Democracy

OOPS modified

It may mean nothing. Or something. In the first two days of last August 168 houses sold in Calgary. This past weekend just 57 deals were inked  – a 66% decline.

Of course a year ago oil was fetching $96 a barrel. This week it’s back down to $45. On Monday that dragged the loonie to barely above the 76-cent mark, and sparked speculation that 65 cents is coming. On the second day of a l-o-n-g federal election campaign, with the NDP ahead a stunning 10 points (says the Toronto Star), it’s hard to imagine anything else will matter come October, save the economy.

Here’s why.

Oil is likely going lower, and all the talk of a quick rebound has ended. Commercial vacancy rates in Calgary are exploding. House prices in Fort Mac have dropped 9% in just a few months, along with rents and wages.

Manufacturing in China has been on the slide lately, cutting demand for Canadian resources. And Iran says it will start pumping oil with a vengeance just days after economic sanctions are lifted. More supply, lower prices. Lower dollar. Less economic activity. Fewer jobs. More inflation as imports soar in cost. Not good.

The contrast with the US is getting downright worrisome. US household spending was up again in June. Incomes there climbed for the third month. On Friday the latest employment data is expected to show another healthy increase, paving the way for the first Fed rate increase in a decade on September 17th. The American economy is in a slow grind higher, while we’re in a rapid grind lower.

Look at the heartland for a moment. Yeah, I know latte-sipping, Vespa-rising, fur-bearing metrosexual hipsters from 416 or YVR never think of Alberta or Saskatchewan, but maybe you should. Thin on people and huge on commodities, the prairies are now seeing a real estate boom and rosy future fizzle in real time.

Nitrogen prices have tumbled thanks to slagging demand. Climate change is messing with the crops. Oil is half-price. House sales will tank by at least 13% this year, says CREA (so you can probably double that). Housing starts have dropped by half over the past thirty months. Economic growth will be something close to half a per cent. Or zero. Retail sales are falling. One in ten manufacturing jobs has just been lost. Unemployment in general has spiked. And fewer people moving west has caused apartment vacancy rates to soar, so rents are now falling.

As you know, the Canadian economy has contracted every month during 2015. The Bank of Canada freaked as a result and cut interest rates twice. In fact the move from 1% to one-half a point is a dramatic and clear admission of trouble by the guys who know more about the economy than anyone. Even the people in this blog’s comment section.

Oil is Canada’s biggest export. So no wonder we’re running the fattest trade deficit ever. The worst month in history was March. The second-worse month was May. When a country sells way less than it buys, net wealth is transferred to others. That is exactly what’s happening with us. It’s another reason for the weak dollar – which makes all those imports cost more.

The net effect should be clear by now. Economic torpor brings low rates which penalize savers and retired people. Higher inflation hits those on fixed and lower incomes. Recession and job stress are lethal to real estate, hitting the middle class. And negative growth means young people don’t get hired into the good jobs they expect. Meanwhile the ‘balanced’ federal budget has been turned into another deficit, robbed by crappy times and the political decision to give another $2 billion to people with children.

Is more government spending and higher taxes the answer? A bigger deficit until the storm blows past? Even lower mortgages encouraging bigger debt? Legislated wage increases despite slower times? Do we tax corporations more despite the consequences? Raise the minimum wage? Increase retiree pensions? Subsidize child care? Who pays?

Over the next two months this pathetic blog will waddle through the issues, and assist you in making an informed decision. But it will also help you prepare.

The scariest part? All those people who watch Love it or List it and think TFSA is a designer drug, each get a vote.

201 comments ↓

#1 TurnerNation on 08.03.15 at 5:13 pm

Re. There’s no replacement for displacement:
Was on a friend’s 30 foot skiff. Twin large block V8 engines with straight pipes turning the screws.  Magical sounds.
Would pass anything but a gas pump.

But if it flies floats or flaunts then rent it.

I’m scaling into long Oct/Jan kaput calendar spreads on slelected names, like DOL, VRX.
Give us a month and we’ll take off the weight.

#2 LH on 08.03.15 at 5:19 pm

Only those who own land (or SFHs) should be allowed to vote!
Just like the good old days…

4 more years!

#3 Peter on 08.03.15 at 5:20 pm

What we have witnessed in our three decades of expansion and inflation is nothing short of a monetary supernova, and that period has been the just culmination of a much larger upward trend going back many decades at least. We have lived through a credit hyper-expansion for the record books, with an unprecedented generation of excess claims to underlying real wealth. In doing so we have created the largest financial departure from reality in human history.

http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2015/08/china-and-the-new-world-disorder/

#4 Joe on 08.03.15 at 5:25 pm

It is amazing that there is such little discussion on Harper’s extremely inept handling of the economy. We just had the biggest oil boom ever and what do we haev to show for it? Instead of investing in education, productivity, manufacturing, Harper gambled our money on big oil with subsidies and tax breaks. Now we are screwed. He now has caused the most expensive election campaign in history to taxpayers, by re-writing the election rules he hopes to starve the other parties out because the Cons have more money, yet we will all pay more because this selfish $^$##8 wants to stay in power. Pissing away the 13 billion dollar surplus left by the Liberals, wasting billions on the doomed F35 fighter jets, the 2 billion wasted on income splitting…how can anyone be worse at managing the economy?

#5 Forzudo on 08.03.15 at 5:30 pm

Every adult resident citizen gets a vote, but only 61.1% of them actually make it to the ballot box: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?dir=turn&document=index&lang=e&section=ele

#6 Peter on 08.03.15 at 5:31 pm

As a proxy for the “U.S. debt securities market,” I combine Fed data for outstanding Treasury, Agency, Corporate and muni debt securities. I then combine this with Total Equities to come to my proxy of the “Total Securities” markets. During Q1, Total Securities jumped $759bn to a record $73.195 TN. Total Securities as a percentage of GDP jumped five percentage points to a record 414%. For perspective, this ratio began the nineties at 183%, concluded 1999 at 356% and then rose to 371% to end 2007.

http://creditbubblebulletin.blogspot.ca/2015/08/weekly-commentary-money-and-spheres.html

#7 Ian on 08.03.15 at 5:38 pm

The Federal and Ontario Governments are so incompetent, they brought on both the bubble and also the crash. Complete pawns of the Elite….

#8 FormerSaskie on 08.03.15 at 5:40 pm

Appreciate the info,Garth.

#9 Tim on 08.03.15 at 5:43 pm

Re#4
I couldn’t agree with you more on Harper’s inept handling of the economy, not to mention Canada’s diminished international reputation caused by Harper. Unfortunately the masses don’t spend much time and energy on thinking critically or becoming aware of the issues and that’s why they are swayed by Harper’s media tactics.

#10 Andrew Woburn on 08.03.15 at 5:46 pm

#2 LH on 08.03.15 at 5:19 pm
Only those who own land (or SFHs) should be allowed to vote!
Just like the good old days…

4 more years!
============================

I get where you are coming from but if you limit voting to only those who “contribute to society”, that’s probably going to be a pretty small electorate twenty years from now.

#11 Boombust on 08.03.15 at 5:47 pm

re: the Fall election…

I think I’d vote for the devil himself if it means getting rid of Harper.

The man disgusts me. On MANY levels, too.

#12 What happens with rents and prop valuations? on 08.03.15 at 5:53 pm

(Sorry to repeat my question, it was posted just before you added this latest blog post and so would not be read…)
Question: I take it that municipal home assessment values will be adjusted downward in case of a major drop in house prices, which would result in the government receiving lower property taxes. Does anyone know how long, roughly, it takes for Canadian governments to do such adjustment after a housing bubble burst or melt? And, on a related note, in provinces with rental increase controls (Quebec, notably), would landlords be obligated to reduce their rent when they receive a lower property assessment value?

#13 Andrew Woburn on 08.03.15 at 5:58 pm

What Jane Jacobs Got Wrong About Cities

– Arguably Jacobs’s biggest miscalculation related to urban demographics. As H.G. Wells predicted well over a century ago, cities now depend in large part on affluent, childless people, living what Wells labeled a life of “luxurious extinction.” Jacobs’s contemporary, the great sociologist Herbert Gans, already identified a vast chasm between suburbanites and those who favor urban core living who he identified as “the rich, the poor, the non-white as well as the unmarried and childless middle class.”

– Even in Toronto, generally seen as one of the world’s most livable cities and Jacobs’s chosen home, Statistics Canada notes that for every person who moved from the hinterlands to the city, 3.5 moved towards the periphery. The people most likely to move out are 25 to 44, people entering the stage of family formation. As one Torontonian, who recently moved to the suburbs, observed: “The big city has its uses. It served me well, and I served it back. Living in Toronto enabled me to transform my life in ways I dearly wanted: marriage, fatherhood, career advancement. That transformation has brought with it needs that Toronto cannot adequately provide: personal space, affordability, an emphasis on community over privacy. The intensity and the anonymity of the city now hinder my life more than they help. Simple as that. I’m outta here.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/01/what-jane-jacobs-got-wrong-about-cities.html

#14 PeterfromCalgary on 08.03.15 at 5:58 pm

A lot of people especially dippers think if the NDP if elected they will raise the minimum wage for everyone.

Lets be clear about this not being a issue in a federal election. Labour standards for most workers including the minimum wage are determined by the provinces.

The Federal minimum wage only applies to federal regulated industries like railroads. The federal minimum wage affects very few people.

#15 ALBERTASTROPHE on 08.03.15 at 6:04 pm

It’s like a low, seismic rumbling is starting to be felt in Alberta now.

The real shaking will be starting by the fall. This quake won’t be over for a long time.

I know so many people who have mortgaged their entire lives on this province’s crazy economic and housing gamble.

I truly fear for them.

#16 Ken on 08.03.15 at 6:07 pm

It’s interesting to see how the economy is unfolding,
yet their is a process I never see mentioned and that is exactly how is money created?
Most don’t seem to grasp debt must continue to grow in order for the system to continue expanding which in return distorts real market value.

I deleted the 2,000-word article you ripped off from the Preppers site. Don’t do that again. — Garth

#17 someone on 08.03.15 at 6:08 pm

Everyone deserves to vote, even people who watch Love It or List It! I can’t believe Garth Turner is criticizing the very principle of democracy. Do you think only people who agree with you should be able to vote. First denying HAM and now speaking out against democracy. This is a new low for this blog.

I’m actually speaking out against willful ignorance. But go ahead and defend it. — Garth

#18 JSS on 08.03.15 at 6:08 pm

Reading today’s’ blog just creeps me out.

#19 TRT on 08.03.15 at 6:11 pm

The blog post forgot to mention the elephant in the room.

Approx 285,000 new immigrants and an equal number of new temporary immigrants (IMP, Students, TFW, Intra-company transfers, etc) which are primarily destined to end up in Vancouver or Toronto regardless of whether they come in through a provincial or federal or Quebec immigration program.

RE in Canada with the exception of Vancouver and Toronto will suffer. Oh, look around. This isn’t the future, it’s happening now.

#20 The scariest part? on 08.03.15 at 6:11 pm

“The scariest part? All those people who watch Love it or List it and think TFSA is a designer drug, each get a vote.”

======

No, Garth, the scariest part is that there is no limit on how many terms can a PM have.

As you pointed out, enough money, shameless propaganda gets majority with only 37% percent of the votes.

Even if he or his party has zero idea how to change the structure of the economy in order to reduce dependency on natural resources.

After 10 years of governing, the ideological “balanced budget” is blown as a child’s sand castle and Harper and his majority government can’t do a thing about it.

In the mean time the plebs can kill each other how to get a piece of the shrinking pie, by the way of discussing:

“Is more government spending and higher taxes the answer? A bigger deficit until the storm blows past? Even lower mortgages encouraging bigger debt? Legislated wage increases despite slower times? Do we tax corporations more despite the consequences? Raise the minimum wage? Increase retiree pensions? Subsidize child care? Who pays.”

We all know who does not pay.
The failed politicians on the tax payer’s payroll. Their golden parachutes and generous pension is secure, no matter what.

Nobody enters public life for the pension. — Garth

#21 @guycheck previous day post on 08.03.15 at 6:17 pm

““#155 Cyclist on 08.03.15 at 3:58 pm
132 TRT “Snowbirds on fixed pensions are getting
screwed. Hahaha.”

Can you explain exactly why you find this funny?
*********************************

It’s the same mentality that makes the snowbirds on fixed pensions think that the poor are lazy.

Same pair of shoes, just different feet.

————————–

Wealth is relative. It’s not absolute. If you stay even and others fall, you are ‘up’! Shouldn’t you be happy when your wealth is rising?

#22 Terry on 08.03.15 at 6:17 pm

I can’t believe it’s taken this long for the bubble to stop growing, and maybe burst in Canada, not just real-estate, but many more commodities. I’ve been renting and working a government job that doesn’t pay as much as a private contractor and getting laughed at since 2008, but now it’s looking like it was all worth while. Have you checked the prices of snowmobiles/dirbikes/ ATV’s or just the amount for sale used lately? that’s a sign

#23 Smartalox on 08.03.15 at 6:19 pm

Garth, thank you for pledging to keep us all informed about the economic effects of each party’s economic platform. News outlets may report their press conferences, but few have the experience to translate the info and describe what it can really mean to regular Canadians. I want to make the best choice in this election, and not just vote for the least offensive party.

#24 TRT on 08.03.15 at 6:31 pm

Western Canadian Heavy Crude at $29.22 USD.

Anyone know what break even price in the Oilsands is? Remember this is about $40 Canadian.

#25 Bob Santarossa on 08.03.15 at 6:34 pm

This Friday Jobs report will begin to tell what is to come.

If very bad then discussions here will shift to whether this will be a 2009, 9% job loss recession or will it be an early 80s, 12% job loss recession where home prices dropped by 40% during that time (which for most Canadians that means a 40% wealth and/or nest egg loss).

That will be answered by the 2 jobs and 1 GDP report in September. And, yes take CREA and double bad news for the truth. These people are creative with statistics.

In the mean time, advice for retiree investment strategies in a low interest rate severe recession would be greatly apreciated Garth.

#26 sideline sitter on 08.03.15 at 6:36 pm

Harper has to go. He’s not capable of balanced growth, he’s ideologically driven, which is always a problem – regardless of the side you’re on.

Also, #19, immigration is not done by people who can afford to buy in Toronto, it’s usually done by those who want to begin their life, financially speaking

#27 The scariest part? on 08.03.15 at 6:41 pm

Nobody enters public life for the pension. — Garth

Of course not, Garth.
The pension is just the icing on the cake.

The cake is to hang on to power as long as possible – even if their “service for the public”, ideological convictions have failed to create a better country.

You are free to stand for office. When you have had that experience, and understand the motivation, come back and criticize. — Garth

#28 Mike on 08.03.15 at 6:45 pm

Your commodity thesis suggest that the value of oil is worthless, it is not. Actually, if you look into the cost of what it takes to produce a barrel of oil, most countries are in the red, they need higher prices. Saudi Arabia says they can produce a barrel of oil at a break even cost of $11, they can not, they have over spent like everyone else and have massive debt obligations. They have taken the money and purchased weapon systems, finance other nations, over spent on infrastructure, and are currently at war with Yemen. It is not sustainable. And Iran, when they can, will place 1 extra million barrels of oil into marketplace, not good, but will not turn the ocean from blue to black. Yes, we over invested and relied too much on Alberta, but, like TO, their are consciousness hippsters in Calgary as well. These folks will regroup and diversify along with their new government as the price bounces back, not to $100 but maybe the 60 to 70 range and new moderate business cycle will develop. The people who are reading this blog probably do not follow global commodities so they should read a few other news sources to balance this blog which seems more doom and gloom lately. Have some faith in Canada. You have no place else to go, well most of us, might as well try to fix the current problems.

#29 Mister Obvious on 08.03.15 at 6:50 pm

“And fewer people moving west has caused apartment vacancy rates to soar, so rents are now falling.”
——————————————

The Vancouver Sun seems to disagree. No surprise.

http://tinyurl.com/nbgwue3

My reference was to AB and SK. Vancouver is on another planet. — Garth

#30 whitehorn on 08.03.15 at 6:53 pm

It will be interesting to see who gets in Oct 19. I do know that popularity can change quickly as evidenced in the recent Alberta Election, where 2 weeks before voting, there was a rapid movement across the province for NDP (never would of vision this happening). What we see today in early August in the Federal election on the polls will most likely be significantly different come a couple weeks before Oct 19. As mentioned in the article, the “economy” will be by far the most important issue, and will know officially if a “recession” actually occurred. I think the leader who has the best story, on moving Canada ahead economically will be the leader. I also, think it will be by large majority.

#31 Terrier on 08.03.15 at 7:04 pm

I’ve been reading lately many online articles about the state of our economy, employment rates and naturally latest Canadian real estate trends. As things progressively moving south, I can’t escape the conclusion that people are to blame absolutely everyone else but themselves for inhaling truck loads of debt, buying overpriced 416/905/604 crap holes and blowing any residual cash on stupid consumer junk. Although I’m not a Harper’s fan, this dude will be blamed for pretty much everything that masses did wrong in the past decade and a half. I guess that’s a mob mentality …. you can’t fix ignorance and stupidity.

#32 Harbour on 08.03.15 at 7:07 pm

#24 TRT on 08.03.15 at 6:31 pm
Western Canadian Heavy Crude at $29.22 USD.

Anyone know what break even price in the Oilsands is? Remember this is about $40 Canadian.
………………………………………………………………………

I believe it’s $35 Canadian a barrel, but that quote was a while ago.

#33 Jane Stafford on 08.03.15 at 7:13 pm

Anyone who gains more from the tax system then puts in is at fault. You are all at the eating at the trough.

I don’t care which party you are voting for or which political, economic system you believe in or combination of these.

As for interest rates, as U.S. rates go so should Canadian interest rates. This is about bond yields that is.

U.S. 10 and 30 year bond yields are dropping almost everyday, 2.15%, 2.85%.

These were 2.47%, 3.25% just a few weeks ago. I don’t see how they will ever get much higher than those levels.

#34 triplenet on 08.03.15 at 7:18 pm

#12
2 questions – 2 answers

Immediately.
No.

#35 Balmuto on 08.03.15 at 7:20 pm

The Conservative attack ads on Justin Trudeau seem so irrelevant right now and yet I’m still seeing them in heavy rotation. This has the makings of the U.S. presidential campaign of 2008 where the Republicans didn’t realize it was all about the economy until much too late in the game. I’m not sure the Conservatives really have their finger on the pulse. I see an NDP majority unless Harper does really well in the debates (and Mulcair does poorly).

#36 The scariest part? on 08.03.15 at 7:21 pm

You are free to stand for office. When you have had that experience, and understand the motivation, come back and criticize. — Garth

—-

Garth, you just recently shared your experience about how being a journalist did not help you stay in office.

We all can learn from others, without having to go through the same experience and form opinion or even dare to criticize. Especially if we used to share the same profession.

#37 anotherstabbinginsaskatoon on 08.03.15 at 7:21 pm

25i NBOME. I call them nukes. The good kind. Blow open the doors of perception friends. Nuke em and meet Tesla and his Core. See it for yourselves. The Core where all great inspiration spews forth in endless frothiness. Far better than sitting around boring others with tales from the pantry.

#38 Daisy Mae on 08.03.15 at 7:25 pm

“….and sparked speculation that 65 cents is coming.”

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

Yup, I remember. We’ve seen that before.

#39 Republic_of_Western_Canada on 08.03.15 at 7:26 pm

GT,
Sounds like deflation to me…

Or do you think RE and crude price drops are really price increases, but where less money is actually chasing them ???

#40 Shawn on 08.03.15 at 7:28 pm

Canadian Exports

Garth said:

Oil is Canada’s biggest export.

***********************************
Yes, Energy products are about 23% of Canada’s exports.

This is why we have no seen a surge in exports with the lower dollar. It’s because with oil prices way down it would take huge of increases from some of the other categories to make a net increase.

But some sectors of exports and some companies are clearly benefiting BIG time from the much lower dollar. Especially those that face costs largely in Canadian dollars and revenues in U.S. dollars AND where the price in U.S. dollars has not declined

Those would be maybe some of the car part manufactures, our few consumer goods manufacturers (Roots Canada and Canada Goose jackets – though the Goose now owned by Americans also certain farm and fish products).

It’s not easy to identify the real big winners of the lower Canadian dollar. But be assured a few manufacturers are really smiling. Just as many were really crying in 2007 when some of these same exporters got absolutely crushed and many probably went bankrupt.

Anyhow, always remember, you are not on Team Canada when it comes to economics. You are on team you and your family. Averages mean little. What has the lower dollar done for you personally? Some Canadians are greatly helped by a lower dollar and some are crushed by it (snowbird with no U.S. investments)

#41 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.03.15 at 7:30 pm

Hmmmm. I believe I predicted back in May that oil would be at $40/bbl and the Canuck buck about $0.70 US by mid summer.

Wonders never cease.

My flatulence is only surpassed by my predictive abilities……….

Oct. 20, 2015 Harper will form a minority govt. but he’ll be replaced/booted by his own party within the year.

#42 Linda on 08.03.15 at 7:30 pm

‘Nobody enters public life for the pension’ – well said. I am more than a little tired of those who complain about government employees receiving a pension. I could understand the angst if the pension was a choice for the employees. It isn’t. It is a condition of employment & the employees can not choose to opt out of the pension plan. For all those who will immediately howl that no one would do such a thing, the truth of the matter is that it is an extremely unusual youthful employee who would voluntarily set aside hundred of dollars per month for retirement when they could use the money immediately for items they would deem of more importance. And like it or not, the vast majority of government employees were likely youths when they began. That same majority is now approaching retirement & have had the time to realize that the pension plan is of value & was worth paying into for all those years. But if they’d had the choice way back when? Most would have opted out.

Regarding oil, the collapse in value has happened before. It will pass, but the world economic slowdown is not going to help. Canada usually depends on the USA to pull its economy out of the slump – it is after all our largest trading partner. The rules however have changed since the last big downturn. There is now a glut of oil as well as natural gas. Add to that changing market trends due to demographics. I foresee long term economic contraction or very slow growth. Think Japan, but on more of a world wide scale.

#43 takla on 08.03.15 at 7:36 pm

It matters not who will get into power in the election as none of the ubove will be able to negotiate thru the deflationary reset that’s well on its way.Our Canadian debt/deficit will grow with our commodity based economy getting hammered.
Continued outlook of riseing interest rates only makes carrying debt more difficult for not only consumers but Goverments to service as well.

Peak debt,{borrowed with interest}its everywhere, and with central banks pushing debt with zirp last number of yrs was there any other expected outcome?

We are in a period where whole country’s cannot service their debt and are starting to default,most recently Puerto Rico.
And we all know how Greece’s financial handlers{Troika}are solveing their default reality by pushing more borrowed debt onto their rapidly failing economy.

At some point debt forgiveness will have to become an option…but will bankers take a haircut?

#44 Mf on 08.03.15 at 7:36 pm

TRT on 08.03.15 at 6:11 pm

Garth has covered this point many times but there were immigrants in the 80’s during the last crash in the GTA.

What makes this time different?

Cheap money. Debt addiction. And tons of real estate propaganda with a massive FIRE industry to boot.

Mf

#45 Andrew Woburn on 08.03.15 at 7:46 pm

3 Peter on 08.03.15 at 5:20 pm
We have lived through a credit hyper-expansion for the record books, with an unprecedented generation of excess claims to underlying real wealth.
=====================

Thank you for an interesting post.

While I agree with the author that we are facing a massive financial contraction, I do not agree with the idea that out-of-control shadow banking is the cause.

The term “shadow bank” is unfortunate because it allows delusional journalists to conjure up a vast conspiracy of financiers against the world’s working people. Shadow banks are simply financial institutions that perform some bank-like functions but do not take deposits. This means they must rely on their own capital base and cannot expect to get liquidity support from central banks. Shadow banks can include boring old insurance companies, stock brokers and money market funds as well as the racier hedge funds.

We have had shadow banks as long as we have had financial systems and it could be argued that all US banks were shadow banks until the Federal Reserve was formed in 1913. We are supposed to believe that credit default swaps are a new idea that threaten mass financial destruction but British banks were insuring credit in the 1800’s in the form of bankers acceptances. The really good thing about shadow banks is that, if they do something stupid, it’s their own capital at risk. I’m not arguing that there are no problems out there. My point is that hysteria about shadow banks is a red herring.

It doesn’t really matter how much debt exists in the world if it is all going to be repaid. Since we know it can’t all be paid, the real issue is credit management, not what kind of entity provided the credit. What we are seeing is not so much a debtor orgy as the complete failure by credit granting institutions of all types to accurately assess risk.

The second and related problem is the lack of consequences to credit managers in their reckless management of other people’s money. Wall Street institutions like Goldman Sachs used to be partnerships; any loss came straight off the partners’ accounts. Now they are public companies playing with OPM. Nobody goes to jail and nobody’s reputation is permanently ruined so go for the bonus and let other people’s chips fall.

As regards China, I have, for the first time, read a Paul Krugman article I absolutely agree with.

“China’s Naked Emperors”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/31/opinion/paul-krugman-chinas-naked-emperors.html?_r=0

#46 Karl hungus on 08.03.15 at 7:50 pm

Not so sure about the US comeback Garth, wage growth the slowest it’s ever been. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/07/31/us/politics/ap-us-employments-costs.html?WT.mc_id=SmartBriefs-Newsletter&WT.mc_ev=click&_r=0

Statistically irrelevant after wages surged in the last quarter. — Garth

#47 seeing it from both sides on 08.03.15 at 7:52 pm

Underground economy is alive and well in Van. My hairdresser and esthetician have gone ‘cash only’. How else to survive the housing costs in Van? Rents are insane and buying, even more insane.

You hire tax evaders? — Garth

#48 jerry on 08.03.15 at 7:52 pm

Thanks Garth. I would recommend your upcoming “political-economic” analysis as required reading for anyone.

#49 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 08.03.15 at 7:59 pm

OUR OWN HOMEGROWN FREAKSHOW

Never truthful words, about what’s happening to our economy right now, courtesy of St. Garth of “Man the Lifeboats!”

From his contriubtion of this day:

“…Is more government spending and higher taxes the answer? A bigger deficit until the storm blows past? Even lower mortgages encouraging bigger debt? Legislated wage increases despite slower times? Do we tax corporations more despite the consequences? Raise the minimum wage? Increase retiree pensions? Subsidize child care? Who pays?…”

Yes, who pays for what and when, when the cupboard is bare. Entitlement bunnies will be having a rough time from now on. Pet projects will get the axe. People will be profoundly pissed. Election promises will ALL be broken. Tough beans.

WHY?

This recession is not only homegrown. It’s mainly international and there isn’t much we can do about that. Thanks, also, goes to China’s slowdown, which brought about this commodities collapse and that’s just the start.

The ramifications of that are hitting us hard but we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

As for interest rate hikes. Looks like the Brits will be doing it first, and soon, followed by the Yanks, then the rest of ’em. Goodbye real estate weenies. It’s been a slice.

Even this ageing doomer and gloomer is more than a tad-bit worried. I’m scared as hell.

TAKE ACTIONS TO PROTECT YOURSELVES

If it is still possible to scratch your unecessary costs, then please do so. NOW. You’ll not regret it. Also stop trying to impress your so-called friends with the latest gadget you’ve just bought, with money you don’t have, or yack about your latest flight to somewhere nice, wherever that might be.

More and more of you will becoming homebodies, staycationers, backyard gardening fruitcakes; in other words what your parents and grandparents used to do before the war and up until credit cards debuted in Canada in the 1960s.

Before then it was cash of the barrel-head. And that’s going to be the “in” thing to do at some point hence.

Garth, keep the electioneering stuff on the boil.

While I hope for a Tory win, I’m aware enough that no politician in Canada will be able to resolve our dying hydrocarbon industry by some sleight of hand announcement or massive expenditure. It’ll take some real skill and daring.

Is it occurring to any of our candidates that technological change will bring with it sea changes in what we use for energy outside of oil and natty gas?
That will affect us profoundly.

It’s some dog and pony show, eh?

#50 will on 08.03.15 at 7:59 pm

Do we tax corporations more despite the consequences?

Classic theory is that in a recession a company invests in assets in anticipation of a resurgence in demand (capital expenditures – or capex). Fine. But what bothers me is when a company borrows money at extremely low rates (which we are currently experiencing) to buy back shares that are already in the nosebleed section. In theory anyway, I think if a company has no optimism to invest in capex, and for whatever reason will not return any excess to shareholders in the form of dividends, then taxing the company uniquely is not out of the question.

A company should not buy back its own shares unless they are “cheap.”

As an investor, I don’t want any tax increases to the companies I own, but I can imagine a scenario where tax increase would be legitimate. As a society, we make it possible for the company to make money. If we don’t invest in that company then shame on us. If the same company increases share buybacks at INFLATED prices, then shame on them.

#51 mc on 08.03.15 at 8:00 pm

The Canadian government simply does not act in the best interest of, or for the benefit of, Canadians. If there was ever any doubt, the election has cleared that up. As Garth regularly points out, and with ample evidence, our economy is currently shyte. Is spending half a billion dollars on an election in the best interest of of Canadians? I didn’t think so either. So whose interest are the government acting in? Bingo.

#52 joblo on 08.03.15 at 8:02 pm

“The net effect should be clear by now. Economic torpor brings low rates which penalize savers and retired people. Higher inflation hits those on fixed and lower incomes. Recession and job stress are lethal to real estate, hitting the middle class. And negative growth means young people don’t get hired into the good jobs they expect. Meanwhile the ‘balanced’ federal budget has been turned into another deficit, robbed by crappy times and the political decision to give another $2 billion to people with children.”

Yeah but we got free health care!

#53 wussmode on 08.03.15 at 8:08 pm

Yeah, and a $15 minimum wage will solve everything. Don’t people realize that minimum wage jobs are entry level jobs? They aren’t meant to live out your entire career in. Okay, I guess the job market is crappy, so there are a lot of people working minimum wage jobs. Will raising this wage really make things better? I bet there will be a huge wave of unemployment coming if the NDP are elected. Why would a McDonald’s or Tim Horton’s owner keep all of their employees when their wage costs shot up 40 percent? They won’t. They’ll cut jobs. But $15/hour just looks so rosie to the masses… be careful what you wish for.

Thanks Garth for all of your posts. You are a legend.

#54 Steve French on 08.03.15 at 8:08 pm

Yo Smoking Man:

What is a hero?

http://dudespaper.com/because-whats-a-hero-in-defense-of-slackers.html/

#55 Nagraj on 08.03.15 at 8:09 pm

our gracious but all-too-conservative host might like this version of the English ballad, “Begone, Dull Care!”

Be gone, Mulcair!
I prithee be gone from me!
Be gone, Mulcair!
You and I shall never agree.
Long time hast thou been tarrying here
And fain thou wouldst me kill
But in faith, Mulcair
Thou never shall have thy will.

Too much Mulcair
Will make a man turn grey
And too much Mulcair
Will turn an old man to clay.
My dog shall dance and I shall sing,
So merrily pass the day,
For I hold it one of the wisest things
To drive Mulcair away.

#56 Waterloo Resident on 08.03.15 at 8:12 pm

Oh man, with the Canadian dollar crashing and our cost of imports rising dramatically, more and more people are going to be stretched to the limit to just put food on the table.

Oh well, too bad.

Here are some ECONOMY JOKES to cheer you up:

– Q: With the falling Canadian dollar, what are Mcdonald’s employees now asking Canadian customers?
– A: Can you afford fries with that?

– The economy is so bad, I threw out bread for the birds and the roofers came down for it.

– If Earth is the third planet from the sun, doesn’t that make every country a third world country?

#57 Smoking Man on 08.03.15 at 8:12 pm

The schooled mind…

It’s safe to say the Canadian dollar still has some limbs and toes to shed.

Why aren’t any of you bastards betting… Especially when I told you when USDCAD was at 1.23

Two reasons.

One: you think I’m insane, and I am sort of. But my logic is dead on. I prove it over and over again.. So I think I’m an Alien from Nectonite. No one’s perfect

Two: your programing via the educational industrial complex is such that you were trained to trade time for wages. Your only avenue for success. Rather than take big wagers when you have aces in the hole and two on the flop.

It’s a double edge sord.

Everything you hear read and see is marketing. A force that wants to separate you from the money in your wallet.

I do it too. Pumping a book that I will finish one day.

Some of you will buy it.. Most won’t, especially the schooled who take great offence to my teachings.

#58 Harbour on 08.03.15 at 8:13 pm

#24 TRT on 08.03.15 at 6:31 pm
Western Canadian Heavy Crude at $29.22 USD.

Anyone know what break even price in the Oilsands is? Remember this is about $40 Canadian.

………………………………………………………………..

Still in the black at $30 to $35 a barrel

http://www.wsj.com/articles/as-oil-slips-below-50-canada-digs-in-for-long-haul-1421114641

#59 JG on 08.03.15 at 8:13 pm

Over the next two months this pathetic blog will waddle through the issues, and assist you in making an informed decision. But it will also help you prepare.

Thanks Garth!

#60 Habs76-79 on 08.03.15 at 8:14 pm

I fully believed that Canada was a nation likely soon in trouble when about 7 years ago on the then Bill Good Show on CKNW 980 financial segment with Robert Levy he stated that at that time (again around 2007-08) with our then appreciating dollar that Canada was a nation resting on its status as DRAWERS OF WATER and HEWERS OF WOOD!

In all these years as a nation we were just that, a simple draw, cut, pull, drill out of our national soil and waters, simple commodities, for other obviously more developed nations to make use of, turn and burn into useable objects and things to sell to the world.

Add our lustful delirium of real estate especially after the US housing melt down, tells me “WE ARE NOT TOO BRIGHT!” nor are we truly curious to develop our nation beyond that of a supplier of simple, natural commodities.

#61 tundra pete on 08.03.15 at 8:16 pm

Last federal election harper won a majority. Really. A majority. I couldn’t beleive this country had so many out of touch sheep. Then look what happened since. My god. Shame, shame, shame. Does he seriously think he can pull it off again?

I guess the unfortunate part is most likely yes. The record proves it. They do think TFSA is the new crack. This isnt going to end well.

#62 Guy Willoughby on 08.03.15 at 8:16 pm

Good article. Given that the economy is more global that it ever has been in history, I doubt any government has the power than to do much more than tinker. It wouldn’t matter what party is in power, global economics are faced with deflationary forces across the board, oil, copper, steel etc. The Baltic Dry Index is down. Mr Marketplace is in control.

Although the press hasn’t talked about it, we’ve been in a currency war since 2010. The use of the American dollar as a reserve currency has dropped from 73% to 61% in the last decade. The IMF will meet in September and the Chinese Renminbi may be included in the SDR (special drawing rights) which may reduce the use of the American dollar as a reserve currency. Thus the value American dollar could drop quite a bit.

The Chinese One Belt One Road project could create a lot of construction and economic activity in central Asia.

At the same time, if the value of the American dollar drops, it may be that imports cost to much and the USA will have to re-industrialize. Canadian raw materials will become fashionable again. But that could be years down the road.

Since I can’t predict the future, it is only my best guess.

#63 MSM-Free Zone on 08.03.15 at 8:23 pm

#4 Joe on 08.03.15 at 5:25 pm
#9 Tim on 08.03.15 at 5:43 pm
#11 Boombust on 08.03.15 at 5:47 pm
________________________

There are three people who clearly see beyond our sociopathic, narcissistic, wannabe Tea-Partier’s twisted psyche. I often wonder if the Dick Tater himself comes to this blog to occasionally to read some of the comments, some of which are very eloquent and informative.

I doubt it, though, having read a little on narcissism, which includes “..an inability to view the world from the perspective of other people…..”
_________________________

#17 someone on 08.03.15 at 6:08 pm

As far as Garth’s disqualifying people from voting, I’m not seeing that at all. Basically he’s saying voting is like driving a car; without properly educating yourself, you’re capable of doing a lot of unintentional, self-inflicted damage to yourself and others.

“…Over the next two months this pathetic blog will waddle through the issues, and assist you in making an informed decision. But it will also help you prepare.” – Garth

[ ] Right-wing
[ ] Left-wing
[x] Knowing

Looking forward to some balanced discussion from all stripes of the spectrum.

#64 Lee on 08.03.15 at 8:25 pm

No. 47,

You’re largely correct because it’s the same in Toronto. My guess is 20 percent of people are underground at least in part. This is why stats Canada’s numbers on wages and wage gains are useful and anyone is a fool for relying on them. There’s a lot of hot blonde twenty three year old girls in Toronto driving Porsches and working slinging drinks not to mention bricklayers living in Rosedale declaring fifty thousand a year. I sometimes wonder if the people at CRA are just lazy or stupid.

#65 Obvious Truth on 08.03.15 at 8:32 pm

That is one jam packed peice of writing.

Killer piece garth.

Should be on the front page of every newspaper.

#66 seeing it from both sides on 08.03.15 at 8:35 pm

You hire tax evaders? — Garth

Looking for new hairdresser and esthetician who play by the rules.

#67 Smoking Man on 08.03.15 at 8:50 pm

I’ve lost control over my soldiers, now Blithe Barrington is flying without stealth mode, over an airport all the same.

https://youtu.be/ihoVRvVZa2k

#68 Danger Dan on 08.03.15 at 8:50 pm

Democracy? Democrazy.

#69 OXI in GREECE !! on 08.03.15 at 8:52 pm

We all know who does not pay.
The failed politicians on the tax payer’s payroll. Their golden parachutes and generous pension is secure, no matter what.

Nobody enters public life for the pension. — Garth

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

That's the funniest thing I have heard Garth say yet…..because they sure do not do it to bring change in a system where the PM is dictator until the next party dictator is voted in.

#70 OXI in GREECE !! on 08.03.15 at 9:01 pm

#42 Linda on 08.03.15 at 7:30 pm
‘Nobody enters public life for the pension’ – well said. I am more than a little tired of those who complain about government employees receiving a pension. I could understand the angst if the pension was a choice for the employees. It isn’t. It is a condition of employment & the employees can not choose to opt out of the pension plan. For all those who will immediately howl that no one would do such a thing, the truth of the matter is that it is an extremely unusual youthful employee who would voluntarily set aside hundred of dollars per month for retirement when they could use the money immediately for items they would deem of more importance. And like it or not, the vast majority of government employees were likely youths when they began. That same majority is now approaching retirement & have had the time to realize that the pension plan is of value & was worth paying into for all those years. But if they’d had the choice way back when? Most would have opted out.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Interesting that you are blathering on about how Govt Employees had "no choice" to accept a golden handshake they didn't want……

When at the same time the Public Service Union is blowing its wad on Radio Ads telling everyone how Stephen Harper is gutting the public sector – in order to keep it alive as it is so bloated and inefficient.

#71 Smoking Man on 08.03.15 at 9:07 pm

#47 seeing it from both sides on 08.03.15 at 7:52 pm
Underground economy is alive and well in Van. My hairdresser and esthetician have gone ‘cash only’. How else to survive the housing costs in Van? Rents are insane and buying, even more insane.

You hire tax evaders? — Garth
……

Your hairdresser is an idiot. Owning a business is an asset, for the few bucks you lose declaring your income you lose huge on the value of your company when you want to sell it.

Tax evasion say you gross 100k reported nothing what did you win?

You declared your income, and you sell your Corp for 3 times earnings. That’s 300k

People are stupid.

#72 A Canadian Abroad on 08.03.15 at 9:09 pm

A take on Calgary after 6.5 years living abroad

We moved back to Calgary, and it’s uber-expensive vs London, UK. Houses are insanely expensive (even for returning ex-pats) and we choose to rent vs own. More jobs are being lost than made and it’s a rare day when we hear a contact actually get an interview let alone a job!

We bought a new car and took a few months to look. ALL the dealerships are void of buyers. Kia is selling 1 car a day (15 salesman), Hyundai isn’t meeting their quotes, Ford, VW, Mitsubishi, all dead. It’s maybe 2 other customers in 2 hours while we are there and test drive. In the end, we got $7000 off a $16,000 car (2015) if you can believe it.

Oil doesn’t look like it will recover in a year or two and it’s looking like Calgary will hit the bust of the 80s. Eating out is incredibly expensive vs London UK, $20 for a pizza or $50 for a steak? $6.30 for transit, $5 for milk or $4 for eggs, how did you let this happen to yourselves Canadians?

#73 Country Girl on 08.03.15 at 9:11 pm

#4 Joe on 08.03.15 at 5:25 pm
You forgot to mention all the money spent on lipstick for Harper’s photo ops.

#74 Vote for something on 08.03.15 at 9:19 pm

My vote goes for the politician, party who has the best plan to convert the resource-based Canadian economy to well-diversified economy.

Any takers?

Resource-based economy for a country is not less dangerous than the house-horny personal finance.

Imagine the losses if Obama did not veto the Keystone project?

#75 D. Klein on 08.03.15 at 9:23 pm

“It may mean nothing. Or something. In the first two days of last August 168 houses sold in Calgary. This past weekend just 57 deals were inked – a 66% decline.” Garth

We have seen you post alot on declining sales volumes, but for the great unwashed, prices are all that matter…maybe you can switch the focus there, or better yet, maybe one of the Einstein blog-bros on this site has a mathematical model relating the two.

#76 Sparky on 08.03.15 at 9:27 pm

The scariest part? All those people who watch Love it or List it and think TFSA is a designer drug, each get a vote.

That is some scary shite…

#77 West Coast on 08.03.15 at 9:30 pm

And then we have LIBOR…still unraveling the mess………
“Trader jailed for 14 years over Libor rate-rigging”
…once in a while someone goes to jail for rate-rigging ….but how rare that is!
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33763628

#78 will on 08.03.15 at 9:32 pm

Hey smoking man #57

So Umm, you’ve been talking about this book of yours for what, 4? 5 years? When is this book coming out? What is it anyway? A book of poetry? Or what? I think everyone here is really excited about the release. When and where can I BUY YOUR BOOK?

#79 Another Planet on 08.03.15 at 9:37 pm

BTW…65c loonie only means one thing. doubling SFH in 416 and 604 in the next 5 short years.
God, you people are dumb !!!

#80 att on 08.03.15 at 9:38 pm

The same people who are offended by Garth’s comment about how scary it is that Love it or List folks can vote also think only the top 1% benefit from the $10k TFSA limit. The bank generously accepts these donations of course. These are the same people who spend over $10k a year in interest charges for homes and cars they cannot afford while they go out for dinner multiple times a week and can’t wait to spend over $500 every couple years on the latest iPhone.

#81 Peter Pan meets Pol Pot on 08.03.15 at 9:42 pm

Garth

With the plunging currency and rising unemployment, a brain drain exodus to sunnier economic climes is almost a foregone conclusion. Could Canada become a North American Spain, Greece, or Ireland, where the young are all forced to leave. It could be a generational disaster. The countryside will be emptied while a few cities like YVR and the Six will be teeming with the elderly and immigrants…..sounds like a possible Kurt Vonnegut novel them…

#82 Speak the Truth on 08.03.15 at 9:42 pm

#49 – Victoria Tea Party

Excellent post. When the various party leaders have their televised debates, will any of the so-called “journalists” and talking heads/media types moderating these debates have the cojones to ask each leader where all this money is coming from to fund their promises and pet projects?. Hhhmmmm??. I doubt it. $15 per day nationwide childcare springs to mind. A certain leader is spouting off about this but how will it be funded?. HST increase?. Corporate tax increase?. A tax on the rich?. Less expenditure on the military?. All of the above?. Will any one of these leaders ever speak the truth?.

#83 Linda on 08.03.15 at 9:46 pm

#70: No choice is exactly that. I must presume you yourself do not have a work related pension plan other than CPP – which, by the way, is a DB pension plan. And unless you neither qualify for or would refuse to take OAS & GIS, you too will be receiving pension benefits paid for by the working taxpayer.

As for a golden handshake, is that not a term referring to severance rather than pension? If so, most government employees will not be receiving a golden handshake if their positions are eliminated. Further, the average government pension for the federal level of employee is about $25,000 per year. I don’t know if that published figure is gross or net, but either way it isn’t that high a figure to live on. Far better than the maximum CPP which I believe is currently $12,460 (gross) of course, but still not the kind of income that would allow for a lavish lifestyle.

#84 Frank on 08.03.15 at 9:47 pm

‘Nobody enters public life for the pension’ – well said. I am more than a little tired of those who complain about government employees receiving a pension.

Yeah he’s talking about elected officials, not your admin assistant who makes 2x market rate and gets a defined benefit pension for doing the work a computer could do if the government records were properly digitized.

#85 Jas on 08.03.15 at 9:52 pm

Hi Garth:
Just want to share (perhaps a very strong signal/sign) of craziness related to RE in Surrey (part of Greater Vancouver), The car sales people, the auto insurance people, Even the news casters of ethnic cable channels are becoming realtors !!
Some of these faces I have met in car lots, seen on local ethnic cable news….

It is the same old story we’ve heard that when your barber gives to stock tips, it is time to sell and run.
I think by seeing such faces in RE, the picture is not much different, except that in RE we still have time to get out whereas in stock market you may not.

I would like to hear from other readers if they see the same pattern in their city. (perhaps Toronto).

One more point, Winnipeg, where a house would take 1 year to sell and where the market had been on fire for last 10 years or so….is not DEAD.. and this is summer time…imagine the coming months…

#86 Frank on 08.03.15 at 9:53 pm

We have seen you post alot on declining sales volumes, but for the great unwashed, prices are all that matter…maybe you can switch the focus there, or better yet, maybe one of the Einstein blog-bros on this site has a mathematical model relating the two.

Sales volume are a leading indicator. Sales go down, inventory goes up. You move along the supply demand curve until a new price is established.

You can try to stop this by introducing lower rates and looser rules on rental income (which in any other scenario make sense) but if the prevailing forces that drive demand (people with incomes) are too strong the market is going to decline kicking and screaming.

Expect it to take awhile. Housing is ‘sticky’ people will give up lots before they have to uproot, it’s a tough prospect for anyone. Expect the daily coffee to go, the 2nd week in Mexico to be cancelled, the ATV to be sold on craigslist, the RRSP to be raided. Only then do you accept a price which after fees and services leaving you with negative profit against what you paid.

#87 Jas on 08.03.15 at 9:54 pm

Oops!!
Market in WINNIPEG IS DEAD.

#88 Andrew Woburn on 08.03.15 at 9:55 pm

I have to correct my statement that nobody goes to jail. Maybe it should be, nobody senior goes to jail but we’ll have to see what else falls out of this case.

“Libor scandal: Former City trader Tom Hayes gets 14 years for rigging rates”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financial-crime/11767437/Libor-trial-Tom-Hayes-found-guilty-of-rigging-rates.html

#89 Jas on 08.03.15 at 10:01 pm

#81 Peter Pan meets Pol Pot

One thing we have of plenty, which the rest of the world does not, is, fresh water…..

If only we have the right people in right position….
….this export commodity can become an excellent replacement for our oil

#90 Smoking Man on 08.03.15 at 10:02 pm

#78 will on 08.03.15 at 9:32 pm
Hey smoking man #57

So Umm, you’ve been talking about this book of yours for what, 4? 5 years? When is this book coming out? What is it anyway? A book of poetry? Or what? I think everyone here is really excited about the release. When and where can I BUY YOUR BOOK?
……

I’ve finished it, I’m perfectionist..not happy with it yet.

I don’t need to write for income. So no financial pressure to get me to move my ass.

Just blog dog pressure I guess … I’m officially retired again for the second time in five years. I have un distracted time going forward.

Shooting for a fall release. But with every read it gets edited and better. I’m close. Just need to bring out Jeremiah Jones character a bit more.

Writing perfect fiction is alot harder than I thought.

Obviously I’ll let all blog dogs know first.. But I need a few more twitter followers that have in excess of 10 million followers that will pump it, so I can make number 1 on NY times best seller list.

50 blog dog fans anit going to do it for me..

I’m a competitive basterd. It needs to destroy 50 shades of grey.

Or why bother.

#91 MF on 08.03.15 at 10:03 pm

#79 Another Planet on 08.03.15 at 9:37 pm

Lol I care not. Not interested in a lifetime of debt thanks.

I do care about my US dollar based investments doing well though. Actually that’s all I care about so thanks again.

MF

#92 takla on 08.03.15 at 10:15 pm

re #74…converting the resource based economy gets my vote..
Aint gonna happen for a variety of reasons least of which is Canada{U.S as well} has been actively off-shoreing industry/manufactureing for 2 decades now.
nafta came in ’94 was the beginning.

They obviously couldn’t off-shore our resource extraction and condo building industries hence what we’re left with.

#93 Garth's #1 Fan on 08.03.15 at 10:18 pm

> You are free to stand for office. When you have had that experience, and understand the motivation, come back and criticize. — Garth

So only politicians should be allowed to criticize politicians? Because that’s what it looks like you’re saying.

> Nobody enters public life for the pension. — Garth

Maybe you didn’t, but can you say with any certainty that this is the rule and not the exception? Harper is poised to take something like 300k a year for life, indexed to inflation, courtesy of you and me, and he is telling us there is no money to increase the average CPP payment of 600 a month.

Priorities, baby, Priorities.

Recently you criticized the head Poodle for making interest rates decision based on the political needs of Canada’s little Napoleon. Perhaps gifting someone a half-a-million a year pay and commesurate pension comes with an expectation of “you scratch my back”? Noone can prove for sure, but momma didn’t raise no fool.

Without exception, nobody I ever met who fought to get elected was motivated by a pension. You may feel most are inferior to you, and may be, but people go through that crap for principle, not profit. — Garth

#94 Julia on 08.03.15 at 10:26 pm

#12
Question: I take it that municipal home assessment values will be adjusted downward in case of a major drop in house prices, which would result in the government receiving lower property taxes.

**********************
No. Cities will adjust their mill rate to ensure their revenues do not drop or will even increase them.
The only variance always is whether your property valuation variance is at, below or above average. Tax increases are based on average. In theory, you could see an increase in property taxes even if your property decreases in value if that decrease is less than the average used.

#95 Mr. White on 08.03.15 at 10:28 pm

On the topic of Iran lifting oil. I had a conversation with a geologist today who told me that many people who have been looking closely at Iran for drilling opportunities think the real money will be made in servicing the current stock of low production as a result of poor well maintenance wells Iran has.

They claim that Iran cannot life more than a few hundred thousand barrels a day than it does not because the wells are filled with fish.

#96 Smoking Man on 08.03.15 at 10:29 pm

If you’re writing a fiction book, rich with dialog between characters, you have a tendency to have them all talk like you, the writer.

This has been my biggest challenge.. I don’t know how a Mississippi precher talks. I’ve perfected Blithe Barrington, a Princeton physicist, Chuck Ashman a NYC cab driver. ME Smokey that one was easy.

But a God pusher from the south.. I can’t relate.

Obviously a trip to new Orleans is due.. A few trips to some churches down there.

The book. Will be made perfect.

That’s all that’s left.

#97 45north on 08.03.15 at 10:33 pm

Linda: Nobody enters public life for the pension’ – well said. I am more than a little tired of those who complain about government employees receiving a pension. I could understand the angst if the pension was a choice for the employees. It isn’t. It is a condition of employment. For all those who will immediately howl that no one would do such a thing, the truth of the matter is that it is an extremely unusual youthful employee who would voluntarily set aside hundred of dollars per month for retirement when they could use the money immediately for items they would deem of more importance. And like it or not, the vast majority of government employees were likely youths when they began. That same majority is now approaching retirement & have had the time to realize that the pension plan is of value & was worth paying into for all those years. But if they’d had the choice way back when? Most would have opted out.

I would have. I was 26 when I started with the Federal Government and discovered that 7% of my salary would be deducted for my pension. There were other priorities, such as heating oil and diapers. I was informed that the deduction was not an option. In my 50’s I was slipping behind on the technology ( a little bit ) but since I did have a pension I let the young kids show their stuff.

#98 x-moose on 08.03.15 at 10:35 pm

Looks like Garth is ready to launch Zerohedge.ca

#99 Obvious Truth on 08.03.15 at 10:39 pm

#28 Mike on 08.03.15 at 6:45 pm

No question there is lots to get fixin.

As for oil and all the global predictions. They all got it wrong. Price is telling a scary story. As for cost of production. There is nothing like losing money that will help get that down.

And the new marginal barrel on the block is renewable. No global oil report will ever admit this. Sticky sand is no match for the sun and the wind.

How come nobody in Alberta gets this? The Saudis point blank tell you it’s likely to one day be a trapped asset.

Cheap energy is good for the world. Money goes elsewhere in the economy.

#100 Love my Kia on 08.03.15 at 10:40 pm

People fought and died for the right to vote and to have an opinion. Those same people if alive today may be watching Love it or List It.

SHAME ON YOU GARTH. You really need to apologize for defecating on the memory of those in their graves.

I give up. — Garth

#101 Garth's #1 Fan on 08.03.15 at 10:47 pm

> people go through that crap for principle, not profit. — Garth

I believe that is the case for you. Even now with your blog you give and you give and you don’t ask for anything in return.

But for most others, why fight and claw for a nomination in a safe riding? Why is it so important that it be a safe riding? Why do people like Eve Adams for example, desire to be an MP so bad? If it’s for principle, again I have to ask why. What does it matter who exactly it is that sits behind Harper in the House and claps on command? One person is as good as another to sit down and shut up, and vote every once in a while as they’re told.

I’m a principled person, Garth, but for 140k a year and the possibility of a juicy defined public pension if I do it for 2 terms, I too would sit behind Harper and clap. Because I work a hell of a lot harder now for a hell of a lot less. And it’s almost impossible anyway these days to find a job where you feel like you’re making the world a better place to be. I suspect you feel this way too, which is why you give to the community with this blog. If you felt that your day job was enough of a public service, you might not bother with a blog. I too have the urge to help, to improve, to leave everything I touch in a better state than before I got there. But I have bills to pay like everyone else, and when life is a struggle a little bit of comfort is hard to say no to. I’m just a realist. I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t sit there and clap behind Harper in exchange for 140k a year and a pension after 8 years.

I would be inclined to agree with you about nobody doing it for the pension if I saw any initiative out of most Conservative MPs. But all I see is them jeering, clapping and booing on command. Reading scripts, saying words that are not theirs. And I have to wonder “why do they do that?”. And the only logical answer I can come up with is “for the money”. Because even putting the pension aside, the salary of an MP is grossly disproportionate to what the typical Canadian makes, and there are so many MPs that are obviously deeply unintelligent and would never make decent pay in a meritocratic environment. If they weren’t trained seals for Steve, I don’t know what use they would be to anyone.

Sound like I’m just being nasty, but I really do feel that way. What (economic) use would someone like Del Mastro be to anyone? What do you think the guy is good at that has economic value? Would you even trust that guy to wash your car? And I’m just picking a random name out of a hat here, the same could go for most MPs, especially on the Conservative side.

#102 Retired Boomer - WI on 08.03.15 at 10:48 pm

How I see it from the cow chip throwing pastures.

1. The US stock market is fairly well reflect the fortunes of oil. Watch where are today compared to a year ago. Oil has a huge imp at on the US’s fortunes.
(No not down 50% but where did the growth go).

2. Retail oil here now $2.48 US gallon (3.89 litres). Have the American people paid down debt with the resulting savings? I am not so sure. Maybe they bought a more “efficient” SUV? (cough, cough)

3. The Retired Boomer is not thrilled with the oil prices’ effect on certain equities, but it is merely a temporary blip in the sea of meaningless BS all considered.

4. He looks forward to Garth’s attempts to make dense of much senseless government policy.

While I a, not impressed with your Harper, can’t say I’m much impressed with our own guy, or his predecessor, or even his prior.
Both countries need to eliminate the idiots from the political gene pools, but how is the question?

I see the current governor of WI is in 2nd place among the republican hopefuls. All I will say, let us pray that does not become reality, and never trust a claim made on the campaign trail.

I look forward to an education over the next 2 months.

I’m sure there will be take away to consider as I ponder my navel, and our own elections in 2016.

#103 Nosty, etc. on 08.03.15 at 11:06 pm

SWL1976 — (scroll down) Executive Order 13603 Kinda runs with Monsanto, A21, Jade Helm, forced vaccinations, TPP, etc., Food Riots and This article is about a year old, but it gives good insight as to what is happening.

FWIW. here is the Thought Of The Day from wrh.com: “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.” — David Rockefeller

#104 OnlyTheBankersLaugh on 08.03.15 at 11:09 pm

#84 Frank – we all have choices. Aspire to be that admin with a pension and 2x income than you consider for the position or get someone you know to apply. There are jobs for everyone and professions for anyone to chase.

Garth’s #1 Fan – show some respect for Garth’s time or piss off. Better yet, start your own blog and let us know how smart you are creating new content daily for others to sniff out any perceived contradictions. Please find other blogs to troll.

#105 Dean on 08.03.15 at 11:14 pm

Seems to be a lot of fans for “Love it or list it”

Could be a sign of the apocalypse….not clear at this point.

#106 Steve French on 08.03.15 at 11:15 pm

Smokey:

Here’s a free writing tip.

Never, ever, use the phrase “Going forward…”

Your welcome.

– SteveO

#107 Spectacle on 08.03.15 at 11:20 pm

Regarding :
“#13 Andrew Woburn on 08.03.15 at 5:58 pm
What Jane Jacobs got wrong about …”

Blog readers, & AW #13 above, I’d highly suggest reading Jane Jacobs last books yourself. Don’t read some writers misleading story with an agenda laden article based on defacing her works. Easy target as she recently passed away. Hmmm?,!(#* how uncool!

Jane Jacobs legendary presentation or thesis is as correct as her underlying thesis: society is entering a very Dark Age Ahead.

Do a youtube for her works if interested, her intelligence and analysis is accurately meshed with Mr Turners economic and social insights. Rewarding & captivating.

Regards ,

#108 Ron on 08.03.15 at 11:21 pm

Everything that’s happening is inevitable. It is human nature and we call it the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Every great economy is based on hard work and blue collar jobs. For some bizarre reason we look down on manual labour and celebrate white collar work. It could be lawyers, real estate agents, bureaucrats, bankers, etc. The reality is white collar work is parasitic in nature and should never be celebrated. Yes, some white collar jobs are necessary but things are way out of wack in Canada. Rome imported slaves to do the manual work while the native Romans partied. In Canada we exported our blue collar jobs. We have partied with a government digitally creating mortgages so we can sell ever inflated real estate to each other. Yes, as mortgage brokers, real estate agents, bankers approving mortgages, speculators, etc,. we get to wear nice suits, drive new Audi’s and feel very important in our WHITE COLLARS. The problem is in a year or 2 with the party over they will be working the deep fryer at MacDonalds if they can even find a job. Yes, Harper is a clueless idiot but the whole country is the same…..the blind and ignorant leading the blind and ignorant. We are all to blame. We don’t want to do real work. We want all our toys….NOW. Just like little kids we are spoiled brats. Like As I said at the beginning of my post it is in our nature and what is about to happen is inevitable. History repeats itself.

#109 Tom from Mississauga on 08.03.15 at 11:21 pm

LMAO Garth! Why don’t you run as an independent you political junkie you. Let me know the riding and I’ll canvass for you!

#110 Spectacle on 08.03.15 at 11:23 pm

#105 Dean on 08.03.15 at 11:14 pm
Seems to be a lot of fans for “Love it or list it”

Could be a sign of the apocalypse….not clear at this point.
————————-
Hah, I think they are bringing a new 2015 version out …..called “list it or just walk away and leave the keys in the front door”……

#111 Gregor Samsa on 08.03.15 at 11:24 pm

Agreed with Garth on the “scariest” part. It really makes you wonder just who these 57 people who just bought houses in Calgary are. Prices at all time highs (or just barely off them), oil prices crashing with no end in sight in a city that relies on oil prices, layoffs left and right, federal election coming that could bring uncertainty…

It makes you wonder who such people would vote for, if they bother at all.

#112 Hitchbot no more on 08.03.15 at 11:28 pm

Geez, so some thug beat the crap out of hitchbot on its ride across merica after making it all the way across Canada.

#113 Ex-Cowtown on 08.03.15 at 11:29 pm

#24 TRT on 08.03.15 at 6:31 pm
Western Canadian Heavy Crude at $29.22 USD.

Anyone know what break even price in the Oilsands is? Remember this is about $40 Canadian.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Break even is a bit of a misnomer in the oil patch due to the massive $$$ required to find/get into production the oil to start with. Once you have it flowing to the sales gate things are different as your massive $$$$ capital is now sunk capital.

There are things called “lifting costs” which is the cost of bringing a barrel to market after it has been found, all the pumpjacks pipelines, tie-ins etc are in place. This may be as low as $35/bbl, but that may not take into account the new regime of abandonment liability expenses that the Dippers unleashed on the AB oilpatch on August 1st. These will likely sink many smaller struggling companies and are already a massive headache for companies like Penn West.

But the biggest heqadache is that the oilpatch requires constant influxes of capital to keep ahead of depletion, which may run as high as 20 or 25% per year. In Real Estate terms, think of it as spending $100 million on 40 storey office tower and the tower sinks into the ground 10 storeys every year and you need to build them on top again. But to grow you may need to build 11 or 12 storeys. Get the idea? In the oilpatch if you rest for even a moment, you start to die, and quickly.

When you factor all that in, it may actually be closer to $80/bbl.

Historically, the oilpatch has been an abysmal investment, with only about 2% real rates of return. The reason some people made so much $$$ in Calgary was those that are successful are spectacularly so, but for each of them, there are scores more that gambled it all and drilled dusters.

Heck, even oil patch moguls Murray Edwards aren’t immune. He likely was up several hundred million on PennWest when it was in it’s hey-day. Now? He may be down by 90% from the peak. Still left with a profit, but not what he was expecting.

#114 devore on 08.03.15 at 11:36 pm

#12 What happens with rents and prop valuations?

And, on a related note, in provinces with rental increase controls (Quebec, notably), would landlords be obligated to reduce their rent when they receive a lower property assessment value?

Rent controls are not tied to property values, but to inflation and expenses.

#115 Sheane Wallace on 08.03.15 at 11:42 pm

we should be optimistic

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/harper-says-optimistic-turnaround-canadian-economy-141836169–business.html

Loonie in the .75 range

#116 Dee on 08.03.15 at 11:50 pm

I’d love it if you could incorporate a question like this into your analysis of economic policy of the various parties, because it’s the one I’m struggling with:

It seems that, no matter what party gets in, terrible fiscal policy will abound. If the Conservatives can’t save us–if they’re just going to throw billions around willy-nilly, as they did both with the UCCB and with thousands of handouts in the days leading up to the election–no party will.

So my question is: given that every party is going to continue the same disaster and try to prop it up, why vote on that line at all? Why not vote in terms of social policy, where, to my mind, the Tories have clearly been down the wrong path?

Your advice and wisdom would be most welcome, since you’ve been there and back again.

#117 Michael Field on 08.03.15 at 11:57 pm

Garth–all the best–your blog is truly entertaining and informative—unfortunately it seems the (m)asses are the ones who constantly criticize the most fundamental truths—your comment on who votes was best summed up by Churchill when he said that “the argument against democracy was a five minute conversation with the average voter” What more needs to be said.

#118 Joe2.0 on 08.04.15 at 12:01 am

The Shangi markets up.
Why would that be?
The government has instilled “new measures”
People, wake up, WAKE UP you are drinking the koolaid.
The markets are broken, shake your heads you’ve been hypnotized.
This house of cards is coming down all over the place.

#119 anotherstabbinginsaskatoon on 08.04.15 at 12:04 am

I’ll never look at my jumbo lava-lamp the same way again.

#120 NoName on 08.04.15 at 12:28 am

@95

you friend is somewhat right, but lets not forget they were under US sanctions since mid 90s, and UN since 2006. knowing that, it easy to assume that easy and fast money is in servicing and upgrading.

Now that sanctions are lifted Iranians can start replacing 20-25 yer old drilling and extraction technology with better one, it will be interesting to see how low oil can go. mid to hi 30s?

also irans natural gas production its a way bigger than a oil.

Iran produces around 3000 barrels per day, similar to what we do here in Canada, only difference is iran is producing barrel for approximately 15-20$ per barrel vs oil sands 60-ish.

http://knoema.com/vyronoe/cost-of-oil-production-by-country

#121 NoName on 08.04.15 at 12:33 am

and that voting thingy

Who is a Dogbert?

a) M
b) T (wrong answer)
c) H
d) EM (wrong answer)

https://calvy.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/dogbert-for-president-taxes1.jpg

#122 Retired Boomer - WI on 08.04.15 at 12:40 am

#104 BETAMAX (from yesterday)

Agreed. Yet, the ‘socialist’ of my youth has moved. So has the “conservative” of my youth
(Think Nelson Rockefeller, here). Where have they gone?

The last president who ran as a “conservative” one George Bush was HARDLY a conservative I could recognize. He was a spend-thrift, who cut taxes, and ran up big deficits while the economy was performing ok.

Admittedly, much of the economy was smoke & mirrors based on bullshit banking,and the perpetrators (who financed the next guys campaign) were subsequently never prosecuted.

Would I trust the US Banking system? No.
Do I trust a corporate financed president, senator, congressman? No.

There in lies the problem, forget the “political” style of the candidate.

#123 Munch on 08.04.15 at 12:40 am

Garth, I always pop in here first thing, the writing is superb!

HOWEVER!

Rare error today, which offended my sensibilities – “close to half a per cent” REALLY should be “close to half a percent”

Don’t let this happen again!

Fondest possible regards

Munch The Great

#124 Spectacle on 08.04.15 at 12:43 am

Regarding:
#103 Nosty, etc. on 08.03.15 at 11:06 pm
SWL1976 — (scroll down) Executive Order 13603 Kinda runs with Monsanto, A21, Jade Helm, forced vaccinations, TPP, etc., Food Riots and This article is about a year old, but it gives good insight as to what is happening.

FWIW. here is the Thought Of The Day from wrh.com:
——————
Wow, and Thank You again Nosty.
Truly amazing , numbing , how much human sorrow and damage is so near & possible.

#125 Nagraj on 08.04.15 at 12:46 am

Great news!
Your Dr.Louise got us fake passports and we’re coming to your Candana after all! (She blackmailed our mean boss Benito Juarez II to get us the fake passpsports because she found out about him, he HAS a wife, and that “Cielito Lindo”!)
And I already got a job! One of her hospital guy friends says I can sing and dance nude in this nightclub in Trontono where his friends will throw money at me. And I don’t even have to practice “Hey Mr.Tallyman! Tally me banaaaaaaana”, as you know so I can start right away.
My friend Tulong doesn’t have a job in Toontoro yet but Dr.Louise says she knows a very ritzy restaurant where he can work and they speak his language there so no problemo. He looks good all dolled up too.
We’ll be staying with Dr. Louise in her expensive but tiny little condo in Toronto it’ll be crowded but fun.

Dr. Louise has loosened up a lot since she got here and she only screams once in a while now. The three of us sing and dance a lot on the beach and she’s even learned the words to Tulong’s “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts”.

Sincerely,
your loyal unzipped cabana boy readers Bulto (that’s me) and Tulong B. A. Sarong (my royal Thai friend)

PS: If you can keep your mouth shut about the passports and where we work you should come and visit and we’ll teach you how to squirt octopus ink into gin and how to RUMBA. Your Dr.Louise has gone rumba crazy, rumbas everywhere she goes!

PPS: We’re teaching her the La Cucaracha too. Would you like to learn? Take your mind off all that uptight money stuff.

PPPS: La cucaracha, la cucaracha
Ya no puede caminar
Porque no tiene, porque le falta
Marijuana que fumar.

Ya la murio la cucaracha
Ya la Heven a enterrar
Entre cuatro zopilotes
Y un raton de sacristan.

We do it with actions, squiggle squiggle for the cucaracha (cockroach), flap flap for the zopilotes (buzzards), and scurry around like the raton (mouse). As for the sacristan Dr. Louise said “make a face like Joe Oliver” –

#126 Don on 08.04.15 at 12:56 am

In fairness, I asked you years ago, as the gasbag was only starting to inflate (and who imagined that then?), what government action would cause the least pain as it was deflated. I’ll ask again. Forget party for a moment – what policies do you recommend, from a governing standpoint? What can rescue this moment?

Now remember party again. Surely the current Conservatives, who are largely responsible for getting us to this moment, are not a trustworthy government to untangle it? I myself would be sad to see the NDP left holding the bag for the decisions of the last decade, but here we are.

#127 Jerry on 08.04.15 at 1:03 am

To find where this election is likely heading you may cross-reference Garth’s previous reporting of a campaign in Vancouver to draw people’s attention to the heart-rending plight of those who don’t have a million dollars for a house. Cross-reference that solipsistic idiocy with GB Shaw: “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul”.

Welcome to office, Mr. Mulcair.

#128 Entrepreneur on 08.04.15 at 1:28 am

#7 Ian…”The Federal and Ontario Governments are so incompetent….” So that means the Conservative (Federal) and the Liberals (provincial) are incompetent and to oust them out by voting NDP party. The Conservatives and the Liberals have to go.

Went to a meeting about fish farms and the speaker said that some political figures could not do anything because their political careers would be on the line.
Our MP said at election that the party would reduce the pension but once in he rebutted, said he has a family.
Could go on with more examples, but to make it short, looks like money is tight for everyone.

President Obama is going wind and solar. Nice call.

#129 cynically on 08.04.15 at 1:33 am

i tend to agree with you that no one runs for public office for just the financial benefits attached but the undemocratic system in Canada tells all that the PM rules and that you go along with that or suffer the consequences as you well know and if that is the case why does anyone run? They must know that at sometime legislation the boss wants passed is not going to accord with what is best for his or her constituents yet must go along with it (or else!) However if that same representative can continue to con the voters over a period of years an appointment to the UNELECTED senate with all its privileges and gravy may be the reward for the initial run. So go figure.

#130 Cyclist on 08.04.15 at 1:34 am

Re: Fed pensions. Everybody can have some fun with this

http://apppen-penapp.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/penavg-penben_prod/cpr-pbc/entrer-input/prep.action?r=1

#131 InvestedinUS on 08.04.15 at 1:52 am

I’ve always been crazy, but its kept me from going insane!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ecE1UML1q8

#132 Arthur Shaw on 08.04.15 at 2:05 am

Oh oh. Don’t think admin is going to like this damning report:

http://www.theprovince.com/travel/Chinese+money+launderers+snap+Vancouver+real+estate/11262931/story.html

Few people back east truly realize just how corrupt BC and Vancouver is. Everyone in Van knows what’s going on. It’s just strange to see the media finally acknowledge it.

#133 Frank on 08.04.15 at 2:06 am

’m a principled person, Garth, but for 140k a year and the possibility of a juicy defined public pension if I do it for 2 terms, I too would sit behind Harper and clap. Because I work a hell of a lot harder now for a hell of a lot less

That’s why you’ll never be elected. The caliber of people that make it to office (maybe not of character but definitely of education and work ethic) don’t consider 140K to be an awful lot of money. You’re a chump that points at those with the crown and thinks they know better, you’re a dime a dozen.

#134 BillyBob on 08.04.15 at 2:25 am

#81 Peter Pan meets Pol Pot

One thing we have of plenty, which the rest of the world does not, is, fresh water…..

If only we have the right people in right position….
….this export commodity can become an excellent replacement for our oil

====================================

Sorry, wrong.

I am no tree-hugger, but to massively disrupt the hydrologic cycle by removing large amounts of water and physically transporting it elsewhere – the word “disaster” doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Hint: water isn’t just something you drink – it is one of THE modifiers of weather.

If selling hydrocarbons seems short-sighted, selling water is more of an end-of-days situation. (I am talking about the stripping it out of one environment and transplanting it into another, not just diverting a river here or there – which in many cases has been devastating in itself).

I always cringe when things are described in apocalyptic terms, but this is one scenario where it absolutely fits.

#135 LeftnRight on 08.04.15 at 3:36 am

A long time ago, when the Earth was green,
There was more kinds of animals than you’ve ever seen.
And they’d run around free when the Earth was being born,
And the loveliest of ’em all was the unicorn.

There was green alligators and long-necked geese,
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees.
Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you’re born,
The loveliest of all was the unicorn.

Well now God seen some sinnin’ and it caused Him pain.
And He said, “Stand back, I’m going to make it rain!”
He said, “Hey, Brother Noah, I’ll tell you what to do,
build me a floating zoo,”

“and take some of them”…….

“Green alligators and long-necked geese,
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees.
Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you’re born.
Don’t you forget My unicorns.”

Well Old Noah he was there and he answered the callin’,
And he finished makin’ the ark just as the rain started to fallin’.
Then he marched in all them animals two by two,
And he sung out as they went through,

“Hey Lord,”

“I got Your green alligators and long-necked geese,
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees.
Some cats and rats and elephants, but Lord, I’m so forlorn,
I just can’t see no unicorns !”

And Noah looked out through the driving rain,
The unicorns were hiding, playing sally games.
They were kickin’ and splashin’ while the rain was pourin’,
Oh, the sally unicorns!

There was green alligators and long-necked geese,
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees.
Noah cried, “Close the door ’cause the rain is just pourin’,
And we just cannot wait for no unicorn!”

The ark started moving, and it drifted with the tide,
And the unicorns looked up from the rocks and they cried.
And the waters come down and sort of flooded them away,
That’s why you never seen a unicorn to this very day.

But you’ll see green alligators and long-necked geese,
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees.
Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you’re born,
You’re never gonna see no unicorn!

#136 Arch Douche on 08.04.15 at 3:45 am

For anyone thinking that a minimum wage hike by the NDP would help, it’s important to think it through. Say the minimum wage for low skill work was increased to say $40 per hour. The higher skilled employee currently earning $40 per hour for more difficult work would now be rationally better off taking the lower skilled work in this scenario, because they can now earn the same income for easier work.

The result is that these lower skilled jobs are then filled by higher skilled employees. The low skilled workers, remain unemployed – the initial problem is not solved. The only difference is that either less high skilled work is performed in the economy, or the wage for high skilled work must be increased to draw employees away from lower skilled work that now pays substantially more than before. Either way, it is net loss.

This is why I can’t vote for socialists even if I agree with some of their thinking. Economically, they are irrational. They try to fix symptoms rather than causes.

That the Conservatives still look better than the other parties on policy at this point is surprising. The others have had years to come up with something better, but what do we have: Trudeau basically just asks you for your ideas about 50 times on the Liberal website. Policy by polls= inspiring. Mulcair is promising $15 per day daycare and a higher minimum wage; because everyone should make more than $10.25 per hour (unless you work in daycare I guess; then $10.25 per hour is ripping off Canadian families?). It’s comedy hour.

#137 Frustrated Voter on 08.04.15 at 6:47 am

“Over the next two months this pathetic blog will waddle through the issues, and assist you in making an informed decision. But it will also help you prepare.”

I’m looking forward to any help I can get in sorting through the issues. But realistically, I don’t think my attitude will be any different two months from now than it is right now. Like a lot of people who comment here, I don’t like Harper. But what is the alternative? A guy with nice hair? A guy who will “tax and spend” us into bankruptcy? Sadly, Harper is the best option, whether we like it or not. I think I remember Garth saying that Canadians don’t vote people in; we vote them out. That is often true. And it may be true in this election too. But the two alternatives are truly frightening, while Harper is only frustrating.

#138 Jay on 08.04.15 at 7:05 am

I’ve been a fiscal conservative since I was young, and a monetary conservative for probably 10 years.

It’s not easy. The parties aren’t as cut and dry as they’d like you to think.

At first glance you’d go “ok, just vote conservative!” — Not so fast. The CPC has been more than happy to support cheap money, and they’ve spent plenty of money.

Ok, then how about you go Liberal? After all, they helped balance the budget and paid back more of the federal debt than any party. Not so fast. This isn’t the same group of people that balanced the budget — Most of those people are retired from politics. As we can see from the Liberals in Ontario who trashed the province’s finances, the Liberal party is fully capable of making horrible decisions.

Ok, how about NDP? Very funny, guys. Is there a hidden camera around here or something? You know you could have taken the money you spent on that hidden camera and spent it on social programs.

It tends to be the case that promises aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, it’s only results that speak to performance. I’ve consistently voted to keep governments that are responsible, but you definitely can’t tell based on their platforms who is going to be that way. The Ontario Liberals hadn’t even moved into their new offices before declaring they couldn’t possibly keep their balanced budget promises.

Other voters or not, we’re looking at a game of Russian Roulette with a chance all the chambers are loaded.

#139 Nora Lenderby on 08.04.15 at 7:06 am

To the people making unpleasant remarks about politicians and their motivations:

I am certain that they all start out being well-intentioned and driven by some notion of making the world better.

The system we have operates under arcane rules and is frustrating and imperfect. Good people and bad get worn down with the squabbling in the political process, the rudeness and moaning from constituents, and the very few things that can be done to change a country’s destiny – especially if the electorate have some shiny object in view.

Many of them work very hard in their constituencies, sorting out individuals’ problems, pressing the flesh, chasing down things to kiss, attending parades and supermarket openings, and signing passports for old ladies.

As time passes, some of them succumb to bad behaviour and cynicism (as a proportion of any other people do).

We are talking about people who, if they applied the same energy to almost any other enterprise, could make a lot more money elsewhere, if that were their motivation.

I want our politicians to be decently rewarded, basically to discourage corruption and enourage the best candidates. There are only a few hundred of them.

We have the system we have. Major change, as Mr. H. found with the Senate, is very difficult. Perhaps Mr. M. will have more luck with it…

#140 Washed Up Lawyer on 08.04.15 at 7:19 am

A few commenters have discussed costs per barrel of oilsands production. For what it is worth, the forward guidance of Suncor and CNRL in April and May of 2015 predicted between $30 and $34 per barrel.

http://www.suncor.com/pdf/2015_Corporate_Guidance_Apr_29_2015_-_Final_English.pdf

http://www.cnrl.com/upload/media_element/921/02/guidance_may-7.pdf

#141 maxx on 08.04.15 at 7:28 am

#31 Terrier on 08.03.15 at 7:04 pm

” …. you can’t fix ignorance and stupidity.”

Not precisely true, but I mostly agree. However…..current “management” could easily have gone a very long way towards limiting the ignorance and stupidity of human nature, thereby preventing weaker fools from gorging on debt. Instead, it checkered-flagged, encouraged and massaged a debt pig-out which Canada may never recover from.
The period from the GFC to ’15 was fairly uneventful.
The economic cat is now squarely out of the bag and smoke and mirrors don’t cut it any more. Economic action plan? Pfffft.
Question is, how low can we go?

#142 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.04.15 at 8:50 am

@#100 Love my Kia
“People fought and died for the right to vote and to have an opinion. Those same people if alive today may be watching Love it or List It…..”
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Hmmmmm, a 90+ year old WWII vet watches Love it or list it?
The horrors of PTSD.

#143 Incubus on 08.04.15 at 9:29 am

“sparked speculation that 65 cents is coming.”

This is the base case scenario if conservative are elected.

In the case of Mulcair with his gang of buffon’s, a 50 cents is a given or even lower.

#144 Sonny Kang on 08.04.15 at 9:36 am

#137 Frustrated Voter on 08.04.15 at 6:47 am
“But the two alternatives are truly frightening, while Harper is only frustrating.”

You’ll see how “frightening” Harper and his RCMP are when they come knocking on your door holding Bill C-51 in their hands, asking you to come with them on a car ride.

#145 Ken Nash on 08.04.15 at 9:39 am

I’m ready for radical change. With a big dose of common sense. Even if it’s a bit hairy. The path Canada has been on sure isn’t working out for me.

1) Firstly, (heard it hear first) trickle UP economics. This is simple. People have more money, they buy stuff and save. Way better than trickle down economics. Seems some don’t like to share, just cash out of life. Increase the minimum wage.
2) Tax corporations more but get less. There’s already incentives for companies to lower tax burden. Like the CCA credit. If company doesn’t invest in new equipment it’s taxes go up. There’s more than keeping boomer indexed pension funds content. A specific tax on employee stock options would be nice too. At least learn something from Northern Telecom and Livent.
3) The obvious more manufacturing based on Canada’s natural resource competitive advantage. Never fully understood why we need a free trade agreement, for something others don’t have. To sell to them?

Some countries in the world are worried over social discourse current economic practices have conjured up. France wants a draconian tax on company dividends over the economic growth rate. The indexed public pension people are taking more than their fair share of cake.

Neo-Nazis are making a come back in Germany. Some are saying, take the holocaust out of it and it wasn’t so bad. Nazis nationalist policy and telling companies to hire more people help save their economy. The whole freaky industrial- military complex, stimulus spending lost in the equation.

I’m ready for a Canada time out. So what if I can’t get cheap imported TV and have to buy an expensive Admiral TV (those where the days… for working boomers drunk on COLA. At least the country benefits more. There’s other ways to combat inflation so Grandma can get off cat food.

Bring back all that stuff international trade said was unfair and Canada cancelled. The Crows Nest Pass rate for rail and the Canadian Wheat Board would be a nice start. Marketing boards :-) If others complain we can ask, “Do you have enough plant protein and thiamin in your diet?” If not, we’ve got the just the cure.

Bring back Statistics Canada in a big way. To know where we’re at and who we are. This all money in is an import and all money out an export is nuts. I’m not sure who thinks, a onetime sale of Northern Telecom patents, really counts as a praise worthy export. Am I wrong on this?

Enhance our corporate champions not tear them down. When Blackberry wanted to buy Northern Telecom not prevent it by saying too much concentration in Canada. It’s the world that matters. When the EU gets all uppity Inco was about the become the world’s largest nickel supplier. Support the company and tell the EU to relax a strategic metal under Canadian control isn’t so bad. Instead, the company became a take over target and it’s now Brazilian. Pathetic.

I liked Mel Hurtig’s battle cry of the 70s “Make it Canadian” Anything is better than this whole smoke and mirror real estate fiasco while Canada goes to the dogs.

#146 Daisy Mae on 08.04.15 at 9:40 am

“The scariest part? All those people who watch Love it or List it and think TFSA is a designer drug, each get a vote.”

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

….along with people giving away ‘free kitchens’.

#147 Daisy Mae on 08.04.15 at 10:01 am

#47: “Underground economy is alive and well in Van. My hairdresser and esthetician have gone ‘cash only’.”

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

How clever. And do they understand their next income tax filing will be red flagged?

#148 Edward on 08.04.15 at 10:21 am

“This’ll be ‘best investment in the world’: Rubenstein”

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/04/oil-price-will-recover-over-the-longer-term-rubenstein.html

#149 Sonny on 08.04.15 at 10:22 am

“Stephen Harper, Serial Abuser of Power: The Evidence”
http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/08/04/Stephen-Harper-Abuses-of-Power/

“Perfect Storm’ Engulfing Canada’s Economy Perfectly Predictable”
http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/08/03/Perfect-Storm-Engulfs-Canadian-Economy/

#150 saskatoon on 08.04.15 at 10:46 am

#145 Ken Nash

“The path Canada has been on sure isn’t working out for me.”

You do realize how pathetic this sounds, right?

Why do you feel it necessary to use state violence as a substitute for your own obvious shortcomings?

Translation: “I have made bad decisions in my life…so…I feel that more state violence is necessary to mitigate these bad decisions…and bring a plethora of undeserved (stolen) benefits to MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!”

#151 Shawn on 08.04.15 at 10:53 am

Oil Companies and Depleting Assets

Ex-Cowtown at 113 said:

But the biggest headache is that the oilpatch requires constant influxes of capital to keep ahead of depletion, which may run as high as 20 or 25% per year. In Real Estate terms, think of it as spending $100 million on 40 storey office tower and the tower sinks into the ground 10 storeys every year and you need to build them on top again. But to grow you may need to build 11 or 12 storeys. Get the idea? In the oilpatch if you rest for even a moment, you start to die, and quickly.

*****************************************
Excellent analogy. And this industry always tries to get investors to focus on operating cash flow. As if depletion amortization was not a very real cost.

Most companies that ask you to face on cash flow do so because the earnings are too low. Real Estate like that 40 story office tower and some mining operations (even oil sands) are perhaps partial exceptions because by the time the office tower needs to be replaced it is so many decades in the future that the present value is tiny and maybe the land value goes up to compensate. And with certain mining operations there is no intention to replace but one has to consider the earnings are not perpetual.

#152 Shawn on 08.04.15 at 10:57 am

Calibre of MPs

Frank said:

That’s why you’ll never be elected. The caliber of people that make it to office (maybe not of character but definitely of education and work ethic) don’t consider 140K to be an awful lot of money.

***************************************
There is some truth to that.

But people get elected mostly based on the party they run for. See Orange wave of last federal election.

Still, I agree those who whine about MPs making $140k for the most part would never have the ambition to run for the nomination of a party. And agreed it is not a huge amount of money even with expense allowances and pensions. Not for most of the people who get it.

#153 Dominoes Lining Up on 08.04.15 at 11:06 am

It appears the Harper government truly has run out of ideas.

The one-trick-pony property bubble will be inflated even more, he says, if you elect him.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/08/04/stephen-harper-promises-home-renovation-tax-credit.html

A “permanent” home reno credit.

Yup. We can all just become realtors, mortgage brokers, carpenters and granite countertop installers. Forget the rest of our economy.

This should work out just fine.

#154 ShawnG in TO on 08.04.15 at 11:18 am

harper just pledged home reno tax credit (costing the government 1.5 billion$ a year). Never assume harper’s plans are spur of the moment thing. So I’m thinking, does harper purposely creating mortgage slaves as a political support base?

Sure, the slaves’ futures are doomed, but harper present himself as the only one who keep the housing market bubble from popping.

#155 Blobby on 08.04.15 at 11:23 am

LMAO!

Harper must be reading your blog, he’s just gone after the “love it or list it” and “flip it” crowd with his home Reno tax credit.

#156 Mister Obvious on 08.04.15 at 11:35 am

#145 Ken Nash

“Neo-Nazis are making a come back in Germany. Some are saying, take the holocaust out of it and it wasn’t so bad.
—————————————

Sure.

The complete destruction of Germany’s industrial base and transportation infrastructure together with the bombing into dust of Berlin, Dresden and most other major cities.

Not all that bad, really.

#157 Rational Optimist on 08.04.15 at 11:35 am

http://www.conservative.ca/cpc/579/

“ATTENTION HOMEOWNERS!”

Eep.

I have a quibble: the announcement claims that “In 2015 alone, our low-tax plan will return as much as $6,600 dollars back into the hands of each hardworking family in Canada.” But elsewhere they say that this will not be introduced until the budget allows for it, so maybe never.

$6,600 dollars [sic- ‘$’ means ‘dollars] for each hardworking family in Canada would probably mean that this is probably only a hundred million dollar program. Depends on the exact definition of “hard working” in the eligibility criteria, I guess.

#158 Smoking Man on 08.04.15 at 11:40 am

I can’t belive I’m voting communist, NDP will get rid of Bill C51

I refuse to be muzzled…

Just need to move remainder of my assets away from there grubby hands. All that’s left, Mortgage Long Branch to the nines, and off shore that too.

#159 Ponzius Pilatus on 08.04.15 at 11:51 am

#90 smoking man

Writing perfect fiction is alot harder than I thought.
——————–
That’s what you do on this blog every day.
So writing fiction should be in your blood by now.

#160 Ottawamike on 08.04.15 at 12:02 pm

Re:Reno tax credit

As I said the last time this was introduced, a genius move by the govt.: The home owners stop the underground economy in its tracks as everybody wants receipts.

The program funds itself in newly declared income!

#161 Blobby on 08.04.15 at 12:04 pm

@158 smoking man.

You need to lay off the Fox News. Socialism is not communism. And the ndp are barely even socialist either.

#162 TRT on 08.04.15 at 12:09 pm

It’s all but official. We are going to have 2 more cuts to rates. 0% is a done deal.

They are already mentioning QE1 in Canada.

#163 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 08.04.15 at 12:43 pm

#159 Ponzius Pilatus on 08.04.15 at 11:51 am
#90 smoking man
Writing perfect fiction is alot harder than I thought.
——————–
That’s what you do on this blog every day.
So writing fiction should be in your blood by now.
_____________________________________________
Honestly I thought after your retirement party last Friday you would have been finished the book, sitting on your boat waving the early release in the air screaming Allah Akbar. Then challenge him to a rock, paper, scissors match, winner takes all. Writing is a challenge that not everybody is cut out for. Have you considered ghost writing. Perhaps you try new things to do such as teaching your liver how to respond to water instead of hard liquor. You’ve got to find something to do with your time. Retirement isn’t all its cracked up to be.
Semi retired and already bored!
Oh by the way sailed to Pelee Island on the weekend, green algae all over in western end of the Lake, Aliens taking a piss in the lake? Inquiring minds have to know?

#164 pinstripe on 08.04.15 at 12:51 pm

this morning the coffee shop was buzzing.

the questions are non stop on the fed election and no answers from harpo.

Canada has gone through the biggest boom. Why are the feds in so much debt? where is all that money from the boom? Why is harpo so determined to destroy Canada? Why is harpo blaming the boogy man for his failed policies? Why is harpo so sure that most Canadians are too stupid to know that enough is ENOUGH? Why are there so many questions that are parallel to the questions asked in alberta when apprentice was premier?

#165 Saskatchewanite on 08.04.15 at 12:58 pm

Thanks for writing about Saskatchewan, Garth.

#166 Rational Optimist on 08.04.15 at 1:02 pm

160 Ottawamike on 08.04.15 at 12:02 pm

That’s a good point. Based on that, and seeingbothsides’ comment #47, tomorrow’s announcement should be for a Clothing and Grooming tax credit. (ATTENTION HARD-WORKING FASHIONISTAS!)

#167 NoName on 08.04.15 at 1:23 pm

#140 Washed Up Lawyer

No mentions of abandoning fort hills project?
There is few oil sands project that cost is below 40$ and they are all existing mines, all new oil sands projects are at the best in 70$ range or more. for Suncor and cnr is easy to state 30 per barel guidance when they scrap fort hills mine earlier this year where extraction is 90$per barrel.

#168 pwn3d on 08.04.15 at 1:44 pm

but people go through that crap for principle, not profit

——-
lol, good one.

btw trying to talk politics on with most of your bloggers seems a waste of time. those that wish a housing crash so they can purchase a home are usually the jealous type who hate anyone having a successful career or business and think they should be taxed so everyone makes roughly the same amount. you know, to be fair.

#169 Smoking Man on 08.04.15 at 1:55 pm

#163 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 08.04.15 at 12:43 pm
#159 Ponzius Pilatus on 08.04.15 at 11:51 am
#90 smoking man
Writing perfect fiction is alot harder than I thought.
——————–
That’s what you do on this blog every day.
So writing fiction should be in your blood by now.
_____________________________________________
Honestly I thought after your retirement party last Friday you would have been finished the book, sitting on your boat waving the early release in the air screaming Allah Akbar. Then challenge him to a rock, paper, scissors match, winner takes all. Writing is a challenge that not everybody is cut out for. Have you considered ghost writing. Perhaps you try new things to do such as teaching your liver how to respond to water instead of hard liquor. You’ve got to find something to do with your time. Retirement isn’t all its cracked up to be.
Semi retired and already bored!
Oh by the way sailed to Pelee Island on the weekend, green algae all over in western end of the Lake, Aliens taking a piss in the lake? Inquiring minds have to know?
……….

Hard to get on the lake when the boat is land locked. Digging up my street new water pipes..

FYI.

Lake Erie, UFO central in this part of the world.

#170 jeb on 08.04.15 at 2:03 pm

What a Doom and gloom post. Guess all that money printing did nothing except create more debt.

#171 Llewelyn on 08.04.15 at 2:09 pm

All this nonsense about a minimum wage of $15.00 per hour being bad for the Canadian conomy has got to stop.

Like it or not the only substantial increases in private sector employment in Canada in 2014 and 2015 have been in the accommodation, food services and retail sectors of our economy.

In 2012 the average weekly wage in the accommodation and food services sector was $364/week. By 2014 the average weekly wage had increased to a princely $368/week.

In 2012 the average weekly wage in the retail sector was $526/week.

By 2014 the average weekly wage had increased to a $534/week.

I won’t bore you by reciting the corporate profits of the multi-national companies actually responsible for the majority of new jobs created within these sectors of the Canadian economy but they were high, very, very, high.

I will be very easy for Provincial government to support small independent businesses owned by Canadian citizens by monitoring the impact of a $15.00 minimum wage on their bottom line and deferring Provincial income tax to assure a fair rate of return in a competitive market place.
This deferral of income taxes would be partially offset by an increase in personal income taxes collected from full time employees.

I could care less if a $15.00 minimum wage reduces the profits of McDonald’s, Starbucks, Tim Horton’s (now owned by a multi-national syndicate) or the dozens of multi-national hotel chains that are currently exploiting the Canadian labour force. The myth that all wage increases will be passed on to customers is just that, a myth!!.

If these companies could extract an extra penny from their customers they would. (Just look at the price of a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s)

I understand that the majority of visitors to this site rely on high profits generated by multi-national corporations to realize the holy grail of a 7.0% return in their investments. However supporting the deliberate exploitation Canadians by claiming that low hourly wages only apply to students or part time workers is rationalization of the highest order.

There are hundreds of thousands of working poor in Canada, including students who are facing substantial debt to secure an education, and if they decide to vote for a political change calling them stupid or lazy might make you feel superior but it won’t extinguish their democratic rights.

When compassion in the form of a decent living wage is viewed as a threat to the Canadian economy it just might be time to recalibrate our moral compasses.

#172 OXI in GREECE !! on 08.04.15 at 2:18 pm

#83 Linda on 08.03.15 at 9:46 pm
#70: No choice is exactly that. I must presume you yourself do not have a work related pension plan other than CPP – which, by the way, is a DB pension plan. And unless you neither qualify for or would refuse to take OAS & GIS, you too will be receiving pension benefits paid for by the working taxpayer.

As for a golden handshake, is that not a term referring to severance rather than pension?

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The golden handshake refers to the fact that you are employed for life and will never have to worry about a paycheck, benefits or pension ever again in your life. Something the private sector does not have for the most part….

#173 pwn3d on 08.04.15 at 2:33 pm

#171 – that’s a nice spiel but the $15/hr minimum wage is for federally regulated industries. So the student at mcdonalds won’t get jack.

#174 Andres on 08.04.15 at 2:35 pm

Garth, I’m curious if you have any words on Harper introducing the renovation tax credit in order to allow Canadians to build and keep the value on their houses.

#175 TRT on 08.04.15 at 2:39 pm

Loonie at 11 year low right now.

Heading towards generational low. Should get interesting for snowbirds. Haha ;)

Told you guys many years ago that this gov will not raise interest rates, they will let the loonie plunge. And no BoC is not independent of the ruling political party.

To all young professionals: leave Canada for the usa and get a 35% raise and lower taxes. Come back in later years to collect pensions and free healthcare.

#176 gut check on 08.04.15 at 2:49 pm

#21 @guycheck previous day post on 08.03.15 at 6:17 pm
““#155 Cyclist on 08.03.15 at 3:58 pm
132 TRT “Snowbirds on fixed pensions are getting
screwed. Hahaha.”

Can you explain exactly why you find this funny?
*********************************

It’s the same mentality that makes the snowbirds on fixed pensions think that the poor are lazy.

Same pair of shoes, just different feet.

————————–

Wealth is relative. It’s not absolute. If you stay even and others fall, you are ‘up’! Shouldn’t you be happy when your wealth is rising?

******************************************
————————————————————–

For the record, I didn’t write the original comment, above (I don’t laugh at people having a hard time or wish that on anyone, even Boomers ;) )

To the rest of the comment – I suppose of course that wealth is relative, yes. But the feeling attached to it doesn’t have to be. If I have what I need and am on the road to getting what I want then I’m happy and satisfied.

That being said I think I am in the minority on that one. I wish I weren’t.

#177 S.Bby on 08.04.15 at 2:49 pm

Sorry, I see that Province article was already posted by someone at #132

#178 gut check on 08.04.15 at 2:52 pm

Harper’s regime is fascist, not conservative.

#179 Shawn on 08.04.15 at 2:58 pm

Show Me the Money

Pinstripe at 164 asked:

Why are the feds in so much debt? where is all that money from the boom?

*****************************************
Yeah, actually I don’t think the Canadian Feds are in fact “so much debt”. The debt is quite manageable.

I don’t have the figures but the debt obviously came from the feds spending more than the tax intake.

They borrowed the difference at low interest rates. (What do you do when rates are low, pay off debt? Why?)

The alternative to borrowing was to cut spending or increase taxes, both unpopular.

The taxes were spend on income supports like Old age security and GIS. On hundreds of thousands of government employees. On transfer to provinces and a thousand other things.

It’s a wonder the system works but overall most of us do pretty well.

#180 Mark on 08.04.15 at 3:00 pm

Harper’s Home Renovation Tax Credit.

The Conservative Party is obviously a party of, by, and for the Realtors and their banker pals. It is just that overt. At a time when Canadian industry is collapsing on account of an unduly high cost of capital, the best that Harper and buddies can think of is a tax break targeted at homeowners. In a falling RE market no less that is falling because of past CMHC-induced overinvestment.

#181 Helga Swaniski on 08.04.15 at 3:02 pm

Reported at http://www.bnn.ca. Bond buying may resort to bond buying, warns economists, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch.

So we are going the way of Japan, cheap currency, cheap, low interest rates and we already have debt morons.

The end of cheap money is not over, it is going to get cheaper.

#182 Helga Swaniski on 08.04.15 at 3:03 pm

Correction, Bank of Canada may resort to bond buying……………

#183 Mark on 08.04.15 at 3:15 pm

“It’s a wonder the system works but overall most of us do pretty well.”

Sure, if you’re on the gravy train. But if you’re the young who has been left to pay for it, without the benefit of the good quality jobs that the boomers were able to obtain with a reasonable investment in skills, then its misery.

I know in my circle of friends, there’s basically two groups. Those who got into the public sector early and now have a house (with a decent amount of equity through appreciation). Or those who didn’t, and are locked in a perpetual struggle of finances.

No party thus far has presented a plan to end this situation of economic apartheid in Canada. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually yearn for the good old days of Paul Martin and Jean Chretien, even if they went a little overboard in enriching their Quebec/francophone cronies in the public service.

#184 IHCTD9 on 08.04.15 at 3:37 pm

For the Harper Hater Blog Dogs…

Guys, let’s have a look at Mulcair’s platform right off the NDP website.
____________________________________________
1. As Prime Minister, Tom will reward small businesses by lowering the tax rate from 11 to 9 percent.
____________________________________________

Sounds good, who would argue.

____________________________________________
1b. And he’ll kickstart creation of the next generation of good-paying manufacturing jobs by investing in innovation and clean technologies.
____________________________________________

Waste of time. Manufacturing will never, ever, return to what it was mid/late century. It’s potential has severe limitations on it, and the bigger the potential for jobs, the less likely any first world country will be doing the work. Whatever “investment” TM issues will directly enrich the ownership of these fledgling technology companies, and that is about it. This is a tough one, but we had better start admitting that unskilled jobs are on the way out permanently in the first world.

____________________________________________
As Prime Minister, Tom will create a million childcare spaces for our kids and cap fees for parents – no more than $15 a day. It’s a plan that will save young families money and enable greater participation in the workforce – especially for women.
____________________________________________

Sounds great, how are we going to pay for it? PQ’s version of the same thing barely got out of the gate before prices had to go up, and a sliding scale premium based on user income is on the table. The limitation of folks in the work force is jobs first, not childcare. 15.00/day is a LMAO ROFL joke, and it will not last.

____________________________________________
As Prime Minister, Tom will work to kickstart renewable energy production and drive down climate-changing emissions. He’ll make big polluters pay to clean up their mess. And he’ll strengthen laws to protect Canada’s lakes and rivers.
____________________________________________

Tom will not be kickstarting jack with this plan. This is nonsense, and the proof is right here in Ontario, which is now home to some of the highest hydro rates on the planet thanks to this exact idea of “clean energy”. This is one plan guaranteed to burn money like a doomsday weapon. Listen dippers, if I came to your house with a zero-emission central heating unit for $500,000.00 and a 20 year warranty – would you be pulling out your VISA card?

____________________________________________

As Prime Minister, Tom will help communities fix roads and bridges by transferring an extra cent of the existing gas tax to municipalities.
____________________________________________

Sounds good.

____________________________________________
And he’ll shorten commute times by partnering with cities on a Better Transit Plan — creating 31,000 good jobs in the process.
____________________________________________

Wynn said the same thing and has produced nothing. Tom will have his hands full if elected, don’t think this amounts to much more than the requisite pander to the GTA parking lot.

____________________________________________
As Prime Minister, Tom will cancel the Conservative decision to raise the retirement age — bringing it back down to 65. And he’ll work tirelessly to strengthen public pensions while protecting workplace pensions.
____________________________________________

Great, even better, let me cash out and opt out permanently. Of course the opposite of this is “strengthening public pensions”, which means more off your paycheck for a promise. Probably more off your employers paycheck as well. Less money for everyone is good?

____________________________________________
As Prime Minister, Tom will stop unilateral Conservative cuts to health and get back to working collaboratively with provinces and territories to improve primary care and expand access to long-term and primary care.
____________________________________________

In other words, billions will be injected into healthcare – the single most voracious incinerator of revenue in all of Canada, and this will be of some help. I beg to differ, too many administrators making 3-400K, they always miss their targets, the entire system is set up to consume as much resources with as little improvement as possible. My local Government Corporation that handles 3 hospitals has it’s top managers pay package tied to performance – they had 5 objectives last year – they failed – every. single. one. Even with cold hard cash being dangled in front of their noses….

#185 Lorne on 08.04.15 at 3:42 pm

Mark on 08.04.15 at 3:00 pm
Harper’s Home Renovation Tax Credit.

#108 Mark
The Conservative Party is obviously a party of, by, and for the Realtors and their banker pals. It is just that overt. At a time when Canadian industry is collapsing on account of an unduly high cost of capital, the best that Harper and buddies can think of is a tax break targeted at homeowners. In a falling RE market no less that is falling because of past CMHC-induced over investment.
……
Pretty pathetic, alright BUT it is not even a real promise to actually occur…but will be considered “mid mandate, when our financial situation improves”! So, we are promising “maybes”!

#186 Leo Trollstoy on 08.04.15 at 3:44 pm

Loonie at 11 year low right now.

Damn I had no idea it was THAT low.

What were we all doing over a decade ago?

Apparently what we should have been doing was buying a SFH in Toronto! :(

#187 JSS on 08.04.15 at 3:50 pm

Screw it man, I’m buying a house

#188 LLewelyn on 08.04.15 at 4:08 pm

#173

Provincial governments have the legislative authority to set minimum wages so all I was suggesting is that $15.00 per hour is a fair wage for Ontario given the curent cost of living. Other Provinces can govern themselves acordingly.

My big concern is that many Canadians seem to have bought into the nonsense that a fair wage will definitely result in the loss of jobs. There are waus to mitigate any possible impact of a fair wage.

#189 gut check on 08.04.15 at 4:17 pm

@ #184 IHCTD9 on 08.04.15 at 3:37 pm
For the Harper Hater Blog Dogs…

Guys, let’s have a look at Mulcair’s platform right off the NDP website.
____________________________________

Say.. where’s Harper’s Platform?
I was just on the website.. didn’t see one.

I did, however, see that the first announcement on there was that the Home Renovation Tax Credit is now ‘PERMANENT!!”

Permanent, hey? Helping families, hey?

He’s a One Trick Pony, and that horse is dead.

#190 eddy on 08.04.15 at 4:27 pm

All levels of goverment should be slashed including police and military. In the weeks leading up to the last Toronto election i noticed the news was reporting a new knifing every couple of days. These reports ended after the election.The 416 police budget is over one billion

#191 Dual Citizen In Canada on 08.04.15 at 4:29 pm

I don’t know about you guys but I change the channel every time Harper’s image comes on TV. And for some reason, the bearded guy is inching closer to my vote. Must be the Garth effect.

#192 john thibeau on 08.04.15 at 4:38 pm

#117- good one. Read it before.
Another one I read was the definition of “political correctness” allegedly given by Harry Truman(former US president).He stated (possibly?): political correctness was the belief that you can pick up a piece of shit by the clean end.

#193 Smoking Man on 08.04.15 at 4:58 pm

Out for a Cruz while back.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJyKCR-SkEg

Holy Crap Tylenol.

Shoot me your Lat, Long, I’ll have one of my boys buzz you tonight.

Look up at around 10pm

#194 Washed Up Lawyer on 08.04.15 at 5:26 pm

#167 NoName on 08.04.15 at 1:23 pm
#140 Washed Up Lawyer

No mentions of abandoning fort hills project?
**********************

The construction of the Fort Hills Mine (Suncor, Teck Resources and Total) continues apace.

Oil sands mines that have been placed on the shelf are Joslyn North (Total) which has regulatory approval, Pierre River Mine (Shell) which was in the regulatory queue and the Jackpine Mine Expansion (Shell) which also has regulatory approval.

Interestingly, Shell shelved its plans for Pierre River before the commencement of the swoon in oil prices a year ago. That may have been true of Joslyn North as well. Maybe the writing for oil sands mines was on the wall before prices began the collapse.

More than one expert (so called) has predicted that Fort Hills will be the last oil sands mine built.

#195 Jim B on 08.04.15 at 5:35 pm

“When a country sells way less than it buys, net wealth is transferred to others.”

So the solution is simple: each and every country should simply run a trade surplus. All we’d need to do to make it happen is find a really poor (inhabited) planet to sell all our stuff to.

Seriously, Garth, half the world (more or less) must by definition run a trade deficit, while the other half run a surplus. Do you consider all members of the former group to be poor?

#196 Bytor the Snow Dog on 08.04.15 at 5:36 pm

@117 Michael Field

So whom, in your Almighty Opinion, should the “average voter” of the (M)asses, vote for.

Choose your answer carefully.

#197 Entrepreneur on 08.04.15 at 5:40 pm

To the Conservative bloggers, google “why not vote for Harper” and educate yourselves.

#136 Arch Douche…your example of the low skill to the higher skilled with the $40.00 hr. is missing a few pointers. Low skill workers would not get the benefits and the luxuries as the higher skilled workers. Skilled trade workers are treated with respect and are always called (in other words, more in demand). This is no reason to vote for the Conservatives.

#139 Nora Lenderby…Would be nice if our MP and MLA would stand up for their constituents and not only to their party. It would make the system a more honest and “down to earth” quality. What we have now is “I will have to ask my leader” as our MLA keeps on repeating. As far as many of us are concerned our MP and MLA have jumped ship and left us aboard on a sinking ship.

#158 Smoking Man…fighting by voting.

#198 Leo Trollstoy on 08.04.15 at 5:42 pm

With the Canadian economy where it is, I am becoming increasingly curious to know how the NDP will manage things if they take over!

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/08/04/thomas-mulcair-makes-his-case-for-boosting-corporate-tax-rate.html

I think we should give them a majority and see what happens. I, for one, would enjoy watching.

#199 Bytor the Snow Dog on 08.04.15 at 5:48 pm

@#171- Llewellyn

Excellent post. Our society requires a major attitude adjustment.

In all caps for the hard of hearing: TRICKLE DOWN SUPPLY SIDE “ECONOMICS” DOESN’T WORK.

#200 Bytor the Snow Dog on 08.04.15 at 5:50 pm

@173- It’s a start.

#201 IHCTD9 on 08.04.15 at 9:36 pm

#198 Leo Trollstoy on 08.04.15 at 5:42 pm
With the Canadian economy where it is, I am becoming increasingly curious to know how the NDP will manage things if they take over!

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/08/04/thomas-mulcair-makes-his-case-for-boosting-corporate-tax-rate.html

I think we should give them a majority and see what happens. I, for one, would enjoy watching.
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I agree, if TM gets a majority, it will be the best Show in town. Though, I only say that because I have no debt, and not likely to loose my employment…