Just Stopping In Because it's Been a While
Things are pleasantly busy in Metroland. Nothing out of the ordinary. However, I was recently described as "a delight to see" onstage and so I have been unable to get through the door to acess my keyboard until my head reached a more manageable size.
From the news:
Stephen Harper and the New! Green! Fiscally Responsible! Government of Canada (Did we mention Green?) presented the budget. Yawn.
Finance minister Jim Flaherty read the budget in (wait for it) re-soled shoes, which is supposed to be symbolic of his government's comittment to thrift. Tradition holds that budgets are traditionally delivered in new shoes as a symbol of change.
My first thought is that re-soling was probably more expensive that any two pairs of shoes I've bought for the past couple of years. My second is that the symbol as used by the Conservatives would appear to mean "no change."
And there wasn't much. Social programs got nothing extra from the $10-billion surplus. Income taxes weren't cut. No nationwide carbon tax plan (Hahhahahaha! I know, but I wanted to mention it anyway).
There was an investment in carbon-sequestration technologies. Since carbon sequestration is still in the realm of science fiction, I'd have preferred something a little more concrete in terms of encouraging people to reduce their "carbon footprint" (of the which more in the next entry or so).
The big difference is that in 2009 we're getting a tax-free savings account. No word on what the poor are supposed to fill it with.
Oh, and "tax-free" only applies to the interest, not to the income you use for contributions. However, it isn't taxed when you take it out, either. Which is presumably why it's limited to $5,000.
All in all, tepid, timid, designed to avoid an election. I'm pretty much okay with that.
Meanwhile, Flaherty's crapping on the Ontario government for refusing to lower its business taxes. Well, lowering business taxes won't keep a company here if they determine they can still make bigger profits by relocating to, say, the US. And yes, it's happened. High Canadian dollars make relocating your industry south a bargain. And by its very nature, much of the Canadian manufacturing industry is located so close to the border that where the company is located is really a question of whether you walk into the south or north entrance of the plant.