O

CANADA

Here’s my Canada Day story. It was the country’s 125th anniversary and I was an MP. A crazed small-town radio DJ in my riding said he wanted to renew the national anthem with a pop version performed by celebs, plus a nice symphonic rendition, then send a copy to every school. Would I help?

Sure. So I went to my colleagues in the government to get some of the hundreds of millions flying around to celebrate the anniversary. Denied. ‘O Canada’ is too controversial, I was told, since it contained lyrics that may be sexist (“all thy sons command”) and, worse, they don’t like it in Quebec.

Then I went to corporate sponsors on my own, outfits like Ford Canada and Coca-Cola. I lobbied the CEOs, raised $1 million, gave it to the DJ and his pals, and they did the job. And, yes, every school in Canada got a CD. Then CTV made a documentary (“With Glowing Hearts”) on the effort, and aired it nationally. Finally we talked our way into the Canada Day concert on Parliament Hill, so people like Randy Bachman, Luba and Gino Vanelli came on a bus we paid for and performed the anthem, while the Queen watched from the front row.

In fact, Bachman played my Stratocaster on stage in front of 200,000 people that evening. Afterwards, in a smoky hotel suite, everyone took a gold pen and autographed the guitar. It was a good night.

Canada’s a fine place to be, but it’s sure not perfect. My time in politics ended badly because I felt those we elect too soon forget why. Parties exist to chase power more than to improve things. Leaders invariably turn into control freaks. Citizens get cynical and jaded. No wonder. The day I was told by the government that the national anthem was a divisive idea I went home, drank four scotches and decided to do it myself. With that bad attitude, I was destined to a problem.

Well, there ya go. I can’t even be patriotic without pissing people off.

Now, if you were the boss and could change something about this place, what would it be? I made my choice.

233 comments ↓

#1 LifeXpert on 06.29.14 at 4:15 pm

1.Introduce a voucher education system
2. Restrict immigration (increase points in the qualification system)
3. Refine our own oil (cheaper fuel)
4. Separate from the crown (why is that even still valid?)

#2 Bill Gable on 06.29.14 at 4:17 pm

Happy Canada Day to your Family.
I hope you get some downtime and enjoy some time in God’s Country (Lunenburg).

The one thing I would change?
Our Prime Minister.

He is going to get his pants handed to him in the next election.

It couldn’t happen to a warmer, more people oriented, guy.

#3 will on 06.29.14 at 4:33 pm

Make RE regulated like securities with a conduct and practices requirement and stiff monitoring.

Make a new Consumer Price Index that reflects reality.

New emphasis on public transportation and high speed railways in certain corridors.

Oh and uh, harper and owe gone for good, never to be heard from again.

#4 Mister Obvious on 06.29.14 at 4:33 pm

My Change: It would become mandatory for every Canadian citizen over the age of 18 years to vote in federal elections unless declared mentally incompetent by a medical doctor.

The price of failure to vote would be 1% of your taxable income payable at filing time. You would be free to spoil your ballot if you so chose or to even randomly select a candidate.

But you must show up at the federal election polling place (either an advance poll, or election day). Otherwise, your refusal to participate will cost you some real money.

#5 Aggregator on 06.29.14 at 4:35 pm

No subprime lending in Canada huh? Well, take a look what's happening with Canadian MBS securities between the Big Six banks versus Big Six financials. Charts

Big Six financials defined as:

Equitable Trust Company
Home Trust Company
Macquarie Financial Ltd.
MCAP Service Corporation
Merrill Lynch Canada Inc.
Peoples Trust Company

Why is the Big Six's MBS issuance declining? Would they really give up an income stream to b-lenders if these new mortgages were good loans? Or is it like the US were big banks let the b-lenders do the dirty work and then buy and flip those securities for them. That way, when those securities blow up they have a paper trail (origination) leading back to the b-lender who sold their mortgages with a rep and warranty agreement, stating mortgagors' incomes have been varified.

To find out, we look at another piece of public data available. Below is a historic spreadsheet of CanEquity's (a b-lender) mortgage pre-approval statistics.

Pre-Approval Statistics 2007-2014

Nearly every city or town CanEquity tracks has seen an increase in leverage (loan-to-income ratio) over the last eight years, and more particular places like Guelph, Scarborough, North York, Victoria, Burnaby and Surrey have seen the fastest growing leverage.

Now here's the kicker. About 30% of our housing market is bundled into MBSs. That means 30% of Canadian mortgages can't go into arrears because if an MBS mortgagor misses their monthly payment, the government will make payments as part of their guarantee via CMHC. This also means CBA's mortgages in arrears is NOT real time 90+ day arrears, rather mortgages that have failed every measure of default prevention.

Essentially what we have are shadow home squatters, and after reading numerous arrears court cases on CanLII, what I found on many occasions is that this process can take years depending on when CMHC or the lender decides to take legal action. In some cases I found the lender will allow a defaulted mortgagor to pay their first mortgage with a second mortgage for years until all their equity dried up — all while collecting CMHC guarantees throughout that time.

Another thing preventing mortgage defaults are consumer proposals, where debt restructuring is used to consolidate other debts before defaulting on a mortgage is considered. Indebted homeowners seem to always want to save their homes because they believe prices will continue to rise and hopefully they can pay off their debt with the gains.

Then there's the current backlog issue being addressed by the OSB (Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy) about bankruptcy trustees taking their sweet time to file cases and charging their clients hours of extra labour for it. It's a mess and backlogged for years.

All in all, when one looks at the legal system and how many measures are taken to avoid homeowners defaulting and the size of CMHC market making powers, only then does one conclude that not much has changed and that the status quo is still government pushing homeownership amongst those who can't afford it. In fact, it's worse as the data above implies that CMHC is now gracefully backing more MBS issued by non-OSFI regulated financial companies and credit unions that are certainly picking up the excess deadbeats who want to buy at the top.

Canada housing market still has legs, but the weight on its shoulders is just getting heavier and heavier. And when an accident is waiting to happen, it eventually does.

#6 Tough Nuggies on 06.29.14 at 4:35 pm

Happy Canada Day Garth!

Thank you for your blog and I personally like your brand of “bad attitude”.

The only thing I would change about this place is to exchange the pension/benefits our MPs and King (Prime Minister) get with those our Armed Forces receive. I’d choose heroes over the kind of MPs we in SK have (with the possible exception of Goodale that is).

Thanks for your continued diligence, Garth. Some of us are listening.

A.

#7 liquidincalgary on 06.29.14 at 4:39 pm

LifeXpert

refine our own oil?

interesting idea; however, 1)margins are way too slim
2)NIMBY effect

#8 FK on 06.29.14 at 4:40 pm

Happy Canada Day!

#9 Role on 06.29.14 at 4:41 pm

I would do moar scotch for all them thinking we have not ever, not or can be better! Alway’s can be better, if only we can try!

#10 Goody Niosi on 06.29.14 at 4:45 pm

Make every effort to become a world leader in sustainability initiatives including wind and solar power, recharging stations, protections for wildlife and wilderness – and so on

#11 T.O. Bubble Boy on 06.29.14 at 4:56 pm

1) Get rid of Harper – specifically his war on science. Science is the future… but Harper wants all of us working in the oil patch and/or building condos.

2) Diversify: stop putting all of our investments into the same couple of industries (oil, real estate). Why does this country have so many “junior” energy and metals companies on the Venture index, and so few technology companies? Why is CMHC so large, and yet the City of Toronto has so many community housing buildings ready to fall apart?

This also goes for NAFTA – we’re now too expensive to get the same benefits that we did with a dollar in the 60-70 cent range. We can’t keep targeting the same jobs that Canada fell into 20 years ago (auto manufacturing, etc.).

3) Make immigration strategic. And, I don’t mean for low-cost Tim Horton’s workers, or Vancouver RE buyers!

4) Take powers away from the suburbs in terms of urban planning – they are ruining every major city by building sprawl without properly integrating new development into the overall city plans.

5) Stop copying the U.S.-style politics and media. It makes us dumb. I know more about Rob Ford than Chris Hadfield !!!

#12 Stephen Fowler on 06.29.14 at 4:59 pm

Garth for Prime Minister!

#13 Bank Of Canada on 06.29.14 at 5:09 pm

5. Nationalize these strategic resources : Oil, Natural Gas, Wood, Electromagnetic Spectrum, and certain Metals.

Companies can bid on what they would like to extract/use for set periods of time.

Then gangs ..ahem parties..have less incentives to chase power.

#14 JacqueShellacque on 06.29.14 at 5:09 pm

2 words: less government.

#15 Forzudo on 06.29.14 at 5:17 pm

Happy Canada Day to all.

Instead of looking for things to change, I think we should all pay big thanks to everything that we have.

Of course, no country is perfect; however, we do get a lot of things right here.

#16 Mr. Reality on 06.29.14 at 5:21 pm

1) Introduce a user fee for medical services. This would prevent all those idiots abusing the system for minor illness;
2) Legislate lobbying out of our political system, forever!
3) Make public service sector jobs hard to get and easy to lose;
4) Turn this country back into a Peace Keeping Nation;
5) Give teachers their power back – kids and parents do not run the show;
6) Craft a law that states a certain percentage of the official opposition was take cabinet postings as ministers; and finally
7) BUY THAT FRIGGEN HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA SONG AND HAVE CANADIANS OWN THE RIGHTS TO CANADAS HOCKEY SONG FOREVER AND ALLOW ANY AND ALL NETWORKS AIRING A HOCKEY GAME TO USE IT!!!!!!!

Happy Canada Day

Mr. R.

#17 Teacher's Ass-istant on 06.29.14 at 5:29 pm

I remember when that was done but didn’t know you were involved. Good job. Now that I know you have a strat I have gained a little more respect for you. Funny when Steve sits down at the piano and does a poor rendition of another Beatles’ song I have the opposite reponse. If had had any respect left for him I’d completely lose it but I don’t. Guess I’ll go search for that performance now. Happy Canada Day eh! O what have we done.

#18 William Bell on 06.29.14 at 5:37 pm

Incentive for all government execs/managers/directors/workers that saves meaningless spending

bonus payout to those capable of increasing government efficiency by lowering operating costs

And then bring those savings back to tax payers!

#19 Victoria Real Estate Update on 06.29.14 at 5:37 pm

@ #5 Aggregator

Do you have a link to a chart showing the history of Genworth Canada’s total mortgage insurance in force? I think it was you that posted this in the past. If it was, could you post it again?

Thanks.

#20 Harry Wilson on 06.29.14 at 5:37 pm

Here’s a not-too-well-thought-out idea, but a nice pipe dream:

Every Canadian, upon reaching the age of 18, receives up to 10,000 miles on VIA Rail at 60-90% off, depending on family income, to be used before the age of 21.

That way, people could actually see this country and learn a little about its people, before settling down to become middle-aged twenty-somethings with a mortgage and a couch.

I racked up much more than 10,000 miles in my teens, travelling alone on trains, and am still thankful for the experience. Incidentally, the cheaper the accommodation, the more you learn. I would also recommend long-distance hitch-hiking for the same reasons, but what used to be patriotic (a gas-saving measure in WWII) is now considered evidence of psychosis.

——————————————

I hope you’ll allow a blatant plug, Mr. Turner; I am neither an employee nor a shareholder of VIA Rail, or anyone else. However, if you have to ‘bleep’ the second half of this comment, I’ll understand.

After writing the above, I checked VIA Rail’s website, and saw that they have a special offer for youths aged 12-25: a pass allowing unlimited travel from July 1 to August 31. The price is $499 for travel within the Windsor – Quebec City corridor, or $999 for the entire VIA system.

I cannot think of a better, more meaningful gift for a new grad from high school, college, or university, so the thing that I would change is to have kids use these passes. No adults, no cell phones, and no itinerary. Teach them about the land in which they live, and freak out their helicopter parents, all in one fell swoop.

Happy Canada Day, y’all!

#21 RainCity on 06.29.14 at 5:41 pm

Happy Canada Day Garth! I love your blog and am squarely in the demographic you noted on one of your most recent posts, mid-30’s, income of over 100k/year and living in one of the most house horny places in Canada, yet we rent. We have great jobs with pension plans, substantial savings and three degrees between the two of us, but we live in a basement suite because buying here makes no sense.

Some great ideas in the comments already but I will add my suggestions to make voting mandatory and to pass something to prevent our current PM from dismantling our health care system. Medicare is essential to caring for our population and I work in the health care system, so I see firsthand what is actually happening. The Cons are full of it with this silver tsunami stuff. The financial waste is paying all the upper management, not the wrinklies coming through the door.

#22 High Plains Drifter on 06.29.14 at 5:42 pm

I thought on a few things but I will stick with this one. Tax free beer till 2067.

#23 LH on 06.29.14 at 5:43 pm

Happy Canada Day!

It’s a great country, I love it as it is.

LH

#24 Mark on 06.29.14 at 5:45 pm

“In fact, it’s worse as the data above implies that CMHC is now gracefully backing more MBS issued by non-OSFI regulated financial companies and credit unions that are certainly picking up the excess deadbeats who want to buy at the top.”

Good post. As we can see, the sh** all flows back to the CMHC, the country’s largest subprime mortgage guarantor (which, on its website, is in complete denial about the subprime nature of the mortgages it guarantees!).

Your point about the Credit Unions also taking excessive risks is apt. I believe that the Credit Union sector, at least out west here, is significantly over-built, and much of it will face consolidation in the coming years. Should be some great acquisition targets for the big banks as the credit unions go into distress since they seem to be the most exposed not only to the housing bubble itself, but also as the primary lenders to the small business community that supports the activity of the housing sector.

#25 Victoria Real Estate Update on 06.29.14 at 5:46 pm

. . . . . . . . . .Victoria House Prices. . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . Percent Decrease Since May 2010. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . 0%. . . .*. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-0.5%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-1.0%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-1.5%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-2.0%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-2.5%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-3.0%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-3.5%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-4.0%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-4.5%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-5.0%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-5.5%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-6.0%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-6.5%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-7.0% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-7.5%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-8.0%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-8.5% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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-9.5%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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-13.0%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . May. . . . . . . . May. . . . . . . . May. . . . .
. . . . . . . .2010. . . . . . . . 2012 . . . . . . . 2014. . . .

(Index data from Brookfield RPS)

Based on this data, house prices in Victoria have fallen 12.2% from the peak that was established in May 2010 and are currently lower than at any point since August 2007 (except April 2014, when prices were 0.1% lower).

#26 Mark on 06.29.14 at 5:47 pm

“Diversify: stop putting all of our investments into the same couple of industries (oil, real estate). Why does this country have so many “junior” energy and metals companies on the Venture index, and so few technology companies? Why is CMHC so large, and yet the City of Toronto has so many community housing buildings ready to fall apart?”

The CMHC has diverted at least $900B of speculative capital from sectors like technology, straight into housing. That’s why Canada’s economic performance outside of the FIRE sector has been rather anemic.

The reason why Canadians gravitate towards energy and precious metals mining is because these sectors have enormous leverage. While the technology sector mostly doesn’t make money, at least in the United States, and hasn’t for a long time.

#27 Joseph R. on 06.29.14 at 5:54 pm

#1 LifeXpert on 06.29.14 at 4:15 pm

2. Restrict immigration (increase points in the qualification system)

How will CPP function without increase immigration? Canada NEEDS more young, able bodies to pay taxes for our social services of the next 40 years.

3. Refine our own oil (cheaper fuel)

Nation Energy Plan. Why was every seat West of Manitoba not Red anymore ?

4. Separate from the crown (why is that even still valid?)

We already are. I think you are confusing the “Crown” and the Sovereign. Each country of the Commonwealth has its own Crown, separate from the Crown of the UK. Think of the Crown as a one-man corporation with different legal entities in each countries.

In fact, the Federal government and each provinces have their own crown: each have their own viceroy: there are 11 “Crown”s in Canada

The Crown is a corporation; the Sovereign is a person.

#28 rawdiswar on 06.29.14 at 5:57 pm

1) Tax churches at corporate rates. Untapped revenue.

2) More nuclear power to lower electricity rates. We’re a big country and can build more in remote areas. Contrary to hype, it’s safe and proven.

3) Eliminate employment agencies which lower wages and have a detrimental affect on small town economies. No more middle men. Force companies to hire workers outright.

4) Legalize marijauna, regulate it and tax it appropriately.

5) Encourage the hemp industry.

6) Give teachers more control over the curriculum and make the curriculum more applicable to local areas, i.e. teach kids about their own local economies and help them see the bigger picture of wealth creation.

7) Proportional representation as opposed to our current first past the post system.

8) Reduce the amount of seats available for liberal arts degrees at universities.

9) Close a few Ontario universities, we already have too many.

9) More refineries, smelters and processing of goods within Canada. Real jobs, remember those?

10) Create a war tribunal comprised of actual war veterans who decide if and when to deploy troops, not leave it up to inept, inexperienced politicians.

11) Invest in geothermal power. Another safe, clean proven technology.

12) Have every MP and MPP publish all expenses online. Complete transparency.

13) Mandatory physical education classes until the end of high school, outdoors wherever possible.

14) Allow non-university educated people to become teachers.

15) Defund the Catholic school board, if we don’t fund a Sunni or Shi’ite school board, why Catholic?

16) Allow the Canadian government to actually print our money, rather than borrowing at interest from private banks.

17) Increase paid maternal (and paternal) leave benefits.

18) Introduce green space to population ratios, i.e. for every 100,000 people there should be X amount of dedicated green space.

19) Tie MPP salaries to the average income of their respective provinces.

20) Encourage immigration and integration.

and lastly, and most importantly…

Bring back the AVRO Arrow!

We’d be the new superpower within a generation.

Happy Canada Day buds!

#29 Blair on 06.29.14 at 5:59 pm

Another good post, Garth.

Ways to make Canada better? Here goes:

1. Improve health care and offer a private health care option for those who want to CHOOSE it and reduce the line-ups in the public system. Its a matter of freedom and choice.

2. Develop our natural resources. Do it responsibly of course, and not rely on other unstable countries half a world away.

3. A less politically correct environment with a media that actually conducts investigative journalism and isn’t so increasingly biased to the left or the right in their reporting.

4. Political leaders with more courage to make tough decisions for the good of the country, despite the risk of them being unpopular and unelectable.

5. Better elder care nationwide.

6. Annexing the Turks and Caicos. This topic comes up every once in a while for a day or two and then goes away. I say, we do it. We need our own place in the Caribbean. Living in Ottawa is too freakin’ cold in the winter. I will be the MP. You are all welcome to come visit!

#30 lucyj on 06.29.14 at 6:05 pm

Before politicians or political parties can run for election it should be mandatory that the post a performance bond. Then and only then will the people entrusted to govern and run the country will do so with the country’s best interest’s first and not their own. With that said HAPPY CANADA DAY!

#31 The Prof on 06.29.14 at 6:05 pm

Disband the CMHC! It was well intentioned. Designed to make it easier for Canadians to buy houses. It has actually achieved the opposite. By making it a costless decision to give loans to anyone with a pulse, it has created (according to Deutsche Bank) the biggest housing bubble on the planet making it impossible for an average Canadian to own a house without mortgaging their future. It’s time to recognize a failed experiment and create a plan to get government out of the mortgage insurance business.

#32 pathcontrolmonk on 06.29.14 at 6:12 pm

Dump the queen and embrace Manifest Destiny.

#33 Shawm on 06.29.14 at 6:12 pm

Canada Day – Change About Canada?

Nothing really jumps out at me that badly needs to be changed about the country.

I was there at Expo ’67 at Montreal when I was seven years old. My Dad packed us five kids into the car pulled a trailer from Nova Scotia. Another related family of five plus a grandmother came with us. That was a nice celebration. I remember really thick crowds. It was a BIG deal. Probably the biggest tourist draw that Canada has ever had before or since.

I was back at the site (or what is left of it) a few years ago and I did not see a single sign in English commemorating the big event. I can only assume Quebec was never much interested in remembering it.

I will attend the 150th in 2017 if there is a suitable celebration going on.

#34 Slow Canada on 06.29.14 at 6:12 pm

I know that we get a lot of things right, but we can always be better, and there is nothing wrong with self-criticism.

I would say way that we need more high-speed rail and a more structured education system that helps people find their way into the working world.

On the macro level, I think that we need a better sense of what we want to do as a country, aside from selling oil and building condos. We are blessed with peace, prosperity, and democracy, and we can do anything if we set our mind to it. We just need some focus and leadership.

#35 Vlad on 06.29.14 at 6:13 pm

If I had the power I would return Canada to the position of a independent sovereign country free to make it’s own decisions on the world stage rather than a groveling sniveling toady to the U.S. Government that we are today!

#36 Joe2.0 on 06.29.14 at 6:15 pm

Have politicians regularly take lie detector tests based on a series of questions broached by the public.

Lie detector tests are mandatory in house testing for some very large influential company’s.

Why not the Government?

#37 Pete in Barrie on 06.29.14 at 6:17 pm

r#28 rawdiswar on 06.29.14 at 5:57 pm

Wow you are all over the political map. Some things from all 4 major political parties (and yes, I include the Green). I like that.

#15 Forzudo on 06.29.14 at 5:17 pm

Too true. We truly are the lottery winners as Canadian citizens.

One thing, however, that I would like the see change (and Justin has at least started) is to have the Senate not part of political parties. Keep the Senate, but make them non-partisan.

#38 BobC on 06.29.14 at 6:17 pm

What an easy assignment. I’d watch America and do the opposite.

#39 spiritstill on 06.29.14 at 6:20 pm

The bank for international settlements says interest rates need to go up, because low rates encourage high risk investments including property:Central banks urged to hike rates http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28081771

#40 Shawm on 06.29.14 at 6:23 pm

Investment in housing

Mark at 26 claims:

The CMHC has diverted at least $900B of speculative capital from sectors like technology, straight into housing.

****************************************
Well I don’t know about that.

CMHC had balance sheet assets of $270 billion at the end of 2013. It may guarantee $900 billion but it does not have anywhere close to that level of capital.

Does Canada have too much investment in physical houses? Too many houses, and too big? Maybe, but I am not so sure.

Are the dollars that went into housing too much as the price was inflated by CMHC? Maybe?

Did the extra dollars stay in the houses or did they flow to those who provided the land , material and labor to build the houses?

#41 Joblo on 06.29.14 at 6:24 pm

Open up to competition
End monopolies of banks, telcos, cable, media, etc
And punt CRTC , the Senate and all useless government staff
It’s a start

#42 Cow Man on 06.29.14 at 6:24 pm

Change from first by the post election decisions. Base party status on votes for each party not the majority. Then policy would matter in an election not perception.

#43 maxx on 06.29.14 at 6:27 pm

Happy Canada Day Garth and blog dawgs!!

Tax banks to the hilt, stop diapering and mollycoddling them and abolish bank fees. Their stupid bank fee booklets look like cheap steakhouse menus. What an insult to depositors.

Restructure real estate associations and raise taxes on all sales on a sliding scale, without exception.

Implement a “don’t even think about it” policy vis-a-vis foreign ownership of Canada’s natural resources. Canadians own Canada’s natural resources. Foreign interests wanting in can bloody well pay for renewable product, but they could never buy outright. EVER.

Grow the food inspection agency’s cojones by a factor of 10-take it out of Baird’s gold-embossed business card budget or Oda’s orange juice allowance. Too much crap is entering our food chain. Melamine anyone?

#44 Shawm on 06.29.14 at 6:31 pm

Investment in Technology

Mark at 26 claims:

The CMHC has diverted at least $900B of speculative capital from sectors like technology, straight into housing.

*****************************************

Really? So there are profitable and worthy investments in technology that can’t raise capital? Investments that are not being made because people won’t invest the equity capital? What evidence is there of that?

In my experience a lot of money went into technology that never should have. Certainly Nortel was not worthy of any of the equity it raised after about 1998. RIM probably raised and wasted some capital. There must be many more that raised capital and simply wasted it. Back in 1999 companies openly talked about their “burn rate”. They would raise capital and then basically set fire to it and then raise some more. Ballard power was one I believe.

At least houses don’t often burn away precious capital.

I suspect that truly worthy investments opportunities manage to raise capital.

#45 eddy on 06.29.14 at 6:32 pm

I’d like to remind you at four in the morning that
Randy Bachman wrote some of my favorite music.

Here’s the article about how Randy got outsmarted by
Burton Cummings:
http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2014/03/07/randy_bachman_writes_about_split_with_burton_cummings.html

However, They cant fool me, the Who’s Who in the front row says it all- It’s still Dominion Day, and yes we’re still a colony.

People see you havin’ fun, just lying in the sun, tell them that you like it that way

#46 Joseph R. on 06.29.14 at 6:38 pm

My suggestions:

1) Replace our First-past-the-post voting system and introduced either a Single Transferable Vote or a Mixed-Member Proportional Representation system.

Our last election where the Conservative got 40%, yet where made to form the government showed a crack in our electoral system. Although we can survive one election result like this, i fear another election with similar results will further make the electoral lose trust in democracy.

2) Progressive Estate Tax

No taxes before the first million but a 1% after that. Progressively higher as the estate amount increases.

3) Put the money currently earmarked for the failed “War on Drugs” and invest it in the future of our country: Scientific and educational grants.

4) Take off “Supremacy of God” in our preamble of the Charter of Rights

5) Have the Supreme Court of Canada rules on “Special Back to Work laws” passed by the Parliament and provincial legislatures during strikes and see if they are Constitutional in the first place.

6) Invest in the natural resources of the Arctic: if we want to claim sovereignty over the area, we have to use in the first place

7) Change CMHC mandate and removes its mandate of insuring private mortgages.

#47 D.D. Corkum on 06.29.14 at 6:38 pm

#4 Mister Obvious on 06.29.14 at 4:33 pm

Fining people 1% of taxable income will not solve election turnout. There is already a bias toward rich people voting in elections, and these are the same folks who will be hit hardest by a fine of this type.

#48 Maggie the Tech Writer on 06.29.14 at 6:39 pm

Legalize medically assisted suicide for those with a terminal or long-standing chronic condition.

#49 TurnerNation on 06.29.14 at 6:43 pm

Curmugeonly.

#50 Mark on 06.29.14 at 6:44 pm

“How will CPP function without increase immigration? Canada NEEDS more young, able bodies to pay taxes for our social services of the next 40 years.”

Without immigration, we’ll have to get serious about productivity. Simple as that. Canada chronically under-invests, under-engineers, and under-innovates. Which is why the Canadian economy is completely and utterly dependant on resource exports over the long term.

Reducing immigration will fix some of that problem, as it is in Japan. We have enormous engineer unemployment in Canada which can be significantly traced back to lack of investment in productivity.

#51 Bill Cagman Wilkinson on 06.29.14 at 6:56 pm

Add to Canada’s Federal Gold Reserves (Gold is cheap right now so it’s a great time to buy), strengthening our dollar and providing a hedge against upcoming inflation. (We already got the oil)

#52 gut check on 06.29.14 at 6:57 pm

If I could change one thing? I’d make the power and money go in reverse – the feds would go begging to the provinces who in turn would grovel to cities/towns.

#53 BG on 06.29.14 at 7:01 pm

It’s been 5 years since I immigrated in Canada.
I love it here.

If I could change something:

1- I think Harper’s reign has been terrible. I would fire him immediately.

2-Keep welcoming as many immigrants, but be more careful about the integration aspect. Some people move here and try to impose their way of life. I don’t care about how you decide to live your life.
But live and let live, and respect your host country, its laws, customs and culture.

3- Fix that Real Estate thing before it blows up

#54 will on 06.29.14 at 7:02 pm

Free trade within Canada. 10% tax across the board. Full diplomatic relations fully restored with Iran and cultural exchanges. Which means, of course, baird gone for ever, never to be heard from again. Ever.

#55 kILlaBoY50 on 06.29.14 at 7:03 pm

I’d allow private health care alongside the public system.

#56 Daisy Mae on 06.29.14 at 7:05 pm

“Canada’s a fine place to be, but it’s sure not perfect….parties exist to chase power more than to improve things…leaders invariably turn into control freaks…citizens get cynical and jaded.”

************************

This is true. On every level. On down to strata councils! LOL Everyone wants to control. But at some point, when the populace has been pushed too far they will retaliate. Human nature. And politicians better remember that. We’re angry.

However, third world countries remain beaten. They’ve lost their power thanks to corrupt governments endured for life times. Becomes their way of life. Sad. We try to help but there must be a better way ’cause our way isn’t working….

#57 Fruit & Nut Maven on 06.29.14 at 7:07 pm

I would use Federal Funds to create a solar panel network in Saskatchewan to power our homes from coast to coast. Existing utilities companies could export their power to the US and we could take a portion of that money and invest it in roads.

#58 asp on 06.29.14 at 7:09 pm

* Make Canada a real Parliamentary republic as opposed to a defacto one. Limit the power of the PMO, including the provision that only parliament can prorogue itself.

#59 Rainclouds on 06.29.14 at 7:11 pm

Transparency in every aspect of the political process.
Too much backroom dealing.

Party leaders should have no say in who runs for office, up to local riding

The House. Not the PM, decides appointments (whether it is Supreme Court, Bank of Canada, CSIS. etc)

Free votes in the house. PERIOD…

Sanity tests mandatory…….

#60 Rapier Wit on 06.29.14 at 7:13 pm

Hi Garth,

I didn’t know that you liked scotch. Fantastic. In one small way, perhaps I can boost your patriotism and enhance your education in one fell swoop.

Here it is – the title speaks for itself – A Classification of Pure Malt Scotch Whiskies. The authors – amongst Canada’s academic ranks. The funding – well, who knows. Perhaps one of our national granting councils, but that is just speculation at this juncture.

The knowledge – priceless. Enjoy and Salut!

http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/jhb/whisky/lapointe/text.html

#61 Daisy Mae on 06.29.14 at 7:15 pm

“The day I was told by the government that the national anthem was a divisive idea I went home, drank four scotches and decided to do it myself. With that bad attitude, I was destined to a problem.”

********************

Just showed you’re feisty as hell….

#62 JimH on 06.29.14 at 7:16 pm

Wishing one and all a Happy and Safe Canada Day on Tuesday!

1. Dump the Monarchy
2. Work to establish a shared vision for Canada that will unite Canadians so they will establish their own national identity and will finally stop confusing jingoistic anti-Americanism with Canadian Patriotism.
3. Do something about the ridiculously high homicide rates of Manitoba, The Northwest Territories and Nunavut, which are among the highest in North America.

Here… have a good old American hot dog with that excellent Canadian beer!

#63 Daisy Mae on 06.29.14 at 7:19 pm

#4 Mister Obvious: “My Change: It would become mandatory for every Canadian citizen over the age of 18 years to vote in federal elections unless declared mentally incompetent by a medical doctor.

The price of failure to vote would be 1% of your taxable income payable at filing time. You would be free to spoil your ballot if you so chose or to even randomly select a candidate.

But you must show up at the federal election polling place (either an advance poll, or election day). Otherwise, your refusal to participate will cost you some real money.”

****************

This is a free country — we are free to make our own decisions in this regard. And we’ll keep it that way.

#64 Gary on 06.29.14 at 7:21 pm

http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2014/06/27/why-vancouver-housing-is-unaffordable-and-what-to-do-about-it/

Proof that Garth is clued out when he says Asian Immigrants aren’t a factor in high house prices

Correction. I said offshore buyers impact part of the market (the part you probably can’t afford), but not the market in general. The only people responsible for $1 million Vancouver specials are the dumb locals who buy them. — Garth

#65 Flawed on 06.29.14 at 7:26 pm

COMPLETELY overhaul the Public Service.

There is no accountability.
They are paid much more than equivalent private sector workers.
Their benefits and pensions come from the private sector that does NOT enjoy such luxuries.
Public Sector wages are what is going to destroy this country financially (600 billion alone in pensions with money that does not exist). And now in Europe they are going to STEAL the money for debt and public pensions from the public. But it can’t happen here right?

http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/06/28/christine-lagarde-the-most-dangerous-woman-in-the-world-imf-advocates-taking-pensions-extending-maturities-of-govt-debt-to-prevent-redemption/

It needs to stop immediately. Govt is way too big all over the world. Plus it needs to run more like Bitcoin. Right now we have a top down hierarchical system that is corrupt and co-opted. Bitcoin is decentralized and everyone has a say. We need something more like that. They have that in Swtizerland so the world “knows” it works. They have hundreds of public referendums a year.

#66 Daisy Mae on 06.29.14 at 7:26 pm

#28 rawdiswar: “Tax churches at corporate rates. Untapped revenue.”

******************

I agree. Let’s get real. This has been so stupid for so long.

#67 Kwijobo on 06.29.14 at 7:27 pm

#4 Mister Obvious
“My Change: It would become mandatory for every Canadian citizen over the age of 18 years to vote in federal elections unless declared mentally incompetent by a medical doctor.”

This.

As a nation we have shown ourselves to be totally complacent in the small showing of democracy that we have entitled to ourselves. Lets make it easier for people to vote, and essential for them to vote. Make sure that everyone has a vested interest in this great nation.

#68 liquidincalgary on 06.29.14 at 7:27 pm

….and what would i change?

tax consumption, not income!

#69 waiting on 06.29.14 at 7:29 pm

To #57 Fruit & Nut Maven

Yes! They could start by paving over every street with this stuff. Solar (freakin) roadways!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTA3rnpgzU

#70 Dinglenuts on 06.29.14 at 7:29 pm

A national based on a strategy centered on either commodity or manufacturing basis and stick to it rather than pissing away $$$ on partisan “economic action plan” bs or artificially inflating the economy on “housing” or the next great trend.

Cut the race to the bottom nonsense we just saw with Hudak in Ontario, and take a longer view of what it’s going to take for people to live and retire in peace rather than picking on an easy target.

I don’t have a blog, but could continue to the point of rebuke so I’ll stop there.

Thanks for asking, and thanks for contributing to our society in a meaningful way. The end of your political career was more like the beginning of something bigger.

Blah Blah Blah

#71 Daisy Mae on 06.29.14 at 7:34 pm

#53 BG: “Keep welcoming as many immigrants, but be more careful about the integration aspect. Some people move here and try to impose their way of life. I don’t care about how you decide to live your life.But live and let live, and respect your host country, its laws, customs and culture.”

****************

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” I personally don’t give a damn what people do in the privacy of their own homes. Just don’t try to foist your customs and culture on Canadians, okay? Get it?

#72 espressobob on 06.29.14 at 7:41 pm

What ever happened to the ‘Rhinoceros party’?

#73 takla on 06.29.14 at 7:41 pm

Slowly but surely you let out bits and pieces about the man you are,without boasting in most cases…I like that Garth
Rides a Harley dresser…check{ oldtime biker myself }
Wears a beard…check{never met a razor I liked}
Maverick with conviction…check{been told the same}
Dog lover… check{raised pb Ger.Shep’s as well}
Has conviction to help the little guy…check{same here}
most importantly…likes scotch!{my fav.!}

Now that being said ,if I was in charge of things

Equilization of income thru taxation,overly tax the top 10% and distribute thru lower taxs to the less fortunate income earners
Drastically reduce immigration/no wealthy immigrants jumping the que with low interest bank loans to the gov of Canada
Eliminate free trade
Promote less family planning with tax incentives for large families
Start keeping our resources at home rather than shipping abroad for less than market value

last but least enacting a gold backed monitory system in Canada,All GDP sale sold in exchange for gold only and forcing gov to live within its means accordingly ,no deficiet spending ,numbers would have to be supported by gold on hand in gov coffers.

Theres more but ive probably pissed you off enough already garth!
takla

#74 LazyJason on 06.29.14 at 7:50 pm

Happy Canada day!

1) Mandatory voting
2) Change elections from First past the post to Proportional representation
3)Some kind of recall legislation to deal with bozo’s like Rob Ford
4) Legalize weed and use taxes to fund roads, healthcare, education

#75 Slim on 06.29.14 at 7:51 pm

Too become more like Switzerland, the closest thing the world has to a perfect democracy.

#76 Flawed on 06.29.14 at 7:55 pm

It seems Mr Armstrong sums it up very nicely about how corrupt large govt is destroying everything world wide here as well:

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; Why shouldn’t the rich pay more taxes? You defend the billionaires at the expense of the average person. How do you justify that?

ANSWER: There are not enough billionaires to pay the bill for everyone else. Job growth since 1948 in government reached 310% in 2009 compared to 170% in non-farm private jobs. Male job growth has increased only 65% since 1948 on par with population growth while female job growth has increased about 135%. Women won the right to work, but lost the right to stay home.

The problem is NOT that the rich do not pay enough, it is that government takes too much from the economy as a whole. You can listen to the propaganda all you want and believe they will only target the rich. But they ALWAYS go after everyone. There are videos of IRS agents dragging pregnant women out of their cars leaving them on the streets and confiscating the cars. The latest is taking your money claiming some family member owed them money.

My point is not to protect the billionaires – it is to protect society from those that plunder everything we have. The only viable solution is to restrict the size of government. I disagree with the social state for it would be cheaper for just about everything to be private and far less corruption. They started the income tax swearing they were only targeting the rich – lie. Then they started the payroll tax so they could give you social security – now people pay more in SS than taxes and they keep raising the age and reducing the payouts. If you want to believe these people are honest and care about you, great. Have a nice dream. When it comes time to collect – well you will discover your entire life trusting them was wrong. Then what? You die in some ditch dead broke and nothing to support you when you can no longer work? Believe what you want. The Jews were offered free showers. What do you want for free?

#77 Linda Mulligan on 06.29.14 at 7:57 pm

What I would do: double or even triple the amount CPP pays & yes, that means doubling or even tripling the amount deducted. In fact, make CPP THE DB plan for all Canadians. No more employer pension plans, everyone is in CPP, like it or not. Then we might finally stop all sniping of ‘them who has DB pension plans’ & ‘them who has not. Actually, those who say they do not have a DB pension plan have not paid attention as CPP IS a DB plan. So you DO have a DB plan, just one that doesn’t pay very much.

As to voting, my idea of making it ‘mandatory’ would be – NO access to government benefits if you do not vote. That includes health care, EI, CPP, OAS etc. unless you can prove you were literally unable to vote because you were either mentally incompetent at the time, in jail or otherwise disqualified from voting or actually in a coma/unconscious during the day the vote occurred. It used to be back in the day that unless you were a landowner you could not vote. Nowadays any legal adult can vote & seriously, those who do not are the ones who squeal the most about what ‘the government’ does that they do not like. We live in one of the best if not the best countries in the world – it boggles my mind how little appreciation people here have for what they have. Canada rocks!

#78 Freedom First on 06.29.14 at 8:02 pm

Garth asks if I was the Boss what would I change?

Okay.

Anyone can google this. When it comes to a persons I.Q. , the population is divided into these 3 categories: People with an average I.Q. are approx. 1/3. People with an above average I.Q. are approx. 1/3. People with a below average I.Q. are approx. 1/3.

Many people think that if a person is in a low paying job it is because they lack ambition or are lazy and if they just worked harder they could do better. This is shameful, ignorant, and cruel thinking, as many people in this predicament are doing the best they can, but are being financially punished by our brutal tax system.

I would set an income level at somewhere between $20,000-30,000 where a person would pay $0 tax of any kind. Also, as income levels rise, I would start taxing people at lower than current bottom rates, and increase gradually as income levels rise. Right now, like Garth tells us, the tax breaks such as RRSP’s, TFSA’s, Dividend and Capital gains low tax rates, and $0 tax paid on a principal residence for example do not benefit the highly taxed low income earners, who are where they are through no fault of our own. They, unlike say, high income earners, have no one lobbying for their rights. This is unethical, unfair, and unjust. Canadians should be ashamed of themselves for allowing these people to be bullied so brutally. How selfish of the well off.

Now, you may personally attack me for my idea, but know this, I have helped the unfortunate in many ways, because like Garth, I care.

#79 Nathan on 06.29.14 at 8:03 pm

I would replace existing FPTP electoral systems with a proportional representation system of some type, and introduce reforms to covert our existing majority rules system of government to one that encourages consensus, while being resistant to boycotting and false play. One example of such a system is the ‘quantum’, or probabilistic parliament described here: http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0503078. (Although it would require some modifications and elaboration to be workable in reality.)

Basically there’s no reason to think that our existing electoral or governmental systems are ideal. In fact, it is a statistical certainty that they could be improved. We should strive to do so.

#80 Linda Mulligan on 06.29.14 at 8:04 pm

Just thought of one more thing I’d ensure was law – ensure all MLA’s & MP’s DID get a pension but – only get out what they paid in. Immediate END to this pay in for X number of terms (usually two or three) & then fully funded pension for life. Our government officials do deserve pensions, but the pensions they get should follow the same rules as all the other pension plans. Mind, if CPP was made ‘the’ pension & that was the ‘only’ pension, then everyone would receive out what they paid in – pay in for 10 years, not a whole heck of a lot, pay in for 30 or 40 years, receive enough to ensure that you could live a decent life. Obviously those who could set aside ‘more’ would still have a better life than those who could not, but really, everyone should have the ability to live on the pension they receive. Sadly, a rather large percentage of the population can not or will not save for the future – doesn’t really matter which, but one thing you can say for CPP is that unless you only earned ‘under the table’ income, you will get some kind of pension at age 60+.

#81 BCing You on 06.29.14 at 8:24 pm

I would cut annual immigration in half for 10 years. Our big cities are getting too crowded.

#82 Smoking Man on 06.29.14 at 8:26 pm

Real Free Markets.

No more protecting

Banking
Insurance
Airlines
Telecom

Let the smart prosper, let dumb die…

#83 Ronh on 06.29.14 at 8:33 pm

#51 We dont have any gold reserves. Nada Zip

#84 liquidincalgary on 06.29.14 at 8:34 pm

Fruit & Nut Maven

yes, a solar array in ‘fly-over’ country.

did you know that the complete northern half of SK was forest??

check out how well this idea of yours has worked out in AZ. even pilots complain about the reflection.

do you know how many arrays it would take to power our homes ‘coast to coast’.

oh yeah, then you say, use profit from the array to repair roads…and just what nasty carbon footprint creating ‘things’ use roads??

got logic?

#85 Don on 06.29.14 at 8:35 pm

Elected governments, of either stripe (do the current lot count as Tories? No matter) have tended away from our traditional democratic institutions, and toward centralization of power toward the executive. I’d like to see Parliament reassert control from the PMO. I’d like to see the Governor General reverse the disastrous prorogation decision of 2008, recognizing that going forward, the PM can’t dodge Parliament’s will. I’d like to see our current government stop undermining the decisions of the Supreme Court – I fear they’re a very short walk to undermining the Court’s authority. I’d like to see the CRO or the court force a rerun of elections in constituencies where there’s substantial evidence of fraud.

I’m not sure where the anti-monarchist sentiment in earlier posts comes from. I think the Prime Minister acts like he has plenty of Regal authoritative power already, and I can’t imagine how much worse that would get. Does an American-style presidency really seem like an attractive model? I’ll take a Monarch with lots of constitutional authority and no real willingness to exercise it, instead, thanks.

#86 Castaway on 06.29.14 at 8:36 pm

#29 Blair on 06.29.14 at 5:59 pm
Another good post, Garth.

Spot on Blair. Except for your idea to annex TCI. I have spent a lot of time and even done business their. TCI actually stands for Totally Corrupt Islands. Hell, even the Brits want to get rid of it! Read up on the suspension of Gov’t and arrest of Prime Minister.

#87 brainsail on 06.29.14 at 8:36 pm

Canada is a great country with wonderful people and with many natural resources. Canada needs to take a couple of steps back and try to re-invent what its real economy is based on. Right now it seems that the economy is running on empty. People trading houses back and forth to each other and resources such as oil sands and lumber are sold to other countries raw without any refining or processing for quick bucks. What will Canada look like in say a hundred years from now?

#88 Retired WI Boomer on 06.29.14 at 8:38 pm

Sure, Canada IS a fine place to be. So is France, Iceland, Costa Rica, and even the U.S. They also all have their warts.

People contain, and share those warts.

I guess from my perspective I see a global infrastructure too stressed to long continue without some radical changes in the way humans conduct their daily lives.

The usual talk here merely nibbles around the edges of a ME centered culture. The issues are far more inclusive, intractable, and unsustaining.

#89 Direct Democracy on 06.29.14 at 8:44 pm

In politics we need nation builders and for the citizenry we need direct democracy, not necessarily in that order. Direct democracy will motivate the politicians to become nation builders, otherwise the citizenry get rid of them.

#90 Flawed on 06.29.14 at 8:48 pm

As to voting, my idea of making it ‘mandatory’ would be – NO access to government benefits if you do not vote. That includes health care, EI, CPP, OAS etc. unless you can prove you were literally unable to vote because you were either mentally incompetent at the time, in jail or otherwise disqualified from voting or actually in a coma/unconscious during the day the vote occurred. It used to be back in the day that unless you were a landowner you could not vote. Nowadays any legal adult can vote & seriously, those who do not are the ones who squeal the most about what ‘the government’ does that they do not like. We live in one of the best if not the best countries in the world – it boggles my mind how little appreciation people here have for what they have. Canada rocks!

****************************

The problem with that is you are not fixing the fundamental problem with our system which is in fact that we have no democracy and you are only voting in the next dictator who is the “leader of the party” that you did not elect because you are not a member of that political party.

Fix the democratic problem with have and make it more decentralized instead of hierarchical (corrupt) and you will see people come out and vote. Plus use the bitcoin type system which makes it easy to vote online as it is impossible to hack someones 128 bit private key. And even if you do……your corrupting one vote out of 25 million eligible voters.

#91 45north on 06.29.14 at 8:50 pm

Now, if you were the boss and could change something about this place, what would it be?

pass “notwithstanding legislation” to negate court rulings

– court ruling in the tobacco case cost billions to certify that all computers did not contain tobacco information – complete waste of time

– court ruling on accessibility means that if blind people cannot see it then nobody can – it’s not written that way but that’s the effect. Government web sites are being dumbed way down

#92 Son of Ponzi on 06.29.14 at 8:54 pm

Make English lessons mandatory for Real Estate Agents.
Particularly for this one in Richmond:

Don’t miss KINSBERRY! Dlx newer T/Hses just across famous Ironwood Mall, No % Rd & Rec facs nearby. Super for this approx 1560 sf Big size; 3-lvl loverly S-N expos. airy unit. Rare 3-car attach garage. 2.5 full baths, 3 bedrooms & big den. Master bdrm @ quiet rear side. On Main Fl: 9′ hi ceiling, s/steel modern kitchen appls w/gas stove. Cosy elec F/pl. Balc. Lamin wood fl. Qlty granite counters all thru & alarm, b-in vacuum, trendy interior color paints. Esy access to Hwy to (Nth) Vanc & to (Sth) Massey Tunnel. Bal of 10-yr Home Warranty etc. Meas approx.

#93 45north on 06.29.14 at 8:55 pm

aggregator : About 30% of our housing market is bundled into MBSs. That means 30% of Canadian mortgages can’t go into arrears because if an MBS mortgagor misses their monthly payment, the government will make payments as part of their guarantee via CMHC. This also means CBA’s mortgages in arrears is NOT real time 90+ day arrears, rather mortgages that have failed every measure of default prevention.

you’re a smart guy ( I mean there’s no law saying that women cannot aggregate but I’m still thinking that you’re a man) Scary stuff.

#94 45north on 06.29.14 at 9:00 pm

this post struck me: Ireland ignored the warnings from OECD, the IMF and the economic think tanks and guess what happened? We got a 46% correction in house prices.

forty six percent! A 46% decline in house prices would be the end of life as we know it in Woodbridge.

#95 Notta Sheeple on 06.29.14 at 9:00 pm

Easy solution.

Death by 200 dB of Justin Bieber music to any newly elected prime minister who promises openness, transparency, and democracy, yet subsequently delivers the complete opposite.

#96 Son of Ponzi on 06.29.14 at 9:02 pm

End all restrictions on family reunification.
After all, a immigrant who is reunited with his entire family is a much more committed immigrant.
Win-Win situation.

#97 Derek R on 06.29.14 at 9:12 pm

#82 Ronh on 06.29.14 at 8:33 pm wrote:
We dont have any gold reserves. Nada Zip

Nonsense. According to Natural Resources Canada we have at least 1473 tonnes buried around the country. With so much in the ground why on earth would we need to keep any in bank vaults? That would be wasting effort digging it up, just to bury it again.

#98 Aggregator on 06.29.14 at 9:19 pm

#19 Victoria

Genworth IIF chart

It's pretty straight forward. If the government reduces mortgage insurance, our housing market is toast and speculators would hammer Genworth's stock sub $10 ony its way to nationalization, just like Dutch insurer SNS Reaal. If they reduce MBS guarantees, spreads would widen and big lenders whose loan book consists if 65% mortgages would have trouble funding mortgages. Same thing again.. our housing market would crash and they'd have to be bailed out. 

But here's the real problem. As of April, the total number of housing permits, starts and under-construction units throughout Canada totaled 216,362 units. Since these are new homes, they are priced higher then resale. The only national new home price publicaly available is provided in Genworth's Metro Housing Outlook, which estimated the average new home across Canada at $422,402 in 2013. 

That means the total ballpark value of permits, starts and under-construction units is roughly $91,392,000,000. CMHC and Genworth together only have about $67,646,000,000 in insurance capacity before breaching there limit, and the annual draw-down of insured mortgages is only about 10% according to CMHC. And remember these are new homes sold in the presale market were everybody buys with 5% down because they have no money.

Putting it into prospective: there isn't enough insurance to satisfy the presale and resale market for the next few years. And no, there isn't any other private insurer that can take on that kind of capacity without the backing of a sovereign nation. That's how big these liabilities are. You need entire countries to post their commonwealth to guarantee payments (the power to print into perpetuity).

This only ends one way.

Watch Genworth's Q2 IIF soar on the next quarterly report. Nobody is talking about about what I just mentioned. You heard it here first.

#99 Mark on 06.29.14 at 9:28 pm

“And no, there isn’t any other private insurer that can take on that kind of capacity without the backing of a sovereign nation. That’s how big these liabilities are. You need entire countries to post their commonwealth to guarantee payments (the power to print into perpetuity).”

Agree 100% with you on the private mortgage insurers being roadkill, and the CMHC requiring a bailout shortly.

I figure the maximum amount of leverage the CMHC should be able to have against subprime mortgages (ie: the $900B of guarantees they have) should be around 5X. After all, the banks are only allowed 10X leverage against “Prime Mortgages”.

CMHC currently has around $20B of capital, so they are 45X leveraged.

To get to a 5X capital ratio, CMHC would need 9X the capital, or 9 * $20B = $180B. So they are $160B short.

You’re totally correct, with the sort of book CMHC runs with subprime mortgages, its fairly obvious that the housing crisis is now on its way to becoming a systemic issue with the Canadian economy. Deflation is already bad enough already without a major housing downturn yet occurring in the Canadian economy (price drops thus far in Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver have only been minor!). The BoC is likely way behind, at this point, the curve in lowering interest rates and engaging in stimulative policy action to dig us out of this hole.

#100 POWER on 06.29.14 at 9:30 pm

If I had the power of PM, I would do what ever it takes to keep it. Declare martial law and suspend democracy, put troops on corner of every street. Mahahahahahhahah, rahhhhhh.
Ok. Really, open state banks as alternative, regulate RE, cap their commision, STOP foreign RE investment in Canada, revenue Canada do a better job taxing RE flippers when not principle resident. Taxpayers should not be on the hook when bank approve high risk loans.

#101 -=jwk=- on 06.29.14 at 9:34 pm

@ shwam #44
Investment in Technology

Mark at 26 claims:

The CMHC has diverted at least $900B of speculative capital from sectors like technology, straight into housing.

*****************************************

Really? So there are profitable and worthy investments in technology that can’t raise capital? Investments that are not being made because people won’t invest the equity capital? What evidence is there of that?

**************

Try applying for a bank loan for a business. Tell them you need 500k, and you have 200k of your own to invest. You won’t get it.

Go the same bank, ask for a 500k mortgage. Tell them you have 200k of your own to put it. In 30 minutes you’ll have our money. They will offer you 700k, jsut in case you want to go bigger. It’s dead money, once spent there is zero return on it to society.

Capital doesn’t just mean public companies. Small business and cover loans are basically extinct. Go the next franchise expo, all the big franchisors offer their own finances because they know you wont get a loan from a bank.

Banks have loaned the 900B in dead one-time money and ignored all else. We’ll never get the next RIM if the startup has to move the States to get a loan. This total lack of investment in anything other than housing is going to hurt us long term…

#102 lifeisgood on 06.29.14 at 9:34 pm

Less government.

#103 tf on 06.29.14 at 9:37 pm

If I were the boss, what would I change?

I would move out of the official residence and make me pay for my own housing, along with the official opposition. No free housing for the people in charge.

Stornaway is owned by the people of Canada; I might suggest it serve as the official portrait gallery museum.

#104 Mister Obvious on 06.29.14 at 9:39 pm

#62 Daisy Mae

“This is a free country — we are free to make our own decisions in this regard. And we’ll keep it that way.”

——————————

Refuse to pay your taxes. See how free it is.

We are required by law to pay income tax. It wouldn’t hurt to be required by law to vote once every four years at the federal level. I believe Australia has such a requirement. They seem OK with it.

#105 cy on 06.29.14 at 9:43 pm

Get rid of the Senate!

#106 WhiteKat on 06.29.14 at 9:55 pm

This Canada is a very sad one for approximately one million Canadians and their families.

Press release from “The Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty”: http://files3.webydo.com/41/410162/UploadedFiles/031ef47b-aa8e-46df-86e5-bae50a5ac97f.pdf

To see your Canadian government at work trashing Canadian’s Charter Rights watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slqAkW_eeUA

#107 macduff on 06.29.14 at 10:03 pm

We have never been more divisive as a nation. If patriotism manifests in this country, it is to one’s province and not towards our nation. It is a shame that we can’t work together to make this country strong again, by willingly pooling our resources and our talents. Instead provinces are pitted against one another and our national pride is gone.

#108 Nemesis on 06.29.14 at 10:07 pm

#SeriousQuestions. #NeedsMustBePreceeded. #BySeriousThinking. #HowWouldPierrePrepare?

http://youtu.be/M3Tz08l46AI

[NoteToGT: A Strato!?! Seriously? You’ve been ‘hiding your light under bushel’, AuldPol! Are you really, really sure you want to keep doing this blog thang? There are alternatives, you know: http://youtu.be/HpISLkb5L5E ]

#109 JC on 06.29.14 at 10:09 pm

1. Eliminate ties to the monarchy
2. Re-write constitution, turning Canada into a Republic with Unalienable laws similar to the U.S
3. Private health care. Have an efficient public health plan for the destitute only.
4. Open up the bank of Canada to greater transparency
5. Obligatory military training and community service at 18yrs for six months for both men and women.
6. Re-exam or eliminate NAFTA and other trade agreements to ensure they promote genuine free trade
7. Slowly dissolve CMHC
8. Prevent the formation of a north american union with a shared currency.
9. Re-examine tax law. Eliminate capital gains tax for individuals all together.

#110 Vangrrl on 06.29.14 at 10:13 pm

#76 Linda Mulligan:
Double or triple CPP deductions? Absolutely not!
Teach children to consume less, invest and think about the future. People are responsible for their own spending, saving, and investing decisions throughout their adult lives.

#111 Entrepreneur on 06.29.14 at 10:15 pm

If I were in charge:

1. limit pensions (& not for life) of MP/MLA, etc.; show receipts just like SB (Small Business) have to; to the last cent

2. make MP/MLA’s listen to their constituents & not just to their leader; they have to meet with them for a certain length of time & give a report in essay style (just kidding about essay style because the education level can be below grade 12 in politics yet to get into the military now you have to have grade 12)

3. get rid of CMHC; too much corruption. Dismantle the real estate cartels & replace with computers.

4. give huge incentives to SB; go easy & have understanding that the new entrepreneur will make financial makes. Government comes down on them too hard, in fact, ruin their lives.

5. make green energy the priority

6. protect our resources; keep jobs in Canada; quit shipping our raw rescources away

7. bring back our imperial system; to go along with the states

8. all government (politicians included) have to donate a certain percentage of their paycheque until ALL debt is gone; starting now

9. shop at a small business every week & carry cash; support your community

10. SB should be treated like Kings & Queens.

11. Eliminate fish farms.

Small Businesses are closing their doors on the July 1st. long weekend (no work, no pay); whereas, the public sector celebrate with time off with pay.

#112 Cici on 06.29.14 at 10:18 pm

Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap on CBC Radio 2 lights up the airwaves…I haven’t heard anything like it on any other station.

Luba and Gino Vanelli are totally awesome too, but I haven’t heard anything from them in ages. Miss all the raw Canadian talent from the 80s: Jane Siberry, Strange Advance, Men Without Hats, The Box, Gowan, Pursuit of Happiness, Chalk Circle, Northern Pikes, The Payolas, Kim Mitchell, Platinum Blonde and so, so many more….ahh, those were the days ;-)

#113 Shawn on 06.29.14 at 10:24 pm

Banks Won’t Lend to small business

JWK at 101 says:

Banks have loaned the 900B in dead one-time money and ignored all else.

*******************************************
I agree banks lend lots on houses because 1. Houses are VERY good security and 2. If less than 20% down then there a government CHHC guarantee.

Absent lending to houses a bank still won’t lend for most small business ideas because they are not good security. If they do lend they will want a personal guarantee and that usually requires you to keep your day job.

If you don’t like it you can enter the private lending market and lend to small business and se how it goes.

Or start your own bank.

Banks have sufficient capacity to lend to any business that they view as a good risk and they do so. Despite their lending for houses. What else should they do?

Banks may be regulated but they are not public services, they exist to make profits. As they should.

#114 WhiteKat on 06.29.14 at 10:36 pm

ooops, re: #106, excuse typo, should have been, “This Canada DAY is a very sad one…”

#115 OttawaMike on 06.29.14 at 10:39 pm

Foreigners are stashing cash in NY real estate, the new Swiss bank account:
http://nymag.com/news/features/foreigners-hiding-money-new-york-real-estate-2014-6/

I am sure happy this type of thing is not occurring in Vancouver or Toronto, right Garth?

My list item of things to change: Full disclosure and limits on foreign RE investment here.

#116 45north on 06.29.14 at 10:40 pm

Mark : Agree 100% with you on the private mortgage insurers being roadkill, and the CMHC requiring a bailout shortly.

what! you mean that we have built a system that once it crosses a certain threshold it just blows up! What about the first stage where house prices decisively go down, followed by a second stage where mortgagors default and then a third stage where CMHC payouts increase and then a forth stage where CMHC asks for a bailout? No stage 1, 2, 3 and 4?

#117 Lala on 06.29.14 at 10:43 pm

Simple, return the power to the men.

#118 Andrew Woburn on 06.29.14 at 10:44 pm

1. I would bring in laws that prevent political parties from fielding candidates that do not live in their own riding and were not nominated by their riding associations. I would block riding associations from allowing anyone to vote unless they have been an active, participating member for at least two years (attending and voting at meetings).

This would unquestionably make politics far more messy than it is now. I prefer democracy to making the trains run on time.

2. I would either eliminate or greatly reduce dividends paid by Canadian corporations to Canadian citizens if paid out of Canadian source income including income from exports or earned in foreign branch operations controlled and staffed by Canadians. I would increase the tax on capital gains to equal the rates paid on salaries and wages earned. To me it is absurd to tax the cash flow from productive businesses but give a tax break to what are essentially speculative gains. Encourage productivity and don’t favour unearned income. The rich would be just as happy with dividends but they would have to invest in real earnings not in accounting tricks.

#119 BG on 06.29.14 at 10:45 pm

#70 Daisy Mae

Not I didn’t get it. Was it sarcasm? I’m bad at getting hidden meaning on Internet.

Kind of “eat your own poison, immigrant!”, was it? Well I will do it with pleasure if it indeed means “live and let live” and expect other immigrants to do so.
I thought it was a value here in Canada or did I get something wrong?

I’m originally from France.
Back home I have been called “dirty french” by 1st generation born french citizens who didn’t feel french at all.

Actually today I got a call from my father back home, who told me how a neighbor got his 4 tires pierced because he hung the national flag out the window for the world cup.

I have many stories like that.
When this kind of thing happens, you know immigration was poorly handled.

I was barely wishing for this problem to never occur in Canada.

#120 Aggregator on 06.29.14 at 10:48 pm

 #128 Aggregator on 02.11.14 at 12:09 pm

Plan on buying a new car or truck? Don't. There's going to be a flood of inventory as GM et al stuff dealers with loads of inventory, forcing dealers to liquidate lots at discounted prices over the next year or so.

GM Canada dealers sue company as sales plummet

A group of prominent General Motors of Canada Ltd. dealers is suing the company and its parent General Motors Co., saying the auto maker has ignored their repeated pleas for financial help to address a dramatic drop in sales and market share.

GM Canada’s market share in the Greater Toronto Area plunged more than 50 per cent between 2008 and 2013, hitting just 5.6 per cent last year, according to the suit by 17 Toronto-area dealers. The list of dealers includes operators of some of the biggest GM dealerships in the country and some whose relationship with the company goes back to the 1920s.

You see what happens when you channel stuff Old Mill Cadillac Buick GMC with cars and trucks they don't need and offer 0% down car loans to people who can't afford them (chart).

Oh but Toronto doesn't need cars anymore, say the Libs. The tree huggers got it all planned: you either walk or ride your bike into a nice breeze of carbon monoxide emitted by traffic jams, or take a taxi. And don't even think about Uber-ing it around town — that will be illegal as soon as the Libs realize it's costing them HST revenue.

#121 Drill Baby Drill on 06.29.14 at 11:00 pm

Dear Pathetic Blog ;
1) Teach all students in school

#122 Kaganovich on 06.29.14 at 11:01 pm

It’s obvious that we need more houses built. I have noticed so much bare land without a group of identical 3000 sq.ft. poorly insulated disposable osb shacks on it. Tragedy. Also, labour (earned income) should be taxed at 90% and up. This would help steer everyone into avenues where their main income source would be from profits, rents and dividend collection. By doing this, almost all Canadians would be the true wealth creators, rather than just a few of us. No more sponging workers. Finally, eliminate any estate or inheritance tax. It is entirely foolish to think that one shouldn’t be able live a life of luxury because his great grandpa fluked out. If we could carry out these simple changes, Canada would finally realize its potential as a Northern paradise.

#123 Sydneysider on 06.29.14 at 11:02 pm

Was this the version?
“O Canada Star Version 1992”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SXXiV7CBus

Sorry to say that I don’t recognize any of the stars, but it sounds fine.

#124 Drill Baby Drill on 06.29.14 at 11:06 pm

Dear Pathetic Blog ;
1) Teach all students in school about our economic system especially as it relates to banking.
2) Reduce immigration until a realistic balance is achieved whereby new Canadians with skills that are actually required are then let in to our Country.
3)Parents of immigrants who have not paid into our healthcare and welfare systems must truly pay their own way. Otherwise spaces in our hospitals will not be available for the Canadians that they were men’t for.

#125 Retired WI Boomer on 06.29.14 at 11:08 pm

Lots of good ideas in the posts this evening. Of course, not all can be considered, or necessarily should be.

I am curious, as to why no one has suggested that you, an experienced MP member, consider a return to that august body? You may not want to return, and I trust your judgement, but I also enjoy your views, and pity wit, which I believe would garner a fair numbers of ‘ears’ as a member. A consumer of good Scotch is not a prerequisite, but it surely helps.

Just a thought. Happy Canada Day!

#126 bingo000 on 06.29.14 at 11:09 pm

“Parties exist to chase power more than to improve things. Leaders invariably turn into control freaks.”
I am thinking that without the political parties, only independents, would be better. A parliament of independents, that are not controlled by political party leaders.

#127 Victoria - the original on 06.29.14 at 11:24 pm

Look at other health care systems world wide and forget about the US. Check out the top 10 health care systems in the world. We are no. 32 I believe. US 36 – we are better but not much.

Stronger animal rights law. Animal abuse 10 years min. Stop animal trafficking on Kiiji etc. No advertising. No backyard breeders or puppy mills. Shelters and registered breeders only.

Have a more “Finish” education system. It works for Finland it could work for us.

Bring Canadian education up to 2014. With technology it is a very different world now.

Be able to fire poor teachers – easily.

#128 Julia on 06.29.14 at 11:26 pm

A lot of people are calling for manditory voting. I don’t want more ignorant people voting. Instead I’m going to propose voting be completely changed. Instead of voting for a politician or party, how about the ballot includes no names, just the top 5 or so policies and budget items that each party is pushing. This way elections would be about policies and priorities not personalities and to get elected parties would have to effectively sell their set of policies and priorities to the voting public. Once elected, parties would be held to more account because it would be clear that people voted for particular actions not individuals who could then just do what they want. If there are good for not following through on particular actions politicians would be more compelled to communicate the reasons to the public.
Just a thought.

#129 Derek R on 06.29.14 at 11:28 pm

#126 bingo000 on 06.29.14 at 11:09 pm wrote:
I am thinking that without the political parties, only independents, would be better. A parliament of independents, that are not controlled by political party leaders.

I don’t think you can get that with voting. The only way I can see to get that would be by selecting MPs for each constituency from the voters at random like we do to pick peoples for jury duty. Mind you that would have the advantages that we would get automatic proportional representation. And it would be much cheaper to elect MPs than the current system.

Sure you’d get some idiots in parliament but then is that so different from the current electoral system?

#130 Keith on 06.29.14 at 11:33 pm

1. Model Canada’s resource management policies on those of Norway (no debt, 900 billion in sovereign wealth fund, royalties $46 per barrel of oil)

2. Model Canada’s post secondary education/apprenticeship system on that of Switzerland (over 250 kinds of apprenticeships, only top 20% of high school students go to university, 2.9% unemployment)

3. Suspend immigration when unemployment exceeds 5%

4. No more tax cuts without explaining the extent of programs/services that will be lost in order to fund them

5. Instill a long term fiscal plan (100 years +)to generate sufficient surpluses to fund a sovereign wealth fund whose income is sufficient to fund all public services for all citizens without charging any taxes to anyone for anything.

#131 Smoking man on 06.29.14 at 11:35 pm

2014, has been good, now it’s great..

Just erased 2013 2012 loses, they have been recovered..

Down to the last 2k of my budget, slightly hammered, I’m on a 100 dollar slot. I’m thinking its a 10 buck min.

Boom!!!!!

Jackpot…

God I love life…….

#132 dienekes on 06.29.14 at 11:44 pm

@101
True about getting a corp loan
I asked the bank for a 400k loan, I figured asking 400k when I had 400k cash in the corp account wasn’t a stretch. We only needed 100k to operate, and I had a plan to take things to a new level in a different direction.
The lenders response, “sure, we can work out a 400k loan, you have 400k in collateral”
I then realized I was talking to the stupidist human alive!
Shame on you Garth for that CD. It irritates me every morning when I take my daughter to school.

My plan for Canada, it’s already happened anyway without the compensation:
US gives 100k to each citizen and we sell to the US.
It would cost them 3.6 tril. including our national debt, but don’t tell them about CMHC or Prov. liabilities, that would kill it.

#133 Casual Observer on 06.29.14 at 11:47 pm

1) Allow tax deduction for rent payments (landlords are already taxed on rental income).

2) Property transfer tax should be paid by the seller, as a percentage of the profit they’ve made – not by the purchaser.

3) Foreign property purchasers should be charged a transfer tax based on a percentage of purchase price in addition to the profit tax paid by the seller.

4) Municipal property tax rate for foreign owners should be higher (2x, 3x, ?) than what is charged local owners.

5) Make work experience a mandatory part of the high school curriculum across the country.

6) Remove tax from earned income and instead raise taxes on consumption and start taxing lottery winnings and other gambling. Encourage working instead of consuming and gambling.

7) Allow tax deduction for CPI on interest income. (2% interest, 1.5% CPI = taxes payable on 0.5% interest income)

8) Stop double taxation of gasoline (GST charged on fuel taxes that are included in the price at the pump).

#134 Casual Observer on 06.29.14 at 11:47 pm

And…

9) Expand CPP coverage from maximum 25% to 40% of income for workers with pension plans, and 60% for workers with no pension plans.

Allow workers to opt out of poorly run workplace pensions and into expanded portion of CPP.

Coverage formula would be pro-rated based on:
% of max CPP contributions X years of service X multiplier (1.2 -?) X best 5 years average wages

Ex 1) Pay max CPP contributions for 40 years = 100% X (40 x 1.2) = 48% of best 5 years income avg.

Ex 2) Pay 60% of max CPP contributions for 45 years = 60% X (45 x 1.2) = 32.4% of best 5 years income avg.

Formula tops out at 50 years of service paying maximum CPP contributions (100% X 50 X 1.2 = 60% of best 5 years wages)

#135 VStrom Rider on 06.29.14 at 11:47 pm

Garth, what is your opinion on a guaranteed basic income for all Canadians?

A group of academics and activists are proposing that all Canadians be given $20,000/year, no questions asked: http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/are-canadians-worth-20k-a-year-guaranteed-1.1891794

#136 dienekes on 06.29.14 at 11:47 pm

@128
Manditory voting? Sure, we would just goose step into the polling stations.

#137 Son of Ponzi on 06.29.14 at 11:56 pm

Tax empty properties owned by foreign speculators to the fullest extend of the law.

#138 Son of Ponzi on 06.29.14 at 11:58 pm

#127
Be able to fire poor teachers – easily.
—————————
And only keep the rich ones.

#139 KommyKim on 06.30.14 at 12:00 am

RE: #64 Flawed on 06.29.14 at 7:26 pm
It needs to stop immediately. Govt is way too big all over the world. Plus it needs to run more like Bitcoin

A first I thought your argument was serious, but now I see that you were just joking around.

#140 Aggregator on 06.30.14 at 12:06 am

Craigslist GTA average rental price just hit new record highs of $1,917 (average) and $1,800 (median). Chart

There seems to be a seasonal pattern developing with price increases ahead of June, and I think it's due to the Pride parade. Either way, GTA rental prices are still rising.

#141 Pete on 06.30.14 at 12:16 am

#28 You got it. Have the Canadian government issue the money instead of having the central bank creating it out of thin air and then loaning it out at interest.

#142 bob on 06.30.14 at 12:30 am

Push hard for higher consumption taxes
lower income taxes
and credits/rebates/etc. for lower-income folks.

I’m still miffed that BC voted to get rid of the HST… and from my understanding, many of the union people voted for this. And hello unionized teachers… it was pretty obvious government wasn’t going to have more money.

#143 Baa on 06.30.14 at 12:31 am

Our armed forces were peace keepers. Change it back to this. Happy Canada Day.

#144 Nemesis on 06.30.14 at 12:41 am

#TheAnswerIsMore… #PirateRadio. #LettersOfMarque&Reprisal. #WhoHereWillSail. #WithTheDukeOfLunenberg?

http://youtu.be/2y_Pc6MX9wM

http://tinyurl.com/o32wo3q

#145 Flawed on 06.30.14 at 12:56 am

#106 WhiteKat on 06.29.14 at 9:55 pm
This Canada is a very sad one for approximately one million Canadians and their families.

Press release from “The Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty”: http://files3.webydo.com/41/410162/UploadedFiles/031ef47b-aa8e-46df-86e5-bae50a5ac97f.pdf

To see your Canadian government at work trashing Canadian’s Charter Rights watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slqAkW_eeUA

***********************************

North Korea and the United States are the only countries in the world that do this. Can’t imagine why so many people are opening up Bitcoin accounts.

The global shakedown has begun – including in Canada

http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/06/25/feds-exit-tax-on-bonds-confirms-liquidity-crisis/

#146 Rabbit One on 06.30.14 at 1:01 am

>#77 Freedom First

I totally agree with you idea about income tax scale.
Now those who make $15K / year, more than 10% income tax, that is brutal.

I would set up to $20K / year per person income tax excemption if you are couple.
up to $30K if single income.
Steep increase only after $100K and up.

Talking about TFSA, there are limited benefit for those in low income category, but reduction of income tax would help much more to encourage constant savings.

#147 Butcher on 06.30.14 at 1:16 am

Eliminate the Senate and
reduce the amount of rainfall
here in BC by 25%.

#148 Mark on 06.30.14 at 1:33 am

“GM Canada’s market share in the Greater Toronto Area plunged more than 50 per cent between 2008 and 2013, hitting just 5.6 per cent last year, according to the suit by 17 Toronto-area dealers. “

I still see plenty of GMs on the road in the GTA, but I don’t see why Canadians buying new cars would bother with the extortionist policies of the auto vendors in Canada when much lower prices are available across the border.

It should be pretty obvious that we’re heading into a deflationary collapse in big-ticket consumer items though.

#149 Spectacle on 06.30.14 at 1:44 am

You inspire Garth, thnx!

Everyone here is awesome, and I think what they truly need is to
1) Understand and
2) oppose , is the 70 plus year Agenda-21 plan to control and profit from the destruction of Our collective society. Your collective home& land.

I know this is a link to a US based information site…..but perhaps Garth and I can start another for Canada similar to it??

http://www.franklincounty912patriots.com/agenda-21.html

Ps: thanx Aggregator for the stellar blog comments.

Peace , out.

M

#150 Ronh on 06.30.14 at 1:49 am

#96 You are right. I should have said monetary gold reserves.

#151 Debtfree on 06.30.14 at 1:51 am

To be or not to be , that’s always the question . “Prediction is really difficult , especially if it’s about the future ” Niels said .

#152 rory on 06.30.14 at 1:54 am

Dual citizenship. If arrested or caught in a war in your second home country …too bad so sad. Should not be able to have your cake & eat it too. Pick one or the other.

All public service unions should be disbanded. Chicken and the fox thing.

Term limits on all politicians and supreme court appointments

Tenure should only be given to the exceptional as a reward not an entitlement.

More people need to have “skin” in their employment. Government people do not.

Anyone should be able to be fired for good reasons.

Only people that pay federal taxes should be able to vote in federal elections …the no skin thing again. And no government employees do not really pay taxes that fund government. How can it?. It is just a feel good thing so you seem to be contributing.

All .gov pensions need to be capped and then reined in. 20% is a good start in pensions and benefits.

Responsibly needs to mean something again.

This is my start …IMO

#153 Patient in Richmond on 06.30.14 at 2:14 am

what i would change ?
no foreign ownership of Canadian real estate ….

if you want to own a house here you have to live here. Contribute to your community , pay taxes and maybe even learn some english/french ….

#154 Turtle on 06.30.14 at 2:24 am

1. Education. As a high school graduate you can get to any school you want and become anybody you want if you do have good enough grades. If you don’t … you can be a teacher (the lowest entry requirements). We need to reverse that. Give the brightest minds the way to be the teachers of our kids through grades 1-12. Break down the union. Double the pay. Fire useless. Keep talented.

2. Health care. It is not a gift, it is paid service by people for people. The healthier the nation – the better the work doctors do. System has to focus on health and empty hospitals, not on returning patients and line-ups for years.

3. Innovation. Stop brain migration. We need more of goods that everybody in a world wants. Canada is not only oil… should not be.

4. Politics. Make friends with China, Russia, Brasil, India… Middle East countries. Be wise, Canada, be friends with everybody. America is playing their own game (think Keystone), we should play ours too.

5. Sports. Soccer World Cup… The biggest sport event in a world. Where is Canada? The poorest countries in a world have enough talent and money to put together a team to compete… Greece, Honduras, Costa Rica.

6. Immigration. Bring everybody together and call everybody “canadian”. No more italian-canadian, german-canadian, polish-canadian. Everybody has a past, but here you are a CANADIAN and be proud of being part of a team. We are not breading dogs here we don’t need “I am italian-polish-german-irish on my mom’s side and korean-spanish-chinese on my pop’s side”. We don’t need that. This is pulling us apart and not together.

Happy Canada Day everybody!

#155 G in V on 06.30.14 at 2:53 am

More sun in Raincouver is what I would change…

#156 SHELTER THE MONEY NOT THE PEOPLE on 06.30.14 at 3:14 am

Re: #20 Harry Wilson on 06.29.14 at 5:37 pm
about VIA RAIL
____________________________________________
That is a great idea. I often thought that a government should never be more than a days travel away so people can get involved.
If the Gov. could afford one 747 to cross the country and if everyone in Canada was offered one free flight to Ottawa once in their life it would be money well spent.
They could put up Hostel like accommodations so the poor can afford to go to see how government works.
Then I think there will be more involvement.

But the real reason why there is little involvement is because we elect a 4 year dictator who does whatever he wants to for 4 years. Once they suck us in on election day, we have no more input. Unlike the Swiss people who vote on all bills.
____________________________________________
#122 Kaganovich on 06.29.14 at 11:01 pm
Very well said!

#157 213 fool on 06.30.14 at 3:23 am

Invade Point Robert just south of Tawwassen BC. It bugs me that its not part of Canada.

#158 Exurban on 06.30.14 at 3:42 am

#119 BG

I think Daisy Mae is actually agreeing with you. She restates your point in her own words.

I know several immigrants from France and have heard about worse incidents. Please continue to tell your story. Our media refuse to cover it and our politicians have no clue.

#159 MEANWHILE IN FRANCE on 06.30.14 at 3:47 am

Join the United States of America.

#160 Crossbordershopper on 06.30.14 at 5:44 am

simple, join the USA, manifest destiny, its just a matter of time. Canada is a buffer state of the USA. It would take us three hours to roll up the qew and take out the gardner and 401/410. cripple the transportation, scramble the airwaves and the rest will collapse in a week.
We will knock and hopefully you open the door, if not, well its not nice.
within 100 years, depending on what happens in the middle east, its a 50:50 shot of Canada being affiliated with the USA. Nafta etc, now the passport from the europeans coming to canada have to meet new north american security and pay the seven bucks. Like i said a buffer state.
Singe your song, waive your flag, its just a matter of time. nothing is forever, and talking to the 20 year olds trust me, they will shrug their shoulders and say ok to anything. Blood donation in Canada is at record low, and you want them to go to war for the country? for anything?
In life, your friends will turn on you, before the enemy will.

#161 earthboundmisfit on 06.30.14 at 7:18 am

DELETED

#162 NoName on 06.30.14 at 7:38 am

John Cleese for PM

http://youtu.be/7G_zSos8w_I

#163 Future Expatriate on 06.30.14 at 7:41 am

Rock on, Garth.

#164 Martha on 06.30.14 at 7:47 am

I am an American by birth. A Canadian by choice. I love it here. I am truly free here….except for one thing.

When I moved here 10+ years ago and started the immigration process, I was not allowed to work in my chosen profession. A profession I had been in for almost 20 years. A profession I was proud of and good at. I wanted to contribute my talent and expertise to my new country… I wanted to help.

I wasn’t allowed to. I have never worked in Canada. My husband had a major stroke three years after I became landed, and I spent until last year taking care of him. I am pushing 60 now. I’ve been out of my profession too long. Even if I went back into training (starting over) I am way past hiring age.

It REALLY pissed me off that during that time there was an argument going on in Toronto about illegal immigrants working in the construction trades, who were let stay because they were “needed”…

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/toronto/story.html?id=a2d40ebd-07fd-46ce-9e57-db0f8ca5023f

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/straighttalk/archives/2013/02/20130226-065836.html

If I could change one thing it is this… Those of us who move here by choice who are already trained and have proven experience, expertise and talent should be allowed to use them to not only better ourselves, but Canada as a whole.

We need more doctors, but not doctors driving cabs. We need more engineers, but not engineers running the local 7-11. Let us help…let us be of value again.

#165 Cici on 06.30.14 at 7:51 am

Oh, I forgot to mention it, although it should be obvious from my earlier comment: I’d give the all the money back to the CBC.

There is no greater gift than an investment in culture.

#166 housedoc on 06.30.14 at 8:21 am

Mandatory voting?

“The strongest argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter”.

Winston Churchill

#167 liquidincalgary on 06.30.14 at 8:28 am

@ 143Baa

‘our armed forces were peace keepers.’

our armed forces were sent in once to keep peace; in reality, canada knows how to throw down.

during the first and second world wars, on a per capita basis, we sent more men and women than ANY other ally. we are the wall-flower of the world. answer the call when needed, then fade away into the background until called upon again.

no thanks needed, we do it repeatedly.

#168 SWL1976 on 06.30.14 at 8:28 am

I’d blow the lid off all the secrecy in goverment like harper aka bush lite said he was going to do. He actually did the exact opposite, but that is a whole other story.

I would build things in this country rather than buy into a shady deal being the F-35’s Canada has some of the most talented and inovative people in the world and government seems to drop the ball on innovation. Remeber the Avro Arrow?

How about value added with our resources? No brainer here, we have some of the finest timber in the world going off shore in raw logs.

But the most important thing I would do and needs to be done is transparancy and truth in government.

A real leader should be able to walk amoungst his people without fear, but with only trust…

I’d like to see harper walk amoungst his people sans security

#169 Tanya on 06.30.14 at 8:39 am

What I would change?

Require all levels of government to run balanced budgets. Need more money? Raise it. No more deficits, no more debts.

Stealing from your grandkids to pay for things you don’t want to pay for is the height of immorality.

Oh, and abolish the central bank.

#170 TurnerNation on 06.30.14 at 8:44 am

I have hope personally but not for our system lately.

Their plan is clear. We’ve seen country after country fall in organized efforts (let’s call this ‘bomb’s ‘n bailouts). Each time we’re told a rag tag crew of darker skinned people with only small arms is to blame. Right.

Pyramid. We’re at the bottom. Then our hand picked boob party candidates above, then many higher levels of elites and royals. Hint: you’ll never again here H uttering the words ‘China’s human rights record’. Nor a peep about the oiliferous Saudi terror regime.

Never fight the hand the feeds you.

Your kids will learn quaint stores of “First world countries”. Remember them? A nice post-war experiment while it lasted. I wonder what the computer simulations show next. We’re predictible.

#171 courage and poo on 06.30.14 at 8:46 am

Reduce the size of government, one manageable bit at a time. Call it project Bastiat.

#172 Chickenlittle on 06.30.14 at 8:48 am

The problem with most of these comments is that they make too much sense. Government and common sense have as much in common as Saudi Arabia and Church Street.

#173 Chickenlittle on 06.30.14 at 8:49 am

Sorry, I should Have said “suggestions” .

#174 Detalumis on 06.30.14 at 8:59 am

The CPP is a very poor retirement vehicle for the average dual income couple, there is little or no survivorship if you also collect CPP on your own. A spouse-in-the-house can receive 60% as a survivor but a working-spouse may get zip. Sorry I don’t want any expansion of that plan, I would rather use RRSPs and TFSAs which have a residual value.

I also disagree with this forced voting. Anybody who pays taxes has more of a right to vote than anyone who is a net drain on the economy including every senior on GIS for e.g.

I cannot vote as I am in a standoff with my voting/tax name (maiden) not matching my ID. I refuse to change it as it is good enough for me to pay taxes under, get a passport, driver’s licence, health care, travel anywhere in the world, get credit cards, buy a house and draft a will, just never EVER vote. I just paid a hefty tax bill under my fraudulent name and golly gee it wasn’t rejected either.

#175 Ret on 06.30.14 at 9:04 am

“Canada’s a fine place to be, but it’s sure not perfect.” (Garth)

After reading all of the above comments about how very little in Canada actually works as it should, what exactly will we be celebrating tomorrow?

#176 David Hawke on 06.30.14 at 9:45 am

As a business associate once said “Canada is a great country providing you can afford to Pay/Pay!”

Ordinary Canadians are over-governed and taxed-to-death to support the nanny state it has become.

1) Implement Marois’s proposed ‘Charter of Values’.

2) Ban all ‘Public Service’ unions.

3) Implement a ‘flat-rate’ income tax.

4) Eliminate the corrupt RCMP.

If those 4 suggestions were in effect, the other minor irritants would eventually be corrected!

#177 Life's a supermartingale on 06.30.14 at 9:47 am

“Parties exist to chase power more than to improve things. ”

When was this not true Garth? Of course politics is about seeking power for its own sake. This has always been true, and it will always be true. This why government should be severely limited.

Garth, seeking to do good means being rigorously honest with yourself at both a personal and professional level. So, for someone to want to hold the position of Minister of Revenue and not feel that he must know dynamic programming, the theorems surrounding Ricardian equivalence, and recursive methods in macroeconomics, means that that person is really more interested in power than in seeking to do good for society. I don’t fault the person, it’s the nature of politics. Even with all my experience as a mathematical economist, I don’t feel qualified for that job. As Thomas Sowell taught us, it takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.

Actually being in charge of national revenue means understanding this is about taxing families, not Ricardian equivalence. Have you always been a dink, or was it an acquired characteristic? — Garth

#178 Daisy Mae on 06.30.14 at 9:54 am

#66 Kwijobo: “Lets make it easier for people to vote, and essential for them to vote.”

**********************

Let’s encourage candidates we can get excited about, candidates we can admire and trust…and then we will be eager to vote.

#179 Daisy Mae on 06.30.14 at 10:11 am

#104 Mr Obvious: “Refuse to pay your taxes. See how free it is.”

**************

Were we talking about taxes?

#180 John Prine on 06.30.14 at 10:12 am

Refine all our petroleum products here, keep prices low for Canadians and export the finished product. Stop all exports of raw logs, mill everything here. Flat income tax, higher minimum wage and get rid of Stephen Harper.

#181 Daisy Mae on 06.30.14 at 10:15 am

#119 BG on 06.29.14 at 10:45 pm
#70 Daisy Mae

“Not I didn’t get it. Was it sarcasm? I’m bad at getting hidden meaning on Internet.”

******************

I was agreeing with you.

#182 Aggregator on 06.30.14 at 10:34 am

#135 VStrom Rider

A group of academics and activists are proposing that all Canadians be given $20,000/year, no questions asked

That so called group of academics is just another quasi United Nations Agenda 21 movement. Once you understand their objective to build master planned communities by socializing a developed nation's wealth to immigrants, you can spot these muppets every time.

UN panel calls for global ‘protection floor’ with income security and health services

27 October 2011 – With more than five out of every seven people in the world lacking adequate social security, a high-level United Nations panel today called for guaranteeing basic income and services for all, not only as a means to ensure peace and stability but also to boost economic growth.

It's not the government you have to worry about. It's the tree huggin' climate change socialist nutbars that should be feared the most. They will destroy everything, guaranteed!

#183 Nightspeace on 06.30.14 at 10:34 am

I would disband the CRTC and the Senate of Canada.

#184 Shawn on 06.30.14 at 10:34 am

Supermartingale at 177

So, for someone to want to hold the position of Minister of Revenue and not feel that he must know dynamic programming, the theorems surrounding Ricardian equivalence, and recursive methods in macroeconomics, means that that person is really more interested in power than in seeking to do good for society.

******************************************

Moronic and also ignorant (in both senses of the word) comment award?

From a person who does not know the difference between learning and wisdom?

But par for the course with a handle like that.

#185 Joe Schmoe on 06.30.14 at 10:52 am

First, I would tussle both Harper’s and Justine’s hair.

Second, I would tarrif the heck out of cheap foreign goods to make it only “slightly cheaper” than goods made in NAFTA. (It bothers me immensely that we don’t level the playing field on goods from countries without similar labor laws/HSE programs and environmental regulations we hold so dear in Canada….not in my backyard is a ridiculous concept)

Third, I would attempt to be honest about issues impacting Canadians, and try to de-sensationalize relatively straight forward issues (pipelines, MJ, FN issues, etc etc etc)

Sadly, what Canada needs is a few terms with a leader who doesn’t really want to be the leader.

#186 Patricia on 06.30.14 at 10:53 am

Canadians were always OK with immigrants who shared our value systems. Sadly we are bringing in immigrants who will never integrate and do not share our value systems. that is the problem.

If it was affordable to just live let alone prosper we might be able to increase the birthrate. But as long as it is unaffordable to just live we will have to bring in immigrants. Privatize all schools. As long as the government controls education it will not care about quality. It is easier for the government to control a bunch of morons… Teachers now do not even have to have any expertise in the area which they teach. Yikes.

GARTH TURNER FOR PRIME MINISTER….

Christie Clark (BC Premier) was not even elected in her own riding and yet she represents BC. She has usurped democracy. The oly reason she is still in politics (because she is hated) is that the history of the alternative (NDP) was so scary….

#187 courage and poo on 06.30.14 at 10:59 am

Oh and elect more engineers and less lawyers. Will bring some common sense to the table.

#188 FormerSaskie on 06.30.14 at 11:02 am

I would like Canada to have progressive, forward-looking government at all levels. As a country we have lost many development opportunities because our leaders are fighting nonsensical skirmishes with political opponents. Currently, it is the courts that are putting roadblocks in front of some of the idiotic bills being drafted in parliament as Canadians drift along completely disengaged from the decisions being made. It is time for Canadians to start paying attention to what politicians are doing and holding them to account at the ballot box.

As a country we deserve better than power seeking idiots as leaders.

#189 Alberta Ed on 06.30.14 at 11:07 am

I’d like to see Canada return to a Parliamentary system of government that protects its sovereignty (i.e., no more FACTA). What we have now is a top-down system run by a control freak in the prime minister’s office and spineless automatons posing as Parliamentarians.

Bring in two-term limits for Parliamentarians.

Reform the RCMP and the Canadian military so they become once again proud, efficient organizations instead of bumbling bureaucracies.

Eliminate trade barriers between provinces.

Enshrine property rights in the constitution.

#190 Solitario on 06.30.14 at 11:21 am

1. Force the country to live within its means…pass laws to make budgets deficits illegal at both federal and provincial levels.

#191 Listening to the voices outside my head on 06.30.14 at 11:33 am

I would like to see a national movement, involving all levels of government working in a coordinated and efficient manner to encourage better transit and in equal measure, more support for telecommuting. Too many people are spending too much time driving around. Too much time is being lost commuting.

I would like to see the dismantling of large corporate offices accompanied by more people working remotely. I think this alone would encourage people to live in cheaper areas once they are assured they can make a living wage and have manageable costs.

Even if governments do not take a direct role in funding infrastructure, they could offer tax breaks and other incentives to encourage companies to support more telecommuting and a more distributed workforce.

#192 Gregor Samsa on 06.30.14 at 12:06 pm

If I were boss, I would good long look at my “management team” (aka Harper and his thugs), and decide that they are doing a terrible job and fire the whole lot. Canada’s long term best interests are in no way being served at the moment, and some deep trouble is brewing on the horizon because of it.

The next thing I would do is return the focus of Canada’s economy to real science and technology (not just resource related science), and invest in making world leading technology in Canada again.

We can do more than just dig crap out of the ground in this country!

#193 Linda Pearson on 06.30.14 at 12:10 pm

#160 Crossbordershopper on 06.30.14 at 5:44 am
simple, join the USA, manifest destiny, its just a matter of time. Canada is a buffer state of the USA. It would take us three hours to roll up the qew and take out the gardner and 401/410. cripple the transportation, scramble the airwaves and the rest will collapse in a week.
We will knock and hopefully you open the door, if not, well its not nice.
within 100 years, depending on what happens in the middle east, its a 50:50 shot of Canada being affiliated with the USA. Nafta etc, now the passport from the europeans coming to canada have to meet new north american security and pay the seven bucks. Like i said a buffer state.
Singe your song, waive your flag, its just a matter of time. nothing is forever, and talking to the 20 year olds trust me, they will shrug their shoulders and say ok to anything. Blood donation in Canada is at record low, and you want them to go to war for the country? for anything?
In life, your friends will turn on you, before the enemy will
******************************************
Your post has left me almost choked with anger. I am not the most articulate of posters and certainly not the intellectual equal of many posters. But I am compelled to make an effort to reply to your nonsense.

To begin with your last sentence, I am thinking of an old Pogo quotation about enemies. And to you I’d say that while many of us have not actually seen our enemy yet, we do sense him – in our darkest thoughts, hovering close by, the smell of him permeating and colouring almost every aspect of our lives. Individual (US)Americans are not our enemy, but the aggregate, the “machine” of the US might certainly be him one day.

You dismiss the idea of resistance with a toss-off about 20-year olds and if our resistance depended solely on that group, well, you might have a point. But they won’t always be twenty. And if you think there would not be others who would rise to the challenge in the interim of protecting our sovereignty you don’t give us enough credit. I’m in my late sixties, not agile or flexible; I nod off with alarming ease; I don’t remember some things like I used to. But the keen mental skills I had in my youth and still retain, skills that would be extremely useful to younger “feet on the ground, eyes in the sky”, would willingly, even eagerly, contribute to a resistance that would be a relentless and in the end, insurmountable, protection of my country. OUR COUNTRY! Not yours, not now and not ever in the future.

It isn’t the NAFTAs of this world that define a people, or the currencies or even the security treaties. It is the feeling that one gets when travelling across the breadth and height of a place that one is still “at home”. The feeling that the vast majority of fellow Canadians are still our neighbours even when “next door” is 5000 kilometres away.

Is our Canadian family perfect? Of course not! Is there room for improvement to the systems, the governments, the various Acts that protect us? Absolutely! But, over time, we’ll get it done because that’s what we do. You underestimate us at your peril.

#194 Flawed on 06.30.14 at 12:57 pm

#139 KommyKim on 06.30.14 at 12:00 am
RE: #64 Flawed on 06.29.14 at 7:26 pm
It needs to stop immediately. Govt is way too big all over the world. Plus it needs to run more like Bitcoin

A first I thought your argument was serious, but now I see that you were just joking around.

*************************

If you took the time to learn how mathematically bitcoin works you would see how serious I am. But your a communist so I don’t expect you to understand.

#195 devore on 06.30.14 at 1:00 pm

#126 bingo000

I am thinking that without the political parties, only independents, would be better. A parliament of independents, that are not controlled by political party leaders.

You would deny people the right to organize? I don’t think you’ve thought that one through.

#196 devore on 06.30.14 at 1:03 pm

#127 Victoria – the original

Look at other health care systems world wide and forget about the US. Check out the top 10 health care systems in the world. We are no. 32 I believe. US 36 – we are better but not much.

The debate is, and forever will be, Canada-style healthcare system, or US-style healthcare system. Because one of these is the best, and the other is the only other alternative. This suits established political and business interests just fine.

Apparently only Europeans are allowed to have healthcare systems that are worth a damn.

#197 Dano on 06.30.14 at 1:06 pm

Ha, that small town DJ was my uncle! I remember being quite proud to be able to share that version of O Canada with my elementary school. Thanks Garth (very belatedly) for helping to put that together.

#198 Maxime on 06.30.14 at 1:06 pm

Summary of the comments above:
I want the gov to pay for what I like and I want to ban things I don’t like.

So much soft dictator…

Mandatory military training ? Wait what ? Go play with your guns if you want but I won’t be forced to be a state killer!

If I were the prime minister (impossibility since I don’t want to become a top criminal) ? I’d declare that 35,427,524 individuals just became a sovereign state and close Canada.gov…

We would have true free market and peace.

P.S. Maybe I’d take steps before, but the goal would be this.

#199 R on 06.30.14 at 1:15 pm

I’d heavily subsidize education, at all levels. Canadians would be able to get post secondary education and graduate without crushing levels of debt.

I’d also heavily subsidize urban and regional transit where it is needed.

I’d see an increase in TFSA contribution limits and rename them as Tax Free Investment Accounts so as to remove some of the confusion.

#200 Revenue Canada on 06.30.14 at 1:18 pm

Change?

Tax rental income from condos and basement suites.

Already is? Enforce it.

#201 devore on 06.30.14 at 1:28 pm

#142 bob

I’m still miffed that BC voted to get rid of the HST

I’m miffed that 99% of the people don’t get it.

I support HST (way better than the PST/GST combo), but I voted to scrap it. This should have been a generational scandal to unify the people. This was no way to introduce the most significant piece of legislation BC has seen in over a decade. Why even bother having the veneer and trappings of democracy? Lets just scrap the whole apparatus, and run a dictatorship. Even a dictator would have handled this better, and save hundreds of millions annually.

It is important to do such things properly, and not cut corners at every opportunity. Doing democracy properly is difficult, expensive, time consuming, frustrating. It should be and must be. People give up their rights far too readily to get a juicy carrot dangled in front. Pro tip: it’s never as juicy and tasty as it looks.

I will fully support any government with a plan to bring HST to BC in the future.

#202 liquidincalgary on 06.30.14 at 1:29 pm

@ crossbordershopper

remember the war of 1812? when you fought the ‘British’?

ya, there were some brits w/guns, and aboriginals for guides. but that WAS canada invading YOU!

maybe we never did completely burn down your White House in any of those skirmishes, but we sure gave it a good singeing, more than once…

3 relatives, all from the same family unit, served each in a different branch of our military. i could not be more proud of them.

#203 devore on 06.30.14 at 1:51 pm

#194 Flawed

If you took the time to learn how mathematically bitcoin works you would see how serious I am. But your a communist so I don’t expect you to understand.

He who controls >50% of it, controls all of it?

#204 Godth on 06.30.14 at 1:53 pm

#193 Linda Pearson

Individual (US)Americans are not our enemy, but the aggregate, the “machine” of the US might certainly be him one day.

That day is long established as the present. When this housing/debt bubble bursts some choices will be made and under neoliberalism we’ve seen how this story goes…repeatedly.

An Interview With Michael Hudson on Economic Violence
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/17/an-interview-with-michael-hudson-on-economic-violence/

The BoC is nationalized unlike the Fed. Reserve. It doesn’t work the way it used to (was designed to) but then it’s a member of the Bank for International Settlements that is run by the Fed. Reserve so…

#205 Aggregator on 06.30.14 at 2:02 pm

British Columbia's cash offer to end teacher's strike ends today

The province's offer to give B.C.'s public school teachers some extra cash if they sign a deal ending their strike expires today.

The more than 40,000 teachers are being offered $1,200 a piece to end the job action that halted classes for more than half a million students on June 17.

Bribe them with their own tax dollars!

GM unveils plan to compensate ignition switch crash victims

Kenneth Feinberg is prepared to pay out billions of General Motors’ money to victims of crashes in GM small cars – provided they can prove the cars’ ignition switches caused the crash.

Compensate them with taxpayer bailout funds!

This is why the system is completely broken and why we're heading for a totalatarian state if this doesn't soon. Without any restrictions on governments financing their operations with more debt and tax grabs, nothing can or will change because they can just keep buying votes and socializing their constituents.

There's only one force of hope left to stop all this profligacy. And that is Mr. Market.

#206 Shawn on 06.30.14 at 2:23 pm

Capital Gains are unearned speculation

Andew at 118 mounted something of an attach on investors who invest for capital gains:

I would either eliminate or greatly reduce dividends paid by Canadian corporations to Canadian citizens if paid out of Canadian source income including income from exports or earned in foreign branch operations controlled and staffed by Canadians. I would increase the tax on capital gains to equal the rates paid on salaries and wages earned. To me it is absurd to tax the cash flow from productive businesses but give a tax break to what are essentially speculative gains. Encourage productivity and don’t favour unearned income. The rich would be just as happy with dividends but they would have to invest in real earnings not in accounting tricks.

********************************************
Well, there is some truth to a claim that capital gains come from speculation and accounting tricks. But that is in the short run.

In the long run capital gains on stocks come from exactly the same place as dividends. That is, from earnings.

So perhaps short term gains could be taxed differently. But long term capital gains represnt earned income just as much as dividends do.

#207 Al Fornicato on 06.30.14 at 2:35 pm

Keith in Calgary…

Good luck in your new home in Brazil. You think it’s bad in Canada? Here’s what you’ll be supporting in the land of your dreams(and future nightmares)…

http://jprocafort.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/screen-shot-2010-03-09-at-2-24-10-pm.png

Good riddance. We don’t need Canadians like you.

#208 Shawn on 06.30.14 at 2:37 pm

Taxing Investment Income

When I think about it, lower income people who are not investors (amnd often not hom owners) should be outraged at all the tax breaks that investors receive.

Here are the main ones:

Capital gains on personal residence never taxed, even upon death.

Capital gains on stocks untaxed until realized, providing tax deferral.

Tax free compounding within an RRSP that mathematically amounts to zero tax on your share of the RRSP as the tax at the end just amounts to the return of the original tax refund plus interest equal to the return on the account. (Assumes marginal tax rate is constant)

Tax Free savings Accounts.

Registered Education Savings plans that throw free money at those able to aford this and then give tax-free compounding with little tax in the end unless the student has a lot of income.

Ability to use a personal corporation to split incomes with family members and to deffer a part of the tax by leaving it in the corporation.

Tax deductible pension contributions and pension plans that defer taxes for decades.

You’d almost think these rules were put in place “by the rich for the rich”.

(I give thanks for this largess everyday but do feel a tad guilty when I realise that the working poor pay realtively high marginal tax rates on every extra dollar and often lose big on social benefits for every extra dollar earned.)

If all these tax breaks for the rich and higher middle class were eliminated we could have a much lower basel tax rate for everyone. Whenever a tax break is given, one should ask, and who will pay more to make up for this tax break?

#209 Shawn on 06.30.14 at 2:38 pm

I forgot low half off rates for capital gains and low taxes for dividends.

SO many tax breaks for the rich, it is unreal. Belch.

#210 reel-deal on 06.30.14 at 2:55 pm

Gateway=
Upgrade the oil so there’s no dilutants, and send it to prince Rupert where they already have a large deep sea port (with room for another tanker a day). The natives would be much more accepantant to that. The cost of single crude pipeline to prince Rupert would cost less then a double to kitamat.

Energy east pipeline=
Let’s get this thing built.. We are buying oil on one side of the country and selling it on the other.. Come on a little uncommon sense wouldn’t hurt.

I couldnt care less about slim margins in upgrading and refining oil, they’re still money to be made and when the systems are working the operators sleep all day.. It’s a great way to make a living..

Stop selling raw logs to china, they just sink them in the ocean and bring them up every time we try and ask for more money.

All Canadians should stop buying cheap crap from china and put more money on their mortgages… I’m happy target didn’t make any money in Canada but id be happier if walmart and mcdonalds couldn’t survive either.
One way to do that would be to end TFW programs and watch businesses try to entice workers with signing bonuses and better pay.
Harper has to go, and lie detectors for politians sounds like a great idea.

#211 Christopher Walkin on 06.30.14 at 3:18 pm

MORE Cowbell!

#212 Macrath on 06.30.14 at 3:22 pm

How about a National Debt Registry. So any citizen could go online and find out just how much that neighbour with all the expensive toys actually owes.

#213 Waterloo Resident on 06.30.14 at 3:29 pm

Oh Crap; watch these 2 videos and they will show you why 8%, possibly even 30% interest rates are a very real posibility in the next 12 months.

Germany wants its gold bullion back from the Fed and the Fed won’t give it back, they are even threatening WAR rather than give back Germany’s gold.

And a major trading bank (Deutsche Bank) has just gotten out of the silver trade because they see cracks in the financial system, and derivatives are about to pop.

Derivatives pop and the U.S. dollar becomes worthless, interest rates can and will spike way over 30%, probably more, and Canadian rates will follow.

This is serious stuff folks. watch these videos yourself and see:

‘Gold Gone? Germany baffled as Fed bars access to bullion.’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyemAwLD2N0

‘Rob Kirby-Dollar Will Absolutely Go to Zero’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d6-mwqnggk

Lets hope this is all foolish talk, like UFO kind of stupid talk, because if any of it is real then our housing market is so screwed its not funny !

Imagine mortgage rates at 30%? Who could afford todays houses at those rates?

Love your humour. — Garth

#214 chapter 9 on 06.30.14 at 3:50 pm

Oh Canada
Any elected official found guilty of criminal wrong doing would be stripped of their position,pension, and do jail time. They are not above the law.
Creative accounting or slight of hand accounting. March 31/07 EI account had a surplus of $54 Billion a lot of cash funded only by employers/employees. Supreme Court in 08 ruled the federal government does not have to return any of that money back to the contributors well wonder where that went-general revenues or more programs we don’t need–done!!
An end to the 6/49 style pensions for all elected officials you are a public servant and work for the people that elected you-done.
Democracy will be restored back to the people and if elected you will vote according to the majority in your riding.
All tax payer funding for special interest groups,multi cultural, bilingualism, unions-done. If you strongly believe in your cause raise the money your self. Just another way of buying votes.
Criminal code-Scrap young offenders act if your kid is a shithead then the world is going to know. If your wife,daughter,mother,aunt,neice,defends themselves from an attacker by using pepper spray they won’t be charged they will not be the legislated victim.
An individual goes beserk on a Greyhound bus beheads a passenger ends up not having a criminal record and is going to be going out on day passes to go shopping!! Are we for real in this country?
Just a reminder that governments do not have a revenue problem they have a spending problem. It is our money so no tax, fee,or levy is temporary.It is great to have all of these fluffy programs but sooner or later you will run out of other peoples money.

#215 Shawn on 06.30.14 at 3:54 pm

Germany’s Gold and the FED and WAR

Waterloo resident at 213.

Agreed, that is all crap. Call me when CNN or CNBC is covering the story as opposed to youtube

#216 saskatoon on 06.30.14 at 4:10 pm

save yourself some time:

ctrl + F

“agg”

#217 Entrepreneur on 06.30.14 at 4:12 pm

Another point, if I were PM:

11. Polticians (& voters) not allowed to blame a party that has not been in power for 8 years…the BLAME goes to the party that is in.

Recently, our MLA blamed the BC poverty rate on the NDP, but the NDP has not been in power for at least 12 years. (#186 Patricia)

BC got rid of the HST because it of all the lies that went with it…more jobs, the small businessess will pass on the profits to the consumer, bring in big corporations, etc. Ontario laughed at us for refuging the HST; they brought in the HST saying that they will prosper. Will, is Ontario better off with the HST.

Sorry Garth, a little off the topic but my hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I don’t think I could be PM but once angry, watch out.

#218 OttawaMike on 06.30.14 at 4:21 pm

#205 Aggregator on 06.30.14 at 2:02 pm
“Without any restrictions on governments financing their operations with more debt and tax grabs, nothing can or will change because they can just keep buying votes and socializing their constituents.”
—————————————————

Au Contraire Aggie,
US govt. CAFE rules created an environment where corps like GMC built crappy Cobalts at a loss(rumoured to be $400/unit)to increase fleet fuel economy and allow them to build more Hummers and other similarly profitable monstrosities.

The correct approach would have been instituting a higher gas tax or an across the board fuel economy standard as Obama has mandated for 2025, incredibly Oil man Doubya Bush started the ball rolling on this in 07.

So bailouts didn’t do this, bad government policy that pandered to big oil did it.

Besides, what kind of driver crashes their car when the engine shuts down? These are the same tort happy bunch that looted Toyota on the unintended acceleration debacle a few years ago.

#219 The Peg on 06.30.14 at 4:22 pm

Former MAC Marketing manager disciplined over fake Chinese buyers

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/former-mac-marketing-manager-disciplined-over-fake-chinese-buyers-1.2691528

#220 Almost A Boomer on 06.30.14 at 4:42 pm

Reduce the number of political parties federally and provincially to two. Or come up with some other way so that a majority is real and represents votes cast.

#221 Grandma on 06.30.14 at 4:50 pm

My suggestion for change would be to make fitness classes tax deductible.
Give that chicken fat back to the chicken.
Happy Canada Day!

#222 Dr. Talc on 06.30.14 at 5:03 pm

Canada has some of the most talented and inovative people in the world and government seems to drop the ball on innovation. Remeber the Avro Arrow?

the talent went to the USA to help launch the
NASA hoax

#223 Alberta Guy on 06.30.14 at 5:28 pm

#153 Patient in Richmond on 06.30.14 at 2:14 am

Consider what you say…what about canadians owning seasonal homes in the USA? I own a home in AZ and year round I contribute to the local economy. I pay property taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs, maintenance. When I am there for up to 6 months I purchase goods and services, gasoline, food, entertainment. I get nothing in return in terms of medical or government services. Would the US consider me a leach on their economy?

#224 Nemesis on 06.30.14 at 8:49 pm

#@LiquidInCalgary#203 #Actually,WeDidBurnWashington #&TheWhiteHouse #ToTheGround #WeAlsoSeizedAMagnificentWarPrize #Their”GreatMaceOfCongress” #WeOnlyGaveItBackItToThem #In1976 #WeMadeABookForThem,Too #That’sWhatFriendsAreFor
#That’sWhatItMeansToBeCanadian

…”The Canadian Government Photo Centre, another division in the Ottawa Branch, produced as the year’s most impressive work a 24-by-30-foot map of Canada designed for the Law of the Sea Conference in Japan. The Centre also produced Canada’s gift to the United States for the American Bicentennial, the 336-page bilingual book Between Friends/Entre Amis. Produced at a cost of 1.2 million dollars, the album was to become one of the greatest publishing successes in Canadian history. The collection of 246 colour photographs depicting Canada and its people had an initial printing of 20,000 presentation copies. External Affairs presented 13,000, on behalf of the people of Canada, to the President, to legislators, public libraries and educational institutions in the U.S., while the other 7,000 copies were given to municipalities, public libraries and educational institutions in Canada. The publishers of the commercial edition, McClelland and Stewart, planned a 90,000-copy printing for the Canadian book trade. In 40 weeks on bestseller lists, Between Friends/Entre Amis exceeded $5 million in retail sales.”…

[NationalFilmBoard] – The “1970s”

https://www.nfb.ca/history/1970-1979/

[NoteToGT: ‘TitanJr’ is, like, so ‘alive’ now… that even I’m beginning to worry.]

#225 Linda Mulligan on 06.30.14 at 8:56 pm

#111 – Vangirl – the problem is that a rather large percentage of the population either can not or will not save for their future. The only way I can see to end the problem of impoverished seniors et al (who cost everyone a fair chunk of change, like it or not) is enforced savings via CPP. All very well to say adults are responsible for taking care of themselves – I agree but reality is many adults do anything BUT take care of themselves. Then blame ‘X’ for their predicament instead of their own actions, because it is never their fault. Usually the ‘X’ blamed are those who did take care of their future…..

#226 liquidincalgary on 07.01.14 at 1:49 am

@ nemesis

i stand corrected.

interesting link, thanks!

#227 ozy - the anthem selected is poor on 07.01.14 at 11:20 am

my 2 cents, the anthem selected is poor – from a melody perspective

maybe it should be rewritten to something actually inspiring to those kids that have no choice but to listen to it every morning

#228 James Kitchener on 07.01.14 at 1:34 pm

I would abolish the Income tax system, it is out dated, and the amendments now fill a book,
I would replace Personal tax with HST maybe 25%; I will leave smarter people to figure the percentage.

Basically it is a fairer system when you think about it the more money you have the more money you spend. Therefore the more tax you pay. You can afford a speed boat you pay the tax,

Might take some adjustments in the economy, But I would think it to be fair to everyone. Also I am pretty certain it would get rid of the underground economy.

#229 Pragmatist on 07.01.14 at 2:56 pm

@liquidincalgary

Now, now, don’t get your knickers in a knot.
We know you Albertans are feeling the anti-love about your drive to liquidate energy resources, but, please, drop the ‘renewables are stupid’ defence. The jury’s in, and the world is moving away from oil as the basis of our energy needs, but we will still need it for quite a while yet, as we pivot toward a broader energy mix that will ease the problems we’ve created by relying on subsidized oil. Or we’re you merely suggesting that the best use for bitumen is to build roads? Possibly true.

Don’t worry, there’s still money to be made, but there’s going to be some rules now, so you don’t kill us all while you blow your wad selling off *our* resources.

#230 thelittlestbaby on 07.01.14 at 3:06 pm

– free childcare and extended health
– legalize all drugs
– institute 4 day work week, boosting minimum wage to compensate
– increase carbon tax in cities with public transit
– no tax on professional services to individuals or rentals
– no tax on used items (including cars)
– more tax on vices i dont like (junk food, gambling, cigars, financial transactions, being rich)
– less tax on vices I do like (alcohol, restaurant meals, drugs)
– nationalize oil companies, heavy industry, power and water. pay dividends to all citizens
– stop talking shit to foreign countries
– nationalize the banks too!
– make environmental research number one priority
– low cost education for any citizen who wishes it

Doesn’t that seem like a better country?

#231 Pragmatist on 07.01.14 at 3:14 pm

@reel-deal

It makes no economic sense to spend billions (regardless of where the money comes from) to build more infrastructure for oil export. Like to tobacco was, oil is now a dirty word. But, like tobacco, there’s always going to be a place in society for it, so we as a country need to stop with the obsessive panic to get send it somewhere else

#232 Frank Blood on 07.01.14 at 7:19 pm

Garth plays a Strat? I would have guessed he plays a Gibson Flying V…..

#233 Steven on 07.03.14 at 7:33 am

If I could make a change to Canada it would be to make myself the King and be the full time government of Canada and rule as I see fit.