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Hmmmm... maybe the CPP will be around when I retire.

Wow, the markets (especially the TSX) are doing great, and hence, so is the CPP. The CPP made some comments yesterday about their last fiscal year (ended in March) and they had some impressive gains year over year. 15.5% in fact (compared to industry avg. of 14.3), for 13.1 billion added to their holdings. At this rate they say that the CPP fund should be upwards of $250 billion in the next 10 years.
Previous estimates I've seen on when the fund will actually need to be drawn down (when payments out exceed contributions in) is sometime around 2022.

Don't Like the Conservative Budget

Blech, that's what I say. The Conservatives main thrust with their first budget in over a decade was a 1% reduction of the GST (from 7 to 6%). In order to do that they both increased sin taxes (not a problem in my mind) and increased the minimum tax bracket rate to 15.5% (the Liberals had decreased it in their last budget from 16 to 15%). So, now as of July, you'll have to pay more tax on your income, and who knows what you'll end up saving when you buy things.

I mean, some retailers will just suck up that 1%. Sure, we may save on cars and little things that sell for a one or two bucks, but most total prices will be relatively unchanged.

Gotta Increase Productivity

Alright, so Canada is enjoying the good times right now, especially Western Canada. But these commodity fueled times won't last forever, it's time to ensure the competitiveness of value-add industry. The Conservatives have shown us that the deal they negotiated for Free Trade way back in the day (and that the Liberals extended to include Mexico) doesn't really mean free trade, but rather, free when it's convenient for the elephant, and managed trade when it's convenient for the mouse. (My, the Conservatives are pretty entertaining, they even succumbed to a bill C-48 that they voted against last year. Hypocrites.)

Government of Canada ePass

You know, as much as people say governments are slow, I was pretty impressed with our federal government's ePass system.
I noticed it when I filed my taxes a week or so ago. Something said that if I registered for an ePass I could track the status of my tax return. So, I registered... anyway, it turned out that they had to send me a code in the mail to let me access it so I couldn't check anything right away.
Then, in tidying up my house I found a couple of tax receipts for donations I'd made that I didn't include in my filing. Anyway, the next day I received my code and logged in and noticed that I could make a correction to my tax filing if I wanted. Craziness! I mean, to sort this out in the past would probably have been a nightmare (to the point where it wouldn't have made any sense - mind you, I'd never tried to alter a filed tax return). Anyway, I decided I'd check and see what difference the charitable tax receipts made to my return, and lo and behold it was over $20 so I decided to give this advanced e-stuff a try ;)

Passport? Big Deal

Just as our new Prime Minister indicates, if you want to go the US, get a passport. I don't really know what all the problems about this are. I mean, sure it can be a pain to get a passport, but really you need one to travel pretty much anywhere else. Heck, you can't book a hotel room in Europe without showing a passport. Why are we not the same way? Anyway, I've got no problem with this... why would anyone?

If they replace the Ontario Driver's license...

... can they at least make sure to put the expiration date on the front of the card.... Just a personal preference. Article.


What the? Something finally got my goose this month, so a post must go up...

This article states that Mr. Dingwall claims that he wasn't spending taxpayers dollars when expensing things. He claims that since he was able to put the Mint back in the black that he was spending from it's operating cashflow and that since it is a crown corporation that it isn't taxpayers money. Woah... hold up... Isn't a crown corporation one that is wholly-owned by the government? And therefore aren't all us plebes essentially shareholders in ones such as the Mint? Well - Mr. Dingwall, congratulations on getting the Mint back on solid footing, but I'm personally, as a shareholder, infuriated at the reported level of your expenses.

We Don't Understand the Word "Emergency"

There are a lot of things that lead me to believe that the title is true, but this is certainly one of the more disappointing and upseting ones. More than half of Canadians seeking treatment at hospital emergency rooms are there for less-than-urgent conditions, a new report said Wednesday.- Globe and MailI'm not going to say I'm perfect, I've been to emergency a few times in my life... I've had something removed from my ear, tried to have something removed from an eye - it turned out to be an infection, and had my chin stiched up. Maybe only one of them was really an emergency... The article's stats show that there are about 14 million visits per year to the nation's emergency rooms, and that the number has been fairly constant the last few years. What would happen if we could cut the half of visits that aren't necessary?  Think of how much better things could be...

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