Category: Nova Scotia Economics

Good fiscal news comes at the expense of the most vulnerable

The fiscal news just keeps getting better for the Houston government. Three months after releasing an update showing that the deficit projected in the Liberal budget for 2021-22 would be lower than expected, their latest forecast has the operating deficit disappearing altogether. Instead of being in the red by almost $600 million, as per last spring’s budget, we’re looking at a surplus of more than $100 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022. A number of things contributed to the fortuitous turnaround but the Conservatives, in power now for four months, can’t claim credit for any of...

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The old normal: Good news and bad on poverty and incomes

Economic fallout from the pandemic may change things, but the latest Statistics Canada data on income and poverty levels in Nova Scotia run according to form, with one major exception. The Canadian Income Survey (CIS) for 2019 shows a further drop in the province’s child poverty rate – a steep one. As described here, child poverty became a political embarrassment for the McNeil Liberals two years ago when the CIS revealed that while child poverty rates across the country were falling, they went up in Nova Scotia in 2017. The stigma eased a bit last year when the CIS...

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Small business tax changes missing the real targets

The federal Liberals have certainly opened up the proverbial can of worms with their proposals for changing the taxation rules affecting small businesses. If there were such a thing as a Richter scale for backlash, this one would be closing in on 9.0. Opposition has been growing since the mid-July release for public comment of the details underlying a Liberal campaign promise to stop highly paid individuals – including physicians – from using the small business tax regime to reduce their taxes. The Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness has organized doctors, farmers, lawyers, shop owners and other small...

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Canada 150 bittersweet celebration for many

A lot of folks who have been badly treated by the entity named “Canada” have come forward over the last few days to cast a pall over the country’s 150th anniversary celebrations. Many indigenous Canadians have been speaking out for months in an effort to shift the focus from celebration to contemplation of the treatment of indigenous people since Europeans set up shop on the northern half of North America over 400 years ago. They carried their message to Parliament Hill over the weekend. In Halifax, some Chinese Canadians were on the news last week drawing attention to the...

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Money for public services, never public servants

It seems that many in the media barely glanced at last week’s Nova Scotia budget. The rationale was that because it would not be put to a vote, it was more akin to the Liberal election platform than to an actual budget. But if that’s the case – if the budget is indeed the platform – the media and all Nova Scotians should be giving it more than a quick look. The story so far in the run up to the May 30 election is that after three-plus years of telling everyone there is no money the Liberals have...

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Feds will roll out cash… if you re-elect the Liberals!

The recent federal budget doesn’t appear to be getting rave reviews from Canadians. This past week the Globe and Mail published results of a poll asking 1,000 people whether they had a positive or negative view of the March 22 federal budget. According to the Globe, 52% had negative or somewhat negative opinions. Only five per cent said they had a positive view, 33 % said their opinion was somewhat positive. With only one out of twenty firmly positive, participants were clearly unimpressed with the budget, and its lack of a plan for eliminating the deficit seems to be...

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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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