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3 billion a week! Bank of Canada buying bonds at same rate as federal government overspending

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At a committee hearing today, Opposition MP Pierre Poilievre showed how The Bank of Canada is helping the Federal Government drive up inflation. Poilievre pointed out the Federal Government is borrowing 3 billion dollars a week while the Central Bank is buying 3 billion dollars a week worth of government bonds.
Critics of this approach say the Bank of Canada is in effect helping the federal government to pay for overspending, punishing lower income Canadians.  Funding the government with printed money drives up the prices of  everything, boosting the cost of housing, food, and general necessities throughout the country.
In this exchange Poilievre asked Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada why the Bank of Canada is widening the gap between rich and poor.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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COVID-19

Canada extends COVID-19 border measures until Sept. 30, including ArriveCan app

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Ottawa – The federal government will extend current COVID-19 public health measures for travellers entering Canada, including the use of the ArriveCan app, until at least Sept. 30.

In a release Wednesday, the Public Health Agency of Canada also said it will continue the pause of mandatory random testing for fully vaccinated travellers at all airports until mid-July.

It first announced the pause on June 11 and said in the release that it’s allowing airports to focus on streamlining their operations.

The public health agency said it’s moving forward with plans to relocate COVID-19 testing for air travellers outside of airports to select test provider stores, pharmacies or by virtual appointment.

Mandatory random testing is to continue at land border points of entry with no changes.

The release added that travellers who are not fully vaccinated and don’t have a valid exemption must continue to test on Day 1 and Day 8 of their 14-day quarantine.

“As we move into the next phase of our COVID-19 response, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over. We must continue to do all that we can to keep ourselves and others safe from the virus,” said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos in a statement.

He also urged people to remain up to date with the recommended vaccinations to ensure they are adequately protected against infection, transmission and severe complications.

“As we have said all along, Canada’s border measures will remain flexible and adaptable, guided by science and prudence.”

All travellers will have to continue to use the ArriveCan app or website to provide their travel information within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada or before boarding a cruise ship destined for the country. The government said 95 per cent of land and air travellers are using the app and it’s taking steps to enhance compliance.

The government also said moving testing outside of airports will allow Canada to adjust to increased traveller volumes while still being able to monitor and quickly respond to new variants of concern or changes to the epidemiological situation.

It said border testing has been essential in helping Canada slow the spread of the virus, as data from the tests are used to understand the current level and trends of importation of COVID-19 into the country.

The testing program also allows for detection and identification of new COVID-19 variants of concern, it said.

Tourism groups and border-community mayors and MPs have called on the government to ease restrictions and scrap the ArriveCan app, saying the measures are limiting cross-border travel.

Transport Minister Randy Boissonnault said the government is deeply invested in growing Canada’s visitor economy.

“From our reputation as a safe travel destination to our world-class attractions and wide-open spaces, Canada has it all and we are ready to welcome back domestic and international tourists, while prioritizing their safety and well-being.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2022.

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Alberta

Back in black: Alberta ends latest fiscal year with $3.9B surplus as oil, gas surge

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By Dean Bennett in Edmonton

Alberta is back in the black in a big way — turbocharged by high-flying oil prices.

The final number on the 2021-22 fiscal year, which ended on March 31, is a $3.9-billion surplus, Finance Minister Jason Nixon said Tuesday.

It’s the first time in seven years the provincial budget sports no red ink on the bottom line and it represents a head-spinning turnaround from the $18.2-billion deficit predicted when the budget was introduced during the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2021.

Nixon said the goal is to use the windfall to build up the province’s $18.7 billion savings nest egg — the Alberta Heritage Trust Fund — while examining further ways to help Albertans get through the current stretch of high inflation.

“Most Albertans have witnessed volatile resource revenues before and dealt with the fallout when governments went right out and spent excessive revenues as soon as they had it,” said Nixon.

“The fact is what goes up will come down.

“That’s why we have focused on savings for the future to reduce the burden of debt to make life more affordable for Albertans.”

Alberta’s bread-and-butter oil and natural gas industries have soared in recent months as global economies ramped up while pandemic measures receded and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted worldwide energy supply.

In fact, the money has gushed in so copiously that Alberta managed to save more even as it spent more.

The province spent more than $64 billion in 2021-22 — about $2.5 billion more than originally budgeted due mainly to disaster assistance for drought-ravaged farmers.

Alberta is now almost a quarter of the way into the current 2022-23 budget year, which so far predicts a modest $511-million surplus.

Asked if he thinks the current year’s surplus could also end up being much larger, Nixon said he’ll have more information on that at the next update in August.

“My officials and my experts are still saying we need a little bit more time before we give that a proper answer,” he said.

Shannon Phillips, finance critic for the Opposition NDP, said Nixon and the United Conservative Party government, even with the windfall, are failing to deliver on promised funding for a range of public services, from education to ambulance response.

“Hundreds of thousands of Albertans can’t find a family doctor. Dozens of rural hospitals are partially closed. Urban emergency rooms are overwhelmed and ambulance wait times are longer than they have ever been,” said Phillips in a statement.

“Albertans can’t trust the UCP when they are worse off in every way despite $100 oil.”

Nixon said the government has launched initiatives to relieve inflationary pressures where possible. The province cut its share of the gasoline tax earlier this spring and $150 in electricity rebates will soon flow to cushion the impact of high prices.

The turnaround in the budget was propelled by $16.2 billion in non-renewable resource revenue — $13.3 billion more than expected at budget.

The budget predicted West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark price for North American oil, to average about US$46 a barrel. Instead, it averaged US$77 and currently hovers around US$110.

That money boosted all the other major line items.

Total revenue was $68 billion, about a third more than budgeted.

Corporate income tax came in at $4.7 billion, more than double what was expected.

Taxpayer-supported debt was expected to be $115 billion but came in at $93 billion. The cost of servicing the debt was $2.3 billion.

Nixon said half the surplus — about $2 billion — came from the government reversing onerous provisions in the contract for the Sturgeon Refinery.

There was $6.6 billion for capital projects: roads, hospitals, bridges, schools, and housing units.

The update comes at a time of flux for the UCP as it prepares for a new leader. Premier Jason Kenney announced last month he was stepping down from the top job after receiving 51 per cent support in a party leadership review.

He is set to leave when a new leader is chosen Oct. 6.

The next budget is slated for the spring, followed closely by a scheduled provincial election on May 29.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2022.

 

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june, 2022

jun12:00 pm(jun 30)12:00 pmParticipACTION Community Better Challenge Red Deer!Month Long Event (june) Event Organized By: Move Your Mood & Red Deer Wellness Alliance

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