Thursday, March 29, 2012


Budget 2012 reviewed... I will open by saying that I completely appreciate that developing a budget that will please all is impossible and that Mr. Flaherty has one of the hardest jobs in the country.  Of course, I'm still going to run through it and make criticisms of it... that's what we Canadians do and if you want the short version on some of the cuts and changes... well now you can read it here rather than hearing it on the news or somewhere else :)

"This budget will make a lot of cross-border shoppers happy. As of June 1, travellers coming back after 24 hours away will be able to bring in $200 worth of goods free of duty or taxes, an increase from just $50. People gone more than 48 hours will be allowed $800 in duty-free goods, double the present $400 allowance."  That's from Global News... 

Message - Canadian's we don't really believe in our country so could you please go and piss away your hard earned money in the United States, it will make them happy and maybe they'll like us more then.  

From the budget:

Commit to bringing forward legislation to achieve the goal of “one project, one review” in a clearly defined time period. 

This means that we will either have a provincial or federal review on projects in our country. I hope it is the national version that survives, but this could also be a quick way to offload more onto the provinces.  There must be a Canadian (national) component to all reviews as many of these projects have an impact on the entire nation - on massive regional ecosystems and environments.  This is something to watch, but doesn't technically have a roll out date.

The penny will be eliminated this Fall saving us $11,000,000.

The Finance Department and the Royal Canadian Mint, in secret documents in 2008, said it was costing more than a cent to make a cent.  So it only took them four years to stop wasting money... awesome.  I think this is something easy for them to scrap and so they should and for the complainers - we also gave up exchanging silver coins, wooden nickels, etc and I'm sure we were attached to all of that too but we moved on because of impracticality and/or common sense.  While it isn't much, $11M, this could actually pay for the portion the fed's should contribute to the multi-centre in Quesnel - so maybe they'll toss the penny and toss us a bone on this project that our community deserves.

Make investments to assist more young people in gaining tangible skills and experience. 

And yet they eliminated the Katimavik program - the entire program was eliminated - it has been hit a couple of times with reductions to the program - use to run for nine months at a time, it was running as a six month program which really wasn't the same, but I can appreciate that reductions were needed.  I do not agree with the elimination of this program.  We have had a number of great youth pass through our doors as part of the program and they have supported hundreds of events in our community.  It is kick in the face of all non-profits in the country who made use of this great program.  For this I shame on the government for not doing their homework on eliminating something of actual value on a number of levels.  This is a mistake.

They also noted - in the budget that... Our Government is proud to continue to invest in affordable, effective programming that engages youth, including Encounters with Canada, Forum for Young Canadians, and organizations that support youth, like the YMCA.  Canadian Heritage will continue to invest over $105 million in youth programming to allow almost 100,000 young people to learn about their country.

The last time I checked (Statistics Canada) there were more than 4,000,000 FOUR MILLION people - youth - Canadians - that could have participated in the Katimavik program.  I find it shocking that they even bother to reference that and it is a continuing program - this isn't new money for youth - they are just zapping the money out of Katimavik with no reference to what level of support will be provided to any other group.  They fail to address that this program also supported thousands of non-profits across Canada - what are they to do - where can they go now?  This was a mobile volunteer workforce that transformed communities, what do non-profits do?  Close - that is what they will do.

Old Age Pension, once you get to 67

I'm not happy with this because now my Dad will have to work longer.  He has worked hard enough in this life.  
Old Age Pension isn't much - at most we are talking about $500 (or less) a month.  Hardly something to live on.  If you have no pension and this is your retirement plan I'm here to tell you that you better start planning something else because ... well my poor old Grandma has this and one other source of income and I don't really know how she gets by now.  Well I do - she has to live in low income housing for old people and that's the truth.  So if you think you'd like to stay in your own home and survive - well you probably won't even be able to keep the lights and heat on, oh and then try to eat, on that money.

By making Canadians delay retirement - I think - also causes our country to fall behind in innovation.  We need to be asking Canadians to have more babies and to grow our country and let the people that built our country, and continue building our country retire at an appropriate age.  I know there are some very smart 65+ people, I have met many, but the reality is that the innovations in industry are coming from the 18-55 age group and we should be looking for more people like this to ensure that jobs are created.  Innovation leads to employment, not asking our valuable country builders to work longer.

12,000 jobs eliminated, with a total of 19,200 jobs to be eliminated including all jobs not being refilled as people retire...

I agree with job elimination if it is appropriate.  If it is cutting jobs to look good for industries who are complaining about - hey, you keep raising my taxes to pay your people more, who aren't doing the job we need them doing... I don't agree - because you are losing your brain trust as these people retire or quit because of politics and other nonsense.  They also don't go into any details about where those jobs are coming from - no department information - nothing.   Going through the plan you can certainly see where there will be jobs eliminated, but I'd be hard pressed to find 12,000 jobs.. of course I don't know how many people answer the phone for Old Age Pension (those jobs seem like they'll be gone) - I assumed it was like all other call in places - must only be one person answering the phone since I sit on hold for more than 45 minutes usually... 

Canada Arm, let's stay in space till 2020

This joint project interests me - so that's why I noted it.  The International Space Station is worth more than $100B (BILLION) and the Canadarm will likely be operational until 2028, which means we will likely hang out in space for a while beyond 2020 - but what happens after that.  Why aren't we going to the moon?  If it was so "easy" to land there before why aren't we trying things there?  Why is NASA being pulled apart and not participating with the International Space Station and deploying their own craft for future use?  I'm curious about all of this and you've heard me rant in the past about the moon walk - but just wonder what others think.

And that's all - there is a lot more in the budget and I think it is our job to understand how our government spends our money and while governments tend to act like it is their money, it is all of ours and we should be interested in it. 

xo - my loves - happy budget thursday

ps.  JibJab's Junior app is wicked great - we love it!  It is definitely approved by me and the kids :)

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