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  #21  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 1:11 PM
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I found the budget to be terrible in my honest opinion. I agree with some of the public sector layoffs but the extent is really far reaching. The province is a huge employer in my field and I know for a fact that they have 4-6 empty positions related to what I do that will likely be cut. The sad thing is that they actually need those employees but because they are on slash and burn rampage, those positions are likely out the door. When people hear about the 1200+ layoffs, they tend to automatically think that its 1200 paper pushers that really contribute little to governement processess. In reality, there are many positions that are extremely valuable that will ultimately be cut because department ministers think the job can be done by one instead of 2 or 3, but that is not always the case.

The other major dissappointment is the merger of the education boards. I will say that I will need to see the details of the merger but with my significant other being a new teacher, this will surely mean hard times ahead for her. For those not familar with how the boards are structured, if you want to teach in the eastern school district your best bet is to punch your time in that district. The boards hire based on work experience WITHIN the district, meaning teachers outside the eastern region are below those who punched their time in the region. With the merger of the boards, my significant other will not be bumped to the back of the entire province structure, despite actively subbing for almost two years. It really is a shame that new teachers have a hard time finding work and its only getting tougher with the new budget.

**EDIT**

Also... How did the magically manage to find 1 billion dollars in less than 7 days before the budget? Does anyone not find that strange?? Projected deficit was 1.6 billion a week prior to budget release with an estimated public sector layoff of about 500. Yet on budget day, the deficit is much lower at about 500-600 million yet the layoff is 1200+. Considering the budget books were propably in product a week or two leading up to yesterday; are they saying they had no idea that the deficit would be 1 billion less than they though just 7 days prior? Come on..
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  #22  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 1:24 PM
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I also found out last night that the West Coast Training Centre was shut down immediately after the budget was announced. The facility is used as a training centre for atheletes competing provincially, nationally and internationally. A lot of provincial teams will converge there for a training camp prior to competition etc...

It's also a fitness centre for the community with weight rooms and aerobic equipment, and is the home of taekwondo, judo, karate, squash, badminton, volleyball, basketball and houses the offices and activities of the Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle, as well as the special olympics program. After 7.6 million was announced to fund sport and recreation in the province they have cut a facility that costs a grand total of $400,000 a year to operate (including employee salaries).

And in true fashion: Joan Shea will not be in her office at all this week. In the words of her secretary, "she has more important business elsewhere".
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  #23  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 2:09 PM
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from CBC LOL

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Paradise Mayor Wiseman not upset about municipal grant cut."Can't argue with taking $ from have-comunities and giving $ to have-nots" #cbcnl
http://live.cbc.ca/Event/CBC_NL
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  #24  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 2:19 PM
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The way I see with this budget is that the Metro and greater NE Avalon region will be the least affected due to solid economic growth in the region. It's just very unfortunate that rural NL will be further dealt the blow.
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  #25  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 2:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
So, the new provincial budget has been announced. The government now suspects our deficit will be $1 billion less than they announced previously (I suspected that was a union contract negotiation ploy, releasing such terrifying numbers). That said, we're still slashing 1,200 positions.

I'm deeply curious what you all think, especially if you agree with these measures.

I'm under the impression that such austerity measures always fail, usually spectacularly, and often turn a recession into a depression. That said, our economy is booming... this problem is limited to government's inability to balance its books.

I think high-paying public sector jobs are a major component of any healthy economic engine. We see what happens when the lower and middle classes are gutted for the benefit of the rich in the United States. I don't want that to continue happening here.

The idea that wealth trickles down is offensive at face value and also, it seems, incorrect. The wealthy hoard their money. The poor spend it. The more money the lower and middle classes have, the more money that changes hands, and the healthier our economy.

So I think a strong public sector benefits us all.


But, then, where do we balance the books?

What do you all think?

Exactly! Capitalism functions via consumerism, which necessitates at least a modest amount of socialism and regulation, otherwise the middle-class falls into poverty due to pressure from monopolising corporations and the rich, who can afford political lobbyists.

Deficits are obviously not exclusive to Newfoundland and Labrador. Even Alberta is running deficits.

The following are contributing factors to struggling economies:

- Student debt (which is at an historic high in Canada);
- Non-student personal debt (also at an historic high in Canada);
- Low-wage jobs (which are what most newly created jobs are, today, in every province);
- Inflation (everything is getting more expensive);
- Low tax rates on (and high subsidies for) corporations, especially ones that are already high-profit;
- The same low tax/high subsidy issue for rich individuals, as the top income brackets usually hoard their wealth and hide it offshore whenever possible;
- And in terms of corporate hoarding: they DO NOT invest here, because they prefer to invest in countries that have cheap labour and minimal human rights;
- Urban sprawl;
- Propping up dying communities that no longer have the industries to support their existence;
- Too many municipal governments, when amalgamation should be considered;
- Having no such thing as a maximum wage...

Every low-density residential neighbourhood and low-density industrial park that is approved makes deficit-fighting that much more impossible...because with infrastructure and public services that must service that sprawl: you're stuck paying for it in the long-term. That long-term payment increases with inflation!! And let's not forget that: (a) the aging babyboomers will need a LOT of healthcare, and (b) young people aren't overly healthy and will also need lots of healthcare... There are predictions that the generations born today will live shorter lifespans than their parents.

Cutting better-paying public jobs is certainly not the way to reduce the deficit, not in the short-term -- not in the long-term.
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  #26  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 2:23 PM
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General question for discussion, since we're on this route. Not related particularly to this budget.

What results in more spending? A large government which employs many, providing more lower-class and middle-class jobs OR a small government with low cost to operate, allowing for reduced taxes to businesses and citizens, and ultimately more money in the pockets of any working individual?
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  #27  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 2:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Copes View Post
General question for discussion, since we're on this route. Not related particularly to this budget.

What results in more spending? A large government which employs many, providing more lower-class and middle-class jobs OR a small government with low cost to operate, allowing for reduced taxes to businesses and citizens, and ultimately more money in the pockets of any working individual?
Keep in mind our reality: we exist in a globalised economy.

Small government = people are not going to get the services they need. Even though taxes are reduced for businesses, those businesses often invest outside of the country. With reduced public services and increased private services, the costs of most things goes up -- so in the end the average citizen is NOT saving money. Instead, more of the money is going to private businesses.

This is not sustainable in the long-term. Eventually, personal debt becomes overwhelming for the average citizen, and then private businesses complain that no one in spending... so they stop investing... they begin firing employees... this triggers a recession.

Capitalism must always be accompanied by at least a modest presence of socialism. If not, the money is eventually monopolised upward, and the system burns itself out. The poor get poorer and the rich get richer.

While CEO's of businesses may complain that socialised companies keep commidity prices low (which is good for the consumer), it also forces the CEO to accept a slightly lower pay than the outrageously high income the CEO would award himself/herself if that public presence was not there.

In America, people privately own hospitals and get rich off of human suffering. That notion is incredibly fucking disgusting.

In America, many people cannot afford the extremely high cost of healthcare.
That is why I view America as a morally bankrupt nation.
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  #28  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 3:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Copes View Post
General question for discussion, since we're on this route. Not related particularly to this budget.

What results in more spending? A large government which employs many, providing more lower-class and middle-class jobs OR a small government with low cost to operate, allowing for reduced taxes to businesses and citizens, and ultimately more money in the pockets of any working individual?
In my opinion, this question assumes far too much to answer.

First, why is government spending, in and of itself, a concern? Whatever your answer, that's what we should actually be talking about.

I'm going to assume spending is a concern because its funded by taxes and because the government is running a deficit. In both these cases, we could just as easily say revenues are the problem and taxes are too low. Our point of view depends entirely on whether we believe what the government is spending its money on is valid and important.

Then, regarding your two hypothetical governments... small governments with reduced taxes almost never result in more money in the pockets of average citizens. That is almost entirely attributable to unions. In fact, areas with minimal government are the ones most likely to have severely underpaid workers, child labourers, indebted servants, slaves, etc. Business owners certainly get more money - but in a global economy, those are rarely even local people. So the vast majority in whatever political jurisdiction we're talking about would be poor.

I think the larger government has a far more positive impact on the overall health of the economy and prosperity of the residents of the relevant jurisdiction. There's a reason places like Scandinavia rank so highly in every positive category in this regard, while countries much closer to your second description rank so poorly.

Granted, all of this theoretically could be accomplished privately - but it never will be. That's not why private enterprise exists.
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  #29  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 3:28 PM
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Interesting article on something I'm sure we could join forces to fight, Copes:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...lzk6VQw.reddit
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  #30  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 6:09 PM
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Oh, I definitely agree with that article. For true capitalism to work, there has to be an even playing field. When the big guy can dodge their responsibilities, it only hurts the little guy. The little guy then can't be competitive. Capitalism fails.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post

First, why is government spending, in and of itself, a concern? Whatever your answer, that's what we should actually be talking about.

I'm going to assume spending is a concern because its funded by taxes and because the government is running a deficit. In both these cases, we could just as easily say revenues are the problem and taxes are too low. Our point of view depends entirely on whether we believe what the government is spending its money on is valid and important.
Your question is one that everyone needs to ask themselves. Is spending a concern? In my mind, it is.

Government spending is a concern when we are one of the more heavily taxed provinces yet are running a deficit and really don't have any government services that are notably better than anywhere else to warrant it. To get out of the red and into the green, there seem to be two option: save money (cut) or raise more money (tax). If our money was going towards services that were mind-blowingly awesome... services that I had no problem paying for, then I'd be more in favor of additional tax. But I don't see any services that make my head explode. At least not in happiness.

So that's sort of my thought process.

In regards to businesses investing elsewhere, why is that? They have to invest SOMEWHERE, and in the same way that a consumer will balance quality and price when buying a pair of pants, businesses will balance cost to operate and desirability of location when deciding where to set up shop. A business isn't going to up and move unless the location they are operating out of is so noncompetitive that it makes more financial sense to incur the cost of leaving, building a new facility, hiring new staff, etc.

I don't necessarily buy that with reduced public services and increased private services cost goes up. Again, look at the NLC. Right now we have one location at which we can buy liquor. A monopoly. No chance to make a competitive decision. Now imagine, all of a sudden, three more chains open that also sell us our much needed beers. Chain #2 decides it is going to start charging a dollar less per case, and starts seeing more customers. Chain #3 loses customers because of this, so they offer a similar price or risk going out of business. I don't need to give you an economics lesson, you know that the theory is that prices continue to adjust downwards until it is not feasible for any of the businesses to adjust anymore. The problem arises when the companies get together and decide what they will charge. A cartel is just as damaging as a monopoly, and I am just as against it.

I mean, is that basic idea in some way wrong? I understand that we don't live in a perfect world, and that it clearly is not as simple as I am making it seem. However, in my mind, government should only be so large as to maintain itself, and focus on the essential services that no private company would want to touch (or services the public WANTS the government to manage. Again, Health Care. Private health care is indeed pretty messed up, no argument there. I have thoughts about a two-tiered system but I don't want this thread to go in that direction. )
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  #31  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 7:12 PM
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Another bad decision in the budget, IMO:

Award-winning N.L. tourism campaign hit by $4M cut
Ad production could halt or fewer spots may air after marketing budget chopped 30%



http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfou...-cuts-327.html
We have so many ads now though, and they don't get old!

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Originally Posted by statbass View Post
The way I see with this budget is that the Metro and greater NE Avalon region will be the least affected due to solid economic growth in the region. It's just very unfortunate that rural NL will be further dealt the blow.
Public sector cuts, according to government, have been focused on Avalon because their are more jobs. Still tons of spending in this budget and a lots goes to areas outside Avalon.
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  #32  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 9:31 PM
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We have so many ads now though, and they don't get old!

Public sector cuts, according to government, have been focused on Avalon because their are more jobs. Still tons of spending in this budget and a lots goes to areas outside Avalon.
I hate to see any cuts to those ads, they do great business for the province!

Statbass's comment is true though. You can cut a ton of jobs from the public service in St. John's and the city hardly feels it. Cut the West Coast Training Centre, 2 School Board offices, and College of the North Atlantic ABE programs here, and it combines to deliver a serious blow to the community.
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  #33  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2013, 10:05 PM
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I'm assuming those ads will still air though, they just won't be making new ones or as many new ones. It's nice to see new ads but we must have a dozen different ones now. If someone doesn't want to come here after seeing these ones then it is unlikely they're going to come here because of anther one.
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  #34  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2013, 11:25 AM
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not cool

The Rooms to reduce opening times, staff after budget cuts

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The Rooms will reduce its public hours and decrease its staff as a result of Tuesday’s provincial budget.
Funding for the provincial corporation, which generally goes towards the acquisition, conservation and preservation of art, artifacts and archival records, was cut from $7 million to $5.95 million.
In an emailed statement provided to The Telegram Wednesday, a spokeswoman for The Rooms said every possible option for implementing the $1.05 million reduction in the operating grant is being explored with a goal of minimizing the effect on visitors.
“All aspects of (The Rooms) operations are being considered; however, a reduction in operating hours and staffing levels in unavoidable,” said Deanne Fisher, director of marketing and development.
The province’s arts and culture centres also saw a minimal cut in funding, from $2.36 million to $2.2 million.
Funding for the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC), which provides grants to local visual and performing artists and arts organizations, saw its funding remain the same, at $2.1 million.
“We understand that this budget will present specific challenges to the cultural community, and broader challenges to Newfoundland and Labrador overall,” said Tom Gordon, chairman of the arts council.
“Council has followed through on a strategic review process to ensure its activities, programs, and administration have been conducted in an effective and efficient way. We believe the provincial budget that has been tabled reflects government’s confidence in the priorities that have been established by the NLAC, based on our public consultations.”
The maximum amount for the Film and Video Tax Credit was increased from $3 million to $4 million, in an effort to encourage the continued development of the thriving local film industry, the government said in a news release. This means a continued investment in the TV series “Republic of Doyle.”
The income tax credit, which is refundable, is given to any eligible local film or television project at a rate of 40 per cent of eligible local labour costs, not exceeding 25 per cent of the total cost of production. It’s an equity investment, based on other funding sources.
http://www.thetelegram.com/Arts---Li...-budget-cuts/1
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  #35  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2013, 8:04 PM
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^Rest in Peace free admission night.
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  #36  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2013, 11:15 PM
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  #37  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2013, 6:03 PM
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Justice Cuts Reversed


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Justice Minister Darin King has announced a reversal of some of the cuts that came out of last month's provincial budget. The cuts to the Crown prosecutor's office have been reversed and funding has been reinstated for two lawyer positions in Legal Aid, while three legal aid lawyer vacancies will be filled. Changes are also coming to the Sheriff's Office, including one deputy sheriff to be reinstated in St. John's, one will be brought back in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and other deputy sheriff vacancies will be filled. A casual call-in list will be established and funded accordingly.

The department will also conduct external reviews of the Sheriff's Office and the Legal Aid system to ensure the effective use of public resources. VOCM will have further details throughout the day.
http://www.vocm.com/newsarticle.asp?...33002&latest=1
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  #38  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2013, 6:04 PM
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Premier not Ruling out Further Reviews

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The Premier isn't ruling out a second look at certain measures taken in this year's budget. This comes as a review committee was formed to review the budget cuts to the Justice Department in response to a huge public outcry. Kathy Dunderdale told VOCM Open Line with Bill Rowe, that if people can make a sound case for a review she's prepared to do so. But Dunderdale says that so far, there hasn't been a lot of substance to much of the criticism.



She says there has been some real concern for people who have lost their jobs and are going through a difficult time. But Dunderdale says there has been a lot of name-calling, so when someone provides something that needs to be looked at, government will.
http://www.vocm.com/newsarticle.asp?...32994&latest=1
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  #39  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2013, 7:24 PM
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90 Million mystery item has been announced to go to the Pulp and Paper industry in Corner Brook. Not sure how I feel about this. To me it seems like a it could be a huge waste of money. The industry is quite obviously dying. It will most likely be dead within a decade, so why pump all this money into it when it could be used for a much better purpose elsewhere?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfou...ement-417.html
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  #40  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 12:05 PM
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90 Million mystery item has been announced to go to the Pulp and Paper industry in Corner Brook. Not sure how I feel about this. To me it seems like a it could be a huge waste of money. The industry is quite obviously dying. It will most likely be dead within a decade, so why pump all this money into it when it could be used for a much better purpose elsewhere?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfou...ement-417.html
I like that it is a loan, and not just tossing money at the plant.
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