Category: Updates

April Update: Canada’s COVID-19 deaths exceed projections, fiscal hole deepens

My entry in mid-April 11 put forward the proposition that the following couple of weeks would tell us a lot about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Canada, and the Trudeau government’s handling of the crisis, On the latter issue, the jury’s still out on the performance of the government and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and will likely remain so for a long time. But the political unity that characterized the first weeks of the country’s response has been eroded by criticism of the government’s reluctance to denounce China for its initial response to the pandemic. (Political...

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Child poverty dips but Nova Scotia income picture remains dismal

Just in time for the self-congratulatory rhetoric of the provincial budget, Statistics Canada released the results of the Canada Income Survey (CIS) for 2018. The latest personal income numbers show that (what else is new?) Nova Scotia remained at the bottom in terms of both poverty rates and median income levels. Only the new figures on child poverty will require any rewrite of the dreary message track of the past couple of years. On that score, when the CIS came out last February it infamously revealed Nova Scotia as the only province in the country with a jump in...

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Update: Physician workforce grows but bureaucracy costs remain a problem

The first question period of the fall session of the Nova Scotia legislature began with a familiar theme – physicians and their numbers. But even as the opposition was excoriating for the umpteenth time the government’s failure to train, recruit and retain enough doctors to meet the needs of Nova Scotians, new data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) cast a somewhat different light on the issue. Physician numbers, down slightly in 2017 (as reported here) were up significantly in 2018. As the table shows, the number of physicians increased by four per cent in 2018, with...

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Updated income numbers change the poverty story

A few months ago the McNeil government’s reputation took a hit with news that while child poverty was dropping across Canada it was on the rise in Nova Scotia.The source of the disclosure was Stats Canada’s Canadian Income Survey (CIS) for 2017. As reported here, the release was given wide publicity by the federal Liberals as proof that their anti-poverty measures are working. But sadly, although the Canadian rate of child poverty purportedly dropped from 11 to nine per cent between 2016 and 2017, it jumped from 14 per cent to 17.1 per cent in Nova Scotia. The February...

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Slight jobs improvement in 2018 but “Atlantic Growth Strategy” still a misnomer

Early last year, on the occasion of the PM’s visit for a town hall in Sackville, I posted about the fact that despite boasting by the Liberal government about the country’s employment growth, the Atlantic Region was lagging badly. Annual estimates published last week by Statistics Canada show job growth in Canada of 336,500 in 2017. In the Atlantic Region it was minus 2,100 in 2017 – a total made up of 8,500 fewer jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador and small employment gains in the three Maritime Provinces. In this election year, when employment numbers will be flying around,...

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Federal employment in Atlantic Canada picking up but still down from peak years

Last December I reported that the Atlantic Region was still experiencing a drop in federal employment. Source of that news was the annual “Population of the Federal Public Service by Geographic Region.” That report, to March 31, 2017, indicated that while public service employment had gone up nationally since the Liberals came to power, the number of federal public employees in the Atlantic provinces was down overall. But according to the most recent report from Treasury Board the tide has turned with each Atlantic province showing an increase in 2018. The increases range from a low of 63 in...

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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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