Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation gives budget an 'F'

Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation gives budget an 'F'

Of course they did...  It shouldn't be hard to figure that out... they voted almost overwhelmingly against the Saskatchewan Party.

Seriously, here are the results from the election, pay close attention to the polls in Sandy Bay, Kinoosao and Deschambeault Lake, notice anything?  These are all PBCN polls.  They all went NDP by massively large percentages.  You might as well go to Wood River and ask any random group of people what they thought of the budget.

Notwithstanding that PBCN may have some real concerns - longer travel time to get hunting and fishing permits they don't need, and the ending of an agreement with a monopolistic marketing board that First Nations are calling on Ottawa to end anyways, I would hardly give the budget an F.

Of course, this budget had very little money for anybody with their hand out, and maybe that's the point.  First Nations have called for more funding for all of their issues for the last 2 months, and the budget had nothing for them.

Better luck tomorrow PBCN.

PS: Wood River is where the Saskatchewan Party won its highest percentage of vote.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Debate continues over Sask. film tax credit

Debate continues over Sask. film tax credit

I`m not sure where people think that this is up for debate.  The fact is, a majority government axed the credit in their budget.  There`s no debate - it`s gone.  

And in a province that is humming along quite nicely on its own, continuing to fund an industry that will never be able to stand on its own seems rather illogical.  Even if the industry`s numbers are to be believed, the film industry generated $40 million of activity per year in an economy worth $45-65 Billion dollars.  For those keeping score at home, that`s less than .1% of GDP per year.

Even if the credit is largely revenue neutral, that means that the government took money from workers and business in order to generate no tangible benefit for the province.  That money could have just as easily been left in those pockets to help reduce the sting of higher rents or to re-invest in projects that will either increase the productivity of the province or increase the capacity of the province to generate future tax which would actually benefit the province.

An industry that can not survive without a permanent subsidy in place is no industry at all.  The biggest question I have at this point, is whether Corner Gas would have been filmed in Saskatchewan in the first place, had Brent Butt not been born and raised here?  If Corner Gas was filmed here as a hometown project, what benefit has there really been to the province?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The government giveth...

... and the government taketh away(eth)...

The Saskatchewan government brought down what they call an austerity budget with cuts and handouts...

Take a look at the highlights here

There is some good and some bad in the budget.  The good?  They are increasing the cost of prescriptions for seniors.  The bad?  They're giving seniors more money in the form of personal care home and income supplement benefits.

The good?  They're spending more capital to build schools and hospitals.  The bad?  They are throwing more money into the sinkhole that are health region budgets.

The good?  They are providing incentives to medical professionals to work in rural areas for a few years.  The bad?  Those medical professionals will still try to practice closer to the larger centers than not, leaving more distant rural areas out in the cold.

The good?  They are increasing nursing seats.  The bad?  They aren't increasing DOCTOR seats in post-secondary.

The good?  They are giving more benefits to the disabled and providing more support.  The bad?  They aren't paying down any debt.

All in all, not a necessarily bad budget, but there were some cuts (Enterprise Regions) that were absolutely unexpected.  This is actually a budget that I don't mind seeing - very small goodies for individuals and capital spending to bring schools and hospitals up to date.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Christopher Monckton at Union College

Video streaming by Ustrea It`s an hour long, and well worth the time. H/T SDA