Author: Richard Starr

Health transfer issue returns, wrangling to follow

The pandemic has changed some aspects of the political landscape and may affect many more. One thing that’s different is the debate about federal health transfers to the provinces. Although likely to be subject to political wrangling, an improved formula may be coming. This site is full of articles about this subject, but to save looking them up, here is a summary of the saga. Between 2004 and 2016 health transfers increased at the rate of six percent a year. In 2017, in a change imposed by the Harper Conservatives, the increase was capped at the lesser of three...

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Liberal leadership race: a weak field carrying heavy baggage

With apologies to anyone opposed to the sport of horse racing, I am going to apply a racetrack analogy to the Nova Scotia Liberal leadership contest that began officially last Friday. On most days at the track there are two classes of event – stakes races for big purses involving quality mounts and claiming races for the majority of horses who rarely see the winner’s circle. The Liberal leadership race is a mash up of the two. The stakes are high – the Premier’s office – but the entries are strictly claimers. In alphabetical order we have Randy Delorey,...

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Starr’s Point Index #4

Percentage increase in reported COVID-19 cases in Canada Sept.1-30: 22.6% Percentage increase in reported COVID-19 cases in United States Sept. 1-30: 19.5% Number of countries with more COVID-19 cases than Canada as of Sept. 30: 25 Number of those countries with September increases lower than Canada’s: 11 [1] Fishing Income Average net fishing income for Nova Scotia tax filers 2010: $16,794 Average net fishing income for Nova Scotia tax filers 2017: $43,189 Percentage of tax filers reporting net fishing income over $100,000 in 2010: 3.97% Percentage of tax filers reporting net fishing income over $100,000 in 2017: 26.09% Percentage over...

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Positive post-pandemic recovery needs a fiscal plan

Back near the end of World War II, federal cabinet heavyweight C.D. Howe found himself in hot water when he brushed off complaints about overspending on the war with a remark that the opposition twisted into “What’s a Million?” The phrase, allegedly uttered during House of Commons debate, became synonymous with Liberal government arrogance and fiscal imprudence. Seventy-five years on the dollar figure was inflated several orders of magnitude as the House spent all of 4.5 hours last Monday debating a Liberal bill that, according to the Opposition Conservatives, will add $57 billion (that’s nine zeroes) to the federal...

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While public attention is elsewhere oil and gas industry takes advantage

As the saying goes, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good. So the winds that have been blowing smoke from the terrifying infernos in California and the Pacific Northwest may have a positive impact of putting climate change back on the agenda in Canada after months during which the news cycle has been dominated by COVID-19, the WE fiasco and the Black Lives Matter movement. It will be recalled that just a bit over a year ago Canada’s House of Commons joined many other institutions in declaring a climate emergency. And climate change figured large in last...

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Richard Starr, The man behind the Point

About Richard

RICHARD STARR has had careers as a journalist, public servant, broadcaster, political staffer and freelance policy adviser. He is author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, a former radio and TV producer and weekly newspaper editor, and the author of three non-fiction books. Starr has lived in Dartmouth for more than 30 years.

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