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Drybrain
Nov 5, 2015, 1:38 AM
Send him your comments/suggestions. He is very approachable and I have known him for over 20 years.

My suggestion is probably not likely to find a sympathetic ear: I'm not bothered by this design so much as by what it's replacing. My suggestion is to scrap this and do something more imaginative. Leave the Victorian townhouses intact and tear down the addition behind them, rebuilding there. Leaeve the art-deco BMO building mostly intact and restore it to use as the anchor for the block. Tear down the building in between the two, using that space to create something all new that will link the east and west sides of the block.

Colin May
Nov 5, 2015, 1:41 AM
My suggestion is probably not likely to find a sympathetic ear: I'm not bothered by this design so much as by what it's replacing. My suggestion is to scrap this and do something more imaginative. Leave the Victorian townhouses intact and tear down the addition behind them, rebuilding there. Leaeve the art-deco BMO building mostly intact and restore it to use as the anchor for the block. Tear down the building in between the two, using that space to create something all new that will link the east and west sides of the block.
Send him an email. He values public opinion. Nothing to to lose with an informed polite expression of your opinion.

coolmillion
Nov 5, 2015, 2:24 AM
.

Hali87
Nov 5, 2015, 2:38 AM
Send him an email. He values public opinion. Nothing to to lose with an informed polite expression of your opinion.

How would we contact him? His email address is not publicly available as far as I know.

Colin May
Nov 5, 2015, 2:51 AM
How would we contact him? His email address is not publicly available as far as I know.
Email him at Westwood Developments Limited or contact through LinkedIn.
I talked with him at Vivacity last week and he asked my opinion of the project and I told him there were people who didn't like the design and that I thought it wasn't bold enough. I also told him to design a talking point aka the library is a talking point. I like designs that cause people to argue pro and con and make residents think more about what can be built for today and remain relevant in 50 or more years.
He's easy to get along with and includes his family in the public part of his projects.

http://www.westwoodgroup.ca/contact.php

beyeas
Nov 5, 2015, 11:59 AM
I don't have a fundamental problem with the design. In fact, there are some aspects I quite like. I also don't bemoan the loss of the back-side of the current, as it is pretty unfriendly from the perspective of interacting with the street.

Like many, my biggest issue is with the loss of that BMO facade. We talk all the time on here, when it comes to knocking down older wooden structures to make way for new development, that the trade-off is acceptable because of the fact that we have a large number of such structures.

However, we do not have many stone commercial buildings with interesting/unique features. Full stop. This is where a bloody heritage protection SHOULD be making a fuss. This isn't arguing height or protecting an empty parking lot, this is the loss of an unquestionably architecturally interesting stone facade that has dominated that corner for many years. Protecting that built heritage is a given "by definition" (to use a KeithP turn of phrase).

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 5, 2015, 1:35 PM
My suggestion is probably not likely to find a sympathetic ear: I'm not bothered by this design so much as by what it's replacing. My suggestion is to scrap this and do something more imaginative. Leave the Victorian townhouses intact and tear down the addition behind them, rebuilding there. Leaeve the art-deco BMO building mostly intact and restore it to use as the anchor for the block. Tear down the building in between the two, using that space to create something all new that will link the east and west sides of the block.

I would be happy with this suggestion. I really think that ripping down and replacing it with a generic-looking block is a missed opportunity to do something truly spectacular in one of the busiest parts of town. If he wants to get his name out there as a truly capable developer, then this is his opportunity to do it. At least keep the BMO structure - as has been pointed out here several times before, it is a very unique structure in our city and even includes nods to our local history.

Colin, perhaps you could direct him to this thread? Just a thought.

counterfactual
Nov 5, 2015, 8:40 PM
My suggestion is probably not likely to find a sympathetic ear: I'm not bothered by this design so much as by what it's replacing. My suggestion is to scrap this and do something more imaginative. Leave the Victorian townhouses intact and tear down the addition behind them, rebuilding there. Leaeve the art-deco BMO building mostly intact and restore it to use as the anchor for the block. Tear down the building in between the two, using that space to create something all new that will link the east and west sides of the block.

If you're going to contact him, I think the key is to offer a design that gets him what he wants (a certain number of units and flexibility), but retains some of what is there. I could see a great design that incorporates, at the very least, the BMO art-deco and is built up and around it. That could be great. I'm no fan of the crappier buildings like the old TD / Sleep Country building. The old Second Cup building isn't very nice either.

Drybrain
Nov 5, 2015, 8:53 PM
If you're going to contact him, I think the key is to offer a design that gets him what he wants (a certain number of units and flexibility), but retains some of what is there. I could see a great design that incorporates, at the very least, the BMO art-deco and is built up and around it. That could be great. I'm no fan of the crappier buildings like the old TD / Sleep Country building. The old Second Cup building isn't very nice either.

The Second Cup building WAS the BMO building, it was just in that awful addition stuck to the side of it.

I think the way the BMO building meets the corner is a neighbourhood landmark and it surprises me that it seems so easy to do away with. The interior lobby is in shabby repair, but it has all kinds of cool deco tiling and architectural detailing. Irreplaceable, and rare for this city. (Like, so rare that there won't be anything like it if this is torn down.)

someone123
Nov 5, 2015, 8:53 PM
If the design is more or less set in stone now it would also be an improvement to save the BMO facade and then reuse it somewhere else in the future. I think it would work well as a podium for a highrise.

Nouvellecosse
Nov 5, 2015, 10:41 PM
Are the current buildings condemned and in need of demolition? Or are they just being demoed for the sake of this development? If it's the latter, I don't care how spectacular it is, I'm not interested. Enough of the city's architectural heritage has been lost as is and there's plenty of places to build new things elsewhere. Modern buildings are nice as additions to a city in places that are vacant or under-developed and that's it. Not to replace vital and character-filled parts that we already have.

Ok now I'm mad. :pissed:

counterfactual
Nov 6, 2015, 12:21 AM
The Second Cup building WAS the BMO building, it was just in that awful addition stuck to the side of it.

I think the way the BMO building meets the corner is a neighbourhood landmark and it surprises me that it seems so easy to do away with. The interior lobby is in shabby repair, but it has all kinds of cool deco tiling and architectural detailing. Irreplaceable, and rare for this city. (Like, so rare that there won't be anything like it if this is torn down.)

I would seriously pitch to him an idea of preserving the BMO, and building up around it. I think it could actually be an iconic building, if they did that. Kind of like how Armour group incorporated/retained historic portions of existing buildings in the Waterside.

Colin May
Nov 6, 2015, 12:24 AM
Any comments should be sent forthwith. The demolition may be done by the end of this year and thus ensure a reduced valuation on the assessment roll.

Drybrain
Nov 6, 2015, 2:31 AM
Are the current buildings condemned and in need of demolition? Or are they just being demoed for the sake of this development? If it's the latter, I don't care how spectacular it is, I'm not interested.

The latter; Westwood has been planning this for years. I'm fairly sure there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the buildings.

I'm skeptical that Chedrawe would be receptive to some last-minute input from random internet folks, but hey, if Colin thinks some politely worded community input would be well received, I'm all for it.

Colin May
Nov 6, 2015, 4:40 AM
The latter; Westwood has been planning this for years. I'm fairly sure there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the buildings.

I'm skeptical that Chedrawe would be receptive to some last-minute input from random internet folks, but hey, if Colin thinks some politely worded community input would be well received, I'm all for it.
Make an attempt to talk to him, ask for a meeting no matter how brief. Use my name if you are so inclined. At Vivacity he introduced me to an architect who attended school with one of my children.
To me Mr Chedrawe is 'Danny' and I always speak highly of him.
Well expressed and well thought out opinions presented in a respectful manner will be well received. I don't believe posters on this forum are the ranters & ravers type, more the ones who want a more attractive and well planned community.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Bon chance.

Colin May
Nov 6, 2015, 4:31 PM
http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/drc/documents/6.3.1Presentation.pdf
New drawings as of this week

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 6, 2015, 5:46 PM
http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/drc/documents/6.3.1Presentation.pdf
New drawings as of this week

Still underwhelmed.

Interesting that the lobby entrance for both the hotel and residential areas are off Queen street, in approximately the same location as the existing BMO entrance. There's a little more setback on the existing building than the renderings (which is better for aesthetics, IMHO) but it strikes me what a grand entrance this façade would make for a hotel (presumably he's aiming for a boutique hotel experience, given the relatively small size of the hotel portion).

http://i64.tinypic.com/25jxcmw.jpg

Details:
http://i67.tinypic.com/2ecdt0m.jpg

http://i66.tinypic.com/2rgow9c.jpg

From Google Maps...
https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.6433403,-63.5759137,3a,90y,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_b_Btx-gDunwnF-1MGPrvg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Like I said, a missed opportunity....

Drybrain
Nov 6, 2015, 8:59 PM
The lessons to be learned from Toronto's Drake and Gladstone hotels are unavoidable here: http://www.thedrakehotel.ca/history/

Beautiful but decrepit Victorian buildings painstakingly and profitably restored to become lynchpins of neighbourhood revitalization. Their heritage is part of their appeal and success, though neither were designated heritage. A similar rundown old building in the city's east end, currently a strip club, has been purchased recently for a similar restoration. "Demolition" isn't so much as whispered. It would be unequivocally rejected.

Keith P.
Nov 6, 2015, 9:16 PM
Still underwhelmed.
Like I said, a missed opportunity....


Looking at the renderings. I do think there seems to be an opportunity here to reuse at least the existing stone cladding from the entry on whatever new gets built. The stated use of aluminum and wood exterior finishes does not thrill me, nor does the use of "limestone finish" precast concrete panels. I remain unimpressed with Kassner Goodspeed proposals.

I wonder too about the viability of the hotel. "Boutique" is one thing, but 45 rooms seems a bit small to be able to deliver much.

Drybrain
Nov 13, 2015, 3:57 AM
AllNS published a funny story about the Doyle Block in which it was pretty obvious that Danny Chedrawe thinks the city should just back off and let him, a developer who has not erected a single half-decent building in his entire career, do whatever he wants without interference in the design and planning of his properties. It's rather extraordinary that he would complain, given how little resistance he's faced to this profoundly bad proposal.

He really came off as flabbergasted that he was subject to an approvals process rather than being given carte blanche.

Colin May
Nov 13, 2015, 4:27 AM
AllNS published a funny story about the Doyle Block in which it was pretty obvious that Danny Chedrawe thinks the city should just back off and let him, a developer who has not erected a single half-decent building in his entire career, do whatever he wants without interference in the design and planning of his properties. It's rather extraordinary that he would complain, given how little resistance he's faced to this profoundly bad proposal.

He really came off as flabbergasted that he was subject to an approvals process rather than being given carte blanche.
Did you send him your comments as i suggested ?
I don't like the new design but the council only sees $$$$$ when any proposal is placed before them.
Face facts, you won't find many of our councillors recounting their impressions of the marvellous architecture/play/music/book they have seen or read.
And Beethoven certainly doesn't live upstairs for many of them.

Drybrain
Nov 13, 2015, 12:43 PM
Did you send him your comments as i suggested ?
I don't like the new design but the council only sees $$$$$ when any proposal is placed before them.
Face facts, you won't find many of our councillors recounting their impressions of the marvellous architecture/play/music/book they have seen or read.
And Beethoven certainly doesn't live upstairs for many of them.

I thought about it actually, but couldn't find an email address or anything.

CBC has a story this morning anyway, indicating he looked at reusing the BMO building but couldn't make it work economically (he needed more height to do so, but ye olde viewplanes got in the way.)

Who knows: he may just be leveraging the situation to get in a complaint about the height restriction. Plenty of developers seem to be able to make mid-rise construction work with heritage restoration, in this city and elsewhere.

But if there's any validity to his complaint, it's extremely frustrating. The supremacy of the view again trumping on-the-ground built heritage. Maybe it's worth asking Chedrawe if he'd revisit the plan and restore BMO if a public- opinion campaign swayed political opinion regarding height here.

beyeas
Nov 13, 2015, 1:48 PM
I thought about it actually, but couldn't find an email address or anything.

CBC has a story this morning anyway, indicating he looked at reusing the BMO building but couldn't make it work economically (he needed more height to do so, but ye olde viewplanes got in the way.)

Who knows: he may just be leveraging the situation to get in a complaint about the height restriction. Plenty of developers seem to be able to make mid-rise construction work with heritage restoration, in this city and elsewhere.

But if there's any validity to his complaint, it's extremely frustrating. The supremacy of the view again trumping on-the-ground built heritage. Maybe it's worth asking Chedrawe if he'd revisit the plan and restore BMO if a public- opinion campaign swayed political opinion regarding height here.

The other alternative, assuming it is not just good politicking on his part, is that this is potentially the sort of thing where public funds for heritage preservation could/should step in. Asking private developers to take a financial hit to preserve heritage (irrespective of the height issue) when they are taking all the risk is tough, and so having public funds to offset the cost of preserving built heritage that the public values makes sense. This is balanced for me though by the fact that, although the risk is all on the developer, as we talked about with the Morse's Tea building there is definitely cache to be had in preserving heritage that can actually make a building more marketable. At the end of the day it is a little of both column A and B, but not a 100% issue of height. Not saying that height limits aren't an issue, but rather that that always seem to be a useful lever that a developer understandably wants to pull.

Colin May
Nov 13, 2015, 2:45 PM
I thought about it actually, but couldn't find an email address or anything.

CBC has a story this morning anyway, indicating he looked at reusing the BMO building but couldn't make it work economically (he needed more height to do so, but ye olde viewplanes got in the way.)

Who knows: he may just be leveraging the situation to get in a complaint about the height restriction. Plenty of developers seem to be able to make mid-rise construction work with heritage restoration, in this city and elsewhere.

But if there's any validity to his complaint, it's extremely frustrating. The supremacy of the view again trumping on-the-ground built heritage. Maybe it's worth asking Chedrawe if he'd revisit the plan and restore BMO if a public- opinion campaign swayed political opinion regarding height here.\
Late on November 4 I posted :

He's easy to get along with and includes his family in the public part of his projects.

http://www.westwoodgroup.ca/contact.php

here is the mail address : office@westwoodgroup.ca

someone123
Nov 13, 2015, 6:38 PM
Fundamentally the problem is that economic incentives for developers are not aligned with the public interest when it comes to heritage buildings. The height limits have made this even worse. The city and province need to fix this by strengthening heritage regulations and improving funding for heritage buildings.

It's great if some developers elect to preserve some buildings for the greater good or if that turns out to be economically advantageous, but that is the system that Halifax has now and it is not working very well. It's leading to lots of wasteful demolition in a city that is still full of empty lots and dumpy little buildings of no architectural or historic value.

teddifax
Nov 14, 2015, 12:08 AM
Is there a site for this one going up on Washmill Lake?
https://www.halifax.ca/Commcoun/west/documents/140806hwcc1012.pdf

Dmajackson
Nov 14, 2015, 2:54 PM
Is there a site for this one going up on Washmill Lake?
https://www.halifax.ca/Commcoun/west/documents/140806hwcc1012.pdf

I don't know of any website's but I do have a progress photo from earlier this month;

http://40.media.tumblr.com/2b761353b2b4d1a668927445ee2a87eb/tumblr_nx5rszxSat1tvjdq8o1_1280.jpg
Halifax Developments Blog (Photo by David Jackson) (http://urbanhalifax.tumblr.com/)

counterfactual
Nov 14, 2015, 4:17 PM
AllNS published a funny story about the Doyle Block in which it was pretty obvious that Danny Chedrawe thinks the city should just back off and let him, a developer who has not erected a single half-decent building in his entire career, do whatever he wants without interference in the design and planning of his properties. It's rather extraordinary that he would complain, given how little resistance he's faced to this profoundly bad proposal.

He really came off as flabbergasted that he was subject to an approvals process rather than being given carte blanche.

It was a bit unfair to him. I heard him actually speaking, and what he was frustrated about, was City Staff bureaucracy unwilling to even consider ideas/proposals that may have great public benefit, and would cost the City nothing (the developer willing to pay for it all).

I find that very easy to believe in this City, given even the idea of temporary shutting down Argyle for a few weeks in summer literally took 5 years for City Staff to allow.

counterfactual
Nov 14, 2015, 4:18 PM
I thought about it actually, but couldn't find an email address or anything.

CBC has a story this morning anyway, indicating he looked at reusing the BMO building but couldn't make it work economically (he needed more height to do so, but ye olde viewplanes got in the way.)

Who knows: he may just be leveraging the situation to get in a complaint about the height restriction. Plenty of developers seem to be able to make mid-rise construction work with heritage restoration, in this city and elsewhere.

But if there's any validity to his complaint, it's extremely frustrating. The supremacy of the view again trumping on-the-ground built heritage. Maybe it's worth asking Chedrawe if he'd revisit the plan and restore BMO if a public- opinion campaign swayed political opinion regarding height here.

Do it, Dry. Send him in your ideas. Be the change you want to see. :)

counterfactual
Nov 14, 2015, 4:20 PM
Fundamentally the problem is that economic incentives for developers are not aligned with the public interest when it comes to heritage buildings. The height limits have made this even worse. The city and province need to fix this by strengthening heritage regulations and improving funding for heritage buildings.

It's great if some developers elect to preserve some buildings for the greater good or if that turns out to be economically advantageous, but that is the system that Halifax has now and it is not working very well. It's leading to lots of wasteful demolition in a city that is still full of empty lots and dumpy little buildings of no architectural or historic value.

There should be significant density / height bonuses for heritage preservation.

Retain facade? Another 5 floors.

Integrate/retain original structure? Add another 3.

That could seriously work.

But, this is Halifax, and we don't want to be Toronto will all their skyscrapers and stuff!!! We're a small town. Basically, a village.

I'm suspicious of anything taller than the apple trees that line my 2km dirt road driveway.

hokus83
Nov 14, 2015, 4:49 PM
There should be significant density / height bonuses for heritage preservation.

Retain facade? Another 5 floors.

Integrate/retain original structure? Add another 3.

That could seriously work.

But, this is Halifax, and we don't want to be Toronto will all their skyscrapers and stuff!!! We're a small town. Basically, a village.

I'm suspicious of anything taller than the apple trees that line my 2km dirt road driveway.

This towns height restrictions is its own worst enemy

Keith P.
Nov 14, 2015, 8:12 PM
But, this is Halifax, and we don't want to be Toronto will all their skyscrapers and stuff!!! We're a small town. Basically, a village.

I'm suspicious of anything taller than the apple trees that line my 2km dirt road driveway.


Anything taller than the apple tress is not of human scale and must be opposed! <J. Watts>

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 14, 2015, 10:22 PM
I suspect that any height there wouldn't have an effect on viewplanes anyway. Of course, this is all speculation because we don't know the actual situation.

Dmajackson
Nov 14, 2015, 11:34 PM
The little shop with the garage, most recently the Blackboard Collective in the Hydrostone next to the butcher was torn down today to make way for a 5 story building.

According to Explore HRM a building permit has been issued for 5540 Kaye Street for a commercial building with no dwelling units valued at $1'350'862.

Does this match what your source told you?

Keith P.
Nov 14, 2015, 11:38 PM
A parking garage? Could do well there actually.

portapetey
Nov 18, 2015, 10:17 AM
Opinion piece on the Doyle Block:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1322827-opinion-halifax-will-lose-character-with-city-block’s-demolition

beyeas
Nov 18, 2015, 12:28 PM
Opinion piece on the Doyle Block:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1322827-opinion-halifax-will-lose-character-with-city-block’s-demolition

Nicely balanced article. I agree whole-heartedly.

I am hoping that the Green Lantern development changes the public tone a bit in terms of realizing that development and preserving what is interesting about our built heritage are not mutually exclusive, and well within the art of the possible.

IanWatson
Nov 18, 2015, 12:51 PM
Opinion piece on the Doyle Block:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1322827-opinion-halifax-will-lose-character-with-city-block’s-demolition

Excellent job Matthew (who I believe is one of our forum members...)!

Drybrain
Nov 18, 2015, 1:32 PM
Excellent job Matthew (who I believe is one of our forum members...)!

*raises hand*

Thanks. I wish they'd gone with the headline I'd suggested (a "Back to the Future" pun) but, eh, whatever. "Loses character" is accurate too, though not quite the point of the piece.

Keith P.
Nov 18, 2015, 3:55 PM
Nicely balanced article. I agree whole-heartedly.

I am hoping that the Green Lantern development changes the public tone a bit in terms of realizing that development and preserving what is interesting about our built heritage are not mutually exclusive, and well within the art of the possible.


I note that the comments (except for the usual silly ramble from JWC) are mostly saying, forget it, let's get something new. Perhaps the tide has turned and these buildings are the price we pay for no longer protecting empty lots from development.

Drybrain
Nov 18, 2015, 4:32 PM
I note that the comments (except for the usual silly ramble from JWC) are mostly saying, forget it, let's get something new. Perhaps the tide has turned and these buildings are the price we pay for no longer protecting empty lots from development.

I wouldn't expect much different from the Herald's commentariat, who tend to be really conservatively reactionary on almost everything.

The Facebook commentary is more half-and-half, and Twitter is solidly pro-preservation. It's interesting how these things self-sort.

In any case, virtually every commenter misses the main point, which is that this is a wildly out-of-date development strategy. I wish the editors had given it a headline more in keeping with that...

hokus83
Nov 18, 2015, 4:50 PM
I wouldn't expect much different from the Herald's commentariat, who tend to be really conservatively reactionary on almost everything.

The Facebook commentary is more half-and-half, and Twitter is solidly pro-preservation. It's interesting how these things self-sort.

In any case, virtually every commenter misses the main point, which is that this is a wildly out-of-date development strategy. I wish the editors had given it a headline more in keeping with that...

I think you went off topic with people by talking about too many things at once, dennis bulding ect..

someone123
Nov 18, 2015, 7:34 PM
Great article. I agree with it too, and I think it's good to have that perspective represented in the Herald.

Too much of the development coverage is lazy reporting that feels like it would have been presented identically in 1992. Almost every article on development in Halifax can be summarized as "some people against new development", which is not useful information.

Was the Heritage Advisory Committee involved at all with the Doyle Block? Probably not? It's a broken system in that, in order to register as being part of the city's heritage, a property owner has to elect to list a building. Anything else flies under the radar when it should be reviewed for public impact. There are only a few hundred listed buildings in the whole city and not many area registered annually.

The Design Review Committee looks at everything but they really only seem to care about the quality of the new stuff, not the net change between the new stuff and what's there now.

Drybrain
Nov 18, 2015, 7:37 PM
I think you went off topic with people by talking about too many things at once, dennis bulding ect..

Maybe, yeah. I thought about focusing strictly on this block, but the situation is part of a wider civic context of undervaluing heritage.

In any case, I actually think most people don't even bother to engage with things like this; they just want to vent their opinions. When it comes to heritage 90 percent of people will either day "We're turning into just another concrete jungle, boo hoo", or "We need change, tear it all down!"

It's the 90/10 rule: you're writing to the 10 percent of people who will bother to seriously engage with the subject, whether they agree or not. The other 90 percent are just eyeballs.

(Sorry, ten years as a journalist makes you cynical.)

Drybrain
Nov 18, 2015, 7:47 PM
Great article. I agree with it too, and I think it's good to have that perspective represented in the Herald.

Too much of the development coverage is lazy reporting that feels like it would have been presented identically in 1992. Almost every article on development in Halifax can be summarized as "some people against new development", which is not useful information.

Was the Heritage Advisory Committee involved at all with the Doyle Block? Probably not? It's a broken system in that, in order to register as being part of the city's heritage, a property owner has to elect to list a building. Anything else flies under the radar when it should be reviewed for public impact. There are only a few hundred listed buildings in the whole city and not many area registered annually.

The Design Review Committee looks at everything but they really only seem to care about the quality of the new stuff, not the net change between the new stuff and what's there now.

Media coverage usually feels really buddy-buddy with the development community. And every story is basically written by template: developer proposes a thing, people think it's too tall, some silly quotes, and done. It really feeds this oppositional paradigm, that developers are, depending on your point of view, ruining the city, or struggling valiantly to make the city better in the face of opposition.

Development stories are also often written by the least experienced reporters. AllNS is the worst for that.

Doyle did go to DRC, but I think their comments were basically "it's great! Maybe some more colour," or something like that. There's a news story that mentions it but I can't seem to find it.

someone123
Nov 18, 2015, 7:54 PM
And every story is basically written by template: developer proposes a thing, people think it's too tall, some silly quotes, and done.

This hasn't even changed with the development process of the city. The "it's too tall" type quotes were slightly more relevant for developments that could be appealed by residents to the NSUARB on the basis of height. Some news outlets in Halifax are still running "it's too tall" articles about proposals that fall under HRM by Design and conform from all of the rules. The opinions of these people on whether or not the buildings are too tall are largely irrelevant, and they were already consulted on the heights.

I have a feeling that most journalism in Canada is just really poor quality now and the same is true for most subject areas, with only a few exceptions where there are subject matter experts. The only good thing is that, during the same time that the newspapers have declined, it's become easier to get the source information. You can just go to halifax.ca now and see what's going on, and the developers themselves attend public events and answer emails or Twitter. I think this has been a huge net gain for public participation in urban planning, and I think that meaningful public participation (i.e. a real dialogue about factors that matter and can be changed, not just "it's too tall!") will continue to improve the quality of new development. Halifax is already more or less there with the design of new buildings and public spaces, and the understanding that there needs to be new development and more density. It's just not there yet when it comes to heritage, unfortunately.

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 18, 2015, 9:23 PM
Maybe, yeah. I thought about focusing strictly on this block, but the situation is part of a wider civic context of undervaluing heritage.

In any case, I actually think most people don't even bother to engage with things like this; they just want to vent their opinions. When it comes to heritage 90 percent of people will either day "We're turning into just another concrete jungle, boo hoo", or "We need change, tear it all down!"

It's the 90/10 rule: you're writing to the 10 percent of people who will bother to seriously engage with the subject, whether they agree or not. The other 90 percent are just eyeballs.

(Sorry, ten years as a journalist makes you cynical.)

I think you covered the situation quite well, as you focused the story on Doyle block, but brought it to the readers' attention that this is not an isolated case in the city.

Well done! :tup:

Colin May
Nov 18, 2015, 9:39 PM
Media coverage usually feels really buddy-buddy with the development community. And every story is basically written by template: developer proposes a thing, people think it's too tall, some silly quotes, and done. It really feeds this oppositional paradigm, that developers are, depending on your point of view, ruining the city, or struggling valiantly to make the city better in the face of opposition.

Development stories are also often written by the least experienced reporters. AllNS is the worst for that.

Doyle did go to DRC, but I think their comments were basically "it's great! Maybe some more colour," or something like that. There's a news story that mentions it but I can't seem to find it.
The Herald has been pro business since it started. It is a booster of every scheme put forward by any 'business' person. In the 70s and 80s the Halifax Board of Trade was on a par with the Pope. Nobody committed suicide, everything was rosy or would/could be rosier and every madcap promoter was greeted with fulsome coverage. I have a photocopy of two seperate headlines from the Herald, the first said 'Newfoundland deal better than NS' referring to the offshore agreements with Ottawa, and the second headline appeared a few hours later after Premier Buchanan complained and it read 'Offshore deal same as Newfoundland'.
The Herald just does not believe in printing bad news, especially when it is true. Reality must not impede our march to greatness, a sentiment which is often indirectly expressed on this forum.
Thank god for David Bentley and his Bedford Sackville News which begat The Daily News and then Frank. He scooped the Herald many times, pricked pomposity and shook up those inclined to somnolence.

counterfactual
Nov 18, 2015, 10:25 PM
Opinion piece on the Doyle Block:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1322827-opinion-halifax-will-lose-character-with-city-block’s-demolition

It's a great piece. Balanced. Hope Westwood is paying attention. This could be an iconic development if they could at least preserve the bank facade and incorporate.

Very true that the stupid freaking view planes really obstruct things here, which is dumb because the only view planes that matter are those towards George's Island and out through the Harbour narrows. Nobody cares about view planes in this direction!

Drybrain also got in a much deserved and necessary shot at the Heritage Trust, though he threw more of a jab than a haymaker. They deserve some big shots. :)

someone123
Nov 18, 2015, 11:10 PM
The Herald just does not believe in printing bad news, especially when it is true.

Really? All of the headlines on their website right now are negative.

I would say that the Herald seems to have people it likes, and presents their proposals in a positive light, but that it often describes the present economic situation as being incredibly negative. I don't think it always paints a rosy picture of the economy in Halifax or NS. The story is often "OMG, we are headed for economic collapse unless we do X!", which is essentially bad news.

counterfactual
Nov 19, 2015, 12:47 AM
Really? All of the headlines on their website right now are negative.

I would say that the Herald seems to have people it likes, and presents their proposals in a positive light, but that it often describes the present economic situation as being incredibly negative. I don't think it always paints a rosy picture of the economy in Halifax or NS. The story is often "OMG, we are headed for economic collapse unless we do X!", which is essentially bad news.

In fairness, I think the Herald is only being responsible in this sense. Nova Scotia really is headed for economic collapse, if it doesn't reverse the ugly demographic trends (thousands of youth leaving yearly, and the old getting older).

We also need to significantly reign in health spending. It's already over half of our annual budget, and will grow. There are so many examples of waste and outright abuse in the system. The base salary for nurses is $55K - $85K a year, with the latter being the upper ceiling for nurses with 30+ years of experience. That seems fine to me, until we read the annual stories about nurses doubling and tripling these base salaries via overtime. One nurse in Cape Breton made 30% more than the CEO of Capital Health, who makes $250,000 as head of the largest health care unit in the province. Imagine having a $70K base salary and earning three times that via overtime. Only in Nova Scotia can you get away with crap like this. :haha:

Halifax may be doing fine, but Nova Scotia will bankrupt it, without some significant changes. In ways, it already is. Halifax chokes on ridiculous property valuations/assessments (that lead to ridiculous property taxes on businesses, because of the residence cap), creeping tax brackets (unlike all other provinces, we do not adjust tax rates for inflation/cost of living changes, so our income taxes are literally raised every single year), and that is besides the fact we already have some of the highest taxes in the country.

This is why the nurse scandals and the dying, sinking, Yarmouth ferry drives me crazy. You wouldn't mind if these morons in Provincial Politics actually used the money to help real problems, build infrastructure, or invest in education and youth for the future. But they don't.

Drybrain
Nov 19, 2015, 1:55 AM
In fairness, I think the Herald is only being responsible in this sense. Nova Scotia really is headed for economic collapse, if it doesn't reverse the ugly demographic trends (thousands of youth leaving yearly, and the old getting older).



I don't want to be like "everything is fine " because clearly these are big problems. But it does feel as if the Herald (and regional CBC) overstate the negative, or leave readers with the impression that Nova Scotia is faring terribly in all ways.

There are a lot of people who believe that, for example, Halifax has high unemployment, or that Nova Scotia'a debt is worse than every other province, or whatever. That's because these things are never contextualized properly and a lot of reporting is driven by assumption, not fact. For example, CBC a few months ago ran a story saying Halifax had a shrinking population. This was based on the reporter misstating that the population GROWTH rate was shrinking. So that became a headline "Halifax population declines." In the context of an outrageously pessimistic civic climate, no one questioned such a self-evidently incorrect headline.

I'd also add that 2015 is shaping up to be the opposite, the strongest year for population growth in more than a decade. No reporting on that though.

The relentless bad-news drumbeat goes beyond making us aware of problems, and dives straight into fatalism. I think it makes people feel terrible, rather than fired up to address problems. I think it leads at least some prople to leave, out of an assumption that there's "no future" here, rather than due to any personal hardship.

And they really can't go a day without using the phrase "outmigration". The funny thing is, MS outmigrstion is not proportionally much higher than most provinces, but it isn't offset by sufficient in-migration and immigration.

So yeah, we have a lot of issues, but this fixation on our poor demographics, etc, is maybe excessive. We need some sunlight with the gloom. It's like climate change: environmentalists are starting to talk more about solutions and the economic snd technological possibilities of fixing the situation, rather than just thumping people over the head with apocalyptic scenarios call the time. Because that just made people feel hopeless and ready to give up.

hokus83
Nov 19, 2015, 2:21 AM
The Nova Scotia health care system is so inadequate and dysfunctional I wouldn't recommend anyone living in this province any longer regardless of what the economy is like.

portapetey
Nov 19, 2015, 2:55 AM
I don't want to be like "everything is fine " because clearly these are big problems. But it does feel as if the Herald (and regional CBC) overstate the negative, or leave readers with the impression that Nova Scotia is faring terribly in all ways.

There are a lot of people who believe that, for example, Halifax has high unemployment, or that Nova Scotia'a debt is worse than every other province, or whatever. That's because these things are never contextualized properly and a lot of reporting is driven by assumption, not fact. For example, CBC a few months ago ran a story saying Halifax had a shrinking population. This was based on the reporter misstating that the population GROWTH rate was shrinking. So that became a headline "Halifax population declines." In the context of an outrageously pessimistic civic climate, no one questioned such a self-evidently incorrect headline.

I'd also add that 2015 is shaping up to be the opposite, the strongest year for population growth in more than a decade. No reporting on that though.

The relentless bad-news drumbeat goes beyond making us aware of problems, and dives straight into fatalism. I think it makes people feel terrible, rather than fired up to address problems. I think it leads at least some prople to leave, out of an assumption that there's "no future" here, rather than due to any personal hardship.

And they really can't go a day without using the phrase "outmigration". The funny thing is, MS outmigrstion is not proportionally much higher than most provinces, but it isn't offset by sufficient in-migration and immigration.

So yeah, we have a lot of issues, but this fixation on our poor demographics, etc, is maybe excessive. We need some sunlight with the gloom. It's like climate change: environmentalists are starting to talk more about solutions and the economic snd technological possibilities of fixing the situation, rather than just thumping people over the head with apocalyptic scenarios call the time. Because that just made people feel hopeless and ready to give up.


Hear hear. Perhaps this can be the basis for your next balanced and reasonable Herald article. :cheers:

someone123
Nov 19, 2015, 6:41 AM
For example, CBC a few months ago ran a story saying Halifax had a shrinking population.

For 2014-2015, Statistics Canada has Halifax pegged at 1.4% growth. That is pretty much ideal for a city; much beyond that and it gets hard to grow infrastructure fast enough. The unemployment rate is 5.9%, one of the lowest in Canada (Calgary has crept up to 6.7% due to the downturn there) and there has been job and income growth. Basically Halifax is, economically, one of the healthiest cities in Canada by any important and objective measure.

Often the provincial statistics are misunderstood as well. For example, NS population has been basically stagnant for a few years, but this aggregate statistic masks the more nuanced shift that is taking place. The urban part of the province is growing, rural areas with good access to the city (e.g. Kings and Hants) are growing or staying about the same, and far-flung rural areas with poor services are rapidly declining.

Many of the conclusions that people reach by looking at provincial statistics are, I think, dead wrong. People think that the city is growing only because of migrants from rural areas and that that will stop when the rural areas become depopulated. Wrong. People think that you can project the current provincial trends forward in time based on the aggregate totals. Also wrong. The declining, poorer areas represent a smaller and smaller percentage of the province as the years go by. As a result they will eventually have less impact on the provincial growth rate. Population loss in those areas also isn't necessarily bad since these are the places with the weakest economies that are the most expensive to provide services to. Often economic growth comes from getting people to live in areas that are more economically efficient, and that's what's happening in NS.

So a lot of the griping is just wrong. But I do think that the other point you alluded to is more important because it renders the fact-checking largely moot; even if the doom and gloom were 100% justified, it would still not be a useful solution.

beyeas
Nov 19, 2015, 12:25 PM
When it comes to whether the press is overly pro or overly con booster, that just reminds me more of how in politics everyone on the left thinks the press is a right wing overlord and everyone on the right thinks the press is a left wing conspiracy. The truth is that they are neither, and the simple reality is that the newspapers want to sell papers and will go with whatever headline they think will grab attention. Sometimes that is boosterism, sometimes that is being Debbie downer, sometimes it is attacking the right, sometimes it is attacking the left.

With respect to the economy & healthcare, I agree with the assessments that Halifax's economy is actually pretty healthy, while Nova Scotia's is well down the path to disaster if we don't change our course. The mechanics of 1st past the post elections is a part of creating a structure where you only win government by getting as many seats in rural ridings as possible, which leads to local pandering and support of industries that are dead or dying.

With healthcare, while I completely agree that the quoted examples of insane overtime certainly should not exist, they are not THE problem. Stuff like that is easy to point to, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the bigger problems. We have backed ourselves into a healthcare system that is highly highly resistant to change, and stifles innovation. Changing the amount of overtime paid is one thing, but we won't see real change in our healthcare system until we allow permit free thinking innovation that is going to lead to short term pain, with a goal of a complete restructuring the approach to delivering care.

We have broader structural issues with both health promotion and delivery of medical services. We have the highest rate of diabetes and the highest rates of certain forms of cancer in Canada, and yet have limited effort put into actually changing that. Instead we focus on paying to treat it, and frankly we are not even all that well set up to do that! There is so much that happens within our tertiary care centres like the QEII and IWK that should never be happening there. Tertiary care hospitals are great at what they do when it comes to true tertiary and quartenary level care (think neurosurgery, major trauma, etc), but delivering basic healthcare in that setting is expensive. Sending people who broke their arm etc to the QEII or IWK is insane, and stuff like that in many other jurisdictions is delivered far more cheaply using community resources. Some/much of what goes on should be done at the level of community clinics that have x-ray, ultrasound, blood labs etc, not a large academic hospital. There is almost zero focus on "health" and an almost exclusive focus on treating existing disease through medical intervention, and we are massively behind other jurisdictions when it comes to eHealth.

I can give you two concrete examples of what I am talking about...
1) I was talking recently to a hospital administrator who was working in a hospital not in NS, and he was telling me about a change they had made. $750k was removed from the budget of a specific unit and shifted downstream in the patient care stream. This resulted in beds closing in that unit. However, because of the change they were actually able to successfully treat more patients per year, even with the fewer beds, because the same money was now better spent in the downstream side which involved speeding the ability to get the patients back out of the system and into their homes. If you tried that here the first thing that would happen is the department losing budget would scream bloody murder, followed shortly by headlines about how this government was going to close beds. We suppress innovation.
2) Dr. Mike Dunbar, an ortho surgeon here at the QEII has talked many times about how we should be doing things like developing smart phone apps that use the accelerometer in those phones to record information about "gait", which his research team has shown is highly predictive of those who will benefit from surgery for things like hip and knee issues, and those who will not and should seek other treatment. He talks about how many many people wait months and months to get into his clinic, and then he examines them for 5 minutes only to tell them that they instead should have been getting physio and won't benefit from surgery. As he says, the easiest way to shorten wait lists for hip replacement surgery is to shorten the list by getting people off it who never should have been on it to begin with! Again, an innovative inexpensive smart phone app would have a massive impact on our healthcare system.

Whether it is our economy or healthcare, which frankly we can't separate out anyway, we are desperate in this province for change, and our problem is we have structured the entire thing to be utterly resistant to such change.

beyeas
Nov 19, 2015, 12:47 PM
I should probably note, after my rant about my frustrations with introducing change in healthcare, that I do get the sense that there is new blood in the system that may lead to change.

For example, the Inaugural Nova Scotia Health Quality Summit is taking place soon, and things like this place an explicit emphasis not only on changes to the system, but critically on actually using value measures of the impact on health quality. We need to get past resistance to change by actually looking at objective measures like impact on quality per dollar spent. I would also note that I think the new CEO of the IWK, in particular, is a breath of fresh air in that I get the sense that she really wants to come in with new eyes and take the opportunity to relook at what we are doing, why we are doing it, and what we should be doing differently. As much as I am frustrated by the current state of our system, I am heartened by some of the signs of change more recently.

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 19, 2015, 9:55 PM
Came across this blog item today about the old BMO/Maritime Life building about to be torn down on SGR for the Doyle Block project. The use of materials in the building is actually quite interesting. There is no way any new construction on this site will use high quality materials such as this. There are great pics to check out, if interested.

http://halifaxbloggers.ca/noticedinnovascotia/2015/11/another-one-bites-the-dust/

Dmajackson
Nov 20, 2015, 1:07 AM
Community Design Advisory Committee has a long but interesting report on bonus-density, it's impact on development downtown, and how it should be used in the Centre Plan;

CDAC Agenda - November 15th, 2015 (http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/CDACAgenda151125.php)

counterfactual
Nov 20, 2015, 3:01 AM
I don't want to be like "everything is fine " because clearly these are big problems. But it does feel as if the Herald (and regional CBC) overstate the negative, or leave readers with the impression that Nova Scotia is faring terribly in all ways.

There are a lot of people who believe that, for example, Halifax has high unemployment, or that Nova Scotia'a debt is worse than every other province, or whatever. That's because these things are never contextualized properly and a lot of reporting is driven by assumption, not fact. For example, CBC a few months ago ran a story saying Halifax had a shrinking population. This was based on the reporter misstating that the population GROWTH rate was shrinking. So that became a headline "Halifax population declines." In the context of an outrageously pessimistic civic climate, no one questioned such a self-evidently incorrect headline.

I'd also add that 2015 is shaping up to be the opposite, the strongest year for population growth in more than a decade. No reporting on that though.

The relentless bad-news drumbeat goes beyond making us aware of problems, and dives straight into fatalism. I think it makes people feel terrible, rather than fired up to address problems. I think it leads at least some prople to leave, out of an assumption that there's "no future" here, rather than due to any personal hardship.

And they really can't go a day without using the phrase "outmigration". The funny thing is, MS outmigrstion is not proportionally much higher than most provinces, but it isn't offset by sufficient in-migration and immigration.

So yeah, we have a lot of issues, but this fixation on our poor demographics, etc, is maybe excessive. We need some sunlight with the gloom. It's like climate change: environmentalists are starting to talk more about solutions and the economic snd technological possibilities of fixing the situation, rather than just thumping people over the head with apocalyptic scenarios call the time. Because that just made people feel hopeless and ready to give up.

For 2014-2015, Statistics Canada has Halifax pegged at 1.4% growth. That is pretty much ideal for a city; much beyond that and it gets hard to grow infrastructure fast enough. The unemployment rate is 5.9%, one of the lowest in Canada (Calgary has crept up to 6.7% due to the downturn there) and there has been job and income growth. Basically Halifax is, economically, one of the healthiest cities in Canada by any important and objective measure.

Often the provincial statistics are misunderstood as well. For example, NS population has been basically stagnant for a few years, but this aggregate statistic masks the more nuanced shift that is taking place. The urban part of the province is growing, rural areas with good access to the city (e.g. Kings and Hants) are growing or staying about the same, and far-flung rural areas with poor services are rapidly declining.

Many of the conclusions that people reach by looking at provincial statistics are, I think, dead wrong. People think that the city is growing only because of migrants from rural areas and that that will stop when the rural areas become depopulated. Wrong. People think that you can project the current provincial trends forward in time based on the aggregate totals. Also wrong. The declining, poorer areas represent a smaller and smaller percentage of the province as the years go by. As a result they will eventually have less impact on the provincial growth rate. Population loss in those areas also isn't necessarily bad since these are the places with the weakest economies that are the most expensive to provide services to. Often economic growth comes from getting people to live in areas that are more economically efficient, and that's what's happening in NS.

So a lot of the griping is just wrong. But I do think that the other point you alluded to is more important because it renders the fact-checking largely moot; even if the doom and gloom were 100% justified, it would still not be a useful solution.

While you two are among my favorite posters here, and balance is always important, I think your takes on Nova Scotia's actual challenges seem to me decidedly complacent.

I actually think Drybrain's analogy surrounding climate change as an apt comparison. When did Al Gore first start lecturing on the climate change threat in the form of "inconvenient truth", which he would turn into a movie? I think it was around 2003 or 2004. We're now literally over a decade later, a few blockbuster "disaster" movies and a highly success Gore documentary, a Nobel prize for climate science, near unanimous consensus in the scientific community of the threat, and some of the world's most powerful leaders on board. And what have we done? Really nothing concrete. It's true that maybe we're finally getting down to brass tacks. But it took 10 years of brow beating and threats and apocalyptic predictions to get here, where we're finally acting.

Change is difficult enough in Nova Scotia, but the change we need to make to address these challenges *will* require some comparable significant brow-beating to fix, and we're nowhere where we need to be.

Again, I agree that Halifax seems to be doing fine, but Nova Scotia, overall, is not. And we're still not even half of NS' population. If Nova Scotia spirals off a demographic cliff, with a incredibly shrinking tax base due to an incredibly shrinking working age population coupled with a radically growing senior population, Halifax cannot save it. It'll be dragged right along with it. And Halifax, too, isn't getting younger. While not as significantly impacted by demographic challenges as most other parts of the province, we're are not isolated from them.

It's gotten quite trendy to yawn about the Ivany Report, but it's urgency was as accurate today, as it was when it was first tabled.

* 100,000 fewer working age people by 2036, a 20% decline.
* projected 41% increase in 65+ aged population from 2009-2034
* projected 30% decrease in 0-20 year population from 2009-2034
* projected 21% decrease in 20-64 year population from 2009-2034
* Seniors will constitute almost 30% of our population by 2035

* the average taxpayer aged 65 and older contributes 46 per cent less income tax revenue than works aged 45 to 54 years.

And today, before any of these changes take place, health care already eats up $4.5 billion of the province's $9.5 billion annual budget

What else?

* Worst Real GDP growth 1990-2009 by percent among all provinces
* Ludicrous labour force participation. 63.4% in 2013, second lowest in Canada, with 290,000 jobless and not trying to find a job.
* Lagging levels of urbanization compared to ROC; while urbanization has accelerated in the rest of Canada since the 1920s, it's been flat in Nova Scotia essentially since 1951, right up until 2011. We may perceive that to be incrementally changing, I'm not sure it is, and stupid federal/provincial policies will continue to sustain unrealistic rural service provision, sinking ferries, dying 19th century industrial plants and mills, and will thus continue to deter urbanization over the long term, increasing costs and reducing the dynamism of cities like Halifax.
* radical youth unemployment, at 18.3% in 2014, the very highest in Canada. This is also terrible in Halifax. From 2002-2012, only 3% of new jobs went to workers under the age of 45.

* Still lagging on immigration. We are doing better, but we've never received more than 3000 immigrants in any given year in the last 15 years. Even if we doubled our usual immigration numbers to 4000, only received working age immigrants, and sustained that amount of in-migrant settlement for 20 years, we'd still not have enough to cover the projected loss of 100,000 working age population by the same time.

At some point, it becomes a matter of basic math, and the in 20 years, nothing will add up anymore.

I don't at all blame the Chronicle Herald for sounding the alarm. Anything less would be irresponsible. Sometimes balance simply won't do.

Drybrain
Nov 20, 2015, 4:38 AM
It's gotten quite trendy to yawn about the Ivany Report, but it's urgency was as accurate today, as it was when it was first tabled.

* 100,000 fewer working age people by 2036, a 20% decline.
* projected 41% increase in 65+ aged population from 2009-2034
* projected 30% decrease in 0-20 year population from 2009-2034
* projected 21% decrease in 20-64 year population from 2009-2034
* Seniors will constitute almost 30% of our population by 2035

* the average taxpayer aged 65 and older contributes 46 per cent less income tax revenue than works aged 45 to 54 years.

And today, before any of these changes take place, health care already eats up $4.5 billion of the province's $9.5 billion annual budget

What else?

* Worst Real GDP growth 1990-2009 by percent among all provinces
* Ludicrous labour force participation. 63.4% in 2013, second lowest in Canada, with 290,000 jobless and not trying to find a job.
* Lagging levels of urbanization compared to ROC; while urbanization has accelerated in the rest of Canada since the 1920s, it's been flat in Nova Scotia essentially since 1951, right up until 2011. We may perceive that to be incrementally changing, I'm not sure it is, and stupid federal/provincial policies will continue to sustain unrealistic rural service provision, sinking ferries, dying 19th century industrial plants and mills, and will thus continue to deter urbanization over the long term, increasing costs and reducing the dynamism of cities like Halifax.
* radical youth unemployment, at 18.3% in 2014, the very highest in Canada. This is also terrible in Halifax. From 2002-2012, only 3% of new jobs went to workers under the age of 45.

* Still lagging on immigration. We are doing better, but we've never received more than 3000 immigrants in any given year in the last 15 years. Even if we doubled our usual immigration numbers to 4000, only received working age immigrants, and sustained that amount of in-migrant settlement for 20 years, we'd still not have enough to cover the projected loss of 100,000 working age population by the same time.

At some point, it becomes a matter of basic math, and the in 20 years, nothing will add up anymore.

I don't at all blame the Chronicle Herald for sounding the alarm. Anything less would be irresponsible. Sometimes balance simply won't do.

I agree with all that, but on balance this is still a prosperous first-world jurisdiction. People legitamately think we're heading for a Greece or Detroit situation, which just isn't in the cards for us.

Youth unemployment is bad, but I really want to see city-specific numbers. It's actually better than the other Maritime provinces, and on par with Ontario and the national average. (This page has numbers (http://behindthenumbers.ca/2015/10/15/lets-talk-jobs-how-does-your-province-compare/)if you scroll down a bit.) I've heard the 3 percent of jobs going to people under 45, but I can't believe that isn't some skewed metric. Virtually everyone I know is under 45, and are all employed. I'm certain there's something up with that stat.

Anyway, I know it can sound like pleading for complacency, but it's just context. Most of our problems are common to all provinces, but exaggerated. I do worry that being under-urbanized makes us less resilient, but rural NS has become so old that frankly, the death rate there is going to drive our urban/rural ratio higher. That's nor really how you want to shift those numbers, but it will expedite things.

If you crunch the numbers for Quebec or ontario, it starts to look pretty scary there too. It's masked somewhat by immigration levels,, but the fundamentals are all going the wrong way, as they are in most of the western world. We need to stop think we're uniquely screwed, and start thinking about how to address issues without inducing despair.

counterfactual
Nov 20, 2015, 5:06 AM
I agree with all that, but on balance this is still a prosperous first-world jurisdiction. People legitamately think we're heading for a Greece or Detroit situation, which just isn't in the cards for us.

Youth unemployment is bad, but I really want to see city-specific numbers. It's actually better than the other Maritime provinces, and on par with Ontario and the national average. (This page has numbers (http://behindthenumbers.ca/2015/10/15/lets-talk-jobs-how-does-your-province-compare/)if you scroll down a bit.) I've heard the 3 percent of jobs going to people under 45, but I can't believe that isn't some skewed metric. Virtually everyone I know is under 45, and are all employed. I'm certain there's something up with that stat.

Anyway, I know it can sound like pleading for complacency, but it's just context. Most of our problems are common to all provinces, but exaggerated. I do worry that being under-urbanized makes us less resilient, but rural NS has become so old that frankly, the death rate there is going to drive our urban/rural ratio higher. That's nor really how you want to shift those numbers, but it will expedite things.

If you crunch the numbers for Quebec or ontario, it starts to look pretty scary there too. It's masked somewhat by immigration levels,, but the fundamentals are all going the wrong way, as they are in most of the western world. We need to stop think we're uniquely screwed, and start thinking about how to address issues without inducing despair.

No doubt Ontario and Quebec are in a rough spot, particularly Quebec. At some point, a Government is going to have to make some significant and extremely difficult decisions to change things. Premier Wynne, too, has backed away from her promise to expand Ontario's pension fund; a ludicrous proposition given the province's own fiscal challenges and the Baby Boomer factor.

It's difficult to find city-by-city youth unemployment comparisons, though my sense is that Halifax is much lower than Nova Scotia's youth unemployment rate, and comparable to the national average which hovers around 14%.

The 3% number came from a Halifax Partnership report, and I think it refers to new jobs added to the economy. So if your friends were employed within existing positions, that wouldn't be counted. It means new jobs created, they went almost exclusively 45+ aged workers... which is very shortsighted.

Again, recent Provincial Government moves to provide for targeted quotas for youth hires is a great step in leadership, especially Government calling on private sector to follow suit.

I took the 18.3% number for Nova Scotia, from this recent report on the lives of youth in NS:
http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1241914-lives-of-nova-scotia%E2%80%99s-youth-much-worse-than-decade-ago

States that number was, at the time (2014), the worst in Canada.

A few more graphics.

http://www.halifaxpartnership.com/site/media/Parent/YOUTH_RETENTION_1-web.jpg

http://www.halifaxpartnership.com/site/media/Parent/HALNS_8-web.jpg

Halifax not entirely insulated from demographic issues.

However, notwithstanding all of the stats I cited, and these additional links, I actually think Nova Scotia's problems are quite solvable.

In fact, while things will necessarily be a tough slog for the next 20 years, Nova Scotia can, in significant ways, be saved from a fiscal cliff by significantly ramping up immigration alone.

If we can invest in immigration attraction and settlement, and double our annual immigration in take-- such that we annually take in 4000-5000 annually-- we don't entirely solve our population challenges, but significantly reduce the demographic/fiscal dangers, so long as we also significantly reign in, or hold the line on, health spending... that might be just enough to get us over the Boomer hump.

In light of the population projections, I can understand why the Ivany Report called for *tripling* annual immigration numbers, even if that's unrealistic.

But calling for more, should at least kick start things. The present government is making slow progress. But immigration increases have never been politically popular. So I worry.

Hali87
Nov 20, 2015, 9:42 AM
Something that I think is overlooked when people worry about the "rapidly aging population that will retire soon" in NS and the difficulty in young people finding jobs - is that these two things are directly linked, and when the older generation retires en masse, suddenly a lot of very good jobs (with very inflated salaries!) that had previously been unavailable will become available. A lot of the struggling younger generation (or whatever's left of it by then - when is this demographic cliff?) will take up these jobs, and other people will move here to take the rest, if there are any left.

Drybrain
Nov 20, 2015, 11:58 AM
In fact, while things will necessarily be a tough slog for the next 20 years, Nova Scotia can, in significant ways, be saved from a fiscal cliff by significantly ramping up immigration alone.

If we can invest in immigration attraction and settlement, and double our annual immigration in take-- such that we annually take in 4000-5000 annually-- we don't entirely solve our population challenges, but significantly reduce the demographic/fiscal dangers, so long as we also significantly reign in, or hold the line on, health spending... that might be just enough to get us over the Boomer hump.

In light of the population projections, I can understand why the Ivany Report called for *tripling* annual immigration numbers, even if that's unrealistic.



I wonder if tripling immigration seems more daunting than it is. Saskatchewan and PEI have both done that in the past decade, though in the former case it was due to an economic boom, and in the latter the numbers were so small to begin with that tripping was less impressive (though still big deal for PEI).

I think we should be about to double it at least. Higher PNP quota, and more awareness raising and other promotion programs to get some from other streams. I'm far from an expert, but it strikes me as something that should be doable.

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 20, 2015, 2:15 PM
Something that I think is overlooked when people worry about the "rapidly aging population that will retire soon" in NS and the difficulty in young people finding jobs - is that these two things are directly linked, and when the older generation retires en masse, suddenly a lot of very good jobs (with very inflated salaries!) that had previously been unavailable will become available. A lot of the struggling younger generation (or whatever's left of it by then - when is this demographic cliff?) will take up these jobs, and other people will move here to take the rest, if there are any left.

Except those "very inflated salaries" will leave with the retirees. Companies will replace their jobs with much lower-salaried entry-level positions and will likely not inflate the salaries of those moving up on the ladder to any great extent as they had done in the past. Plus, companies are tending to run more "lean" these days and oftentimes don't replace outgoing positions with an equivalent number of new positions, or will replace some of those positions with outside contract employees that they do not have to take responsibility for. So all in all, it is a little less rosy than it appears on the surface.

Mind you, the companies will still make out alright as the money saved will help pad their profit margins (cynicism alert). :2cents:

counterfactual
Nov 20, 2015, 4:07 PM
Except those "very inflated salaries" will leave with the retirees. Companies will replace their jobs with much lower-salaried entry-level positions and will likely not inflate the salaries of those moving up on the ladder to any great extent as they had done in the past. Plus, companies are tending to run more "lean" these days and oftentimes don't replace outgoing positions with an equivalent number of new positions, or will replace some of those positions with outside contract employees that they do not have to take responsibility for. So all in all, it is a little less rosy than it appears on the surface.

Mind you, the companies will still make out alright as the money saved will help pad their profit margins (cynicism alert). :2cents:

I think that's right, Mark.

Governments with shrinking tax base from a loss of a substantial portion of working age taxpayers that also need to spend more money on health care provision, will eliminate costs in other areas. That means less money for education, immigration settlement, etc, and it also means basically eliminating jobs via attribution (if not outright job cuts). So, as senior people retire, their positions are just eliminated. They won't go to younger job applicants.

Companies who cater to key spending demographics, like teens, young adults, families, have a shrinking potential customer base in NS over the next 20 years. So, they also streamline, cut jobs, costs, etc. If there are retirements, those jobs also go by attrition.

beyeas
Nov 20, 2015, 4:38 PM
I think that's right, Mark.

Governments with shrinking tax base from a loss of a substantial portion of working age taxpayers that also need to spend more money on health care provision, will eliminate costs in other areas. That means less money for education, immigration settlement, etc, and it also means basically eliminating jobs via attribution (if not outright job cuts). So, as senior people retire, their positions are just eliminated. They won't go to younger job applicants.

Companies who cater to key spending demographics, like teens, young adults, families, have a shrinking potential customer base in NS over the next 20 years. So, they also streamline, cut jobs, costs, etc. If there are retirements, those jobs also go by attrition.

I actually think we face a slightly different challenge than that.

Yes we are facing a higher than average retirement rate, and yes they will be replaced with cheaper younger workers (as they should be).

This is not a cliff though. Just because these people retire does not mean they all of a sudden cease to contribute tax revenue. These workers who were making the bigger salaries and now retirees drawing comparable dollars out of their RRSPs, and spending in the economy at a rate that often is higher than when they were younger and trying to save. If you take a job of someone making $100k who then retires, gets replaced by a younger person who now makes $50k, and the retiree draws $80k a year out of their RRSP's, this is actually probably MORE tax revenue. The math will never be that simple, and yes there will definitely be jobs that are not replaced (also, in the big picture not necessarily always a bad thing from an competitiveness perspective), but this is an issue to be managed, not the bankruptcy inducing cliff that it is sold as in the press.

The bigger issue is what happens to the company revenue that is saved when salary costs are reduced? Take Clearwater (not picking on them, just purely as a random example)... Their revenue picture is global, and how much revenue they make will not be driven by what happens here. But, if they were to save money by replacing with cheaper younger management or by not replacing workers, what happens to that money? What would be best for NS is if that money was reinvested into R&D and innovations to drive improved productivity. However, what can often happen is that the money instead leaves the province and is spent elsewhere. Canada has a very poor record of encouraging companies to invest locally in either R&D or productivity. That to me is the bigger issue.

counterfactual
Nov 20, 2015, 5:46 PM
I actually think we face a slightly different challenge than that.

Yes we are facing a higher than average retirement rate, and yes they will be replaced with cheaper younger workers (as they should be).

This is not a cliff though. Just because these people retire does not mean they all of a sudden cease to contribute tax revenue. These workers who were making the bigger salaries and now retirees drawing comparable dollars out of their RRSPs, and spending in the economy at a rate that often is higher than when they were younger and trying to save. If you take a job of someone making $100k who then retires, gets replaced by a younger person who now makes $50k, and the retiree draws $80k a year out of their RRSP's, this is actually probably MORE tax revenue. The math will never be that simple, and yes there will definitely be jobs that are not replaced (also, in the big picture not necessarily always a bad thing from an competitiveness perspective), but this is an issue to be managed, not the bankruptcy inducing cliff that it is sold as in the press.

The bigger issue is what happens to the company revenue that is saved when salary costs are reduced? Take Clearwater (not picking on them, just purely as a random example)... Their revenue picture is global, and how much revenue they make will not be driven by what happens here. But, if they were to save money by replacing with cheaper younger management or by not replacing workers, what happens to that money? What would be best for NS is if that money was reinvested into R&D and innovations to drive improved productivity. However, what can often happen is that the money instead leaves the province and is spent elsewhere. Canada has a very poor record of encouraging companies to invest locally in either R&D or productivity. That to me is the bigger issue.

Highlighted portion: I don't think that is true.

All studies/stats suggest that someone who is retired and 65+ contributes substantially less than what they did to the tax revenue base (income / sales tax) when working.

So, for example, one study found that while workers aged 30-64 contribute net federal tax of around 7,000 (annually), senors (65+) contributed on average 4,800 annually.

And this differential increases as seniors approach 80+ and that is also when long term care demands also intensify.

This might be slowed by the fact that Boomers are also the wealthiest generation in history, and have accumulated much wealth and assets, and also incentives for seniors to continue working, but again, these measures will be increasingly ineffective as seniors approach 80, when work is less feasible and health care needs increase. When Boomers approach 80+ around 2030, that will be the stress point for us (and all of Canada).

See: http://www.psc.ntu.edu.tw/outline/e_paper/pop30/30_2.pdf

Moreover, government transfers constitute the largest share of income for seniors:

Government transfers accounted for 41.1% of the total income for Canadians aged 65 years and over and 90% of these transfers came from Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP), Old Age Security pension (OAS), and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)(source: 2011 Census).

By comparison, private retirement income only constitutes about 30% share of seniors' income. So, it's actually government money being spent, which is raised through taxes on people still working/paying taxes.

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 20, 2015, 6:22 PM
Highlighted portion: I don't think that is true.

All studies/stats suggest that someone who is retired and 65+ contributes substantially less than what they did to the tax revenue base (income / sales tax) when working.

So, for example, one study found that while workers aged 30-64 contribute net federal tax of around 7,000 (annually), senors (65+) contributed on average 4,800 annually.

And this differential increases as seniors approach 80+ and that is also when long term care demands also intensify.

This might be slowed by the fact that Boomers are also the wealthiest generation in history, and have accumulated much wealth and assets, and also incentives for seniors to continue working, but again, these measures will be increasingly ineffective as seniors approach 80, when work is less feasible and health care needs increase. When Boomers approach 80+ around 2030, that will be the stress point for us (and all of Canada).

See: http://www.psc.ntu.edu.tw/outline/e_paper/pop30/30_2.pdf

Moreover, government transfers constitute the largest share of income for seniors:



By comparison, private retirement income only constitutes about 30% share of seniors' income. So, it's actually government money being spent, which is raised through taxes on people still working/paying taxes.

I think it's a little complicated, though, as (anecdotally as usual) most people I know who have retired typically have less spending money than when they were working due to the decrease in income and increase in out-of-pocket medical expenses because of the ceasing of their medical insurance through their job (of course this would vary depending upon the value of their RRSPs, other investments, etc.). However, many people will take on a post-retirement job, either part time or at least at a lower pay rate (with less stress) than their previous careers, either to keep busy or to just have a little extra spending money.

Regarding their "wealth" (which is a little questionable to me, as a lot of 'boomers' have given a large part of their "wealth" to their kids, or at least help them out financially on a regular basis), the current trend as I've seen it is that an elderly person's savings are generally depleted by the cost of their long-term care, if they live long enough.

I've seen it happen, where they sell off their house or condo and move into a care facility like Shannex or The Berkeley, which can cost from $3000 - $7000+ per month depending on the level of care required, and/or the size of their apartment. If you do the math, it doesn't take too many years before a person's life savings has been filtered back into the economy. Then once they pass, whatever money is left goes back into the family anyways, which puts their remaining assets back into the economy again one way or another.

How all that figures into the stats I'm not sure. :2cents:

Drybrain
Nov 20, 2015, 10:36 PM
All this talk of downsizing retirees is making me realize that real estate in this province is a crap investment, unless you're in central Halifax or in some South Shore town popular with the sailboat set. I'd hate to be a homeowner in the exurban reaches of HRM right now. Future population growth looks to be mostly accruing to the regional centre, so talk about a buyer's market on the outskirts.

worldlyhaligonian
Nov 20, 2015, 11:22 PM
But think of what our funeral industry is going to be in a few years! :haha:

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 20, 2015, 11:34 PM
But think of what our funeral industry is going to be in a few years! :haha:

:rolleyes:

someone123
Nov 21, 2015, 1:15 AM
All this talk of downsizing retirees is making me realize that real estate in this province is a crap investment, unless you're in central Halifax or in some South Shore town popular with the sailboat set. I'd hate to be a homeowner in the exurban reaches of HRM right now. Future population growth looks to be mostly accruing to the regional centre, so talk about a buyer's market on the outskirts.

I think this is probably going to be true, and it's going to hit a lot of cities.

It's a bit instructive to think of the long-term predictions from 1990-2000. Back then there were models showing that by 2030 or 2050 the city would be encircled by an enormous belt of Kingswood-like subdivisions, the city's budget would be completely unworkable, etc. That vision is irrelevant today because things have changed over the years.

I remember another population projection from the 70's or so that had Halifax's population peaking at around 250,000 and then declining well before 2015. That was based on the demographics of the day, probably during a period of little in-migration.

The immigration issue shows how easily things can change. It's not far-fetched at all to imagine immigration going up to, say, 10,000 a year in Nova Scotia, and that would completely change the demographics.

As for seniors, well, maybe the solution is to spend less on them rather than watch deficits balloon. In a lot of cases they are making out very well because they receive benefits that are not means tested. It doesn't make a lot of social sense for seniors to get $100,000 or whatever from the public purse in their final years just so that they can leave a bigger inheritance behind, but that's a common scenario.

counterfactual
Nov 21, 2015, 3:27 AM
The immigration issue shows how easily things can change. It's not far-fetched at all to imagine immigration going up to, say, 10,000 a year in Nova Scotia, and that would completely change the demographics.


I wonder if tripling immigration seems more daunting than it is. Saskatchewan and PEI have both done that in the past decade, though in the former case it was due to an economic boom, and in the latter the numbers were so small to begin with that tripping was less impressive (though still big deal for PEI).

I think we should be about to double it at least. Higher PNP quota, and more awareness raising and other promotion programs to get some from other streams. I'm far from an expert, but it strikes me as something that should be doable.

I actually think it's do-able too, but it requires a significant amount of investment in immigration infrastructure and settlement service. It also requires a significant co-operation from the federal government, who must eliminate these idiotic PNP quotas.

There is simply no reason why Saskatchewan and Manitoba should be able to triple our immigration numbers; we should be with them lock step.

But we haven't invested the same as those provinces in building migrant capacity. And we suffer for it. Promoting immigration, unfortunately, is not an election winner in this province. So, it hasn't been done. And so I'm worried this will never be done. But it does seem like this Government is at least showing it is figuring these things out.

counterfactual
Nov 21, 2015, 3:33 AM
I think it's a little complicated, though, as (anecdotally as usual) most people I know who have retired typically have less spending money than when they were working due to the decrease in income and increase in out-of-pocket medical expenses because of the ceasing of their medical insurance through their job (of course this would vary depending upon the value of their RRSPs, other investments, etc.). However, many people will take on a post-retirement job, either part time or at least at a lower pay rate (with less stress) than their previous careers, either to keep busy or to just have a little extra spending money.

Regarding their "wealth" (which is a little questionable to me, as a lot of 'boomers' have given a large part of their "wealth" to their kids, or at least help them out financially on a regular basis), the current trend as I've seen it is that an elderly person's savings are generally depleted by the cost of their long-term care, if they live long enough.

I've seen it happen, where they sell off their house or condo and move into a care facility like Shannex or The Berkeley, which can cost from $3000 - $7000+ per month depending on the level of care required, and/or the size of their apartment. If you do the math, it doesn't take too many years before a person's life savings has been filtered back into the economy. Then once they pass, whatever money is left goes back into the family anyways, which puts their remaining assets back into the economy again one way or another.

How all that figures into the stats I'm not sure. :2cents:

All good points, Mark, and probably right. I think inevitably the economic and revenue contributions of this next generation of seniors will be greater than previous generations, for some of the reasons you and beyeas mention, including governments probably removing all barriers or disincentives for seniors to work.

Pension reform is probably also has to happen, for some of the reasons that someone123 mentions above-- Boomers are incredibly wealthy as a generation, so it seems to make little sense for massive pension amounts to top up large retirement funds and investment income.

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 21, 2015, 2:14 PM
As for seniors, well, maybe the solution is to spend less on them rather than watch deficits balloon. In a lot of cases they are making out very well because they receive benefits that are not means tested. It doesn't make a lot of social sense for seniors to get $100,000 or whatever from the public purse in their final years just so that they can leave a bigger inheritance behind, but that's a common scenario.

I'm not sure how well those generalizations work for Nova Scotia. Maybe someone can disprove this with stats, but I don't see that many wealthy seniors here in NS. There are some, for sure, but the ones with incomes (i.e. pensions, investments, etc.) are still paying income tax. Most seniors that I'm aware of are either living very modestly in a home or apartment, or are in some kind of care facility. I feel that's the majority.

Also I'm not sure where your figure of $100,000 comes from, but I'm assuming that you are talking some kind of cumulative average CPP payout? You should keep in mind that by the time we have reached retirement, we have payed into CPP all our working lives without choice. If there is not enough left then that must be government mismanagement, and not to be blamed on the people who worked hard all their lives only to be thought of as a burden by the younger population, who apparently never plan to become seniors themselves. :2cents:

Do none of you have aging parents or relatives that you care about??

someone123
Nov 21, 2015, 8:11 PM
Also I'm not sure where your figure of $100,000 comes from, but I'm assuming that you are talking some kind of cumulative average CPP payout? You should keep in mind that by the time we have reached retirement, we have payed into CPP all our working lives without choice. If there is not enough left then that must be government mismanagement, and not to be blamed on the people who worked hard all their lives only to be thought of as a burden by the younger population, who apparently never plan to become seniors themselves. :2cents:

Do none of you have aging parents or relatives that you care about??

Well, OAS is $570 a month. It is means tested, but the income cap is $118,000 per person (http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/oas/payments/index.shtml?utm_source=vanity+URL&utm_medium=print+publication,+ISPB-185,+ISPB-341&utm_term=/oasamounts&utm_content=Mar+2013,+eng&utm_campaign=OAS+Pension+2013,+Benefits+for+Low+Income+Seniors). You don't pay into OAS, you just get it. So you could have a person making 6 figures and getting a cheque from the government every month. That alone is a $100,000 benefit to somebody who started under the current payout regime will live to be 80.

Meanwhile the personal exemption on income tax is only $11,000. There are people paying income tax who make $20,000 a year, which is ridiculous.

I am not saying that seniors should be left impoverished, I am just saying that senior benefits should be means tested rather than paid out under the assumption that all seniors are poor. They're not, and conversely there are plenty of non-seniors who are poor and are hit hard by regressive taxes in Canada. I also think that governments could save a lot of money by applying means testing and only giving payouts to people who truly need the money.

Hali87
Nov 21, 2015, 9:06 PM
Except those "very inflated salaries" will leave with the retirees. Companies will replace their jobs with much lower-salaried entry-level positions and will likely not inflate the salaries of those moving up on the ladder to any great extent as they had done in the past. Plus, companies are tending to run more "lean" these days and oftentimes don't replace outgoing positions with an equivalent number of new positions, or will replace some of those positions with outside contract employees that they do not have to take responsibility for. So all in all, it is a little less rosy than it appears on the surface.

Mind you, the companies will still make out alright as the money saved will help pad their profit margins (cynicism alert). :2cents:

Honestly, that (bolded) would be ideal. A lot of the most vocal criticism of the 6-figure salaries and ridiculous overtime is coming from my generation (ie. 20-30 yr olds). Honestly, most of us would be ok with not making an obviously excessive amount of money if it meant that there would be less inequality and money could be spent on more "worthwhile" things. At least that's my impression - maybe my social circle is particularly altruistic, although I don't think that's the case.

Hali87
Nov 21, 2015, 9:23 PM
Do none of you have aging parents or relatives that you care about??

Yes, and to be honest the generalizations about "the boomers" and how most of our problems are their fault kind of reminds me of the responsibility that I, as a straight, (for all intents and purposes)-white male bear for all of society's current problems, even though I have deliberately not done most of the things that my demographic "generally does", for pretty much my entire life (and also that the non-white half of my family was actively discriminated against by the Canadian government to the point of being placed in prison camps, having their property confiscated by the government and sold out from under them, and being banished from BC. But I'm not a "visible" minority, and few people know the specifics of my family's history, so white privilege, right?). Likewise, there are plenty of boomers living in poverty, plenty who don't own cars, plenty who didn't choose to live in the suburbs, plenty who didn't have their careers handed to them on a silver platter, etc. To lump all of these people together simply by virtue of their age, and then blame "people from that age group in general" for a lot of major problems is unfair and not necessarily productive.

OTOH, I recently graduated with a master's degree in planning, and created Chebucto Water Taxi from scratch this year. Now the docks are closed and I am unemployed. Despite all the media attention and pats on the back from friends, acquaintances, colleagues and fairly well-connected strangers, after a month of applying to any and every relevant job I could think of locally, my current job prospects (if I'm lucky) are physical labour or working in a restaurant. Unfortunately it didn't occur to me that I could/might have to draw EI until it was too late - the company wasn't really set up for that this year. My parents have been pretty sympathetic to my situation (probably one more than the other, though) and have been helping me pay my rent etc. in the meantime, but I feel pretty terrible having to rely on them at 28, and it is certainly straining our relationship in some ways. By the time they were my age, they'd had a kid, bought a house, and were putting money into RRSPs. They were also from Alberta and raised in a culture of "work hard, don't rely on anybody else - you get what you deserve, no more, no less" (which is a large part of why relying on them for money is uncomfortable). I OTOH have quite a bit of debt, live in a tiny basement apartment with my best friend, and do not see myself in the position to support a child in the near-to-mid-term. Luckily, 30 is the new 20, as they* say. In many ways it feels like my adult life is really just starting, the way many in the previous generation probably felt when they graduated high school or turned 19 or got their first car.

*30 year olds, probably



On a related note, if anyone knows of any planning-related jobs available in HRM (can be very loosely related), please let me know.

Colin May
Nov 21, 2015, 9:54 PM
Justin said it was wrong for Harper to give child allowances to wealthy parents.
Using Justin logic it must also be wrong to give OAS to wealthy people.
Justin decided it was better to mislead voters rather than explain child allowance paid to wealthy people would be taxed back in the same manner as OAS to wealthy people is taxed back.
In Nova Scotia a single person aged 65 receiving OAS and with a pension of $37,000 will see the $4,141 provincial age allowance reduced to $2,189 and pay $7,401 in income taxes.
There is a great deal of federal money wasted by sending monthly OAS payments to high income seniors and then clawing the money back.
Justin may be right that sending child allowance to wealthy parents is silly but he seems unwilling to say the same about OAS payments to wealthy people.
As for well off seniors in Nova Scotia it is easy to find them. Think of 2 HRM pensioners aged 65 and who earned an average of $50,000 before retiring; each one has a pension of $35,000 plus $10,000 CPP and another $6,840 OAS for a total of $51,840 per person.
A labourer at Halifax water starts at just over $20 an hour.

counterfactual
Nov 21, 2015, 10:55 PM
Justin said it was wrong for Harper to give child allowances to wealthy parents.
Using Justin logic it must also be wrong to give OAS to wealthy people.
Justin decided it was better to mislead voters rather than explain child allowance paid to wealthy people would be taxed back in the same manner as OAS to wealthy people is taxed back.
In Nova Scotia a single person aged 65 receiving OAS and with a pension of $37,000 will see the $4,141 provincial age allowance reduced to $2,189 and pay $7,401 in income taxes.
There is a great deal of federal money wasted by sending monthly OAS payments to high income seniors and then clawing the money back.
Justin may be right that sending child allowance to wealthy parents is silly but he seems unwilling to say the same about OAS payments to wealthy people.
As for well off seniors in Nova Scotia it is easy to find them. Think of 2 HRM pensioners aged 65 and who earned an average of $50,000 before retiring; each one has a pension of $35,000 plus $10,000 CPP and another $6,840 OAS for a total of $51,840 per person.
A labourer at Halifax water starts at just over $20 an hour.

"Justin"?

Your post reads like a bad Harper attack ad.

You took something logical Trudeau actually said, then linked it to something illogical that he didn't actually say, then proceeding to rant and criticize the imaginary thing he didn't say.

In reality, wealthy people, of any age, shouldn't be getting such subsidies. But I'm sure they're happy *someone* is speaking up for them, now that the Harper crew has been cleared out by voters.

counterfactual
Nov 21, 2015, 10:59 PM
Yes, and to be honest the generalizations about "the boomers" and how most of our problems are their fault kind of reminds me of the responsibility that I, as a straight, (for all intents and purposes)-white male bear for all of society's current problems, even though I have deliberately not done most of the things that my demographic "generally does", for pretty much my entire life (and also that the non-white half of my family was actively discriminated against by the Canadian government to the point of being placed in prison camps, having their property confiscated by the government and sold out from under them, and being banished from BC. But I'm not a "visible" minority, and few people know the specifics of my family's history, so white privilege, right?). Likewise, there are plenty of boomers living in poverty, plenty who don't own cars, plenty who didn't choose to live in the suburbs, plenty who didn't have their careers handed to them on a silver platter, etc. To lump all of these people together simply by virtue of their age, and then blame "people from that age group in general" for a lot of major problems is unfair and not necessarily productive.

OTOH, I recently graduated with a master's degree in planning, and created Chebucto Water Taxi from scratch this year. Now the docks are closed and I am unemployed. Despite all the media attention and pats on the back from friends, acquaintances, colleagues and fairly well-connected strangers, after a month of applying to any and every relevant job I could think of locally, my current job prospects (if I'm lucky) are physical labour or working in a restaurant. Unfortunately it didn't occur to me that I could/might have to draw EI until it was too late - the company wasn't really set up for that this year. My parents have been pretty sympathetic to my situation (probably one more than the other, though) and have been helping me pay my rent etc. in the meantime, but I feel pretty terrible having to rely on them at 28, and it is certainly straining our relationship in some ways. By the time they were my age, they'd had a kid, bought a house, and were putting money into RRSPs. They were also from Alberta and raised in a culture of "work hard, don't rely on anybody else - you get what you deserve, no more, no less" (which is a large part of why relying on them for money is uncomfortable). I OTOH have quite a bit of debt, live in a tiny basement apartment with my best friend, and do not see myself in the position to support a child in the near-to-mid-term. Luckily, 30 is the new 20, as they* say. In many ways it feels like my adult life is really just starting, the way many in the previous generation probably felt when they graduated high school or turned 19 or got their first car.

*30 year olds, probably



On a related note, if anyone knows of any planning-related jobs available in HRM (can be very loosely related), please let me know.

Sorry to hear that, man. You should keep an eye out for the recent announcement by the Provincial Government, that they'll soon be posted something like 75 jobs with various provincial departments for recent graduates. Not sure if planning will be in the mix, but there maybe some municipal/provincial relations posts.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1322320-n.s.-plan-offers-jobs-for-youth

They're also aiming for a 5% youth hire target for all new hires. This seems to me an underwhelming target (shouldn't it be 50%?), but at least it's better than nothing, which is pretty much what every Provincial Government has done for decades for youth.

I'm not sure if I'm included in the people in the first paragraph of your post ("blaming the boomers"), for me, it's not really a question of blame at this point. It's a question of demographic reality and the necessary changes that we have to make to meet the challenge. Blame just freezes the debate and everyone. Change and action is required. Not blame.

Keith P.
Nov 22, 2015, 12:18 AM
Justin said it was wrong for Harper to give child allowances to wealthy parents.
Using Justin logic it must also be wrong to give OAS to wealthy people.
Justin decided it was better to mislead voters rather than explain child allowance paid to wealthy people would be taxed back in the same manner as OAS to wealthy people is taxed back.
In Nova Scotia a single person aged 65 receiving OAS and with a pension of $37,000 will see the $4,141 provincial age allowance reduced to $2,189 and pay $7,401 in income taxes.
There is a great deal of federal money wasted by sending monthly OAS payments to high income seniors and then clawing the money back.
Justin may be right that sending child allowance to wealthy parents is silly but he seems unwilling to say the same about OAS payments to wealthy people.
As for well off seniors in Nova Scotia it is easy to find them. Think of 2 HRM pensioners aged 65 and who earned an average of $50,000 before retiring; each one has a pension of $35,000 plus $10,000 CPP and another $6,840 OAS for a total of $51,840 per person.
A labourer at Halifax water starts at just over $20 an hour.



There is no logic when it comes to Justin. Rainbows and moonbeams, man.

Hali87
Nov 22, 2015, 2:11 AM
I'm not sure if I'm included in the people in the first paragraph of your post ("blaming the boomers"), for me, it's not really a question of blame at this point. It's a question of demographic reality and the necessary changes that we have to make to meet the challenge. Blame just freezes the debate and everyone. Change and action is required. Not blame.

I guess I should have framed it in terms of "statements", not "people who say". I wasn't pointing to any specific people, just something that I hear often.

Edit: If this is the case though, I would be careful in terms of how you frame your arguments. Using the (buzz)word "boomers" a lot tends to freeze the debate, unintentionally, as people get defensive and feel that most of these things don't apply to them, kind of like "privilege", "entitlement", etc.

Hali87
Nov 22, 2015, 10:08 AM
Justin said it was wrong for Harper to give child allowances to wealthy parents.
Using Justin logic it must also be wrong to give OAS to wealthy people.
Justin decided it was better to mislead voters rather than explain child allowance paid to wealthy people would be taxed back in the same manner as OAS to wealthy people is taxed back.
In Nova Scotia a single person aged 65 receiving OAS and with a pension of $37,000 will see the $4,141 provincial age allowance reduced to $2,189 and pay $7,401 in income taxes.
There is a great deal of federal money wasted by sending monthly OAS payments to high income seniors and then clawing the money back.
Justin may be right that sending child allowance to wealthy parents is silly but he seems unwilling to say the same about OAS payments to wealthy people.
As for well off seniors in Nova Scotia it is easy to find them. Think of 2 HRM pensioners aged 65 and who earned an average of $50,000 before retiring; each one has a pension of $35,000 plus $10,000 CPP and another $6,840 OAS for a total of $51,840 per person.
A labourer at Halifax water starts at just over $20 an hour.

For the record, I consider myself a reasonably well-informed voter. I followed the election campaign closely and follow Canadian politics even when it's not election time.

That said, everything you just said is Greek to me. I can't honestly say I know what OAS stands for. I will go out on a limb and suggest that many in my generation are in the same boat, and that this was not by any means a key election issue for most people my age. Maybe I'm wrong.

someone123
Nov 22, 2015, 6:34 PM
That said, everything you just said is Greek to me. I can't honestly say I know what OAS stands for. I will go out on a limb and suggest that many in my generation are in the same boat, and that this was not by any means a key election issue for most people my age. Maybe I'm wrong.

I think this is one of the tricky problems of politics. The system is so complicated that everybody has a limited, provincial sort of view of it (senior benefits? child benefits? capital gains? trade deals?). In my experience almost everybody thinks that they are getting the short end of the stick, but actual treatment in terms of benefits and tax rates varies a lot. Often the wealthiest people are not the ones paying the highest tax rates and they have a much higher capacity to lobby for what they want. Generally speaking they have been making out like bandits for the past 30 years. Poverty persists only because of unfairness in taxation and the economy, not because there isn't enough to go around.

I know people who are multi-millionaires who feel poor when their investments go down a bit. Practical consequences to their life: zero. But they talk about it like poor people who have to choose between heating their house and buying food. Actually, I feel pretty poor right now because I just spent a lot of money in Whistler. Maybe I should get a tax break. :)

counterfactual
Nov 22, 2015, 6:52 PM
I guess I should have framed it in terms of "statements", not "people who say". I wasn't pointing to any specific people, just something that I hear often.

Edit: If this is the case though, I would be careful in terms of how you frame your arguments. Using the (buzz)word "boomers" a lot tends to freeze the debate, unintentionally, as people get defensive and feel that most of these things don't apply to them, kind of like "privilege", "entitlement", etc.

Fair enough, but I guess my use of "Boomer" isn't meant to be offensive; I just use it as shorthand to refer to the generation of people born after WWII, a large population boom, and the core demographic challenge for us between now and 2035.

When we say "Boomers", everyone knows what we're talking about, in the same way we also know who Generation X and Millennials, etc, are referring to (the latter are essentially the Echo Boomers, or children of Boomers).

counterfactual
Nov 22, 2015, 6:59 PM
I think this is one of the tricky problems of politics. The system is so complicated that everybody has a limited, provincial sort of view of it (senior benefits? child benefits? capital gains? trade deals?). In my experience almost everybody thinks that they are getting the short end of the stick, but actual treatment in terms of benefits and tax rates varies a lot. Often the wealthiest people are not the ones paying the highest tax rates and they have a much higher capacity to lobby for what they want. Generally speaking they have been making out like bandits for the past 30 years. Poverty persists only because of unfairness in taxation and the economy, not because there isn't enough to go around.

I know people who are multi-millionaires who feel poor when their investments go down a bit. Practical consequences to their life: zero. But they talk about it like poor people who have to choose between heating their house and buying food. Actually, I feel pretty poor right now because I just spent a lot of money in Whistler. Maybe I should get a tax break. :)

Pretty much.

We talk about taxes already being high on the wealthy, but almost all empirical research out there indicates that the optimum marginal tax rate on the wealthiest 1% is substantially higher than present levels. Some research finds it closer to 80% (study by Piketty, Saez, and Stantcheva) while other research find 70% (Saez and Diamond) and others at the very lowest, to be around 57%:

http://equitablegrowth.org/determining-optimal-u-s-tax-rate-higher-earners/

I'm not saying that we should therefore raise taxes to those heights on the 1%. But I do think all the chicken-little-ism (the sky will fall) that we see in media when Trudeau or other politicians pitch raising taxes on the wealthiest in Canada, is BS.

If you take a look at the tax act, and the TFSA and all the little breaks, and loopholes, that folks who can afford tax planners can take advantage of, reducing the amount of tax paid, you can see the logic/common sense in these findings.

Colin May
Nov 22, 2015, 7:43 PM
OAS is Old Age Security, a monthly payment starts 1 month after the age of 65 and the maximum is $569.95 and indexed.
" The payment amount for the Old Age Security pension is determined by how long you have lived in Canada after the age of 18. It is considered taxable income and is subject to a recovery tax if your individual net annual income is higher than the net world income threshold set for the year. "
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/oas/payments/index.shtml?utm_source=vanity+URL&utm_medium=print+publication,+ISPB-185,+ISPB-341&utm_term=/oasamounts&utm_content=Mar+2013,+eng&utm_campaign=OAS+Pension+2013,+Benefits+for+Low+Income+Seniors

It was not a key election issue, my reference was to the Trudeau election promise : http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/justin-trudeau-says-child-care-benefit-should-not-go-to-rich-families-like-his-1.2480402
He promised to eliminate the monthly child care benefit because he believed wealthy families didn't need the money. My post indicated that wealthy seniors don't need OAS and the Trudeau government should apply the same logic to OAS as they apply to child care benefit.
If the rest of the post is Greek to any reader I suggest self-education about taxes and federal social expenditures.
Thanks to the Harper policies my GST is lower, my spouse and I have more money due to pension income splitting and the introduction of TFSA is one of those defining social policies on a par with medicare, OAS and CPP. If you don't have a TFSA start one ASAP.
Poverty exists because politicians have no interest in alleviating poverty. I don't think the word poor was uttered by any of the 3 leaders in the recent campaign. The return of the long form census will have no impact on the poor and the marginalised - there were protests at the legislature for more than a week after the film tax credit was reduced and the media were full of the issue. In contrast,taking away free bus passes for those on social assistance was a 5 minute blip in the news cycle.
I don't mind being called 'boomer'. I know how my parents & grandparents lived in Britain and what they endured; 2 world wars, the loss of relatives, and the cold war was ever present when I was a child. The introduction of the National Health Service in 1948 in Britain was a major change for them, and rationing did not end until 1954. Post war my father used his army pay to buy a nice new house - a few hundred yards from what was known as the largest coal mine in the world (since closed).
Yes, I have been the beneficiary of the post war boom as have you. Wealthy boomers may well be relieved of their money if they enter long term care or it will be passed on to the kids.

re : The 1% - http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/andrew-coyne-forget-the-liberal-mythology-canadas-middle-class-is-not-struggling
" But in Monday’s speech Trudeau went further than before in isolating just exactly who is to blame. It isn’t just that the middle class is struggling, it turns out. It’s that it’s being held down. The Canadian dream, he said, “has been taken from too many for the benefit of too few for too long.” Taken, note. By the “few.”
" But then, every line of the Liberal story is a fraud. The middle class isn’t struggling: the $53,000 the median family earned after tax in 2012 is an all-time high — 24 per cent more than in 1997, after inflation. The rich aren’t pulling away from the rest of us: the share of all income going to the top 1% has been falling steadily since 2006. At 10.3 per cent, it is back to where it was in 1998. Fairness? As it is, the top one per cent pay more than 20 per cent of all income taxes. "

Keith P.
Nov 22, 2015, 8:13 PM
^^^ This. All true, and an excellent post. Thank you Mr. May.

I fear that the election of Trudeau is Canada's equivalent to the USA electing Obama, perhaps the most ineffective and divisive President in that country's history. The similarities of the campaign and surge in public opinion leading up to election day are very close. I suspect the results after he is done will be equally bad for the country.

counterfactual
Nov 22, 2015, 8:18 PM
.

re : The 1% - http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/andrew-coyne-forget-the-liberal-mythology-canadas-middle-class-is-not-struggling
" But in Monday’s speech Trudeau went further than before in isolating just exactly who is to blame. It isn’t just that the middle class is struggling, it turns out. It’s that it’s being held down. The Canadian dream, he said, “has been taken from too many for the benefit of too few for too long.” Taken, note. By the “few.”
" But then, every line of the Liberal story is a fraud. The middle class isn’t struggling: the $53,000 the median family earned after tax in 2012 is an all-time high — 24 per cent more than in 1997, after inflation. The rich aren’t pulling away from the rest of us: the share of all income going to the top 1% has been falling steadily since 2006. At 10.3 per cent, it is back to where it was in 1998. Fairness? As it is, the top one per cent pay more than 20 per cent of all income taxes. "

This is one of Coyne's favorite arguments about Trudeau, but the "success" of the middle class compared to the wealthiest is actually a story about increasing numbers of women participating in the labour force over time and the success of middle-class income gains in Alberta, an outlier, dragging up national averages.

Economists have provided persuasive responses to Coyne, who is actually quite wrong.

7 charts on why the middle class is doing so poorly
http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/7-charts-on-why-the-middle-class-is-doing-so/

counterfactual
Nov 23, 2015, 12:14 AM
^^^ This. All true, and an excellent post. Thank you Mr. May.

I fear that the election of Trudeau is Canada's equivalent to the USA electing Obama, perhaps the most ineffective and divisive President in that country's history. The similarities of the campaign and surge in public opinion leading up to election day are very close. I suspect the results after he is done will be equally bad for the country.

LOL.

Oh come on. I presume, Keith, you remember how Bush left things in 2008? Financial system on verge of collapse. Economy tanking. Unemployment skyrocketing. Tens of millions without health insurance. Two ongoing wars.

Obama saved the financial system from collapse. Has turned the economy around, with hundreds of thousands of jobs being added monthly. The unemployment rate in the U.S. is back to what it was when the last time there was a decent economy in the U.S. -- Clinton, a Democrat, was in power. Tens of millions more Americans now have health care coverage thanks to Obamacare and Obama has brought a level of sobriety to a previously out of control American foreign policy. He even got Bin Laden, which Bush couldn't do because he was too busy trying to start other wars.

The only reason Obama has been "divisive" is because Republicans understood the threat he posed as a post-Boomer and post-partisan President, and set out to deny him every single potential political victory. They opposed him on everything he has done, seeking no compromise or middle ground. Obamacare was originally based on Romneycare, a Republican plan pitched in the 1990s). But not a single Republican voted for it.

This is nothing new. It's all been reported on. Washington Post has reported on this in a series of articles in 2011, about how the "Young Guns"-- new young GOP congressmen Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, and Eric Cantor-- decided on the very night of Obama's inauguration to recruit tea parties and oppose Obama on everything. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/origins-of-the-debt-showdown/2011/08/03/gIQA9uqIzI_story.html

There are also books written about it: "The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era " http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Deal-Hidden-Change/dp/1451642326

Not long after the 2008 election, after his party had promoted him to minority whip, Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor summoned a few colleagues to his condo. The topic: How Republicans could take back Congress, as soon as possible. We’re not here to cut deals and get crumbs and stay in the minority for another 40 years,” he told them, according to some later reporting by Time’s Michael Grunwald. “We’re going to fight these guys. We’re down, but things are going to change.” The party would deny President Obama any bipartisan cover on his policies, and then it would beat him. Source: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/06/david_brat_defeats_eric_cantor_how_did_the_house_majority_leader_lose_to.html

The Republican Party has been radicalized since George W. Bush's Presidency, with moderates disappearing.

But that's not Obama's fault. It's because the GOP base has become radical. Look at whom Republican voters are today supporting for 2016: Trump and Carson, two clueless clowns, spewing racist and ridiculous policies daily.

If Trudeau turns out to be our version of Obama, then that would be an excellent result.

Thankfully, we can trust the wisdom of Canadian voters, who turfed out our own divisive clown, Harper.

Colin May
Nov 23, 2015, 12:44 AM
LOL.

Oh come on. I presume, Keith, you remember how Bush left things in 2008? Financial system on verge of collapse. Economy tanking. Unemployment skyrocketing. Tens of millions without health insurance. Two ongoing wars.

Obamacare is his one great achievement and it will never be rolled back.

The genesis of the 2008 financial collapse was the Clinton Democrats desire to see every American become a home owner and to do so by forcing lenders to provide mortgages to low income blacks and whites. This foolish vote getting policy is best illustrated by the evidence presented to a House committee by the man with well coiffed hair and diamond studded cuff links worn by the CEO of Countrywide Financial and looking every inch like a loan shark as he happily admitted to a questioner that one third of his loans resulted in the borrower failing to to make the first payment.

Wiki covers the financial collapse very well : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subprime_mortgage_crisis as did NPR in a riveting documentary broadcast several times on PBS : http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meltdown/view/
In the video, the CEO of Bank of America gets a late night call from Washington to get himself up there by the next morning to meet with the Feds re his possibility of backing out of the $50 billion takeover of Merrill Lynch. The top financial guy told him he better be at the meeting because " You know, we can appoint a new board ". Bank of America wanted to back out of the deal when they discovered the mess at Merrill but Washington made it clear that only one bank would be allowed to fail and they would force the merger through.
I know all about this because a) I was a Bank of America shareholder and b) the NPR documentary
or read about the Community Reinvestment Act
Or read this : http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323477604579000571334113350
or this from Time : http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1877351_1877350_1877322,00.html

ILoveHalifax
Nov 23, 2015, 1:31 AM
Is there a moderator who can bring this thread back on subject. As much as it was off topic, to start discussing Republican vs Obama on this forum is intolerable.

someone123
Nov 23, 2015, 1:37 AM
Is there a moderator who can bring this thread back on subject. As much as it was off topic, to start discussing Republican vs Obama on this forum is intolerable.

It's great to see discussion on here but I agree that it would probably be better to redirect it to another thread.

Here's one anybody who wants to discuss economic issues can use: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=144166&page=11

(It's an old thread, slightly renamed to be more general.)

Colin May
Nov 23, 2015, 4:43 AM
Is there a moderator who can bring this thread back on subject. As much as it was off topic, to start discussing Republican vs Obama on this forum is intolerable.

It morphed from careers in NS for young people into the boomers and then the 1% and then nasty bankers and Republicans (the greatest opponents of the bank bailouts).... etc and a bit of a trip down memory lane. Ignore history at your peril. Apologies to all.
On the local economy, I have unearthed more good material re Butts, his pay and the pay of senior staff. Look for the appropriate thread.

counterfactual
Nov 23, 2015, 5:15 AM
Obamacare is his one great achievement and it will never be rolled back.

The genesis of the 2008 financial collapse was the Clinton Democrats desire to see every American become a home owner and to do so by forcing lenders to provide mortgages to low income blacks and whites. This foolish vote getting policy is best illustrated by the evidence presented to a House committee by the man with well coiffed hair and diamond studded cuff links worn by the CEO of Countrywide Financial and looking every inch like a loan shark as he happily admitted to a questioner that one third of his loans resulted in the borrower failing to to make the first payment.

Wiki covers the financial collapse very well : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subprime_mortgage_crisis as did NPR in a riveting documentary broadcast several times on PBS : http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meltdown/view/
In the video, the CEO of Bank of America gets a late night call from Washington to get himself up there by the next morning to meet with the Feds re his possibility of backing out of the $50 billion takeover of Merrill Lynch. The top financial guy told him he better be at the meeting because " You know, we can appoint a new board ". Bank of America wanted to back out of the deal when they discovered the mess at Merrill but Washington made it clear that only one bank would be allowed to fail and they would force the merger through.
I know all about this because a) I was a Bank of America shareholder and b) the NPR documentary
or read about the Community Reinvestment Act
Or read this : http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323477604579000571334113350
or this from Time : http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1877351_1877350_1877322,00.html

I'll relent on this debate. This will be my last post.

I definitely agree that Clinton played a role in the financial crisis, but it was mostly in helping Republicans achieve their deregulation aims. In particular, it was Clinton signing-- and not veto'ing-- a *Republican* bill to repeal Glass–Steagall Act, the Depression Era statute that kept banks separate from their risky securities/investment practices. Republicans long worked to gut Glass–Steagall Act and Clinton helped them by signing on.

The housing bubble on it's own should not have been such an existential threat to the U.S. banking system. It became an existential problem when banks bundled and layered mortgages into asset-backed security (ABS), and then started to trade them in highly leveraged trades for profit, added to this was financial analysts, who had a financial interest / conflict of interest in these deals-- giving ridiculous valuations to these mortgage backed ABS.

In ways, the Volcker Act, passed under Obama-- and opposed by GOP every step of the way and the big bank lobby-- which increases capital requirements on banks with commercial securities investments, attempts to do indirectly what Glass–Steagall Act did directly.

Also, yes, Democrats promoted home ownership, but Bush made it a signature policy of his time:

Bush drive for home ownership fueled housing bubble
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/business/worldbusiness/21iht-admin.4.18853088.html?pagewanted=all

"We can put light where there's darkness, and hope where there's despondency in this country. And part of it is working together as a nation to encourage folks to own their own home."

- President George W. Bush, Oct. 15, 2002

Anyways, I'm done. :)

ILoveHalifax
Nov 23, 2015, 8:43 AM
It morphed from careers in NS for young people into the boomers and then the 1% and then nasty bankers and Republicans (the greatest opponents of the bank bailouts).... etc and a bit of a trip down memory lane. Ignore history at your peril. Apologies to all.
On the local economy, I have unearthed more good material re Butts, his pay and the pay of senior staff. Look for the appropriate thread.

Moderator could you please advise this poster that when you ask for the thread to get back on topic that he not continue to post off topic

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 23, 2015, 1:35 PM
Well, OAS is $570 a month. It is means tested, but the income cap is $118,000 per person (http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/oas/payments/index.shtml?utm_source=vanity+URL&utm_medium=print+publication,+ISPB-185,+ISPB-341&utm_term=/oasamounts&utm_content=Mar+2013,+eng&utm_campaign=OAS+Pension+2013,+Benefits+for+Low+Income+Seniors). You don't pay into OAS, you just get it. So you could have a person making 6 figures and getting a cheque from the government every month. That alone is a $100,000 benefit to somebody who started under the current payout regime will live to be 80.

Meanwhile the personal exemption on income tax is only $11,000. There are people paying income tax who make $20,000 a year, which is ridiculous.

I am not saying that seniors should be left impoverished, I am just saying that senior benefits should be means tested rather than paid out under the assumption that all seniors are poor. They're not, and conversely there are plenty of non-seniors who are poor and are hit hard by regressive taxes in Canada. I also think that governments could save a lot of money by applying means testing and only giving payouts to people who truly need the money.

I was confusing CPP with OAS, and yes I agree that there should be an income level over which people are no longer eligible. Good points.

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 23, 2015, 2:14 PM
Yes, and to be honest the generalizations about "the boomers" and how most of our problems are their fault kind of reminds me of the responsibility that I, as a straight, (for all intents and purposes)-white male bear for all of society's current problems, even though I have deliberately not done most of the things that my demographic "generally does", for pretty much my entire life (and also that the non-white half of my family was actively discriminated against by the Canadian government to the point of being placed in prison camps, having their property confiscated by the government and sold out from under them, and being banished from BC. But I'm not a "visible" minority, and few people know the specifics of my family's history, so white privilege, right?). Likewise, there are plenty of boomers living in poverty, plenty who don't own cars, plenty who didn't choose to live in the suburbs, plenty who didn't have their careers handed to them on a silver platter, etc. To lump all of these people together simply by virtue of their age, and then blame "people from that age group in general" for a lot of major problems is unfair and not necessarily productive.

OTOH, I recently graduated with a master's degree in planning, and created Chebucto Water Taxi from scratch this year. Now the docks are closed and I am unemployed. Despite all the media attention and pats on the back from friends, acquaintances, colleagues and fairly well-connected strangers, after a month of applying to any and every relevant job I could think of locally, my current job prospects (if I'm lucky) are physical labour or working in a restaurant. Unfortunately it didn't occur to me that I could/might have to draw EI until it was too late - the company wasn't really set up for that this year. My parents have been pretty sympathetic to my situation (probably one more than the other, though) and have been helping me pay my rent etc. in the meantime, but I feel pretty terrible having to rely on them at 28, and it is certainly straining our relationship in some ways. By the time they were my age, they'd had a kid, bought a house, and were putting money into RRSPs. They were also from Alberta and raised in a culture of "work hard, don't rely on anybody else - you get what you deserve, no more, no less" (which is a large part of why relying on them for money is uncomfortable). I OTOH have quite a bit of debt, live in a tiny basement apartment with my best friend, and do not see myself in the position to support a child in the near-to-mid-term. Luckily, 30 is the new 20, as they* say. In many ways it feels like my adult life is really just starting, the way many in the previous generation probably felt when they graduated high school or turned 19 or got their first car.

*30 year olds, probably



On a related note, if anyone knows of any planning-related jobs available in HRM (can be very loosely related), please let me know.

Thanks for the well-thought out post, and sorry to hear of your employment situation. I feel that it is really becoming tough out there for young university grads to find work in their chosen fields. It is really challenging to find something that you have a passion for that also has jobs available. I actually know a few people who had graduated with university degrees and never really worked in their chosen fields, and that has been for many years now. It sounds like that hasn't improved at all since then.

I wish you the best of luck! :tup: