WE really need to get rid of this guy

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
23,137
7,993
113
Regina, Saskatchewan
In just the last week, there have been two separate columns in British newspapers framing Canada as a model of what not to do.

Both were inspired by the tabling of Bill 63, the Liberals’ Online Harms Bill. The Spectator said that it effectively engendered the founding of a Canadian “thought police.” The Telegraph cited it as evidence that “Canada’s descent into tyranny is almost complete.”

This didn’t used to happen. It wasn’t too long ago that Canadian politics were famously inaccessible to the wider world. For Canada’s 2008 federal election, The Spectator covered it with a blog post that mostly mused on how nobody cared. “It’s curious that Canada receives almost no foreign coverage, even in Britain where there are, after all, plenty of people with Canadian relatives or connections,” it read.

But now – on topics ranging from assisted suicide to housing affordability to internet regulation – it’s not infrequent that Canada will be cited in foreign parliaments and in foreign media as the very model of a worst-case scenario.

It was just six months ago that The Telegraph scored a viral hit with a mini-documentary framing the political situation in Canada as a “warning to the West.”

“Under Justin Trudeau, Canada has sought to position itself as the global bastion of progressive politics,” reads a synopsis for the film Canada’s Woke Nightmare, which has garnered more than five million views.
The documentary notes that Canada is now at the absolute global vanguard of progressive issues including harm reduction, assisted suicide and gender ideology.

Canada now has the world’s most liberalized assisted suicide regime, and the world’s highest rate of deaths attributable to euthanasia.

Canada was the first country to go all-in on supervised consumption as a response to rising overdose rates, and B.C. is the first jurisdiction to distribute free recreational opioids under the rubric of “safer supply.”

And in just the last few years, Canada’s rules governing transgender identity have been pushed even further than equivalent policies across much of Europe.

As one example, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was forced to resign last year in part due to controversy that her government had allowed convicted rapists to secure transfer to women’s prisons simply by self-identifying as female.

Trudeau enacted the exact same policy in 2018 – and with the same effect that it allowed sex offenders to transfer to women’s prison. Nevertheless, the issue has gone almost unremarked in Canadian discourse.

The thrust of Canada’s Woke Nightmare is that this “social revolution” has mostly been to the country’s detriment, and should be heeded by Western nations looking to follow the same path.

The U.K. is currently studying a proposal to legalize doctor-assisted suicide. And during Parliamentary hearings, it was Canada that was presented as the example of what to avoid.

“I would say that Canada is a warning sign for countries that legalize medical assistance in dying,” Trudo Lemmens, a University of Toronto bioethicist, told a U.K. committee last June.

The phrase “warning to the world” was also used in a recent profile on Canadian euthanasia published in the magazine Spiked. “Rather than tackle the health and economic challenges Canadian society is facing, the government is effectively offering an early death as a solution to life’s ills,” it read.
 
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spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
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Ontario deficit ballooning to $9.8B next year amid slow economic growth
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Published Mar 26, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

Ontario is delaying its path to a balanced budget as lethargic economic growth drags the province’s books further into the red, with a $9.8-billion deficit projected for the coming fiscal year.

Ontario is delaying its path to balance as lethargic economic growth drags the province’s books further into the red, with a $9.8-billion budget deficit projected for the coming fiscal year.


Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy acknowledged the challenging economic times Tuesday, saying life has rarely been this expensive, though his budget contains few new affordability measures.


“The pressure of managing a government budget pales in comparison to the pressures many families are facing as they manage their family budget in a time when everything is costing more,” Bethlenfalvy told the legislature.

“These are the real challenges and real problems of real life and real people, of making rent, of paying the bills, of affording groceries. And the best way to help people is by getting the big decisions right. Making smart investments. Watching the expense line. And most of all, keeping costs on people low.”


The deficit for 2024-25 is almost double what the province projected in the fall economic update. That document had also eyed a return to surplus the following year, which was already delayed a year from the 2023 budget. Bethlenfalvy now projects that a small surplus will not happen until 2026-27. In 2025-26, the deficit is forecast to be $4.6 billion.

The $214.5-billion budget forecasts real GDP growth of just 0.3% in 2024, and Bethlenfalvy said he has made a choice to increase the deficit rather than cutting spending or raising taxes or fees on Ontarians.


“We are going to follow through on a plan that is working — knowing that the higher deficits, compared to what we projected last year, will be time limited while the return on investment will be felt for decades,” he said.

New money in the budget includes an additional $2 billion over three years for home and community care — which sees care provided at home or in a community setting by nurses, personal support workers and others — an additional $965 million for hospitals, a $200-million community sport and recreation infrastructure fund and $120 million more for autism therapies.

The Progressive Conservative government is also putting $100 million more into its Skills Development Fund as it hopes to flood the labour market with increasing numbers of skilled trades professionals.


As well, the province is planning auto insurance reforms, putting money toward four police helicopters for GTA forces, supporting a new York University medical school focused on training family doctors, and increasing the eligibility threshold for a program that helps families with the cost of electricity.

NDP Leader Marit Stiles said there are many gaps in the budget, which she said doesn’t put enough toward affordable housing or boosting primary health care.

“I see nothing here that’s going to support Ontarians in their day-to-day lives,” she said.

In addition to the sluggish economy, the budget document also cites higher public sector salaries, increased infrastructure spending and gas tax relief as reasons for the deficit figures.


Bethlenfalvy and Premier Doug Ford announced earlier this week that a 5.7-cent per litre cut to the gas tax first introduced in 2022 that had been set to expire in June will now continue to the end of the year. The budget shows that move is costing the treasury $620 million.

The government is spending billions more on broader public sector compensation, particularly in health and education, after its wage restraint law was declared unconstitutional last month. The province has mostly relied on large, multibillion-dollar contingency funds to pay for retroactive payments it has had to make, but going forward the contingency fund is set at a more standard level of $1.5 billion.

Ontario’s finances on the revenues side have also deteriorated since the last budget, Tuesday’s document reports, saying they have decreased by $7.3 billion for the upcoming fiscal year, due to both slower growth and lower tax assessment information from the federal government.


As well, a recent federal announcement of a two-year cap on international student study permits will negatively affect the province’s books since colleges’ finances are consolidated into the province’s financial statements.

Colleges have increasingly relied on the much higher tuition fees paid by international students to bolster their finances in the face of low operating funding from the province and a multi-year domestic tuition freeze.

The budget shows the province’s net debt rising above $439 billion in the upcoming year.

Liberal finance critic Stephanie Bowman noted that the Progressive Conservatives have added $100 billion in net debt since coming to power in 2018, and criticized the government for managing to both pile on debt while also underspending on services such as health care.

“There are lots of things this government is choosing not to do to fix the crisis in front of them because they like projects,” she said.

“They like building things that are adding billions of dollars of debt and yet we have crises after crises in every file in this province. I would actually challenge people to name a file that is not on fire here.”

For this fiscal year, the province is expected to end 2023-24 with a $3-billion deficit, an improvement from the $4.5 billion expectation Bethlenfalvy had just a month ago when he presented the third quarter finances.
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
35,817
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Ontario spending $310K on new 'communications centre'; critics say will limit access
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Allison Jones
Published Mar 28, 2024 • 2 minute read

TORONTO — The Ontario government is spending about $310,000 on a new space for press conferences, which opposition parties say duplicates a room that already exists at the legislature and will mean less access for the media.


The Progressive Conservative government used its new “communications centre” this week for the finance minister’s budget press conference and a technical briefing for journalists.


But it now intends on using the room, in the basement of a legislative precinct building connected to the main legislature via a tunnel, for all on-site government press conferences, senior government officials told The Canadian Press.

That’s despite there being a room that already exists for that purpose.

The media studio inside the main legislative building has for decades hosted press conferences by government ministers, opposition members and advocacy groups.

But that space is a neutral one operated by the Speaker of the legislature on behalf of the press gallery, and journalists are not limited in the number of questions they can ask a minister.


Not so in the new government communications centre. Journalists there will be allowed to ask one question and one follow-up, the sources said, similar to the format of off-site press conferences with the premier or government ministers.

The government needed a space for press conferences that already has the tech in place and is available on short notice, one source said, in explaining the rationale for the new venue. The existing media studio does not operate on the weekends and is sometimes already booked by another group, the source noted.

The government rarely holds press conferences on weekends.

Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie said the new space appears to be a way for the government to avoid accountability.


“We know he has always had an utter disrespect for journalists and for the important role they play in Ontario,” she wrote in a statement, referencing Premier Doug Ford.

“Their new $310,000 media studio is a complete waste of our hard-earned tax dollars.”

The cost for the new space includes about $240,000 for construction, $37,000 for technology such as audio-visual requirements, $25,000 for a black-panelled backdrop, and $8,000 in miscellaneous costs, the government sources said.

NDP Leader Marit Stiles said it is an irresponsible use of public money and will limit the media — and therefore the public’s _ access.

“It’s extremely troubling to learn that Conservatives think it’s OK to spend over $300,000 for their own private press conferences,” she wrote in a statement.

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said using a space operated independently from government for press conferences is important.

“This certainly seems like an attempt to limit journalistic freedom and public accountability, which is totally undemocratic,” he wrote in a statement.
 

Taxslave2

House Member
Aug 13, 2022
2,751
1,667
113
So cutting taxes, politicians wages and overall government intrusion in people's lives isn't an option?
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
35,817
3,031
113
On April 1, Canadian MPs will earn world's second-highest salary for elected officials
MPs will get an $8,500 raise on April 1, increasing the base salary to $203,100, ranking only behind the U.S. in political salaries

Author of the article:Bryan Passifiume
Published Mar 28, 2024 • Last updated 22 hours ago • 4 minute read

Justin Trudeau's salary
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's salary will pass $400,000 on April 1.
OTTAWA — On the same day Canadians will see an increase in the federal carbon tax, MPs will also see a little extra on their pay stubs.


And with that April Fool’s Day pay increase, Canadian parliamentarians will become the second-best paid elected officials in the world after Americans.


According to numbers provided to National Post by the office of the Speaker of the House of Commons, Canadian members of Parliament will get their customary pay raise on April 1 — resulting in increases of anywhere between $8,500 and $17,000 this year.

Right now, members of Parliament earn a base salary of $194,600 per year — but that’s due to rise to $203,100 on April 1.

The prime minister’s salary will see an increase of $17,000 to $406,200.

Eighty per cent of Canadians oppose the automatic April 1 MP pay increase, according to a Leger poll commissioned by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.


In the online survey of 1,541 Canadians of voting age conducted between March 15 and 18, 62 per cent of respondents strongly oppose the pay raise and 18 per cent somewhat oppose.

Those who hold more senior roles or cabinet positions are entitled to additional remuneration — roles such as House Speaker, opposition leader or cabinet minister will be entitled to an additional $96,800 annually, plus car allowances.

That increase was $92,800 before April 1.

Other positions, such as House leaders, whips and committee chairs, are also entitled to a bump.


Chief government and opposition whips, for example, will earn an additional $36,000 on top of their regular salaries, while chairs of House committees — as well as rank-and-file members of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) — earn an extra $13,800.

“The federal government is more than $1 trillion in debt, taxpayers are struggling to afford basic necessities and MPs don’t deserve raises, so this is the perfect time to stop rubber-stamping the pay raises politicians give themselves every year,” said Franco Terrazzano of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“MPs stopped pay raises in the past and they should stop this year’s pay raise.”

Under legislation, parliamentarians’ raises are based on average wage increases granted by large public sector companies.


Salaries for MPs are overseen by the House’s Board of Internal Economy — a shadowy committee chaired by the Speaker and consisting of privy council members and senior opposition party members.

Last week, the Liberals unveiled changes that would move the next federal election ahead a week, greatly increasing the number of MPs who qualify for a House of Common pension.

Pensions depend on lots of things, Terrazzano said, but are largely based on salary — so those are bound to go up too, he said.

MPs have frozen their salaries before during hard economic times.

In reaction to the 2008-09 global financial crisis, the Conservative Stephen Harper government froze salaries for MPs and senators between 2010 and 2013.

With the federal budget just weeks away, no word has leaked about another potential wage freeze.


“MPs should know better than to give themselves raises while their constituents are worried about rising mortgage payments and struggle to feed their families,” Terrazzano said.

“It’s not rocket science: MPs should do the right thing and stop their upcoming pay raise.”

Canadian MPs are among the best-paid politicians in the world.

According to data published by online aggregator politicalsalaries.com, after April 1 Canadian MPs will rank only behind the United States in how much world politicians earn.

The United States pays elected members of Congress an average of US$174,000 annually ($236,433).

That’s now followed by Canada’s new MP salary of $203,100, followed by Israeli Knesset members ($200,700), Australian MPs ($200,175), and Singapore’s parliamentarians ($192,500).


Members of the U.K. Parliament, in comparison, only earn the equivalent of $144,400 Canadian annually.

German Bundestag members earn the equivalent of $186,859 annually, while members of Italy’s Camera dei deputati take home $184,095 per year.

When it comes to world leaders, Singapore still comes out on top, paying their prime minister the equivalent of $2,217,188.82 in 2023.

The $543,562 Canadian earned by the U.S. president came second, followed by the Australian PM’s $520,332 salary.

Canada’s prime minister ranked sixth, between the $420,527 earned by Austria’s chancellor, and the $383,909 salary of the prime minister of New Zealand.

The Leger poll found that just 14 per cent were in favour of the pay rise, with just two per cent expressing strong support.


As margins of error don’t apply to web panels, a comparable probability sample would have a margin of error of +/- 2.5 pert cent, 19 times of out 20.


bpassifiume@postmedia.com
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
35,817
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Ford's bloated government gives every PC MPP but one a raise
Pretend jobs for hidden raises all because MPPs haven't had a pay hike in 16 years.


Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Published Mar 29, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 3 minute read

Ontario is delaying its path to a balanced budget as lethargic economic growth drags the province’s books further into the red, with a $9.8-billion deficit projected for the coming fiscal year.

Call it jobs for the boys, and the girls, who make up Doug Ford’s PC Party caucus.


Ontario’s Premier is responsible for a 78-member caucus and somehow has found a way to give all but one of his MPPs additional roles that come with extra money.


In addition to Ford’s bloated 30-member cabinet, there are also 38 parliamentary assistants. On Thursday, just before the Easter weekend, Ford shuffled the deck chairs for these assistants, which isn’t something that would ever be of interest in the general public except for the extra cost.

Members of the Ontario Legislative Assembly are paid a base salary of $116,550, an amount that hasn’t gone up since then-premier Dalton McGuinty froze MPP salaries in 2008 in the face of the financial crisis.

To get around this lack of pay increases, governments have increasingly provided their members with these plumb postings, but Ford’s current situation is next level.


When MPPs are appointed to serve as parliamentary assistants their pay is bumped up to roughly $140,000, meaning the 38 PAs serving under Ford cost taxpayers close to $900,000 more. Committee chairs earn an additional $16,000, the PCs currently chair six of the eight committees and are co-chairs of the other two.



Cabinet ministers earn a salary of $165,851 per year, meaning the 30 ministers in Ford’s government are costing taxpayers almost $1.5 million extra per year compared to a basic MPP’s salary.


Jay Goldberg, Ontario director for the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, points out Ford ran for office on a platform to control the size and cost of government.

“Instead, he’s bloated it larger than ever and appointed a record number of parliamentary assistants to hand out raises to caucus members without being transparent with taxpayers,” Goldberg said in response to the shuffle.

“Ford needs to show leadership and reduce the size of both the cabinet and the number of parliamentary assistants to actually deliver on smaller and more efficient government for taxpayers.”

He should, but this game of smoke and mirrors happens because no one wants to increase pay for MPPs and they play these games to get around that while in office.


All of this pales in comparison to the high wages paid to MPs in Ottawa.

While MPPs at Queen’s Park haven’t had a raise in 16 years, their counterparts on Parliament Hill receive generous annual raises each April 1. On Monday, Canadian legislators will become the second highest paid federal politicians in the world according to a report from National Post.

Backbench MPs will receive a raise of $8,500, pushing their salaries to $203,100 per year. Cabinet ministers will see their salaries increase by $12,500 to $299,000, plus perks like a car and driver.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will see his salary increase by $17,000 to $406,200 annually.

By comparison, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has made $208,974 each year that he has been in office.


While the size of the cabinet and the number of parliamentary secretaries in Ontario is out of control, there is an argument to be made to increase the base salaries of elected officials in the province. Many of them make less than the civil servants and political staffers that they work alongside.

There surely could be a happy medium between what MPPs are paid in Ontario, $116,000, and what their federal counterparts in Ottawa are paid, $203,000.

To attract good people there needs to be good compensation, without having to resort to tricks like giving all but one member of the PC caucus a role that comes with extra cash. That idea would never fly with a large slice of the electorate who believe we have too many politicians and they are all overpaid.

If MPPs were given raises, not as crazy as we are seeing in Ottawa, we could stop the charade of everyone getting these extra jobs to ensure a pay raise.

We need smaller government, we need more transparency, but let’s be honest, MPPs also need a raise after 16 years.

blilley@postmedia.com