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Technology Colby Cosh: The creeping horror Alberta never knew it was voting for

10:15  29 october  2019
10:15  29 october  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

Colby Cosh: Trudeau wants to take us out of the boutique and into the bush

  Colby Cosh: Trudeau wants to take us out of the boutique and into the bush I still can’t quite believe the Liberals have an entire section of their platform devoted to camping, and I still can’t believe that this provoked John to compare Trudeau to Idi Amin, but I have double-checked my memory, and it proved reliable. My colleague John Ivison has already given a rough ride to the Liberal party’s big plans to subsidize family camping trips and camping education programs.

The United Conservatives introduced their first Alberta provincial budget last week, and as an exercise in austerity it has a lot of interesting features. The blue-ribbon MacKinnon Report on the province’s finances turned out to be a pretty good guide to the overall fiscal direction of the UCP.

Horror has a face, and you must make a friend of horror . I knew the risks, or imagined I knew . But the thing I felt the most, much stronger than fear, was the desire to confront him. It is impossible to describe what is necessary, to those who do not know what horror means.

Jason Kenney wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a crowd: Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews, left, is applauded by Premier Jason Kenney after Toews delivered his budget at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on Oct. 24, 2019.© Larry Wong/Postmedia Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews, left, is applauded by Premier Jason Kenney after Toews delivered his budget at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on Oct. 24, 2019. Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

The United Conservatives introduced their first Alberta provincial budget last week, and as an exercise in austerity it has a lot of interesting features. The blue-ribbon MacKinnon Report on the province’s finances turned out to be a pretty good guide to the overall fiscal direction of the UCP. Public-sector salaries and physician fees, traditionally kept high in Alberta to match the province’s tight labour markets and high incomes, have become a natural target in a time of private-sector struggle.

Colby Cosh: Trudeau's toy tax will eat the rich, but only in careful nibbles

  Colby Cosh: Trudeau's toy tax will eat the rich, but only in careful nibbles The federal Liberals authorized the release of Parliamentary Budget Office costings for some of their election promises over the weekend. (The PBO does not seem to have been invited to scrutinize Liberal plans for mass camping education, discussed in this space on Saturday.) This came off a little haphazard, like everything else about the Liberal campaign that has taken place after the discovery of the prime minister’s history of racist pantomime rituals. New ideas were flung at the media with no prior staging or explanation, out of a sort of Rip Taylor confetti bucket.

Alberta never stopped voting for Harper's Conservatives, and voters here can only grow more nostalgic about the federal government of which “Symbolically,” I say — as if the vote were a tidy abstraction instead of the cruel gang-stomping it was . The Alberta Liberals ran their leader, David

The irritating face of economic havoc Cosh , Colby . National Post [Don Mills, Ont] 19 Sep 2008: A.18. As the American financial system goes up in flames It was when I first read about Casey Serin -- a name that is not likely to mean much to you now, unless you are a true connoisseur of miscellaneous

Higher education has been singled out for heavy budget pressure as a means of defending core obligations to children and health care. Municipalities are being urged to hit the “pause” button (now a favourite UCP metaphor) on infrastructure projects. It’s all very subtle, or devious, depending on your political predisposition.

But surely nothing in the budget is as surprising and tragicomic as the choice to de-index tax bracket boundaries, tax credits, and adult welfare payments. This is something that nobody, I think, saw coming — something it would have been positively difficult to imagine the UCP government doing. And it has had the effect of uniting the New Democrats with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation in what is surely history’s unlikeliest popular front.

Colby Cosh: Foreign policy is the dog that didn't bark in our federal election

  Colby Cosh: Foreign policy is the dog that didn't bark in our federal election There has been a certain amount of handwringing about the undeniable lack of attention given to foreign policy in the campaigning and discussion of Monday’s federal election. We live in a world in which a lot of complicated stuff is happening all at once, the argument goes. We are arguably in the midst of a fundamental change in the international order, although I doubt any two of us could be made to agree on the exact nature of that change. And yet our politicians aren’t really talking much to voters about the world outside Canada — or, at any rate, they are not disagreeing about it. They are not being challenged much on it, either.

The canadian press/ho/. Colby Cosh . I assume that heroin is even more amazing. When I got morphine, I knew I was probably very, very, very lucky never to have tried heroin. It is a question, frankly, of cost-effectiveness. In Alberta right now, if naloxone can be made available to the few

Colby Cosh is a journalist on National Post. Read and subscribe to the latest news and articles from Colby Cosh . Until I see an Alberta hockey crowd boo 'O Canada' I think we will go on pleading futilely for more 'conversation' in the national agora.

The text of the budget puts this in terse, cagey language, observing that the basic personal exemption in Alberta’s tax system is enormous compared with those in other provinces (it’s $19,369 to B.C.’s $10,682 and Ontario’s $10,582). Other tax credits are also large, and the unbylined, impersonal voice of the state warns us: “Annual indexing increases these amounts automatically every year, resulting in a significant annual tax expenditure for government.” You know it’s bad news when a government adopts an economist’s technical phrasing in this setting: a “tax expenditure” here is money that’s not being taken out of your paycheque.

So, yeah, about that inflation indexing. “With the need to control spending, continuing to index these benefits is unaffordable for the time being. … Alberta will resume indexing the tax system once economic and fiscal conditions can support it. This measure is estimated to reduce tax expenditures by about $20 million in 2019-20, $98 million in 2020-21, and $196 million in 2021-22. In total, this measure is expected to save over $600 million by the end of 2022-23.”

Opinion: Here's how Alberta can make Ottawa feel the pain

  Opinion: Here's how Alberta can make Ottawa feel the pain By Niels Veldhuis and Jason Clemens In response to the federal election results, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced his government will create a panel to look at ideas for reforming Alberta’s role within Canada. He also put the federal government on notice that his government will give it two years to make progress on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and redraft such bills as C-69, which created more impediments and uncertainty for large infrastructure projects including pipelines. While he didn’t state what the ramification of inaction would be, Premier Kenney was clearly expressing the frustration felt by many Albertans (and Saskatchewanians).

The prime minister is in hot water again in Alberta . Justin Trudeau was on a discussion panel at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires on Friday; the topic was gender equality, and he was there to talk up his government’s bleeding-edge credentials on “gender budgeting.”.

The Alberta Progressive Conservatives voted “Yes” to unification by a margin of 25,692 to 1,344; the Wildrose Party totals were 23,466 Yes, 1,132 No. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley arrives for the announcement of provincial funding for the downtown Calgary Green Line I trust we will know soon.

This creates the phenomenon known as “bracket creep,” as higher tax rates kick in at ever-decreasing levels of real income, and if you have heard that term, it is probably because the Reform Party (and the CTF) made endless sport with it in the 1990s. Federal income tax cutoffs were indexed to inflation in the 1970s, de-indexed by the Mulroney government in 1985 as a deficit-fighting measure, and re-indexed under Chrétien in 2000. (So there’s your historical evidence for how long it might be before “economic and fiscal conditions can support” re-indexing.)

 Rachel Gibb shops for a Connor McDavid jersey at the Edmonton Oilers Store at Rogers Place in Edmonton in a file photo from Sept. 15, 2017. Consumers will be impacted as a result of a provincial decision to de-index tax bracket boundaries and tax credits.© Ian Kucerak/Postmedia News Rachel Gibb shops for a Connor McDavid jersey at the Edmonton Oilers Store at Rogers Place in Edmonton in a file photo from Sept. 15, 2017. Consumers will be impacted as a result of a provincial decision to de-index tax bracket boundaries and tax credits.

During the non-indexed years, Reformers would barely let a week go by without denouncing bracket creep. This opposition research practically does itself. If you search openparliament.ca for the words “bracket creep” you find that the heaviest user of the phrase in Parliament’s recorded history was Monte Solberg, with 38 search hits. The silver medal goes to Jason Kenney, with 26.

Oilers Recall Colby Cave, Assign Lagesson

  Oilers Recall Colby Cave, Assign Lagesson Riley Sheahan injury forces #Oilers to make changes to active roster. Lagesson didn’t play a shift during his call up.As per the Edmonton Oilers’ twitter account:

Author's note: A special thanks to Dr. Creepen for narrating my story. Be sure to check out their channel. My father was always the most caring of men. I know many of my friends had had problems with their fathers at some point. Some were prone to drink and others were quick to anger.

Let’s row into the weeds a little. There is a subtle constitutional point at the heart of the Wilson-Raybould controversy, or at least what we know of it . It ’s one of those weird bits of political metaphysics that pops up in Canada because of its parallel overseas evolution of an ancient

Perhaps the lesson here is that if you elect people who have spent a long time studying and opposing sneaky tax increases, as Kenney did with the CTF and in the House of Commons, they will know exactly how to deploy them against you. The UCP de-indexing arrives against an intellectual background in which boffins have been urging Alberta to adopt a provincial retail sales tax in the neighbourhood of a couple of percentage points. University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe estimates that de-indexing will, after a few years of creep, add up to the revenue equivalent of a 0.3 per cent PST, hitting middle-income households hardest overall when considered as a rate.

More a nibble than a chomp, in a land of income taxes that are relatively low and flat; but the UCP ran in the election on a no-teeth platform. The Alberta treasury offers the defence that if your income isn’t growing in nominal dollars, your tax rates aren’t affected by bracket creep. Which is true, and might seem convincing to Albertans who aren’t in line for a raise anytime soon. If you make $63,726 in year one and $63,726 year two, you’ll pay exactly the same number of dollars both years in income taxes. The dollars you earn are less valuable because of inflation, but so are the dollars the government is taking for itself.

Colby Cosh: Carbon taxes reveal the liberal face behind the conservative mask, or vice versa

  Colby Cosh: Carbon taxes reveal the liberal face behind the conservative mask, or vice versa Andrew Coyne wrote a wonderful and clear long piece on conservatism for Friday’s Post ; it is part of a wider general discussion in these pages about whether the idea of conservatism has a non-“populist” future. There is always a lot of effort in such pieces to define the conservative mentality, and never too much expended to say what populism is, although agreement that it is definitely bad seems general. Coyne suffers the same allergy to taking sides on the newspaper page that I do, but his portrayal of postwar “conservatism” as a disguised form of classical liberalism is definitely sympathetic, and would be hard to argue against factually.

The Alberta Progressive Conservatives are thrilled, thrilled to pieces, about the outcome of the latest The PCs, instead of catcalling, should be explaining why Albertans had to vote for somebody else to What I do know is that the Alberta PCs, seeking a revival of their degraded image, cannot have their

The instinct of Alberta ’s police for pettifogging, pointless secrecy has now officially reached the point of generating poetry. On May 22, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), a provincial police agency that investigates other police forces

It does all even out — except that because of inflation, you’re losing purchasing power when your income stays the same in nominal dollars, and in a progressive tax system you’re supposed to pay a lower tax rate as you get poorer. You have to have an economist’s nose for the unseen to reckon exactly why this is unfair, but it is, and the unfairness is a little more obvious to those whose seniors’ benefits and Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped cheques have also been de-indexed. I know it’s obvious to our premier.

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Colby Cosh: StatCan's sneaky demand for bank info looked bad last year. But now ... .
Colby Cosh: StatCan's sneaky demand for bank info looked bad last year. But now The commissioner, Daniel Therrien, believes this should take the form of upgrading the relevant statutes from a narrow set of data-protection rules, largely self-policed by government and corporations, to a more ambitious “rights-based” regime. As the report explains it, this would involve incorporating “a broad definition of privacy” into statute law, imposing more positive obligations on institutions, and basically making the whole apparatus more enforceable and more justiciable.

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