Author: Richard Starr

Fiscal Update wins bank’s praise but Liberals aren’t bragging

Well after the federal government and most other provinces reported on the impact of the pandemic on public finances the McNeil government finally got around to releasing a fiscal update last week. As will be recalled, the 2020-21 provincial budget was passed in early March but outdated within days as COVID-19 trashed all assumptions about revenues and expenditures. But although it was a long time coming, the update did not tell us a lot that is new about the state of Nova Scotia’s finances. The marquee number, a deficit of $853 million, was close to, but slightly below, the...

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Parting gift from the AG, threatened lawsuit from J.P.

Normally it is the departee receiving the gift. But the practice was reversed this week when Nova Scotia’s auditor general delivered his final report to our missing in action legislature. Michael Pickup, who is leaving after five years to take the same job in British Columbia, bequeathed the McNeil government a thumb’s-up on its plan to use the widely discredited P3 approach to replacing the Victoria General hospital. While it was far from an enthusiastic endorsement, Pickup’s headline conclusion – that the public private partnership model was selected “based on a reasonable and appropriate business case” – will come...

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Federal deficit projection grows but no new help for child care, seniors or disabled

The federal Liberal government last week tabled its much-anticipated fiscal update – dubbed the Economic and Fiscal Snapshot 2020. Like many summertime photos, it was a bit blurry and unfocused. But what it lacked in definition it made up for with shock value. The federal deficit for this year is now estimated at $343 billion, pushing the country’s net debt well above a trillion dollars – $1.060 trillion to be exact. Both numbers are considerably larger than those estimated by the Parliamentary Budget Office in a scenario presented last month. The PBO estimated the deficit for this year at...

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Starr’s Point Index #1

Growth in value of Nova Scotia international exports 2009-2014: 23.9% Growth in value of Nova Scotia international exports 2014-2019: 15.3% Nova Scotia share of Canada’s exports 2009: 1.27% Nova Scotia share of Canada’s exports 2019: 1.11% $$$$$$ Percentage of Nova Scotia’s 2015 international exports destined for China: 7.9% To the United States: 70.8% To all other countries: 21.3% Percentage of Nova Scotia’s 2019 international exports destined for China: 16.5% To the United States: 62.2% To all other countries: 21.3% Nova Scotia’s provincial ranking for share of exports going to China: First Drop in value of Nova Scotia exports to...

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On Racism and the Bloc

It may be a stretch to call it “the boot heard round the world.” But Jagmeet Singh attracted international attention with his ejection from the House of Commons last week for calling another member racist. The incident caught the attention of  both the BBC and National Public Radio in the U.S. and, according to iPolitics, assorted other international media outlets. As has been widely reported, the racist epithet was hung on Bloc Quebecois MP Alain Therrien who denied unanimous consent for debate on the NDP leader’s motion to recognize systemic racism in the RCMP and review the Mounties’ budget,...

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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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