The Penny Wise Edition
That’s how much the Federal Government scored (well not so much scored…after all almost a billion of that is because the Canadian Dollar sucks...) last week when it dumped 73,389,831 shares in General Motors.
It is a crap deal and badly done to score cheap points. Harper and his fact hating cronies have a thing for balanced budgets and they are bound and determined to deliver on April 21st…but the problem is that the drop in oil prices means a steep decline in revenues so they need quick cash to boost their bottom line…
So some genius in the Department of Finance said let’s sell the shares in GM which we bought way back when during the financial crisis to help keep the auto industry alive…
So we, the Canadian Public, saved a company, which has ever since tried to play financial blackmail on the country and refuses to this day to give a long term commitment to the Canada, Ontario or its own workers, all of whom pulled out all the stops to keep the company afloat. So our Federal Government takes its one bargaining chip…an ownership stake in the company and tosses it away…not for a promise of jobs or a commitment to the future of automobile manufacturing but in order to do an accounting trick and balance the books…
And by the way selling these shares the way the Government did means they actually lost money…they could have held on and sold when the shares were higher but they wanted to….yep…balance the books….
The Minimum Wage Edition
That’s how much the minimum wage in Ontario is going to go up...that’s in 6 MONTHS!!!! From now.
Given all the hype: you’d get the impression from the announcement last week that Premier Wynne’s Liberal government had found the cure to poverty.
Back in 2014, before the election, that was exactly the impression Wynne wanted you to have…“I think the vast majority of people in Ontario understand it’s very difficult to make ends meet living on minimum wage and that there needs to be a fair way of allowing minimum wage to keep up with the cost of living,” But 25 cents an hour? If you work 8 hours a day that’ll just about cover a Tim Horton’s coffee, no muffin.
What Wynn is actually doing is FREEZING the minimum wage but making it look as if she was actually raising it. 25 cents an hour is not “a fair way of allowing minimum wage to keep up with the cost of living”. Not even close.
And this is something the Government is proud of?
The NAFTA Edition
17.3 Million Dollars
That’s how much Canadian Taxpayers are on the hook for to ExxonMobil, “the world’s largest publicly traded oil company” all thanks to NAFTA…remember NAFTA? The free trade deal that was going to make Canada prosperous…?
So, why do we owe ExxonMobil 17.3 Million dollars? Because the Government of Newfoundland thought Oil Companies profiting from the extraction of resources in Newfoundland should be required to invest or even just spend some of the money they were hauling in hand over fist in the province where they were making the money - you know, buy from local merchants or hire local workers or use local goods and services….Yeah, sounds reasonable, right?
Well not to “the world’s largest publicly traded oil company”…they figured it was a form of government extortion and they went crying to a tribunal set up under Chapter 11 of NAFTA…and the tribunal ruled: “that requiring the oil companies to plow a fixed percentage of their offshore revenues into research and training in Newfoundland went against NAFTA rules prohibiting host governments from establishing performance requirements on companies’ local investments and purchases.”
Imagine…the Free Trade Agreement that was supposed to make us all so well off has rules against “performance requirements on companies’ local investments and purchases” which really means we can’t make them do anything…and if we try…they will just sue…and sue they do…
50 cents, two quarters…dig in your pocket…take out two quarters…that’s what you and every other Canadian owes ExxonMobil…all because Newfoundland politicians thought it only fair that “the world’s largest publically traded oil company” should spend some of the money it is making off of Newfoundland IN Newfoundland…
Look at those two quarters and think about NAFTA…what’s it ever done for you but make you reach into your pocket and make you poorer…two quarters at a time….
Some Deal…Some Prosperity
Sources: Toronto Star
The Quebec Government Edition
1.2 Million Dollars
That’s what the City Of Montreal lost in fines when a Judge ruled that P6, a controversial anti-protest law passed by Montreal City Council during the Quebec spring of 2012, was invalid. P6 “banned protestors from wearing masks and required organizers to file itineraries to the city ahead of demonstrations. Thousands ended up being arrested during the protests.” So far charges against nearly 500 protesters have been dropped and prosecutors intend to drop charges against another 1700 individuals.
In addition to the 1.2 million dollars in fines that the City has had to forego, it had to spend 100,000 dollars on legal costs and faces class actions suits seeking over 20 million dollars in damages. And Rightly So….the Judge found that there really wasn’t anything criminal about marching, protesting or demonstrating and in fact even if there had been, there were so many lies being told about the protesters that it was impossible to determine the truth.
Sort of a three strikes and you are out situation.
That’s how many students in Quebec have voted to strike next month in what organizers say will be a new and improved version of the 2012 Demonstrations. The issues are the same…an economy and a government indifferent to the challenges facing students today. Within weeks, another 100,000 students are expected to take a similar stance.
It’s been a cold winter but odds are it is going to be a hot spring in Montreal.