Tag: budgets

Post-budget advice to feds: Show us the health care money

There was a lot packed into the 740 page near $500-billion federal budget tabled last Monday. Somebody counted 230 new spending proposals, the largest of which is the $30-billion over five years for childcare. That’s an important, long-overdue commitment but it wasn’t the most noteworthy thing about the budget. The big story is what’s missing from the longest, most postponed and verbose budget in Canada’s history. Notable in their absence were increased health transfers to the provinces and national pharmacare, while elder care was barely in evidence. To that big three of health care can be added proposals that...

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Nova Scotia’s pre-election budget plan looks suspiciously like 2017 blueprint

Deliberation on what is likely to be Nova Scotia’s pre-election budget neared an end last week. The budget was filled with enough attractive promises to keep criticism at a low volume, but as Gary Burrill argued, what comes next is worrisome. In keeping with its pattern of departing as little as possible from the McNeil regime’s record, Ian Rankin’s government presented a budget predicting a return to operating balance in three years. But there’s a catch. It’s a plan predicated on reducing departmental expenses by over $200 million next year. And as the table shows, notional balancing of the...

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Nova Scotia budget takes cautious approach to redressing social program shortcomings

Last November as Nova Scotia was embarking on pro-forma public consultations on the budget, I argued that the provincial government has both the fiscal capacity and the moral obligation to “build back better” by significantly increasing expenditures on programs and services Statistics Canada classifies under “Social Protection.” Social protection includes sickness and disability, help for families and children, housing support and measures to increase social inclusion. Nova Scotia’s expenditures on this basket of programs actually dropped between 2013 and 2019, leaving the province with the country’s second lowest per-capita expenditure. The budget tabled last week takes some baby steps...

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A year in review: 2000 and its enduring legacy

This is the time of year when media people are moved to do the year-in-review thing. Some may even evoke Janus, the Roman god of two faces, one turned toward the past, the other looking to the future. The pandemic has complicated that convention. The virus, as we have discovered, does not respect borders or political ideology. We can hardly expect it to pay attention to the Christian calendar. Because the COVID scourge is far from over, a retrospective on 2020 would be like a two-act play ending at intermission or a subject without a predicate. But in the...

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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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