And now a few words on the economy. From the Hill Times.
Tory deficit is a sign of economic woes
The Conservative government's $517 million deficit for the first two months of the fiscal year may not be indicative of the economic performance for the year to come, but it shows a slowing economy, and if that trend continues, a deficit may await the government, says economist and public policy expert Jack Mintz.
Then there's those notorious lefties at Canwest News, Calgary Herald.
The report, which comes amid growing speculation of a fall election call, will undermine the minority Conservative government's fiscal credibility in any campaign, warned John Williamson of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
"In the first three months spending is up two-and-a-half times what these so-called fiscally responsible Conservatives in Ottawa budgeted it to be," he noted.
"It will simply not be credible for the Conservatives to characterize themselves as being responsible with the public purse," said Williams. "It remains to be seen if the Opposition Liberals can take advantage of the government's reckless spending record in an election campaign."
Ah those cut-taxes and spend anyway Cons.
Still, the surplus was an improvement on what had been a $517-million deficit during the first two months of the fiscal year.
Revenues in the first quarter of the fiscal year decreased by $1.1 billion, or 1.8 per cent, from a year earlier to $59.6 billion, reflecting declines in corporate income tax and GST revenues, the department said. Program spending was up $3.89 billion, or 8.4 per cent, to $45.3 billion, due to higher transfer payments and operating expenses of departments and agencies.
There's that deficit word again. Troublesome bugger that one. $500 million short in the first two months of the fiscal year and a fortunate recovery in the third month to pull the country back into the cumulative black for the quarter. Whatever happened, it is better to be in the black. Must have been some excellent economic guidance that managed the turn around.
Marginally offsetting the surge in program spending was a $500-million dip in debt payments.
Well isn't that interesting? That number does seem kind of familiar. Probably nothing, never mind 'cos it isn't like we'd rob Peter to pay Paul.
The federal spending surge, plus the impact of tax cuts and now slowing economic growth, have raised concerns that Ottawa could slip back into deficit this year or next for the first time in more than a decade.
Adscam! Nothing to see here. Move along. Flaherty the microminister has vowed that nothing bad will happen.
Flaherty, however, has repeatedly vowed that the government will not fall back into the red.
See. All good.
And the government is sitting on a $4.25-billion windfall from its recent auction of wireless spectrum that was not included in budget revenue projections and has not yet been booked in the financial statements.
Ah, how convenient. That little shindig turned out to provide two to four times the expected return, depending who you read. It was so lucrative that the next slice of spectrum will hit the auction block in the next year and a half. That slice of the airwaves is now being occupied by analog television signals. It is the most desirable chunk of the spectrum for cell phones and wireless data communications, having excellent penetration. That auction is expected to bring in some very serious revenue for whomever is forming the government at the time. But life isn't all happy windfalls.
Especially if you had one of the 55,200 jobs that were lost in July.
Canada's economy lost 55,200 jobs in July compared to the previous month with many people leaving the work force -- the worst single-month drop since the recession of the early 1990s.
Oh but just ignore that. Canada's New Government is on the job with reckless increases in spending, big drops in revenue and a sliding dollar. Still, we climbed back out of the deficit that we ran up over the first two months of the fiscal year. So all is well.
Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti, however, calls the numbers a catastrophe for working families. He says in a statement that the federal government needs a forceful jobs strategy -- a made-in-Canada plan to create and keep jobs in this country.
The only significant job gains were in accommodation and food services, where 22,000 people were hired across the country.
Fookin' commies. Prolly a bunch of them failed artsies that don't contribute or nothin' and just leech off the taxpayers.
Arts and culture contributed $46 billion to Canada's economy in 2007, but the overall impact of the sector was a much broader $84.6 billion, according to a report from the Conference Board of Canada.
That amounts to 7.4 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product, according to the report, released Tuesday.
The study, commissioned with money from the federal Heritage Department, is the most comprehensive ever made of Canada's cultural sector.
It attributes 1.1 million jobs to arts and culture or to spinoff industries, such as tourism.
Son of a... best be cutting their programs.