Letters to Editor

Barrie cannot afford Mayor Jeff Lehman.

 Since 2012 under the direction of Mayor Lehman, every council has raised property taxes by at least 1%  above the rate of inflation.  And this year he argues that a 3.3% tax bump is reasonable given our aging infrastructure and contract obligations to city employees.  Inflation in 2018 was 1.9 %  (Stats Can.)  Many of us have not seen wage increases in years, our retirement savings are eroding, and our fixed costs are going up. (note that city employees will receive  raises of more than 4% )

A property tax increase of 3.3% will cost the average home owner close to $150, that is $150 that will not be spent in restaurants and retail stores.  At what point will Mayor Lehman recognize that enough is enough.  Canada's Tax Free Day is June 10 which means that more than 44% of our income, the money we work for, is taken in taxes by the various layers of government.  And still Barrie's city council wants more - 3.3% more. 

Since 2012, the year Jeff Lehman became mayor, our taxes have risen more than 6% above the inflation rate. More fiscal restraint is required, we can't afford Mayor Lehman.

J McCleary

 

The Carbon Tax:

Analysis of Six Potential Scenarios is a study commissioned by IER and conducted by Capital Alpha Partners. The analysis uses standard scoring conventions (similar to those used by JCT, CBO and Treasury) to evaluate and model the economic impacts of carbon taxes set at a variety of dollar figures, with different phase-in durations, and with an array of revenue-recycling strategies.

The key findings include:

A carbon tax will not be pro-growth. Most carbon tax scenarios reduce GDP for the entirety of the 22-year forecast period. Better than break-even economic performance may not be possible unless revenue is devoted entirely to corporate tax relief. A lump-sum rebate results in lost GDP equal to between $3.76 trillion and $5.92 trillion over the 22-year forecast period.

A carbon tax is not an efficient revenue raiser for tax reform. Using standard scoring conventions, a carbon tax is likely to only produce net revenue available for tax reform of 32 cents on the dollar.

No carbon tax modeled is consistent with meeting the long-term U.S. Paris Agreement INDC. As a standalone policy, consistent with World Bank and IEA estimates, all carbon tax scenarios analyzed are far off of the trajectory the Paris Agreement sets for 2040, undermining claims that a tax-for-regulation swap will satisfy emissions commitments.

Depressed GDP leads to long-term fiscal challenges, with particular stress on states. Persistent reductions in economic performance lead to trillions of dollars in lost GDP, thereby reducing state tax revenues and straining state budgets. The average annual burden on the states and local government during the first 10 years of the tax would range from $18.9 to $30.6 billion.

 

Canadian Taxpayers Federation launches campaign to balance the federal budget

Long-nosed, honesty-in-politics mascot, Fibber, to make regular appearances

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s today launched a new campaign calling on the Trudeau government to honour its 2015 election promise to balance the federal budget. The CTF’s long-nosed, honesty-in-politics mascot, Fibber, has been assigned a key role in the campaign and plans to make regular public appearances.

“Justin Trudeau was crystal clear when running for office: he said that, if elected, he would balance the budget in 2019,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. “Even after becoming prime minister, he insisted that this promise was ‘very’ cast in stone. Now is the time for him to honour his commitment.”

The 2015 Liberal platform promised three deficits totalling $26 billion followed by a $1 billion surplus for 2019-20. In reality, the Liberals have run three deficits totalling $56 billion and are currently projected to run a $20 billion deficit in 2019-20.

“The prime minister’s failure to stick to his plan has meant sticking our children and grandchildren with an extra $50-billion bill,” said Wudrick. “It is a betrayal of the trust Canadians placed in the prime minister. We’re going to work hard to remind Canadians just how badly this important promise is on track to be broken.”

The CTF’s campaign features the website wontbalanceitself.ca, where Canadians can send a message to the prime minister and Finance Minister Bill Morneau asking them to balance the budget as promised.

 

“Yes, it can be this cold outside in a time of global warming.”

There are three Party slogans in George Orwell’s 1984, his masterpiece about an all-controlling centralized government that runs on lies, terror, and propaganda. See if you can pick out which Party slogan I invented among the four:

War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength

Frigid Weather Means Our Planet is Getting Warmer

The Climate Hoaxsters say that this run of cold weather does not mean the planet will not warm over the course of years, which would sound reasonable if these were not the same Climate Hoaxters who told us Global Warming meant the “end of snow,” or that this winter would be “warmer-than-average,” or that a run of warm weather last winter proved the planet is warming.

That last example is interesting, no?

You see, last year our Climate Hucksters told us a run of warm weather proved the planet is warming, which means we all have to give up our freedoms to a centralized government in order to save the planet.

BUT… a run of frigid weather this year also proves the planet is warming and we all have to give up our freedoms to a centralized government in order to save the planet.

So no matter what happens, no matter how cold or warm or temperate it is, everything proves Global Warming is for real

 

Half of the world's diabetics won't have insulin by 2030, study says

By 2030, about half of the 79 million adults around the globe predicted to have type 2 diabetes won't have access to insulin, a study said.

A modeling study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology focused on the price and dwindling supply of the life-saving drug that also helps people with types 1 and 2 diabetes stave off amputation, blindness, kidney failure and stroke.

Researchers from Stanford University projected type 2 diabetes numbers in 221 countries from 2018 and 2030, with half of that group living in China, India and the United States. During that time, the biggest spike in need could come from Africa, where experts predict the number of people with type 2 diabetes will jump from 700,000 to over 5 million.

Climbing global rates of type 2 diabetes and growing numbers of people living with the disease continue to drive up demand and prices for insulin. The drug can cost as much as $900 per month for people without insurance.
Only three companies currently produce insulin: Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and Lilly. In 2017, diabetes patients sued those companies for driving up insulin prices.

In 2016 an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the drug's price almost tripled between 2002 and 2013.

"Despite the UN's commitment to treat noncommunicable diseases and ensure universal access to drugs for diabetes, across much of the world insulin is scarce and unnecessarily difficult for patients to access," Basu said. "Unless governments begin initiatives to make insulin available and affordable, then its use is always going to be far from optimal."

 

Roll Up The Rim To Win Is Back. We Answer All Your Burning Questions

On February 6, Canada’s favourite fast food sweepstakes is back. The campaign runs until April 17 (or until cup supplies run out).

For every hot beverage you purchase with a Roll Up The Rim cup, you’ll get the chance to win a prize — there are more than 40 million coffee and food prizes alone. Before you play, we answer all your burning questions about the contest.

You have a 1 in 6 chance of winning something. (But, due to the laws of probability, that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily win something if you buy six cups, though.) Do you have a greater chance of winning if you get a bigger size drink?

There’s no upping your odds with an extra-large — Tim’s has confirmed that this is 100 percent an urban legend.

Can you substitute free coffee and doughnuts for other food items?

The winning coffee tabs work for any hot beverage (of any size), which means you could get anything from a small black coffee to a large hot chocolate. Likewise, the doughnut tabs let you redeem for any of the baked goods available. That includes muffins and cookies, as well as any doughnut — but not, say, a sandwich.

Can you trade big prizes for cash instead?

No. But you can certainly accept and re-sell your prize.

Is there a way to play if you buy food instead of a drink?

Previously, you could Scrrroll Up To Win on the Tim Hortons app, which allowed you to play once a week (after making any purchase) for the chance to win a free coffee or doughnut. This year, the company has gone back to the basics and is only hosting in-store initiatives.

Are there plans to let people win when they bring their own reusable mugs?

Albertan Ally Fraser launched a petition in 2016 for Tim’s to create a way for reusable mug users to win and it was signed by 19,363 people, so clearly there is a demand for more sustainability. Tim Hortons responded to the calls by pointing out that it wouldn’t save paper to print out scratch cards in addition to already printing out the cups.  The company says it’s working on more-sustainable packaging, but before you play be aware that paper cups are a big waste problem. Estimates from a few years ago put Canadians’ annual usage at up to 2 billion disposable coffee cups per year — as Canadian Geographic pointed out, that’s “up to 35,000 tonnes of paper, made from more than 70,000 tonnes of raw wood, harvested from thousands of hectares of forest.” And — contrary to popular belief — the cups themselves are difficult and expensive to recycle. (Toronto, for example, doesn’t take them in the city Blue Bin program, but it does take brown coffee cup lids for recycling.)

Will you be denied your big prize if you don’t bring in the entire cup?

As long as the tab is in one piece, you’ve got it. Be careful when you win a Tim’s gift card though — you want to make sure the entire PIN code is still intact on the tab when you redeem it. 

What do stores do with the winning cup pieces?

Individual stores are responsible for keeping tabs on their coffee and donut tabs, but they lose their value after the event is over. For major prize tabs, they have to be sent in and validated at the contest office first.

Is it true that Canadians were crazy enough about this to invent a tool for rolling up the rim?

YES. After 18 years of ineffectually ripping at our coffee cup rims (RUTRTW launched in 1986), inventor Paul Kind came up with the “Rimroller” device in 2004. You can still buy them at Lee Valley Tools for $2.95. What can we say? This is what gets us through the bleak winter months.

Can I just win a car already? 

Probably not, sorry, but this year, Tim Hortons has partnered with Jeep and there are 40 Jeep Compasses up for grabs. Good luck!