Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

Business

Panhandling May Not Be So Bad After All

Published

4 minute read

Anyone who’s ever gone through a period of unemployment knows how badly it can play on one’s mental state.

With a 6.9 per cent unemployment rate and mass lay-offs still hovering over Calgary’s picturesque skyline, the thought of becoming a part of that statistic is less than ideal. Whether it be a boot out the door, a lay-off, or an unexpected company closure, it causes a state of panic – a surprise slap across the face by an ROE, or in some cases, a non-existent ROE.

Mia Ostere, a former long-term employee at The UPS Store in Crowfoot Crescent (R.I.P), is currently living this reality. Like any other morning, she arrived at the store on January 1, only to find that a sign had been posted by the owner, stating that they decided to close the store for good.

“I was told the day before to hand in my keys, but I would still have a job.” Said Ostere. “I literally stood there wondering, what now?” Like, Ostere, many Calgarians are finding themselves joining the ranks of the unemployed. Opening the doors to self-sabotaging, negative self fulfilling prophecies, and a mental state so fragile, the slightest thing can cause it to shatter.

With the high volume of job-hungry Calgarians, propelling resumes and cover letters by the dozen through online job boards, desperation begins to take its toll, playing its starring role.

I’ve been applying to as many jobs as possible every single day, but with the economy, it’s really tough.” Said Ostere. Anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and feeling of hopelessness, are just a few of the prime suspects in the case of both long-term and short-term unemployment.

“Honestly, I feel like I’m slipping into a bit of a depression, it’s all too much.” Explained Ostere. Fortunately, there are places to turn when the going is getting a little too tough. Counselling, through organizations such as the Calgary Counselling Centre, employment support, and self-care are all highly recommended options throughout any period of unemployment, to help cope and get back into the workforce.

Apps are also readily available, one in particular called Head space: Meditation & Sleep, which provides support through Mindfulness exercises and guided meditation.

When there is a stack of bills piling up on the kitchen table and Mr. Mortgage is knocking on the front door – it’s incredibly difficult to position oneself in the Full Lotus position, eyes closed, brain slipping into a full-blown state of Zen, while the mind is constantly thinking about how to position itself snuggly under a security blanket, with a steady income wrapped inside.

Perhaps enhancing those transferable skills will have to be put on the back burner for a while. In the meantime, it’s time to dust off the resume, throw on those pair of slacks that have been abandoned in the closet, and slip on those blue, ahem, black suede shoes. As the old saying goes: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Onwards soldiers, onwards.

Follow Author

Economy

Trudeau’s bureaucrat hiring spree is out of control

Published on

From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Franco Terrazzano

Bureaucrats love to think of themselves as “public servants,” but who is really serving who around here?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added another 10,525 bureaucrats to the taxpayer payroll last year. Since becoming prime minister, Trudeau has added more than 108,000 new federal bureaucrats.

That’s a 42 per cent increase in the federal bureaucracy in less than a decade.

Ask yourself, are you getting 42 per cent better services from the federal government? Unless your paycheque comes from taxpayers, the answer is a big fat NO.

While Trudeau’s bureaucracy grew by 42 per cent, Canada’s population grew by 14 per cent.

That means there would be 72,491 fewer federal paper pushers had Trudeau kept growth in the bureaucracy in line with population growth.

It’s not just the size of the bureaucracy that’s ballooning – the cost is too.

The total cost of the federal payroll hit $67 billion last year, a record high. That’s a 68 per cent increase over 2016.

Trudeau gave federal bureaucrats more than one million pay raises in the last four years alone.

Since taking office, Trudeau also rubberstamped about $1.4 billion in taxpayer-funded bonuses to bureaucrats working in federal departments.

The bonuses were paid out despite the Parliamentary Budget Officer finding “less than 50 per cent of [performance] targets are consistently met.”

Then there’s the bonuses at failing Crown corporations.

CBC dished out $15 million in bonuses last year, while their President and CEO Catherine Tait whined about “chronic underfunding” and begged the government for more taxpayer cash. The CBC takes more than $1 billion from taxpayers every year.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation dished out $102 million in bonuses over the last four years, while Canadians couldn’t afford to buy a home. The bonuses rained down, despite the CMHC repeatedly claiming it’s “driven by one goal: housing affordability for all.”

The Bank of Canada dished out more than $60 million in bonuses over the last three years, even though it failed to do its one and only job: keep inflation low and around two per cent.

The average annual compensation for a full-time federal bureaucrat is $125,300, when pay, pension and perks are accounted for, according to the PBO.

There are now more than 110,000 federal bureaucrats taking home a six-figure base salary – an increase of 154 per cent since Trudeau took power.

Meanwhile, data from Statistics Canada suggests the average annual salary among all full-time workers in Canada was less than $70,000 in 2023.

Here’s why all this matters:

First, it’s an issue of fairness. The last few years have spelled hardship for Canadians who don’t work for the government, but do pay the bills.

Countless Canadians were sent to the ranks of the unemployed, lost their business and struggled to afford rising rents and costly grocery trips.

They’re paying higher taxes so more highly-paid bureaucrats can take bigger paycheques.

Second, more than half of the federal government’s day-to-day spending is consumed by the bureaucracy. That means any government that wants to fix the budget dumpster fire must shrink the bureaucracy.

Let’s recap:

Taxpayers paid for 108,000 new federal bureaucrats. Taxpayers paid for more than one million pay raises over the last four years. Taxpayers paid for more than $1 billion in bonuses.

And bureaucrats barely meet even half of their performance targets – targets they set for themselves.

It’s clear Trudeau’s bureaucratic bloat isn’t serving taxpayers. It’s time to find a pin and pop Ottawa’s ballooning bureaucracy.

This column was first published in the Western Standard on July 202, 2024.

Continue Reading

National

Trudeau must prove he won’t tax our homes

Published on

From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Franco Terrazzano 

Actions speak louder the words. That’s especially true when those words come from a politician with a track record of breaking promises and hiking taxes.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he won’t send the taxman after Canadians’ homes. But if Trudeau wants Canadians to believe he won’t impose a home equity tax, there’s one thing he must do: end the CRA’s home reporting requirement.

In 2016, the Trudeau government made it mandatory for Canadians to report the sale of their primary residence even though it’s tax-exempt. If you sell your home, the CRA wants to know how much money you received from that sale. But if the taxman isn’t taxing it, why is the taxman asking that question? Is the CRA just curious?

Official Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre confirmed to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation he would remove this reporting requirement if he forms government.

Trudeau must do the same. Otherwise, Canadians should worry a home equity tax is right around the corner. As Toronto Sun Columnist Brian Lilley recently wrote, “For Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party, taxing your primary residence is a bad idea they just can’t quit.”

On June 25, Trudeau attended “a private town hall about generational fairness,” hosted by Generation Squeeze, a group advocating for home taxes.

What do you notice about the theme of that town hall? The government recently used the cloak of generational fairness to impose its capital gains tax hike.

The Trudeau government also spent hundreds of thousands funding and promoting a report from Generation Squeeze that complained of the “housing wealth windfalls gained by many home owners while they sleep and watch TV.”

The report recommended charging a tax on the value of homes above $1 million. The tax would cost Canadians up to $5.8 billion every year, and it would hit many normal Canadians. In British Columbia and Toronto, the typical home price is above $1 million.

Trying to improve affordability with tax hikes is like trying to boil water with your freezer. Higher taxes won’t make homes affordable. Consider this insight 50 pages into the report.

“Owners of homes valued over $1 million that include informal rental suites may try to recover the surtax by passing some of its cost on to renters,” reads the report.

It turns out higher taxes can make things cost more.

The head of Generation Squeeze was invited to a cabinet ministers’ retreat in Charlottetown last summer.

Documents uncovered by the CTF show staff in the prime minister’s office met twice with the head of Generation Squeeze, which included “a briefing about the tax policy recommendation.”

Trudeau has an appetite for taxing people’s homes. His recent capital gains tax hike will impact Canadians who sell secondary residences and cottages. He imposed a so-called anti-flipping home tax. And Trudeau taxes homes the government deems “underused.”

With Trudeau scrounging through the couch cushions looking for more money to paper over his deficits, Canadians should worry a home equity tax is next.

A home equity tax would come with a big bill for a young couple looking to upgrade to a family home or for grandparents who rely on the equity in their home to fund their golden years.

As an example, Canadians that bought their Toronto home for $250,000 in 1980 and sold it for $1.2 million today would pay between $50,000 and $190,000, depending on the type of home equity tax.

The Trudeau government has repeatedly flirted with home equity taxes. The only way for Trudeau to put Canadians’ minds at ease is to act and remove the requirement for taxpayers to report the sale of their home to the CRA.

Continue Reading

Trending

X