Canadian Fedwatch! News Across the Nation

Government Finds Taxation Affects Wealth

The Government is strangely pleased to announce its findings that the National Child Benefit program, a program that gives extra tax benefits to low income families, is working to help these families avoid poverty. Apparently the people in the government weren’t exactly sure that giving people more money would help them avoid poverty. Perhaps they were unclear on the definition.

To satisfy themselves, though, they commissioned a report (http://www.sdc.gc.ca/en/cs/comm/sd/news/2005/050804.shtml) which came back with findings that, remarkably enough, support the theory that taking less money from people enables them to have more money. Happily, for those responsible for the National Child Benefit program, the report that they commissioned and paid for has come back with glowing reviews about the program, and suggests that the funding to the program should continue to increase, which is good news if you’re someone who’s hoping to get paid for writing a report about the National Child Benefit program.

While I’m happy that they are at least attempting to be accountable, I have to question the reliability of a non-independent report, and whether the money might better have been put into the National Child Benefit program.

The Perks of Being Premier

It’s not a vacation. It’s work. Honest.

At least that might be what they’re telling themselves, but when over 400 delegates, including Premiers, officials, and their families, gather in Banff (http://www.gov.ab.ca/acn/200508/185302228F4E2-3E67-4069-A9BC2729058E15A1.html) from August 10-12 for the Council of the Federation meeting, the question of how much work will really get done has to be an issue.

For example, their busy work itinerary starts with a ride on a historic Canadian Pacific Railway steam engine from Calgary to Banff on the tenth, supplemented by a stop in Kananaskis Country for a special Rodeo from the Calgary Stampede Association, and goes on to the Premier’s traveling in vintage automobiles from the train station to their meeting place at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

Sounds like a nice job, if you can get it.

U.S. Still Acting Illegally

Even though the BSE restrictions are slowly being lifted (despite the American cattle ranchers fighting against it tooth and nail), the softwood lumber dispute continues (http://w01.international.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.asp?publication_id=382864&language=E) on. Once again the WTO has ruled that the United States is illegally imposing countervailing duties on Canada, and has not yet complied with the things they agreed to.

The change now is that Canada has applied to the WTO to retaliate against the United States with duties of up to 200 million dollars. So it seems like things are entering the penalty phases now and hopefully the entire case will be wrapped up shortly after I retire. It certainly seems like it will last that long.

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