Today, the federal government announced how much each province and territory will get in transfer payments next year. All told, Ottawa will transfer $68 billion to provincial capitals in the fiscal year that ends March 31, 2016. As federal finance minister Joe Oliver said, for every dollar that Ottawa takes in, it sends 20 cents back out to the provinces and territories.
Last week in the House of Commons, Employment Minister Jason Kenney was asked why his department did not renew funding for a Halifax agency that helps at-risk young people find and hold on to jobs. The program had been in operation for a decade and, as CBC News reported, had followed all the rules to qualify for the $191,105 it was seeking this time around.
Yesterday, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, spoke in Toronto and when Bloomberg’s Greg Quinn reported on his remarks, he zeroed in on some things Poloz said about youth unemployment in Canada. As Quinn reported, “How bad are things in Canada’s job market? Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz says bad enough for young people to consider working for free.”
Today, in Ottawa, Poloz was in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance and Liberal MP Scott Brison wanted to pick up on that theme. Listen, above, to their exchange.
Canada’s Parliamentary Parliamentary Budget Office is warning all political parties that while the federal treasury is about to overflow with billions in surpluses, any major tax cuts or new spending programs could plunge the country back into deficit.
But with political silly season upon us in advance of the 2015 general election, it’s unlikely the three major parties are going to pay much heed to this warning.
Last week, the economists at TD Bank put out a helpful paper in which they tried to calculate a) how much extra money the federal government is likely to have between now and March 31, 2020 and b) how much it will cost the federal treasury to do the things Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised to do during the 2011 election once the budget was in balance.
The result of their number-crunching? From the 2014 fiscal year through to the 2020 fiscal year, Ottawa should post a combined surplus of $71.1 billion. (Reminder: Ottawa’s fiscal year ends on March 31 so “fiscal year 2015 or FY15” is the current fiscal year which began on April 1, 2014 and ends on March 31, 2015. By convention, fiscal years are denominated in the year they end.)
Last week in Brampton, Ont., Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered some good, if surprising news, about Canada’s fiscal situation. Here’s the transcript (my emphasis):
I want to draw your particular attention to the numbers, the one between the dotted lines there for last year, the year completed, 2013-2014. That has been our estimate until today. That has been our estimate of the deficit last year and coming up after that of course this year, 2014-15, we still have a small deficit and are projecting surpluses after that. Continue reading The funny thing about surpluses …
Today on the campaign trail, New Brunswick Liberal Leader Brian Gallant was talking about his job creation plan and hammering the government of incumbent Progressive Conservative Premier David Alward government because it “it lost 3,900 jobs since October 2010, lost, more specifically, 6,500 full-time jobs.”
That phrase “since October 2010” is an important qualifier but, in my view, an odd one as he and anyone else should be measuring the Alward government’s job performance record from September 2010, the month in which Alward was elected premier. In fact, as I point out in this review of the Alward government’s jobs record, the record is even worse if you start from September 2010 rather than October 2010.