $80 billion are forecast over the next five years. There’s no immediate plan to balance the budget.

 

8. Large annual deficits mean government debt in Canada is ballooning. Federal net debt increased to $727 billion in 2016-17 with provincial net debt collectively at $633 billion. All told, federal and provincial debt currently stands at $1.4 trillion and has increased by more than 60 per cent in the past decade.

 

9. Prime Minister Trudeau is on track to increase per-person federal debt more than any other prime minister in Canadian history who didn’t face a world war or economic recession.

 

10. The federal government has claimed deficit spending will help grow the economy through expenditures such as the promised $100 billion in infrastructure investment over the next 10 years. But only $6.6 billion of that will be spent in 2017 (only about a third of the $20 billion deficit), and less than 11 per cent of the $100 billion will be spent on projects that have the potential to strengthen the economy.

 

The original Fraser Institute post can be found here:

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/blogs/ten-year-end-facts-canadians-need-to-know

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

The Dead Horse Theory

dead-horseThis theory is sometimes referred to as “Government’s Political Correctness.” Here’s the predicament:

 

The tribal wisdom of the Plains Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that “When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount, then get another horse.” However, in Government, more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

  • buying a stronger whip
  • changing riders
  • appointing a committee to study the horse
  • arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses
  • lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included
  • reclassifying the dead horse as “Living-impaired”
  • hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse
  • harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed
  • providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance
  • doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance
  • declaring that, as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses
  • rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses
  • (and, the choicest strategy) promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position

Government officials will also look to the root causes of the predicament before taking any action, i.e. what kind of parents it had, the horse’s colour, his socioeconomic background, perhaps the horse was bullied, or his mother was single, etc.

It is no wonder that, for some time now, government workers’ saddest refrain has been: It’s been so lonely in the saddle since my horse died…

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

10 Proverbs for Our Elected Politicians

On this Canada’s budget day, a day when we can expect our federal government to find new ways to intrude into our daily lives and mess about in our future prospects, By George reprints this priceless and timeless list of proverbs for elected politicians – of all stripes, in every level of government.

 

  1. Law is a necessary evil.
  2. Pass as few laws as possible, consistent with the demands of justice and the maintenance of order.
  3. Where custom is sufficient, there is no need for law.
  4. Do not pass laws that cannot, or will not, be enforced, for such breed contempt for both the law and the State.
  5. Penalties must be minimally sufficient to deter infractions, given adequate enforcement. Less renders the law ineffective; more inflicts unnecessary pain.
  6. There is an inverse proportion between the severity necessary to deter infractions and the certainty of punishment.
  7. Enshrine your principles in constitutions, codify your common sense in laws, and leave the rest to regulation.
  8. Even more than on your wisdom, the legitimacy of the State depends on your integrity.
  9. In public life, integrity requires not only an honest heart but an honest face.
  10. Your primary object must always be not the satisfaction of your constituents but the continued legitimacy of the State, for upon that depends the welfare, even the survival, of us all.

 

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

WSJ: Provincial Debt Unsustainable

The sirens are now going off south of the border that Canada’s provincial governments (namely Ontario and Quebec) are spending beyond their means and endangering their future taxpayers to a mounting tax headache.

Here is the Wall Street Journal’s news column: Canada’s Budget Watchdog Says Provincial Debt Unsustainable

The WSJ writes:

Canada’s budget watchdog Tuesday warned that the federal government’s push toward a budget balance masks a serious fiscal threat at the subnational level, where the country’s provincial governments are accumulating debt at an unsustainable pace.

The Canadian provinces’ fiscal performance has deteriorated since the onset of the global financial crisis, and the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer has issued other warnings on provincial government debt. But its latest report comes after major bond credit-rating firms this month downgraded their ratings on Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, and neighboring Manitoba.

In this article, WSJ identifies the largest culprits of Canadian debt.

Ontario and Quebec, the two biggest provinces by population, are carrying the biggest debt loads, with net debt-to-GDP ratios of roughly 39% and 49%, respectively. Quebec, after taking some austerity measures, projects a balanced budget this year.

Elsewhere, in Canada’s Financial Post, a headline today reads:
With twice the debt of California, Ontario is now the world’s most indebted sub-sovereign borrower

FP puts Ontario’s debt pile nightmare into context:

While Ontario’s population is about one third of California’s, its debt load is more than double that of the biggest U.S. state.

Is it not time for Ontarians to demand more of Premier Wynne and her Liberal Government than their tax-and-spend-and-spend-some-more approach to the province’s finances?

(ed. – Surely, we won’t accept that the answer is to wine and complain that the federal government must give Ontario more tax transfers? Should we not start with the notion that we begin to live within our means?)