City homeowners and non-residential property owners will enjoy slight DECREASE in taxes in 2022
Red Deer tax rates approved by City Council
Red Deer City Council approved the tax rate bylaw at their regular meeting.
Recognizing the need to support economic recovery for Red Deerians, Council approved the City budget in November with a zero per cent municipal tax increase for 2022 to minimize financial impact on taxpayers.
“Our objective is to lessen the financial burden on our citizens and businesses, while ensuring The City can continue to provide essential services like police, emergency response and critical infrastructure maintenance,” said Mayor Ken Johnston.
When combined with requisitions The City must collect on behalf of other organizations, there will be a tax decrease of 0.30 percent for residential and non-residential properties. Multi-family properties will see a tax increase of 0.53 percent.
For 2022 tax penalty rates have been lowered from the historical seven percent to five percent. Penalties are applied to current year unpaid taxes on July 1 and September 1, and on taxes in arrears on January 1 and July 1. This lower penalty rate will provide continued financial support for those having difficulty paying by the due date.
“We have made this change to provide financial relief to taxpayers who may be struggling as a result of impacts of the pandemic,” said Joanne Parkin, Revenue and Assessment Manager. “We encourage anyone who may not be able to pay their taxes by the deadline to pay as much as they can to reduce penalties, and to reach out to our office to discuss payment options.”
At today’s meeting City Council also approved the Business Improvement Area (BIA) Tax Rate bylaw. The BIA tax applies to taxable businesses in the downtown to fund the Downtown Business Association (DBA) budget, which was approved by Council in December. There was no increase on the tax revenue requirement in 2022 and minimum tax will remain the same.
“An increase in the number of businesses reopening or moving into the BIA may indicate signs that downtown business is beginning to stabilize and recover from the pandemic,” said John Sennema, Economic Development Manager. “That in conjunction with a stronger economy will hopefully continue this trend.”
The deadline for 2022 property taxes and BIA taxes is June 30, any unpaid taxes will be subject to a five percent penalty on July 1. Owners can join the Tax Instalment Plan (TIP) until June 15 to make tax payments through to the end of the year in equal monthly payments with no penalty.
Tax notices will be mailed May 24. Approximately 6,500 households have opted to receive their notices electronically, and the remaining notices will be distributed by mail.
Property owners wishing to connect with The City about their tax bill can email [email protected] or call 403-342-8126. More information about the Tax program is available on the City’s website at www.reddeer.ca/tax.
Bell CEO warns ‘interventionist’ regulations could lead telcos to curtail investments
Mirko Bibic, president and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada speaks during a CRTC hearing for Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-57, Review of mobile wireless services, in Gatineau, Que., on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
By Sammy Hudes in Toronto
Bell Canada president and CEO Mirko Bibic warned Monday that increased regulation in Canada’s telecommunications industry could prompt companies to scale back investment and make cuts to service for underserved communities.
Speaking at a lunch hosted by Canadian Club Toronto, Bibic took aim at the federal government and Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for a shift “towards more micromanagement of Canada’s telecom industry.”
He said some investments are “impossible to justify” when big companies are required to provide smaller competitors access to their privately built networks at heavily discounted rates.
“Our industry is quite highly regulated and we appear to be moving rapidly towards even more intervention,” said Bibic, adding that such an approach “generates market uncertainty.”
“Our regulator’s telling us that we have to give access to the new networks that our people, our partners and our capital are building and they’re telling us the rates we have to charge for that access. That’s not how a competitive market should be regulated. [It] certainly doesn’t strengthen the quality or resiliency of the networks and services you all rely on.”
Earlier this year, Canada’s telecommunications regulator announced it would lower some wholesale internet rates by 10 per cent and review whether big companies should provide smaller competitors access to their fibre-to-the-home networks.
The CRTC said the move was aimed at improving internet speeds and bolstering competition.
That came after federal Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne directed the regulator to implement new rules to enhance consumer rights, affordability, competition and universal access, which included a requirement for improved wholesale internet rates.
The CRTC also stated earlier this month that major telecoms would have 90 days to negotiate access agreements for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). That followed a policy set in 2021 allowing regional cellphone providers to compete as MVNOs across Canada using networks built by large companies.
But Bibic urged Ottawa and the CRTC to ensure Canada’s four major telecom companies have incentives to invest and differentiate themselves from each other, which he said would lead to more customer value. He warned of “unintended consequences” if regulation continues to ramp up.
“There comes a point where if government is too interventionist, all of us are going to have to scale back those investments, which is not good for consumers and businesses,” he said.
“If you’ve got to start cutting back on capital, what gets cut first? Does the GTA get cut first? Or does some northern community in Ontario get cut first? We know the answer to that.”
Bibic also pushed back against a “prevailing but false narrative” surrounding the state of competition in Canada’s telecom industry, as well as cellphone and internet prices.
A report released in February by Wall Communications Inc., which conducts an annual comparison of Canadian phone and internet prices to other jurisdictions, found Canada still had among the highest prices internationally for cellphone and broadband service in 2022.
But Bibic noted that despite rising inflation, wireless prices in Canada have declined eight per cent over the past two years and almost 25 per cent since January 2020.
“We’ve all been in the U.S. right? The service is terrible. So there is a quality dimension to it,” he told the crowd.
“Too often, the prevailing narrative is based on these studies that by definition create these average baskets of goods so that there’s some semblance of trying to compare prices across the world, but the baskets of goods don’t actually reflect what people are buying today.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2023.
Companies in this story: (TSX:BCE)
StatCan report casts clouds on claims of a widespread labour shortage in Canada
A new report is casting doubt on the idea that Canada is facing a widespread labour shortage, bolstering arguments by labour economists who say the country has more than enough workers. A sign for help wanted is pictured in a business window in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
By Nojoud Al Mallees in Ottawa
A new report is casting doubt on the idea that Canada is facing a widespread labour shortage and bolsters the arguments by some labour economists that high job vacancies aren’t due to a shortage of workers.
The Statistics Canada analysis finds there are no labour shortages for jobs that require high levels of education, suggesting other factors, such as a mismatch in skills and pay, might be to blame for a high number of empty positions.
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages have grasped headlines from coast to coast as businesses have advertised more job openings than ever. Job vacancies skyrocketed to more than one million at one point last year.
The perceived countrywide labour shortage has put pressure on governments to help businesses find workers, including by increasing Canada’s immigration targets.
But the report published this week compares unemployment and job vacancies by education level and paints a more nuanced picture of the labour market.
“Things look really different depending on whether you look at vacancies that require a high level of education, versus those that require a high school diploma or less,” said René Morissette, the assistant director of social analysis and modelling division at the federal agency.
The report, which looked at labour data between 2016 and 2022, found for jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher education, there were always fewer jobs available than people to fill them.
For example, there were 113,000 vacant positions requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher education in the fourth quarter of 2022, but 227,000 individuals who held such an education were unemployed during the same period.
But for positions that required a high school diploma or less, the shortage of workers only started in the third quarter of 2021.
Morissette said the findings don’t mean that there are no labour shortages in some markets, but shortages may not be as extensive as previously assumed.
“It’s certainly conceivable that there are local shortages in some in some positions,” Morissette said. “What we’re saying is that the shortages may not be as widespread as initially assumed in the early discussions about the high vacancy rates in Canada.”
For employers trying to fill vacancies that require a post-secondary education, the report says their hiring challenges cannot be attributed to a lack of workers available with those qualifications.
Instead, the difficulties may be the result of a mismatch in skills required for the job and those possessed by candidates. Another factor could be that employers aren’t offering wages that are on par with what job seekers expect.
The report also casts doubt on the hiring challenges facing firms trying to recruit workers with lower levels of education.
“The degree to which these job vacancies can be attributed to labour shortages in specific low-skilled occupations instead of relatively low-wage offers and fringe benefits or other factors remains an open question,” the report says.
Jim Stanford, an economist and the director of the Centre for Future Work, says the report from Statistics Canada busts “long-standing myths” about labour shortages in the country.
“If you were really short of labour, and you couldn’t find someone to do that minimum wage job at a McDonald’s restaurant, then why aren’t they either increasing the wage or trying to replace the work with machinery?” Stanford said.
“Neither are happening, which suggests to me that employers in general are quite happy with the current state of affairs, no matter how much they complain about labour being in short supply.”
So what explains the high number of job vacancies?
Morissette said for low-skilled industries, businesses may be choosing to keep wages low and accept higher vacancy rates.
“For employers that have negligible training costs, a human resource strategy that combines relatively low wages with high worker turnover and some vacancies might actually … maximize profits,” he said.
The federal government has kept an open ear to business groups raising alarm bells about labour shortages.
In the fall, Ottawa announced new immigration targets that would see the country welcome 500,000 immigrants annually by 2025. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has touted the new plan as a solution to the country’s labour woes.
Canada has also experienced a surge in the number of temporary foreign workers brought into the country to help businesses fill vacant positions.
The apparent shortage of low-skilled workers could push policymakers to think that even more temporary workers are needed, but Stanford said that would be a “disastrous” conclusion to draw from the report.
Many economists have reservations about temporary foreign worker programs that they worry can suppress wages domestically, if used excessively.
“The goal of immigration policy should not be to solve the recruitment problems faced by low-wage employers, or any employers for that matter,” he said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2023.
UPDATE: Red Deer RCMP arrest 31 year old Chad Wickett for conspiracy to commit murder
Edmonton teacher arrested for child luring
How Major Media Suppressed My COVID Journalism
Officials report progress on Alberta wildfires as many evacuees return home
Atlantic10 hours ago
Halifax wildfire still out of control, 14,000 forced from their homes: deputy chief
Sports1 day ago
Blais scores twice, Canada beats Germany 5-2 to win gold at men’s hockey worlds
Brownstone Institute1 day ago
The Best Life Lesson for a Teen Is a Job
Alberta1 day ago
Saskatchewan entrepreneur says government thwarted his ag-plastics recycling business
International10 hours ago
Bola Tinubu sworn in as Nigeria’s president amid hopes, skepticism
2023 Election9 hours ago
Election day: Alberta voters go to the polls, expected nail-biter between UCP, NDP
2023 Election9 hours ago
Some of the memorable comments made during Alberta election campaign
Bjorn Lomborg1 day ago
How to save 4 million lives every year