Ontario’s 2015 budget, like those of years past, needed a concrete plan to get government finances on a sound footing. Yet again, the budget failed to deliver.
In a year when two heavyweight provinces, Ontario and Alberta, which together constitute 55 per cent of Canada’s GDP, are running substantial deficits, there are three ways to reduce the red ink.
A recent lead editorial in one of the world’s most prominent newspapers, the Wall Street Journal, pointed out the risks associated with the United States adopting a national sales tax, or value-added tax (VAT).
The current transit plebiscite, conducted by mail-in ballot across Metro Vancouver, asks whether residents are willing to support a 0.5 percentage point increase to the Provincial Sales Tax, which would generate an extra $250 million to help fund $7.5 billion worth of transportation projects tabled by the Mayors’ Council.
With tax season at hand, here’s a useful tip for any tax-weary Canadian. When some people refer to income or other money not taxed as a “loss” to government, remember that they may merely be using technical language. In contrast, others really do lament any reduction or “omission” in possible taxes that flow to governments.
The Vancouver Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation has an ambitious 30-year vision (starting with a 10-year plan) that would dramatically expand mass transit in Vancouver by increasing bus service (including carrying capacity, frequency and service areas), increasing Sea Bus service, upgrading light rail lines and stations, increasing heavy rail train service, installing more than 2,700 kilometres of dedicated bikeways, and more.
Amid a gathering fiscal storm, the Ontario government will soon table its budget for the coming fiscal year and beyond. There’s a lot riding on getting things right.
The day before delivering his budget speech, Quebec Minister of Finance Carlos Leitão called the budget a “good news budget.” Indeed, Quebec’s 2015 budget continues to make progress on tackling deep-rooted fiscal problems.