Farewell

How could anyone forget that look?

As a crusading daily newspaper columnist decades ago I, of course, knew everything. To stem runaway deficits all the feds needed do was economize, prioritize and take tough choices. Let enterprise be free. Stand down. Govern lightly. How hard was that? And don’t tax consumption.

Daily I pounded Ottawa. House prices had just hit a record high. Interest rates were insane. Mortgages at 11.5%. The national debt exploding. The middle class struggling. Free trade and the proposed GST were ripping the nation apart. In my crosshairs was Ottawa’s money guy, whom I pilloried and demeaned from a safe distance.

One morning there was a buff envelope on my newsroom desk. It was from the paper’s publisher, saying the prime minister had contacted him with a request. I was to treat his Minister of Finance with more respect, and cease calling him “Mikey.”

Disgusted at the journalistic interference, that night I complained to Dorothy. “So,” she said sympathetically, “stop bitching and do something about it.”

I did. Over the next six months I won a Progressive Conservative party nomination, fought an election and gained a seat in the House of Commons. Shortly before Christmas, thirty-one years ago, I walked through sound-proofed doors in Centre Block to the national caucus room of a majority Conservative government. I turned and looked up, into the steely, hulking gray gaze of Michael Wilson.

 It took months. The understanding finally washed over me. The immensity of the problem. The Mulroney years started deep in the red, with a legacy of record spending from the Trudeau era. Under T1 the deficit had increased from 4.6% of the economy to almost 8%. Over a third of all taxes collected went solely to pay interest on the debt. Turning the ship around looked impossible without gutting program spending. Politically impossible. The way out, Wilson surmised, was a tax on spending. A Canadian version of the European value-added tax to replace a tangled web of federal excise levies. He called it the GST.

And he called on me.

For two years I assisted Mike Wilson in a project he knew would destroy him. The issues tackled included what would be taxed, and what would not. Every item or service exempted, he said, made the tax less fair and more arbitrary. In the end, the big exclusions were groceries and housing. We reviewed the implementation, plus how to guarantee GST revenues would  be targeted at reducing the deficit, then the debt, not pork-barrelled into more spending. I conducted hearings into wiping out the excise tax then adding to consumer costs and wrung commitments from major retailers that they’d reduce sticker prices. We decided to ensure stores made the tax visible. That way, Wilson said, future governments wouldn’t be able to jack it continuously, as they had the old tax – which sat at an unseen 13%.

Wilson and I knew what was coming. The GST went in. It created a torrent of revenue. The public and media went rabid. It had been so much easier paying a hidden tax than one which appeared on every sales slip as a constant reminder. The Liberals, under Jean Chretien, vowed to kill it if elected.

So in 1993 Wilson stepped aside, all used up after taking on the free trade file. I ran again, and was defeated. In fact, the PC party was wiped out in the greatest-ever electoral defeat between the vote-splitting Reformers and the GST-killing Libs.

But Chretien pivoted. The tax remained, helping his government eliminate the deficit and run a string of surpluses. I went off and got a real job. Wilson went back to Bay Street for a while, then served as Canada’s ambassador to the US. He later became chancellor of the University of Toronto. After his son, Cameron, committed suicide, he was a tireless warrior for mental health issues.

As we debated and carped about taxes here on Sunday, Michael died. Reflecting upon his passing I recalled the first bemused look, then how he brought an entitled, conceited, arrogant young man into the light.

Thank you, Mr. Wilson.

 

180 comments ↓

#1 catnogood on 02.11.19 at 1:03 pm

Outstanding post. Time for some fiscal medicine, methinks.

#2 Rentin on 02.11.19 at 1:10 pm

Nice to see that every now and then, politicians look beyond 4 years.

Its too bad that other than a blog entry, nobody gets recognition for it.

#3 Glengarry Girl on 02.11.19 at 1:10 pm

Garth, on Days like this, reading your Blog is a lesson in Canadian Political and Economic History. Thanks for sharing

#4 Alex on 02.11.19 at 1:11 pm

We are blessed for having had Michael Wilson serving so tirelessly and to such good effect. We are all diminished and weakened by his passing. You, Garth Turner, are very fortunate to have worked with such a great figure. Thank you for posting this remembrance and sharing your recollections. I am grateful for all your work but this is one of your better columns.

#5 Henry on 02.11.19 at 1:15 pm

RIP Mr Wilson

#6 AGuyInVancouver on 02.11.19 at 1:15 pm

RIP Michael Wilson.

It must have been particularly galling for you Garth, to have to sit and watch Harper foolishly cut the GST, after seeing all the work that went in to implementing it! I wonder what our fiscal situation would be if it remained at 7%?

#7 Gil on 02.11.19 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for sharing the story, Garth.
I came to Canada in 97 and knew nothing about Mike Wilson. RIP. I am probably just getting old but I miss the times when at least some politicians were not afraid to lead. Even in the face of political suicide. When convictions were more important than winning the next election. Note to self – I do sound old at 45 :-(

#8 Bravo on 02.11.19 at 1:43 pm

A great story to be remembered, and it just goes to show you how two men with integrity and principles can make a positive contribution in the political world for Canada.

#9 Gil on 02.11.19 at 1:44 pm

#6 AGuyInVancouver
It must have been particularly galling for you Garth, to have to sit and watch Harper foolishly cut the GST, after seeing all the work that went in to implementing it! I wonder what our fiscal situation would be if it remained at 7%?

*****************************************
Why is that? If the tax is introduced to deal with extra debt and deficit, shouldn’t it be gradually reduced/removed once the deficit in under control? Why once getting a hold of my money (frequently on a premise of a temporary measure) government will always try to turn it into a permanent revenue stream to fund its new great initiatives?

#10 Smartalox on 02.11.19 at 1:52 pm

A fine memoir, better treatment than Mr. Wilson got from a lot of media outlets.

It sounds like Mike Wilson was one of the last of that rare breed of politician that actually KNEW what had to be done, and had the skills and experience to actually tinker with the guts of how taxes work, in order to do it.

Such a contrast to today’s focus group dependent, popularity pageant contest winners.

#11 NotLegalAdvice on 02.11.19 at 1:53 pm

R.I.P Mr. Wilson.

#12 AGuyInVancouver on 02.11.19 at 1:58 pm

#9 Gil on 02.11.19 at 1:44 pm
#6 AGuyInVancouver
It must have been particularly galling for you Garth, to have to sit and watch Harper foolishly cut the GST, after seeing all the work that went in to implementing it! I wonder what our fiscal situation would be if it remained at 7%?

*****************************************
Why is that? If the tax is introduced to deal with extra debt and deficit, shouldn’t it be gradually reduced/removed once the deficit in under control? Why once getting a hold of my money (frequently on a premise of a temporary measure) government will always try to turn it into a permanent revenue stream to fund its new great initiatives?
_ _ _
Because a consumption tax is always better policy than an income tax. Paul Martin’s Liberals were reducing income taxe slowly as surpluses became the norm.

#13 Bill Grable on 02.11.19 at 2:09 pm

A touching and emotional post, sir.

R.I.P. Mr. Wilson.

#14 Alistair McLaughlin on 02.11.19 at 2:15 pm

He was a good man who did his best. Much of the ground work for the Liberals’ balanced budgets in the late 1990s were laid by Wilson in the late 80s and early 90s. Contrary to popular belief, it did not take 4 years of Liberal magic to turn the deficit into a surplus (1993 to 1997). It took 13 years of slow and not-so-steady progress (1984 to 1997). Michael Wilson will never get the credit he deserves, but without his GST, the feds never would have gotten their house in order.

Mr. Wilson was also the guy who appointed John Crow as BoC governor in 1987, and supported him in his single-minded pursuit of zero inflation, whatever the cost. Lots of hate heaped on Crow as well, but the high rates from 1988 to 1992 were the right policy for the time.

Compare all that to the short-term thinking of today’s pols and even central bankers. It’s a shame. Nobody thinks more than a few months ahead these days, and certainly no further ahead than the next election. There will be a price to pay for all that. We’re paying it already.

#15 Blacksheep on 02.11.19 at 2:19 pm

Thanks for sharing Garth.

RIP Michael Wilson.

#16 Jonathan on 02.11.19 at 2:32 pm

I hope our current government has the fortitude to do what is right, and not throw some easy vote-getting promises like making it easier to buy a home (just because your monthly payment is lower doesn’t mean you owe any less by going to 30yr amortization…)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go put in a buy order on the Canadian bank stocks…

#17 diesel8019 on 02.11.19 at 2:34 pm

Thanks Garth – a great read

#18 Stan Brooks on 02.11.19 at 2:34 pm

Blast from the past when men actually had balls.

#19 Ustabe on 02.11.19 at 2:42 pm

…I am probably just getting old but I miss the times when at least some politicians were not afraid to lead. Even in the face of political suicide. When convictions were more important than winning the next election.

Me too.

We seem now to have folks who have chosen politics as a life-long profession, not a calling. We need a national voter’s rule for any and all elections no matter the level of being able to check off “none of the above”.

#20 Tremblant110 on 02.11.19 at 2:50 pm

Two class acts. Thank you

#21 Shawn Allen on 02.11.19 at 3:12 pm

As a conservative then (now mostly a fan of none of the above) I was a fan of Mike Wilson. Sad to hear this. Sad to hear about his son’s suicide. Did not know that.

#22 Gil on 02.11.19 at 3:20 pm

#12 AGuyInVancouver on 02.11.19 at 1:58 pm
Because a consumption tax is always better policy than an income tax. Paul Martin’s Liberals were reducing income taxe slowly as surpluses became the norm.
******************************************

I am not talking about what is considered to be a fairer tax system. That is a whole different topic, especially when you take a look at amount of revenue in construction/renovation industry that is going cash only and you have people with next to zero income tax rolling in cash.
I am talking about introducing a tax or a fee for specific need that is being redirected by the government once the need is over because it is hard to let it go once they have it.

#23 SunShowers on 02.11.19 at 3:45 pm

Garth you can’t do that to me, with that picture and headline I thought something happened to Bandit.

#24 waiting on the westcoast on 02.11.19 at 3:46 pm

#8 Bravo on 02.11.19 at 1:43 pm
“A great story to be remembered, and it just goes to show you how two men with integrity and principles can make a positive contribution in the political world for Canada.”

+1 – great response

#25 PastThePeak on 02.11.19 at 3:48 pm

Thanks for the fitting tribute to Mr. Wilson. I was a young lad at the time, but he always seemed to look exactly like a finance minister should. Polished, serious, and knew his stuff.

I don’t think anyone in the current group of flunkies would come close to handling the situation like he did.

#26 Barb on 02.11.19 at 3:56 pm

“…You, Garth Turner, are very fortunate to have worked with such a great figure. Thank you for posting this remembrance and sharing your recollections. I am grateful for all your work but this is one of your better columns.”

————————————-

Agree entirely.
Plus Mr. Wilson was smart enough to know Garth was smart enough to help him achieve his goal. Looking around, one could believe the days of effective politicians are over.

“how he brought an entitled, conceited, arrogant young man into the light.”

Achieving the same on your blog is quite the challenge, Mr. T.

#27 Calgary Cowboy on 02.11.19 at 4:02 pm

Great post Garth. Having not been old enough to keep up on politics of the day when GST was introduced, I am thankful for the enlightenment.

I dare to bet many in the steerage section of this ‘pathetic blog’ have wondered – have you ever considered a return to politics???

#28 James on 02.11.19 at 4:07 pm

Those were what my father called “The Good Old Days”
Mr Wilson appears to have been a dedicated civil fighter for the greater good of the country. Too bad I was born too late to have appreciated a politician like him. Most politicians today are worth any salt.
RIP Mr Wilson

#29 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.11.19 at 4:18 pm

Interesting economic and political history lesson.

Wilson deserved far more credit than he received.

#30 mike from mtl on 02.11.19 at 4:24 pm

Taxes on the ‘idiots’ who earn their $$ via income never go down once implemented. Not long until we have UK-level VAT of 20%.

As prior stated, the taxation laws could use a vast simplification, and I am in huge favour of a flat (or nearly so) tax. No deductions, exceptions, dividends or nonsense.

Obviously would have to be more thought out than one sentence but unfortunately would never fly! We’ve all been too accustomed to this arbitrary complex tax system it’s hard to break.

#31 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.11.19 at 4:26 pm

Speaking of Trudeau and Heckling

https://www.burnabynow.com/news/you-re-a-criminal-trudeau-heckled-during-campaign-speech-in-burnaby-south-1.23629648

Perhaps the SNC Lavalin firing has angered some people.

#32 Kevin bao on 02.11.19 at 4:44 pm

Thank you for sharing this, Garth.

#33 AMillienialInVictoria on 02.11.19 at 5:00 pm

A great unexpected post and touching tribute, thank you for sharing.

#34 Dolce Vita on 02.11.19 at 5:14 pm

Yet another of the “seen and not heard, silent” traditionalist generation leaves us for a better existence.

Too bad.

I liked his still waters run deep, nose to the grindstone demeanor.

We could use more of him and his generation right about now.

Hopefully GenZ is the throwback.

#35 Boo on 02.11.19 at 5:14 pm

So basically because of irresponsible government spending, you and some other entititled prick decided to introduce a new tax on the general public. I feel no sympathy for you whatsoever, all you managed to do was create a permanent financial burden on Canadians, that actually reinforces the poor government spending it was created to offset.

#36 Lee on 02.11.19 at 5:15 pm

I always thought we lost a great politician and financial steward when he left office.

#37 A Tribute on 02.11.19 at 5:19 pm

This was well done, and the interpretation can at times be deep, but enjoy these words of wisdom.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHYQrxVH7kA

#38 skiBUM on 02.11.19 at 5:22 pm

Great post Garth, RIP Mr. Wilson.

#39 Brett in Calgary on 02.11.19 at 5:23 pm

#35 Boo — angry. All taxes suck, but at least GST is transparent.

#40 Rick on 02.11.19 at 5:26 pm

His and your legacy…GST.

#41 Millennial Realist on 02.11.19 at 5:31 pm

That chart demonstrates so powerfully how irresponsible conservative governments have been historically inept with our national debt.

Say what you want about it “starting with Trudeau”.

Mulroney put this country into debt through his incompetence and right wing ideology. Martin tried to correct it. You can see that on the graph. Harper made it worse. Just like Bush 2 in the US. And exactly like Trump is doing now.

The graph does not lie.

Only conservative politicians do that when it comes to debt.

Glad you left those scammers, Garth. A sign of your integrity.

#42 MF on 02.11.19 at 5:31 pm

I was busy trading upper deck baseball cards, playing outside all day, and watching the Labatt Blue Jays at the Skydome on TV while all this was unfolding with the grownups.

Great post. Mike Wilson seemed like a very principled person first, and politician second that will be missed. RIP.

MF

#43 Bezengy on 02.11.19 at 5:37 pm

Big fan of Michael Wilson and the PM of that day, but I better not say the other guys name for the sake of keeping this about Michael. Probably best policy makers ever, and the proof is that their policies remain in place today. How many of these policies did the Liberals support? Need I ask? RIP Sir, Canada is indeed a better place for having had you as a finance minister.

#44 Phylis on 02.11.19 at 5:38 pm

#35 boo, -and unwilling to educate oneself. The gst widely replaced the hidden manufactures tax.

#45 Love this Blog on 02.11.19 at 5:39 pm

Great post Garth

#46 Dolce Vita on 02.11.19 at 5:45 pm

Not a big fan of his but you have to feel sorry for Justin nowadays, the guy just can’t win for losing.

The latest to surface on YouTube is a YEAR OLD video that shows Justin 4 sheets to the wind (or having smoked 1 too many doobers) at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics moderated by none other than David Axelrod (25 slurring, staggering, seconds of highlights):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVshw0CY-Hc

As I posted yesterday, everyone is having a field day with Justin, even the BODY LANGUAGE people are getting in on the action (in reference to “no” I did not browbeat, influence that woman Justice Minister that I fired about the SNC-Lavalin case):

https://youtu.be/RjU9N1kqElQ?t=149

Nowadays, the shit exiting the fan just keeps finding its way to Justin no matter what he says or does.

If the economy goes sour before October, well, they’ll end up calling him Kim Campbell the 2nd.

Buonanotte

#47 Andrea on 02.11.19 at 5:50 pm

Mentors can be hard to spot but easy to remember. Thanks for sharing your reflection and also Mr. Wilson’s story as a politician and parent. Sorry for your loss. Big hug.

#48 Rookie etf investor on 02.11.19 at 5:56 pm

Hello Mr. Turner, rookie investor here, started reading your blog few months back. 22 years old with 25k to buy etf’s with. Etf XIU has less holdings then etf XIC, they all trade on the tsx their holdings but what’s the difference?
Thanks
Mandy

#49 palebird on 02.11.19 at 5:59 pm

#41 “That chart demonstrates so powerfully how irresponsible conservative governments have been historically inept with our national debt.”

Maybe you have not figured out how to read a chart like this. Pierre Elliot is the one who got the ball rolling with the national debt, not the Cons.

#50 Reality is stark on 02.11.19 at 6:02 pm

My God people are stupid. All this debate over replacing the old manufacturers tax with the GST. One tax with another, who cares.
We have to address the elephant in the room. PUBLIC SERVANTS SHOULD ONLY BE MAKING 75% OF THE AVERAGE PRIVATE SECTOR WAGE.
People need to be incentivized to take on the challenges of being ridiculed, humiliated and abused, beaten up and under appreciated which goes with private sector employment.
A proper ruthless businessmen (not a pansy like Trump) would legislate appropriate wages immediately. Who cares if they all go on strike. Fire them all.
Even Reagan was soft.
A man who took no nonsense like John Brophy could get the job done. These are the leaders we need, not the special interest patsy flakes who spend money like drunken sailors. Learn to cut costs like real men and get the country back on track.

#51 Maria M. on 02.11.19 at 6:10 pm

Vangaurd drastically cuts return for stock market for the next 10 years.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/11/vanguard-cuts-expected-return-for-stock-market-over-the-next-decade.html

#52 Long-Time Lurker on 02.11.19 at 6:16 pm

Great piece, Garth. My respects to you and the late Hon. Michael Wilson.

#53 Fakeologist on 02.11.19 at 6:26 pm

A touching tribute for such an understated yet gentle giant.

RIP Hon. Michael Wilson.

#54 Dolce Vita on 02.11.19 at 6:26 pm

#41 Millennial Realist

Speaking of realism, go here and note the start dates and political affiliation:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/list-of-prime-ministers-of-Canada-1800352

Then go here and also note the start dates:

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/recession#CanadianRecessionsSince1929

Compare by making 2 columns, 1 for the Liberals and 1 for the Conservatives. Put vertical scratch marks in each column (make the 5th scratch mark horizontal to symbolize a tally of 5, necessary for the Liberal column) and et voilà:

Liberals 9
Conservatives 3

I worry more about when GDP goes seriously South and the impact it has on jobs and the destruction of people’s dreams, families and well being.

Trump’s a nutter, no argument there.

There are bigger things to worry about like the last 3 GDP reports, 2 of them with negative growth rates, RE wealth about to take a nose dive in Canada and Consumer spending already having taken a nose dive.

Debt levels will only exacerbate the hurt. Nobody makes you take on epic debt. Cdn’s need to only blame themselves for that and not others; rather, look in the mirror.

#55 LP on 02.11.19 at 6:27 pm

Thanks for calling him Mister Wilson. The honorific is an important distinction in his case. And in addition, can we all begin to say that someone has died OF suicide, rather than has committed it?

We do not say someone committed cancer, or stroke etc etc. A mental health issue is a disease too and some of us die of it.

#56 Jay on 02.11.19 at 6:30 pm

Excellent post Garth.
Thank you for sharing it.

#57 TurnerNation on 02.11.19 at 6:36 pm

So I earn a dollar and keep marginally maybe 65 cents after paying my tax. I must then hand over another 15% of that, in order I buy stuff for living?
All for the most basic of governmental services. Nothing special.
This is a sick anti human system. Anyone supporting this has lost sight of our purpose.

In Kanada the lucky ones can or will not work. To them all the government services accrue.

#58 mike from mtl on 02.11.19 at 6:36 pm

#48 Rookie etf investor on 02.11.19 at 5:56 pm
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

XIU = TSX60 index
XIC = TSX total index

Keep researching before buying anything and don’t throw everything at the TSX index, please.

#59 Bobby Bittman on 02.11.19 at 6:41 pm

Two guys putting the country first working for a guy who always put himself first.

#60 Rookie etf investor on 02.11.19 at 6:55 pm

#58 mike from Montreal
Thanks mike, what about buying individual Canadian stocks?
Thanks
Mandy

#61 Reminds me ... on 02.11.19 at 6:56 pm

of the mentor I had at work. He was also a Micheal. Great guy who turned out to be my supervisor for many years. Never considered him anyone other than a friend who was always there. Poor guy was forced out at 65 and was beginning to show signs of dimensia then. Died a couple of years later and was hardly recognizable. RIP Mikes.

#62 Dolce Vita on 02.11.19 at 6:59 pm

#50 Reality is stark

It does matter.

The excise tax was broad brush, “unseen” and penalized everyone with no choice in the matter, notwithstanding, the tax could be used for any Gov purpose including as Garth explained “…pork-barrelled into more spending.”

The GST as Wilson and Turner crafted it permitted the consumer to avoid the tax with the choice to do so and those with more wealth pay more tax as they can afford to consume more – TRANSFER OF PAYMENTS, far more effective than gerrymandering MTR’s and Taxable Income threshold amounts.

And as Garth capably put it “We decided to ensure stores made the tax visible. That way, Wilson said, future governments wouldn’t be able to jack it continuously, as they had the old tax – which sat at an unseen 13%.”

I was all for it when they made the change for obvious reasons. I was well aware of the unseen 13% tax at the time, and hated it for it left me with no choice as a consumer and let Gov do with it what they pleased. To me, the GST was at least visible, honest and egalitarian in its application.

No more pulling the wool over people’s eyes.

Something you don’t often associate with Gov’s nowadays. That alone ought to ring true; otherwise, nothing else will.

#63 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.11.19 at 7:14 pm

@#163 Millenial Surrealist
“Bring your doobies and diapers and rock on!!”
+++++

Laugh all you want.
Mock my undergarment protection if you must…. but(butt?)…..
No law enforcement official EVER searched my Depends and found my “stash”.

#64 joblo on 02.11.19 at 7:30 pm

Line of the day?

Ethics Commissioner….
AKA Trudeau’s nanny

#65 Bob Dog on 02.11.19 at 7:35 pm

Software Engineer Loses Life Savings in Quadriga Imbroglio.

This bitcoin bozo decided to transfer his US$ savings from California to Canada using bitcoin. You can guess how that turned out.

I guess he didn’t realize we have US$ bank accounts in Canada. I use TD and Vancouver Currency And Bullion Xchange.

His first mistake was moving back to Canada. His second mistake was using bitcoin.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-09/software-engineer-loses-life-savings-in-quadriga-imbroglio

Not much of an “Engineer”

#66 Basil Fawlty on 02.11.19 at 7:41 pm

Did the GST replace the Manufacturers Sales Tax?

#67 NoName on 02.11.19 at 7:44 pm

@Dolce Vita
@Millennial Realist

here it is with pictures too… (page 11)

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/analysis-of-federal-debt-in-canada-by-prime-ministers-since-confederation.pdf

#68 Howard on 02.11.19 at 7:45 pm

Anyone who knows anything about economic history knows that the national debt was a runaway train wreck when PET left office. Mulroney and Wilson planted the seeds of prosperity. Chretien and Martin got to pick the flowers that sprouted from those seeds. When Justin is gone – possibly sooner than we had thought just a week ago – a future Conservative government will again be tasked with cleaning up the fiscal mess. Just as Doug Ford is doing in Ontario.

#69 Bob Dog on 02.11.19 at 7:46 pm

I find it interesting that the national debt exploded and 30% tax revenue was used to pay interest right around the time the corrupt puppets in Ottawa shut down the Bank of Canada.

https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-bank-of-canada-should-be-reinstated-to-its-original-mandated-purposes

What a national travesty and an outrageous crime against the people of Canada.

#70 Casey on 02.11.19 at 7:47 pm

Good post Garthey.

#71 Nonplused on 02.11.19 at 7:47 pm

So, I’m going off here today about why not to save money, but I have to first say I did find your tribute to Mr. Wilson touching, Garth. You were part of the last functioning Canadian government. Harper’s was ok, but not built to last.

Why People Don’t Save Money – by Nonplused.

Saving for retirement seems like a dubious waste of money while the US and Russia inch closer and closer to a nuclear exchange.  But even if nuclear Armageddon can be avoided, hyper inflation probably can’t.  Or cancer.  Or a motorcycle accident.  Or getting struck by lightning.  Or getting caught in bed with a younger woman by your wife.  Even if she doesn’t kill you she’ll take half the saved money and maybe more if she qualifies for alimony.  Or an AOC-Pocahontas wealth tax (like income taxes, it won’t apply to just the rich for long).  Or maybe global warming if that is really a thing.

So most people do the NPV calculations on their retirement money wrong.  You can’t just go:

$saved * (1+return-inflation)^years

you have to go:

$saved * (1+return-inflation)^years * (probability of nothing bad happening)

Once you do the calculation that way, it seems the human propensity to spend now and save later was correct all along.  Remember, the average life expectancy without a nuclear war is something like 85 years.  That means 50% of the people die younger.  Well that would be if 85 was the mean, but I think it’s approximate.

I have my house paid off and an equal amount invested but that is because I had a couple lucky windfalls in the markets and some nice work bonuses, not because I saved a whole lot out of my income.  Also partly because I don’t much care for fancy stuff, I ride a Yamaha not a Harley. I drive an old Ford not a new BMW.

I also survived a divorce.  My advice there is if you are going to get a divorce, the earlier in life you do so the better.  You want to do it when there isn’t much money to argue about.  My very first job out of university was building a bridge in a small town.  I did a lot of the surveying, with a more experienced engineer who was showing me the ropes.  The old man from down the road would come chat me up while I was running the total station.  One day he announced that he had run out of money so he was going back to work.  I said “You are 70 years old and you are going back to work?”  (He did forestry and pipeline surveying, so it isn’t exactly easy on the body.)  His reply.  “Well, son, I’ve been married seven times.  I’ve learned not to keep a lot of money in one place.”  “Seven times????” I asked.  “Well, the first one died on me and then it went from there.”  So his strategy had been to work his ass off at high pay for a few years, then take a few years off until the money ran out, then repeat.  My takeaway was that planning for the future was a dubious exercise at best.  You can’t really do it, because there is so much you can’t control.  All that you can do is make the best decisions as indicated, but the outcome is uncertain.  Therefore a short term decision always prevails over a long term decision.

This was further driven home, although it took me some years to reconcile the event and convert it from a tragedy to a tragedy with a lesson, when my best friend got killed in a work related accident before we had even finished university.  And as is always the case, Billy Joel was right, only the good die young.  He was the salt of the earth boy-scout type guy.  Like Jesus he would give you the shirt off his back.  It was a real buzz-kill.  Also occurring another classmate died in a car accident and a high school sweetheart got a brain tumor and took to pushing up roses (or at least that’s what her family said).  By the time I was 24 I was a lot less certain I would ever need a walker or a retirement plan.

There is a real reason humans evolved to place short term concerns above long term concerns.  In the short term, the need is immediate and getting through today requires today’s attention.  Getting through tomorrow can be put off until tomorrow.  As Jesus wisely advised: “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”  Of course Christopher Hitchens thought this was terrible advice, but then he died.  He was rich, but he died.

#72 Debtslavecreator on 02.11.19 at 7:48 pm

T1 was a disaster and it is clear T2 is out to beat his daddy’s disaster
Bunch of radical left wing kleptocrats who lose sleep about what you may be doing or earning
The Mulroney govt made a classic error of increasing taxes dramatically during the early stages of a deep recession
Would have been better to launch The GST but cut income tax on the first 25 k of income (back in the day) and the BofC could have printed 5-6% of GDP by buying 0 coupon government bonds and crediting the governments account directly until such time that the deficits were gone and the economy was growing again
The government is OUT OF CONTROL
Massive planned borrowing for mostly unproductive reasons
When the bond market or a future govt forces cuts and more likely shock tax increases and outright confiscation of assets it will be obvious but too late. Governments always blame everyone but themselves

#73 NoCash on 02.11.19 at 7:49 pm

Taxes, taxes, taxes and more taxes. The feds should introduce more taxes such as a rain tax, snow tax and maybe a fall leaf tax to go along with the carbon tax. How else will they pay for their 100 billion dollar deficit?
Sales tax plus GST here in BC is 12%,It’s “Highway Robbery” minus the gun. My credit card interest cheaper. How many different government agencies do we need to collect these taxes? Is there such a thing as responsible government that works in an efficient manner? You don’t always get what you pay for.
Too much government and too much tax has far reaching negative effects on our economy. It must be okay for some children to go to school in the slushy snow with their running shoes on. A proper pair of footwear would be practical, plus more sales for the local shoe store.
Justin and the minions running this country are so exceptionally dumb that they don’t know how stupid they really are.

#74 tccontrarian on 02.11.19 at 7:53 pm

Then:

“As a crusading daily newspaper columnist decades ago I, of course, knew everything…”GT

Now:

As a crusty old blogger I, of course, know that I still know nothing!
—-

Inspired from:

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates

TCC

#75 Smoking Man on 02.11.19 at 7:53 pm

Back in the day I despised him for two reasons, when I had Mfg. Company and a retail outlet.

Just before my year end I use to take out huge ads in the paper. “Year End Tax Losing Sale or pay more tax to these two. Had ugly Pics of Mulroney, and Wilson. Brought in about ½ million in sales. Got a letter from PMO’s office to me and the Guardian to stop using the pics. They were bloody cartoons. Paper said no more.

Second reason was the introduction of the GST, brought in Feb, typically a ¼ page add in the paper would yield 25 to 50k in sales for the week at retail. After HST was introduced, zero, nada, nothing. Spending 2gs a week on full page ads. Nothing. Then my whole-sale customers stopped paying, it was a disaster. Anyone who was selling discretionary items got clobbered. Went from eating steak and lobster to craft din-din. Sold the company and learned to code.

That was a long time ago. May the man RIP. In retrospect it was T1 crazy spending that actually forced the GST on all of us. His son is no better. Pity the next Finance minister after we kick these bums out.

#76 Canadian Moose on 02.11.19 at 7:56 pm

History will look kindly on Hon Michael Wilson. He did what had to do to get Canada’s finances back on track at the the time. That’s leadership unlike the current crop of twits.

RIP Hon Michael Wilson

#77 AGuyInVancouver on 02.11.19 at 7:56 pm

#22 Gil on 02.11.19 at 3:20 pm

I am not talking about what is considered to be a fairer tax system. That is a whole different topic, especially when you take a look at amount of revenue in construction/renovation industry that is going cash only and you have people with next to zero income tax rolling in cash.
I am talking about introducing a tax or a fee for specific need that is being redirected by the government once the need is over because it is hard to let it go once they have it.
_ _ _
You’re taking Garth’s post too literally. The GST was not brought in to solely slay the deficit. It was brought in to close the gap between the expenditures Canadians kept voting for and the revenue the government collected to pay for them. It was never meant to “go away” once we stopped running deficits. Martin made the smart decision to reduce a surplus of revenue by reducing taxes on income. Once they had that, Canadians could decide to save it or spend it. If they spent it, some of the money returns to the gov’t anyway as GST. Harper chose the shallow, vote getting approach of cutting a consumption tax. Payments under the table have nothing to do with it, that’s an enforcement issue.

#78 tccontrarian on 02.11.19 at 8:00 pm

How to make Canada Great (again?):

1. Garth Turner – Finance Minister
2. Jordan B. Peterson – Prime Minister
3. Justin T. – latrines
4. CAD backed with gold
5. Accelerate Global Warming so that more land can become suitable for agriculture.
6. Declare War on the USA – to be settled in the hockey arena only!

TCC

#79 Ronaldo on 02.11.19 at 8:10 pm

#78 tccontrarian on 02.11.19 at 8:00 pm
How to make Canada Great (again?):

1. Garth Turner – Finance Minister
2. Jordan B. Peterson – Prime Minister
3. Justin T. – latrines
4. CAD backed with gold
5. Accelerate Global Warming so that more land can become suitable for agriculture.
6. Declare War on the USA – to be settled in the hockey arena only!

TCC
———————————————————–
And the Flopster – Minister of Housing and Money Laundering.

#80 Geoffrey McDrindge on 02.11.19 at 8:11 pm

Garth, is the Trudeau Carbon Tax akin to taking the GST back to 7%?

#81 Fraser on 02.11.19 at 8:22 pm

Thanks for the cool insider history blurb.

#82 just a dude on 02.11.19 at 8:24 pm

Garth,

Great post. Thank you for sharing your very personal experience. And thank you for your service back then (and today for that matter).

I remember those worrisome times very clearly. For some reason I retain the image in my mind of a photo on the front page of the Montreal Gazette (I think) of Mr. Wilson wearing the required new pair of shoes come budget time back in ’86 or so. In hindsight, the GST was clearly necessary and did its job. How did we lose our way since then and run up the national debt to today’s absurd levels?

Shaking my head in despair sometimes when I think about T2 and his “silly ways” … God help our young.

#83 stage1dave on 02.11.19 at 8:27 pm

Interesting and thoughtful post…it’s always educational to hear some history from people who actually lived it, or were responsible for creating certain parts.

Having had to deal with the “old” manufacturers’ tax, and then cope with the “new” GST; I’d agree that a visible tax is always better than one hidden from sight. Lots of my customers didn’t know they were paying one for most of the 70’s and 80’s!

My memory of several of the news stories leading up to the introduction of this tax would sometimes contain references to Mr. Wilson’s focus on preventing inflation, and I can remember thinking that increasing the value of most goods and services by 7% might be somewhat inflationary (!) all by itself.

Anyway, I do have a question: from what I’ve read, Mr. Wilson’s father viewed traditional inflation as something to be fought relentlessly; and I’m curious as how the younger Mr. Wilson viewed it? As a necessary evil from time to time, or as something to be exterminated?

#84 Yuus bin Haad on 02.11.19 at 8:31 pm

Back in the day, some (then beginning to grey) “hippies” sported buttons with a head shot of Mulroney and the slogan “I Tax Books” – they’re the ones you see around town these days with the (totally grey) pony tails

#85 greyhound on 02.11.19 at 8:42 pm

Folks with 60/40 portfolios might want to pay attention to this FT article. The correlation between stocks and bonds has usually been negative, but has switched to being positive when there were concerns about central banks. If CB problems start to pop up again, lightening up might be called for… https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-11/inflation-expectations-raise-the-equities-anchor-jrzve7to

#86 acdel on 02.11.19 at 8:45 pm

Dam, I miss the old days when we elected the very brightest to run the country. Today, I have no words, to think what is up and coming and the current (T2) atmosphere gives me absolutely no hope for the future of Canada.

Awful post by me, but many of us that have been around for 50 plus yrs, experienced the hardships persevered and moved forward; now have been hijacked by snivering special interest spoiled brats that are so self absorbed or strung out on whatever medication they are on attempting to so call educate the builders of this country what is best for us.

What you have right now, all the luxuries, all the freedom is all based on who sacrificed for this country, all the moms and dads out there that raised children to believe, taught them the rights and wrongs and make a difference to build a country like Canada. Were they perfect hell no, but at least they accomplished something.

This current self absorbed generation are so spoiled but what angers me the most is the certain old farts that made there living expropriating our resources so they could have a comfortable retirement only to post on how bad mineral resources are due to the fact they are just angry at there miserable lives. Ha, actually I laugh at there hypocrisy.

War in the worst thing imaginable, but (my feelings only) that it would take another one to smarten this spoiled brat numbing society that we now live in. Let us hope that it never comes down to that ever again. Never forget! Sorry folks, this one just hit a nerve.

Not responding to anything, just needed to get this off my chest, don’t like it; too (eff) bad!

R.I.P. Mr.Wilson and thank you for your service to this country.

#87 mike from mtl on 02.11.19 at 8:47 pm

#60 Rookie etf investor on 02.11.19 at 6:55 pm
#58 mike from Montreal
Thanks mike, what about buying individual Canadian stocks?
Thanks
Mandy

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Mandy, you can nothing stopping you, though I’d not recommend it.

Lots to read and educate on portfolios, risk and so on.

Some back blog posts Garth here writes on more specific stuff according to their outfit. “Canadian Couch Potato” is another resource.

#88 Bottoms_Up on 02.11.19 at 9:17 pm

RIP. Always a blessing to hear of devoted public servants doing their best to serve Canadians’ interests.

#89 Sail away on 02.11.19 at 9:19 pm

Software Engineer Loses Life Savings in Quadriga Imbroglio.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-09/software-engineer-loses-life-savings-in-quadriga-imbroglio

Poor guy. Tried to save fees on exchanging money and may have lost it all. The sad part is he wasn’t actually saving anything since Quadriga’s exchange cost is around 4%.

Bob Dog #65, your comment about US accounts is irrelevant since he would still have to exchange for CAD$. You seem gleefully contemptuous of his bad luck and take it further by insulting his professional standing. Maybe you’re also a bozo for paying exchange fees through VCBE when you could exchange for free using Norbert’s Gambit? Not everybody knows everything.

#90 Harden Texarkana on 02.11.19 at 9:30 pm

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-11/normalization-nirp-reason-437-own-gold

Rate Cuts coming Garth? Zero Guy says yes. Time to load up on yellow rocks. Wish Trudeau didn’t give ours away, they might be needed with those $40 Billion Defecits!

#91 Michelle on 02.11.19 at 9:31 pm

I don’t normally comment on this blog even though I’m an avid reader but this post really touched me. It shows a new perspective of the GST and the man who implemented it. Outstanding job!

#92 Big Dog on 02.11.19 at 9:34 pm

“entitled, conceited, arrogant young man into the light”

only your age has changed IMO.

#93 Millennial Realist on 02.11.19 at 9:39 pm

#67 NoName

Thanks for posting that link. It totally supports my point, that conservative governments have a long trail of blame when it comes to Canadian debt escalation. (*of course you need the IQ to parse away the obvious Fraser BS spin factor, LOL, even the way they present the graphs is designed to make Liberals look worse)

The trend since the Reagan era is clear. Conservatives jack up public debt while pretending their tax cuts to the rich are funded, plunging us all into a deeper hole.

Don’t expect anything but lies and distraction/misdirection from them.

#94 Terry on 02.11.19 at 9:42 pm

I strongly disagreed with the creation of the GST back at the start of the 90’s. It put Canada right into recession for years. Public sector job cuts and employee wage and benefit concessions would have been a better fit for Canadian public service workers at that time. Regardless, whats done is done. RIP Mr. Wilson and God bless you.

#95 Stratovarious on 02.11.19 at 9:42 pm

Beautifully written, thoughtful, and humble. Maybe it is time for you to run for office again.

#96 David Driven on 02.11.19 at 10:02 pm

I liked Miley. He wasn’t a lying buffoon or pandering Groper . I mean c’mon , the country has set the bar as low as a snakes belly by not running the increasingly corrupt Trudeau straight into a jail cell.

But look at the people who support him, are they any better, no on that count. The same public unions that back Trudeau also support the starvation and rape of Venezuela.

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/venezeulan-cupe-members-demand-changes-to-unions-controversial-statement-backing-maduro

No small wonder that Trudeau says he loves dictatorships. He has to say that or lose the support of the ghouls like CUPE.

#97 TG on 02.11.19 at 10:04 pm

A very touching tribute…BZ Garthy.

#98 PastThePeak on 02.11.19 at 10:06 pm

Another canary in the coal mine?

https://driving.ca/features/feature-story/motor-mouth-the-canadian-automotive-industrys-big-short

Heard it on the local news tonight as well. 30% of Canadian auto trade-ins have negative equity (more owed on car than worth), to the tune of an average of $7k. All a result of longer 7-8-9 year loans, but people trading in before they are above water.

Seems to be yet more evidence of people living well beyond their means.

#99 not so liquid in calgary on 02.11.19 at 10:11 pm

@ tccontrarian on 02.11.19 at 8:00 pm

————————————————————————

As to your point #5. This is already occurring. Because of the longer growing season (yes, result of global warming), Alberta’s wheat growing season has lengthened just enough so that we are now getting No. 1 wheat, where normally, most of our wheat went to ‘feed’.

———————————————————————

As to Garth’s GST dilemma, I remember JC’s promise to kill it… only time I ever voted Lib; anyway, thought it was better to tax consumption, not income??

#100 PastThePeak on 02.11.19 at 10:12 pm

#92 Big Dog on 02.11.19 at 9:34 pm
“entitled, conceited, arrogant young man into the light”
only your age has changed IMO.
————–
#35 Boo on 02.11.19 at 5:14 pm
So basically because of irresponsible government spending, you and some other entititled prick decided to introduce a new tax on the general public.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Two more contemptible assholes. What value do you morons bring?

#101 Doug in London on 02.11.19 at 10:16 pm

When the GST first appeared I was against it, calling it the Get Soaked Tax or the Gouging and Screwing Tax. However, upon reading and hearing the pros and cons I realised that it’s actually not a bad idea. It’s harder to avoid, and ultimately it results in more revenue from wealthier people inevitably who spend more. In other words it’s a more fair tax.
RIP Michael Wilson.

#102 45north on 02.11.19 at 10:43 pm

For two years I assisted Mike Wilson in a project he knew would destroy him.

good for him! He knew that the GST was a better system but he also knew there would be costs for which he would take the blame. It takes a special kind of courage to work yourself out of a job.

#103 fishman on 02.11.19 at 10:44 pm

I always figured the GST was brought in specially to thwart me & my buds. Toward end of the year we’ed all sit around a table, some Crown Royal & each our own personal receipt books. There must have been a couple hundred thousand small businessmen in Canada that sadly kissed that “loophole” goodbye.
I remember the experts on CBC wondering how the Feds could have so underestimated the revenue from the GST. Ya right: everybody playin the duck. Traceability? thats something to with carbon paper for all you millennials.

#104 Doug Lathwell on 02.11.19 at 10:51 pm

Smoking Man for the House of Commons! Why? Because it’s 2019!

#105 The Great Gazoo on 02.11.19 at 11:02 pm

An excellent tribute to great person and a important part of Canadian history.

Thank you Garth.

#106 NoName on 02.11.19 at 11:05 pm

#93 Millennial Realist on 02.11.19 at 9:39 pm
#67 NoName

Thanks for posting that link. It totally supports my point, that conservative governments have a long trail of blame when it comes to Canadian debt escalation. (*of course you need the IQ to parse away the obvious Fraser BS spin factor, LOL, even the way they present the graphs is designed to make Liberals look worse)

The trend since the Reagan era is clear. Conservatives jack up public debt while pretending their tax cuts to the rich are funded, plunging us all into a deeper hole.

Don’t expect anything but lies and distraction/misdirection from them.

I did notice that my iq is slipping lately, but i wasnt aware that slipped that much…

Not that you brought that to my attention can you do me favor, make chart preferably with pictures, so can read it and understand it, and you just have to make sure that its impartial so person like me can understand what you meant when you wrote “the way they present the graphs is designed to make Liberals look worse”.

Can you plz do that for me.

#107 DON on 02.11.19 at 11:21 pm

#86 acdel

YUP! Human nature is do for a correction. Maybe not war this time round. More like extreme debt. How do people pay off million dollar houses that do no go up in value year of year.

#108 blair on 02.11.19 at 11:39 pm

This is very interesting i.e. finding out what is going on behind the scenes in government. Politicians seem like such midgets today, but maybe that is just me getting older. Seriously, Garth, have you ever thought about writing a book about your time in politics? I bet it would be very well received.

#109 Not So New guy on 02.11.19 at 11:44 pm

I guess politics will always show us three faces.

What we perceive, what the media tells us and the truth.

#110 Entrepreneur on 02.11.19 at 11:47 pm

I look at it at another way, the working class. Most people in a small business had dreams and the sky the limit idea, aspirations.

When the GST came along more taxes and more paperwork. So to get around it small business entrepreneurs only worked up to $30,000 annually. Their attitude was what is the point working to hand over the tax revenue to the government (plus it hit the lower income businesses).

It seems a tax is implemented for a reason of rationale but once that reason is corrected the tax remains forever. Income tax, GST, etc.

But what about the people? The harm it has done to their lives with this continuous extraction from their business until nil. Should we not be encouraging small businesses?

#111 Ponzius Pilatus on 02.12.19 at 12:01 am

#71 Basil Fawlty on 02.10.19 at 6:47 pm
Are consumption taxes really progressive, given that the mega wealthy don’t spend all their income on consumption? A lot of their income is saved and invested.
———-
Me thinks most of their consumption is on expensive foreign cars, yachts and rare paintings by famous European painters.
Very little spent on the local economy.
Unlike the single mother who spends 100% of her income just to feed and house her family.

#112 Bob Dog on 02.12.19 at 1:04 am

For the record canadian software developers have no right to call themselves “Engineers” . Did you pass the Professional Engineering test?

Also accounts do matter. He should have transferred his lifetime savings securely to Canada through the banking system which do money laundering checks. 2 weeks max waiting time except in bc where money laundering is an integral part of the economy.

An online account at Vancouver bullion dealers has a spread of ~1% the usd/cad. The actual currency has fluctuated 12% in the last month.

G
I suspect the bitcoin bozo may be a fraud and a false flag. He may start a fund me social media frenzy causing 20 million online fools to donate 1$ USD each.

#113 Smoking Man on 02.12.19 at 1:09 am

Having Freinds. What a complete waste of time. It’s like a prison of social conformity. You need to model your behaviour, and thoughts to get off the shit list of the mob.

A true writer has no friends. Everyones character up for grabs.

My previous post about when the GST came out. I thought I had friends, they drank lots of my bozze and had lots of free stake, I paid well above the average, hoped they would understand when I had to lay them off because of stupid govt.

And that’s when I saw the true face of it all. They did not care about me or my family. I was just a stupid meal ticket.

So I learned to code and trade forex. Very lucrative and you need to deal with monsters..

Socialist is evil. Reject it or it will come to eat your dog.

#114 Smoking Man on 02.12.19 at 1:23 am

88 Bottoms_Up on 02.11.19 at 9:17 pm
RIP. Always a blessing to hear of devoted public servants doing their best to serve Canadians’ interests.

Let’s see how nice the mob is when they run out of other people’s money.

#115 JRT on 02.12.19 at 1:32 am

I agree with a previous poster that the Mulroney govt. raised taxes deep in a recession while increasing spending. But I guess a lot of the problem was T1 and bureaucracy running wild. Would have been better had he reduced spending. Did not know about his son. I have a friend who’s 17 y.o. daughter committed suicide two years ago and I have lost a close family member the same way. God Bless You Micheal Wilson.

#116 Ulsterman on 02.12.19 at 3:01 am

#89 sail away

The other aspect that caught my eye wrt the poor bitcoin guy was he was moving back to Vancouver with $560,000 for a deposit on an apartment! That pretty much sums up Vancouver right there.

#117 Where's The Money Greedeau? on 02.12.19 at 3:32 am

#93 Millennial Realist on 02.11.19 at 9:39 pm
#67 NoName

Thanks for posting that link. It totally supports my point, that conservative governments have a long trail of blame when it comes to Canadian debt escalation. (*of course you need the IQ to parse away the obvious Fraser BS spin factor, LOL, even the way they present the graphs is designed to make Liberals look worse)

The trend since the Reagan era is clear. Conservatives jack up public debt while pretending their tax cuts to the rich are funded, plunging us all into a deeper hole.

Don’t expect anything but lies and distraction/misdirection from them.
+++++++++++++++++++++
Ok, so I looked at the link:
https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/analysis-of-federal-debt-in-canada-by-prime-ministers-since-confederation.pdf

and noticed On bulletin page 6:
Figure 1: Federal Gross Debt, 1870-2019 (in 2017 $)

showing the gross debt going up for consecutive gov’ts, nothing favorable for any of them. Oh yeah, they turn it around when it’s time for a vote. Typical, lies and more lies.
Just when the country seems to be turning it around, TPTB manipulate a crisis, which in turn causes these debts, as if it’s planned……
We’re being raped by all of them, no matter the stripe and it’s time to change that! Expunge the bureaucrats and their megalomaniacal dealings and maybe we have a chance.
Get rid of those back room dealing scum!

#118 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.12.19 at 5:09 am

@#35 Boo & # 92 Big Dog

My… my.
I see the children have taken control of the keyboards again.

#119 Stan Brooks on 02.12.19 at 5:39 am

#116 Ulsterman on 02.12.19 at 3:01 am
#89 sail away

The other aspect that caught my eye wrt the poor bitcoin guy was he was moving back to Vancouver with $560,000 for a deposit on an apartment! That pretty much sums up Vancouver right there.

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

Pretty much sums up the whole country: if you have some money to lose, you are welcome.

Good luck in earning and retaining it here (after whatever is left by the greedy french villa guy and the astronomic cost of daycare, utilities, groceries, rent/property taxes,… you name it.

#120 Ace Goodheart on 02.12.19 at 6:51 am

How the other (less wealthy) half live (In Chandler, Arizona, home to one of the USA’s largest tech companies with over 14,000 employees:

https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1748-E-Boston-Cir_Chandler_AZ_85225_M18312-56565

For only $319,500 US dollars.

#121 Tater on 02.12.19 at 7:52 am

#159 Brett in Calgary on 02.11.19 at 11:01 am
Have you ever visited Calgary? Alabama’s a little harsh.

——————————————————
#140 Tater on 02.11.19 at 7:52 am

If it wasn’t Canada’s Alabama, I’d be there already.
—————————————————————-

Spent many, many summers in Calgary growing up as half my family is there. I go for work a couple of time a year, and generally once to go skiing on my own time.

So, yep, quite familiar with the city. The casual racism is astounding, the overt racism against Natives is shocking. The only place I can compare it to is the US deep south.

#122 TurnerNation on 02.12.19 at 7:53 am

More taxes to cripple humans looking to simply live their lives with food, water and shelter. This anti human system knows no bounds. In our open air slave camp.

MAgical tax will come back to you!
https://www.cp24.com/news/smaller-companies-fear-they-ll-be-unable-to-pass-on-carbon-tax-costs-poll-1.4293152

#123 TurnerNation on 02.12.19 at 8:04 am

Perhaps the oldsters can help me but I recall Joe Clark seemed a decent bet? Nevertheless I see PM Cretien as the final statesman to bless this country. He went full throttle. Everyone afterward seems just a UN stooge.

#124 Remembrancer on 02.12.19 at 8:06 am

#104 Doug Lathwell on 02.11.19 at 10:51 pm
Smoking Man for the House of Commons! Why? Because it’s 2019!
—————————————————-
Why bother with House of Commons? He’d fit right in the Senate…

#125 maxx on 02.12.19 at 8:08 am

Beautiful post.
I love people who can see beyond the noise of the immediate. Wisdom personified.
RIP Mr. Wilson.

#126 Remembrancer on 02.12.19 at 8:10 am

#103 fishman on 02.11.19 at 10:44 pm
I always figured the GST was brought in specially to thwart me & my buds. Toward end of the year we’ed all sit around a table, some Crown Royal & each our own personal receipt books. There must have been a couple hundred thousand small businessmen in Canada that sadly kissed that “loophole” goodbye.
I remember the experts on CBC wondering how the Feds could have so underestimated the revenue from the GST. Ya right: everybody playin the duck. Traceability? thats something to with carbon paper for all you millennials.
————————————————————–
Never claimed a GST tax credit then ducky?

#127 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.12.19 at 8:12 am

@#111 Ponzie Plot
“rare paintings by famous European painters….”

+++++

It isnt just European “artists” that fleece the suckers.
Remember THIS multi million dollar, taxpayer funded, purchase by a US painter?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_Fire

Two blue stripes and and one red stripe ….for $1.8 million.
P.T. Barnum’s adage ” There’s a sucker born every minute”. is confirmed.

#128 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.12.19 at 8:15 am

@#112 Bob Dog
“For the record canadian software developers have no right to call themselves “Engineers” …..

++++

Well, if they can write software programs that can replace human civil engineers what else would you prefer we call them?
God?

#129 50 YEARS OF MAPLE LEAF INCOMPETENCE! on 02.12.19 at 8:22 am

OMG Garth, there are reports of snowflakes falling today in the GTA!

What will all the criminals do if they can’t get outside to shoot someone!?

Where will all the drunk drivers (including GTA cops now!) go if their cars are stuck!?

PLEASE – declare a national blog dog emergency!

Call in the army!

Call in NATO!

Cancel everything* !

(*except open houses, because GTA real estate is special and prices only go up there so you losers all better rush to buy today while you still can at those fabulously low and realistic prices )

Today, is it possible that Toronturds and GTAholes might get a small taste of what Real Canada is like in winter?

Perish the thought.

#130 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.12.19 at 8:23 am

Well its “big snow in little China” out here in the Lower Brainland today.
Record warm temps all winter out here reverse course and bring….

Possible record breaking snow fall over the last three days may dump more snow than any of the previous Feb monthly snowfall records.
And climate change deniers insist its all hokum……

Nanaimo may receive up to 1 meter of snow before its all over.
Then the weather will warm up causing trees to break on power lines, avalanches, floods, etc.
A mini TrumpocalypseFeb2019 as it were.

Check out the traffic cams to enjoy the carnage.
ICBC rates going up up up!

http://www.drivebc.ca/mobile/pub/webcams/LowerMainland.html

#131 IHCTD9 on 02.12.19 at 8:25 am

#115 JRT on 02.12.19 at 1:32 am

Did not know about his son. I have a friend who’s 17 y.o. daughter committed suicide two years ago and I have lost a close family member the same way. God Bless You Micheal Wilson.
_______

Mental illness is becoming quite the scourge these days. The first peer of mine to pass among the guys I hung around with in high school drove to a public boat launch with a shotgun on the seat beside him.

Had a great job, kids, wife – all looked fine from the outside.

#132 Remembrancer on 02.12.19 at 8:34 am

#68 Howard on 02.11.19 at 7:45 pm a
…future Conservative government will again be tasked with cleaning up the fiscal mess
Just as Doug Ford is doing in Ontario.
——————————————————
What, saving us $$ by handing out patronage appointment plums to his buds like that awkward Hazel M job offer that feel flat and having to settle out of court practically every time he has a bright idea?

And before anyone says “but the Liebrals were…”, Cons campaigned on fiscal responsibility, not being the Etobicoke freedom caucus… be better… do better…

#133 IHCTD9 on 02.12.19 at 8:39 am

#127 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.12.19 at 8:12 am

Two blue stripes and and one red stripe ….for $1.8 million.
P.T. Barnum’s adage ” There’s a sucker born every minute”. is confirmed.
____

A couple years ago, I was doing a little work on the dozer beside my drive shed. I fired her up for a test run, the minute I raised the engine rpm to engage the clutch, a hydraulic hose feeding one of the main rams exploded.

The hydraulic fluid blasted directly into the passenger side of my Jeep which was parked alongside, and then ricocheted onto the East drive shed wall.

The AW32 made a very interesting design. Very artsy and deep. The shape of the design changes with the season. It is living art.

I wonder how much the Canadian government would pay me for that? I’m thinking at least 4-5 million.

#134 Q2 Class No. 6131 on 02.12.19 at 8:46 am

Excellent post.

As I recall, Michael Wilson was a graduate of Dominion Securities, the finest broker/dealer in the country. It is my alma mater as well, so we have that little thing in common.

RIP Mr. Wilson.

#135 Remembrancer on 02.12.19 at 8:47 am

#119 Stan Brooks on 02.12.19 at 5:39 am
Pretty much sums up the whole country: if you have some money to lose, you are welcome.
————————————————
Sounds more like a localized case of someone trying to cutely skirt those paleo currency exchange practices and pesky questions during cross-border swift transfers about just exactly where did your $500k come from? Unfortunately it went wrong…

#136 IHCTD9 on 02.12.19 at 8:51 am

#113 Smoking Man on 02.12.19 at 1:09 am

Socialist is evil. Reject it or it will come to eat your dog.
____

Actually when socialism comes, you end up eating the dog yourself. At least in Venezuela.

#137 Shawn Allen on 02.12.19 at 9:10 am

New Stats Canada data on immigrant home ownership Vancouver and Toronto

Mostly shows immigrants have money but will probably support whatever your current view is. Views seldom are changed by mere facts.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/190129/dq190129a-eng.htm

#138 dharma bum on 02.12.19 at 9:28 am

I met Michael Wilson back in the day at a PC Party fundraiser event.

The guy was YUGE.

#139 IHCTD9 on 02.12.19 at 9:29 am

#98 PastThePeak on 02.11.19 at 10:06 pm
Another canary in the coal mine?

https://driving.ca/features/feature-story/motor-mouth-the-canadian-automotive-industrys-big-short

Heard it on the local news tonight as well. 30% of Canadian auto trade-ins have negative equity (more owed on car than worth), to the tune of an average of $7k. All a result of longer 7-8-9 year loans, but people trading in before they are above water.

Seems to be yet more evidence of people living well beyond their means.
_______

I can never get over some of these revelations. How stupid do you need to be to trade in a damn car you don’t even own yet in order to get a brand new one?

Are we growing Canadians this stupid right here? Are we importing them? Who does cement headed sh!t like this?

Booth has it right, these 8-10 year loans are the crack cocaine of consumer spending. Canadians evidently have the IQ of a granite counter top – so you don’t even need to convince them it’s a good idea. They’ll come willingly.

It’ll be interesting to see a couple decades down the road what will happen. Will the outstanding balances on previous car loans keep increasing with each new car purchased? How long will lenders let car buyers keep piling up the old unpaid debt before they hit the brakes for them?

#140 HG on 02.12.19 at 9:33 am

@ #55 LP

Disagree with your stance on expression “commit suicide”. It’s not always due to mental illness.

It can be a fully rational, well thought out decision to make an early exit in certain situations when life is unbearable. Why be judgemental and assume mental malady by default?

As opposed to respecting what could for all you know be a dignified rational choice made by determined courageou individual in full possession of his/her faculties, when life has nothing more to offer?

I would rather offer strangers and their families the courtesy of assuming rationality and dignity inherent in the word “commit”.

#141 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.12.19 at 9:54 am

@#137 Figure it out

Well.
As far as the “Voice of Fire” being purchased for $1.8 million by the National Art Gallery…..

The painting hung upside down for 3 YEARS before any of the art snobs realized it……

Perhaps I should frame my dirty underwear and call it “Music after Dinner” and send it to Ottawa.

Should be worth at least $10 million in the rarified air of the N. A. G.

#142 not 1st on 02.12.19 at 10:14 am

#130 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.12.19 at 8:23 am

And climate change deniers insist its all hokum……

—-

Some education for you. Requires higher mathematics and that could be your stumbling block.

All current observed weather events on this planet are within the range of volatility for a poorly understood chaotic system such as the earths climate.

#143 Omer Mallhi on 02.12.19 at 10:17 am

Can we safely assume that he was your mentor?

#144 Franco on 02.12.19 at 10:24 am

Michael Wilson seemed like a decent man. How anyone could be a politician in this day and age goes beyond, with the abuse that they have to endure. Thank God there are people like you and Mike Wilson to take on the mantle. RIP Mr. Wilson.

#145 Howard on 02.12.19 at 10:31 am

#121 Tater on 02.12.19 at 7:52 am
#159 Brett in Calgary on 02.11.19 at 11:01 am
Have you ever visited Calgary? Alabama’s a little harsh.

——————————————————
#140 Tater on 02.11.19 at 7:52 am

If it wasn’t Canada’s Alabama, I’d be there already.
—————————————————————-

Spent many, many summers in Calgary growing up as half my family is there. I go for work a couple of time a year, and generally once to go skiing on my own time.

So, yep, quite familiar with the city. The casual racism is astounding, the overt racism against Natives is shocking. The only place I can compare it to is the US deep south.

————————————–

Are we talking real racism or just politically incorrect remarks that sound shocking to one accustomed to Toronto society’s oppressive restrictions on expression?

I doubt Calgary would have the third highest proportion of visible minorities in Canada if this racism you speak of were so prevalent.

#146 Brad on 02.12.19 at 10:35 am

What a powerful post. I’ve been reading for years as a housing bear but this stirred me to comment. Rest peacefully Mr. Wilson and thank you.

#147 Howard on 02.12.19 at 10:40 am

#132 Remembrancer on 02.12.19 at 8:34 am
#68 Howard on 02.11.19 at 7:45 pm a
…future Conservative government will again be tasked with cleaning up the fiscal mess
Just as Doug Ford is doing in Ontario.
——————————————————
What, saving us $$ by handing out patronage appointment plums to his buds like that awkward Hazel M job offer that feel flat and having to settle out of court practically every time he has a bright idea?

And before anyone says “but the Liebrals were…”, Cons campaigned on fiscal responsibility, not being the Etobicoke freedom caucus… be better… do better…

————————————–

What you describe is a drop in the bucket. Let’s wait and see how the PCs do over the next four years. If they prove to be as fiscally incompetent as the McGuinty/Wynne Liberals, then your skepticism will be proven right.

#148 For those about to flop... on 02.12.19 at 10:46 am

Race to a million.

I guess I should enter these guys into the Race to a million contest, although The Sell Squad would probably prefer to enter them into Vancouver’s Got Talent with people paying over a million dollars for houses like this.

The details…

3002 Grant st. Vancouver.

Asking 1.09

Assessment 1.37

So it just hit the market and I’m sure some developers would be keen being a corner lot if the price stays way lower than assessment,which it should.

20% head-start and hard to see it ballooning as I said unless two developers both want it.

Elderly vendor wants it gone, states the listing.

We will see how badly…

M44BC

https://www.zolo.ca/vancouver-real-estate/3002-grant-street

https://www.rew.ca/insights/158860/3002-grant-street-vancouver-bc

#149 Concerned Reader on 02.12.19 at 10:48 am

A wonderful tribute.

#150 For those about to flop... on 02.12.19 at 10:50 am

Recent sale report.

So the “most affordable house in Tsawwassen” has sold, let’s see what happened.

The details…

5495 Candlewyck Wynd, Delta.

Sold 845k

Originally asking 959k

Assessment 1.01

So it looks like the garage ate the house but they can’t all be stunners.

People want somewhere affordable to live, as opposed to the madness of the last fifteen years.

Can’t hold a candle to that…

M44BC

https://www.zolo.ca/delta-real-estate/5495-candlewyck-wynd

#151 For those about to flop... on 02.12.19 at 11:03 am

Retired at 35?

Missed that one.

Retired at 45?

Not gonna happen.

Work until my eyelids close for the last time is looking like what’s going to happen…

M44BC

“How Much You Should Save in Every State for an Early Retirement.

Who doesn’t want to retire early?

There’s a new movement among financial advisors called FIRE (Financial Independence / Retire Early). The basic idea is to live below what you could theoretically afford, so that you can maximize retirement savings and exit the workforce as soon as possible. So how much money would it really take to retire as early as 55 years old? What about 45, or even 35 years old?

You might not need as much money as you think to retire early, according to our new set of maps. Depending on where you live, you could retire on as little as $1.5 million if you’re 35 years old.
Mississippi is the best state for early retirees, but Hawaii, California and New York are prohibitively expensive.

GoBankingRates collected the information from a few different sources. The researches started by figuring out the annual cost of living expenditures for people at 35, 45 and 55 years old, which came to $69,034, $73,905 and $64,972 respectively. They then adjusted the cost of living on a state-by-state basis using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2017 Consumer Expenditure Survey and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. They divided each state’s annual expenditures by .04, which is the rate at which savers would draw down their accounts each year. The result is a total savings figure, or nest egg, for each state.

Granted, there are a few things to keep in mind about the data behind our maps. For one thing, our figures presume a flat 4% withdrawal each year regardless of what the market does. There’s no adjustment for inflation, and there’s no flexibility to change the withdrawal from year to year. We also make the assumption that your cost of living will stay constant. If you retire at age 35, you probably have 50 or more years left. In short, there’s no doubt we’re simplifying reality for illustration purposes.

Our series of color-coded maps highlight a few insights about saving for retirement. $1 million isn’t nearly enough to last a lifetime, as we demonstrated in a previous article. The South is cheaper than the Northeast and the West Coast, making it particularly attractive for retirees on a fixed income looking for warmer climates. Mississippi is the most affordable state in the country for all ages of retirees, and Hawaii is the most expensive.

An interesting thing happens to Upper Midwestern states for older savers. From Wisconsin stretching west to Idaho, a number of states fall below $1.6M for early retirees aged 55, but not for 45- or 35-year-olds.. This means it gets relatively easier to retire the older you get in these states, both because you’ll have more time to save money, but you’ll also need a smaller nest egg to live comfortably. Financial independence doesn’t always mean retirement, which itself isn’t fun for everyone. Instead, it’s knowing that you’re financially secure no matter what the future brings.”

https://howmuch.net/articles/savings-needed-to-retire-early

#152 RedKnave on 02.12.19 at 11:09 am

RIP Michael Wilson
We’re all lucky, especially you Garth, to have had him on our side. Sad news but he’s left behind a fine testament.

#153 Andrew Jackson Jr on 02.12.19 at 11:31 am

We have to start paying off our National debt. Period.

Nice post Garth.

#154 B. G. on 02.12.19 at 11:35 am

This post just illustrates that Conservative governments are required to clean up Liberal (socialist) messes. Mike Harris had to clean up the mess created by Peterson and Rae. Now, Ford is having to clean up the mess created by McGuinty and Wynn. Scheer is likely going have to clean up T2’s mess.
Thank you for your post today. Mr Wilson was an honourable, talented and fair man.

#155 Tater on 02.12.19 at 12:25 pm

#146 Howard on 02.12.19 at 10:31 am
#121 Tater on 02.12.19 at 7:52 am
#159 Brett in Calgary on 02.11.19 at 11:01 am
Have you ever visited Calgary? Alabama’s a little harsh.

——————————————————
#140 Tater on 02.11.19 at 7:52 am

If it wasn’t Canada’s Alabama, I’d be there already.
—————————————————————-

Spent many, many summers in Calgary growing up as half my family is there. I go for work a couple of time a year, and generally once to go skiing on my own time.

So, yep, quite familiar with the city. The casual racism is astounding, the overt racism against Natives is shocking. The only place I can compare it to is the US deep south.

————————————–

Are we talking real racism or just politically incorrect remarks that sound shocking to one accustomed to Toronto society’s oppressive restrictions on expression?

I doubt Calgary would have the third highest proportion of visible minorities in Canada if this racism you speak of were so prevalent.
—————————————————————

Odd line of logic. The US deep south has a higher proportion of African American than northern states. Do you believe the confederate flag waving gold old boys in Mississippi are less racist?

I’ve heard people say they can’t stand Natives, call them all drunks, say they’re all parasites, etc. Off hand conversations to a complete stranger.

#156 Ponzius Pilatus on 02.12.19 at 12:44 pm

#155 B. G. on 02.12.19 at 11:35 am
This post just illustrates that Conservative governments are required to clean up Liberal (socialist) messes. Mike Harris had to clean up the mess created by Peterson and Rae. Now, Ford is having to clean up the mess created by McGuinty and Wynn. Scheer is likely going have to clean up T2’s mess.
———–
Yeah.
And the communist NDP in BC now has to clean up after the socialist Liberals.

#157 Ponzius Pilatus on 02.12.19 at 12:51 pm

Of all the overrated paintings, Mona Lisa takes the cake.
If Lenny would have called it “Portrait of a Lady with a Smirk”, it would probably still be languishing in some old basement somewhere in Italy.

#158 James on 02.12.19 at 12:52 pm

#31 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.11.19 at 4:26 pm

Speaking of Trudeau and Heckling

https://www.burnabynow.com/news/you-re-a-criminal-trudeau-heckled-during-campaign-speech-in-burnaby-south-1.23629648

Perhaps the SNC Lavalin firing has angered some people
_________________________________________
His days are numbered. This is getting close to the same as the reckless a$$hole running the USA. Both are connected and dirty as a sewer rat. When the evidence gets too close to the true what do you do? Bury it, defer, demote or eliminate staff that could collaborate and comment on the truth. So why did she quite? She now has sourced legal advice on commenting about her involvement in the SNC deal.

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/43za7p/former-justice-minister-jody-wilson-raybould-has-resigned-from-trudeaus-cabinet

#159 Lillooet, BC on 02.12.19 at 12:59 pm

Hi Dolce Vita:

Is the 1000+ years old arc building near the Italian language school in Perugia still there after the earth quake?

#160 Blacksheep on 02.12.19 at 1:10 pm

Andrew J. # 154,

“We have to start paying off our National debt. Period.”
———————
Why, do have to “start paying off our National debt”?

#161 D on 02.12.19 at 1:29 pm

This is one of your best accounts Garth! Experience is to understanding as hindsight is to humility. Thanks for sharing!

#162 IHCTD9 on 02.12.19 at 1:29 pm

Snow is starting to build up quick out there now. The power of Mr. Grizzly 700 SE will be called upon this evening.

Impervious to ineptitude, the indefatigable Grizzly 700 SE will impinge into the inordinate increases of irksome ice with an implacable fervor. Imbued with indubitable power, and without an inkling of impediment, an impeccable , if not immaculate driveway will be introduced imminently.

I will remember all dogs sans Grizzly 700 tonight.

#163 Brett in Calgary on 02.12.19 at 1:31 pm

#157 Tater on 02.12.19 at 12:25 pm
#146 Howard on 02.12.19 at 10:31 am
#121 Tater on 02.12.19 at 7:52 am
#159 Brett in Calgary on 02.11.19 at 11:01 am
Have you ever visited Calgary? Alabama’s a little harsh.

——————————————————
#140 Tater on 02.11.19 at 7:52 am

If it wasn’t Canada’s Alabama, I’d be there already.
—————————————————————-

Spent many, many summers in Calgary growing up as half my family is there. I go for work a couple of time a year, and generally once to go skiing on my own time.

So, yep, quite familiar with the city. The casual racism is astounding, the overt racism against Natives is shocking. The only place I can compare it to is the US deep south.

————————————–

Are we talking real racism or just politically incorrect remarks that sound shocking to one accustomed to Toronto society’s oppressive restrictions on expression?

I doubt Calgary would have the third highest proportion of visible minorities in Canada if this racism you speak of were so prevalent.
—————————————————————

Odd line of logic. The US deep south has a higher proportion of African American than northern states. Do you believe the confederate flag waving gold old boys in Mississippi are less racist?

I’ve heard people say they can’t stand Natives, call them all drunks, say they’re all parasites, etc. Off hand conversations to a complete stranger.
——————————————————–
Well Tater you’ve certainly convinced me that Calgary is an awful place, I will now save my entire life for a down payment in one our enlightened cities. Thank you.

#164 Willy H on 02.12.19 at 1:48 pm

Even more ironic is the fact that Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty engineered deficits during one of Canada’s biggest periods of economic growth by irresponsibly cutting the GST 2% for political gain. This is known as the “starve the beast” strategy. Of course, like almost all neo-con strategies, it failed miserably!

If the GST was left at 7% we would easily have tamed our national debt!

#165 jess on 02.12.19 at 1:52 pm

there is always something to be won in losing just as there is something too lose in winning ….it is only black and white when morals and ethics are lost from sight.

=======================
..”US companies announced a record-shattering $1 trillion worth of share buybacks in 2018, the first full year since the tax law took effect, according to TrimTabs Investment Research. prior to 1982 buybacks illegal and outlawed by the SEC
Stock Buybacks and Corporate Cashouts
Commissioner Robert J. Jackson Photo

Commissioner Robert J. Jackson Jr.

Washington D.C.

June 11, 2018
https://www.sec.gov/news/speech/speech-jackson-061118#_ftn12

========
“all principles have become subservient to the principle of self-interest,”
How it all came crashing down—leaked documents
In early 2015, Clare Rewcastle-Brown, a British journalist and founder of the Sarawak Report website which reports on corruption in Southeast Asia, received about 227,000 leaked documents relating to 1MDB.
http://time.com/4608772/clare-rewcastle-brown-1mdb-malaysia-sarawak-report-najib-razak/

…”In January 2016, the office of Malaysia’s Attorney General announced that it had concluded its investigation into 1MDB, and exonerated Najib of all allegations. But on Nov. 19 tens of thousands of people flooded the streets of Kuala Lumpur to demand Najib’s resignation, as spirited and outraged as ever. Protesters were not dissuaded by the fact that the rally’s organizer, Maria Chin Abdullah, had been arrested the night before (she was later released), or by the fact that the government had declared the rally illegal. “We have to speak out,” said 25-year-old Elissa Abubakar, a business student at the University of Kuala Lumpur. “Before this not everyone was aware, but now we have this information, and people want to speak out and fight.”

#166 IHCTD9 on 02.12.19 at 1:57 pm

#156 Figure it Out on 02.12.19 at 12:15 pm

“We have to start paying off our National debt. Period.”

So elect liberals…

…I encourage everyone to do their own research.
____

Well that is great news, since we have a Liberal government right now as we speak. We must have really made some progress then.

Let me run and check how much lower the debt is since Harper got booted, and what kind of surplus budgets we have been running.

Honestly, I’ve never even bothered watching it after hearing Justin say the budget would balance itself back in 2015. I just figured he was a colossal goofball dork blockhead twit and chalked up another ~100+ Billion in likely debt come 2019.

It will be a joy to witness the big reductions in spending, deficits, and debt brought about by our current Liberal government under selfie boy Trudeau, the shirtless photo bombing dingbat douche airhead wonder of the great white brokeass north.

#167 espressobob on 02.12.19 at 2:10 pm

A friend of my father way back in the day worked at the Toronto Sun newspaper. I was given a tour of the plant and was amazed by the labour intensity that went into producing the morning paper.

And then there was the infinity room. This was for photo shoots were the wall and floor contures were curved. This is where they photographed the sunshine girls.

Best part of the tour!

#168 Tater on 02.12.19 at 2:10 pm

#165 Brett in Calgary on 02.12.19 at 1:31 pm
#157 Tater on 02.12.19 at 12:25 pm
#146 Howard on 02.12.19 at 10:31 am
#121 Tater on 02.12.19 at 7:52 am
#159 Brett in Calgary on 02.11.19 at 11:01 am
Have you ever visited Calgary? Alabama’s a little harsh.

——————————————————
#140 Tater on 02.11.19 at 7:52 am

If it wasn’t Canada’s Alabama, I’d be there already.
—————————————————————-

Spent many, many summers in Calgary growing up as half my family is there. I go for work a couple of time a year, and generally once to go skiing on my own time.

So, yep, quite familiar with the city. The casual racism is astounding, the overt racism against Natives is shocking. The only place I can compare it to is the US deep south.

————————————–

Are we talking real racism or just politically incorrect remarks that sound shocking to one accustomed to Toronto society’s oppressive restrictions on expression?

I doubt Calgary would have the third highest proportion of visible minorities in Canada if this racism you speak of were so prevalent.
—————————————————————

Odd line of logic. The US deep south has a higher proportion of African American than northern states. Do you believe the confederate flag waving gold old boys in Mississippi are less racist?

I’ve heard people say they can’t stand Natives, call them all drunks, say they’re all parasites, etc. Off hand conversations to a complete stranger.
——————————————————–
Well Tater you’ve certainly convinced me that Calgary is an awful place, I will now save my entire life for a down payment in one our enlightened cities. Thank you.
—————————————————————-
Not trying to convince you, so don’t let it bother you. But I’ve had complete strangers make these comments to me or around me over years. Not hard to imagine that if they’ll say that in front of a stranger, they’ll say worse with friends and even worse in their own heads. And these aren’t the sort of people I really want as neighbors.

You sound like a very particular type of Canadian. Someone who’s never lived outside of a couple of Canadian cities and has never lived in another country. You think Calgary/Toronto/Vancouver are great, because you just don’t know any better. And it’s fine. But for those of us who actually have lived and worked elsewhere, perhaps we have a bit more perspective?

#169 Brett in Calgary on 02.12.19 at 2:59 pm

#170 Tater — perhaps [I] have a bit more perspective?
——————————————

Perhaps you do Tater, perhaps you do. For now I will accept that Calgary = Alabama. Thank you.

#170 Russ on 02.12.19 at 3:03 pm

Tater on 02.12.19 at 2:10 pm
#165 Brett in Calgary on 02.12.19 at 1:31 pm
#157 Tater on 02.12.19 at 12:25 pm
#146 Howard on 02.12.19 at 10:31 am
#121 Tater on 02.12.19 at 7:52 am
#159 Brett in Calgary on 02.11.19 at 11:01 am
Have you ever visited Calgary? Alabama’s a little harsh.

——————————————————
#140 Tater on 02.11.19 at 7:52 am

If it wasn’t Canada’s Alabama, I’d be there already.
—————————————————————-

I think Tater and the gang lost focus on this discussion.

Calgary cannot compare to Alabama… their fried chicken is not nearly as good as what you find down south.

Calgary has good beef though.

RIP Mr. Wilson

#171 bdwy sktrn on 02.12.19 at 3:24 pm

aye carumba, the markets are happy today. seem to have their mojo back.

can this march go on? as the dems self implode it’s like the trump bump all over again. it’s becoming clear he’s a lock in 2020, so markets can relax???

at 2800+ i’ll be thinking hard about selling.

#172 bdwy sktrn on 02.12.19 at 3:28 pm

and all this combined with mr. dressup/sox getting NAILED.

Jody will sink him.

never thought pm scheer (vice-pm bernier) would happen so soon!

feels like a warm hug.

#173 Raincity on 02.12.19 at 3:39 pm

Didn’t know the backstory to the GST. Thank you Mr. Wilson!
RIP sir.

#174 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.12.19 at 4:18 pm

@#160 James.

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/43za7p/former-justice-minister-jody-wilson-raybould-has-resigned-from-trudeaus-cabinet

ahahahahaha.

Thats awesome!

It’s amusing watching an imbecile like Trudeau try and BS dance his way around someone as smart as Raybould.

Resigning from cabinet less than a week after her appointment speaks VOLUMES.

Trudeau and his advisers must be spitting nails right now.
“My God ! How do we control a person who has integrity?”

I’m waiting for the inevitable “press leaks” and “dirt” to come out to try and besmirch her character.

Cant let an honest politician get away with the truth!
Why, it would ruin everything….

#175 Drill Baby Drill on 02.12.19 at 4:31 pm

#172 Russ
Morons do not seem to mind what geographical position they are in. You are a good example.

#176 Entrepreneur on 02.12.19 at 4:53 pm

Harper brought down the GST to 5% from 7% to help the small businesses. Just that small amount of reduction helps entrepreneurs stress level of
payments.

I remember when the GST was passed in Ottawa someone came in from the back and shouted “That will be the end of small businesses in Canada.” I agree and I have seen it in my life time, the struggles.

And we are talking about Canadian people starting out, some with families. And when a person has family to feed, well, ditch the “reach for the sky dream” and find a secure job that pays hourly. Family fed.

Decisions have to be made, RIP Mr. Wilson

#177 Agreeable Sort on 02.12.19 at 5:24 pm

I can remember discussing the GST at the time with an old girlfriend, wondering if it was a good thing or not. There was no internet info at the time to get so many viewpoints like today, all we had were the numbers and our instincts. It seemed reasonable since other countries were using it, seemed ok since based on consumption, and seemed like the best solution that was being presented. We also thought he was a very smart guy and for Canada – and he didn’t seem overstate things. We thought it was probably a good thing despite all of the ‘bad’ publicity at the time, and of course we didn’t realize it was political suicide and he knew it. Thank you for sharing Garth.

#178 rknusa on 02.12.19 at 8:29 pm

re GST

I recall the intent of the GST was to reduce the Manufacturers tax from 13% to 8% so as to increase exports, it was also supposed to be revenue neutral

the government may have gotten more revenues through increased economic activity if it encouraged exports but not directly through the tax

#179 John Lawrence Reynolds on 02.13.19 at 2:15 pm

This won’t please you a lot, Garth, since we have knocked heads in the past but I was pleased to see your comments on Michael Wilson. In December 2017 I began interviews with Michael to assist in preparing his autobiography, functioning in my usual ghostwriter role. The most common word associated with him is “decent” which, while accurate is not wholly accurate. He also had a gentle sense of humour and enormous insight into so many challenges of contemporary life. He informed me confidentially in March 2018 of his cancer diagnosis and we have worked diligently to wrap things up. The book’s debut remains unspecified in the future but I anticipate it will put in full context the man’s achievements, wisdom, humanity and, yes, decency.

#180 Mr European on 02.15.19 at 4:02 am

Since you read every comment I never understood why you didn’t go European And bury the tax in the price.

Your price you see is the price you pay at the till, and in Germany that is 19% of the lowest in Europe.

But nobody notices because it included in the price