Year-end Government Tricks in Ottawa

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Higher costs, less service at Canada Post

Snowy trick or treat



Provincial finance ministers came to Ottawa last weekend. They wanted to talk with Federal Finance Minister James Flaherty about cranking up old age pensions.

They were concerned that Canada Pension Plan payouts are too small. Some elderly have to try to get by on $12,000 a year pensions.

Federal old-age pensions are not a gift from the federal government. They come out of contributions by workers and their employers over the years.  Companies and their workers’ pay into the pension plan about fifty-fifty –a combination of pay cheques deductions and company contributions.

Provincial ministers made the case that today's workers would like to glad to chip in a little more into the "pot" right now so they would get more out of it in benefits when they leave at age 65.

Flaherty did not see things that way. He was categorical. “No” to their request. Flaherty said pension plan deductions on pay cheques are a form of "taxes" and nobody wants to pay more «taxes. »

He did not say that big companies -- such as banks charters and big oil companies -- don’t want to have to increase their own contributions to workers’ pension funds.

Provincial finance ministers went home empty-handed. The big companies were presumably pleased with Flaherty. He was good to them. Merry Christmas, boys.


Canada holds a new world record!

Canada will soon be the only country in the world that does not have home mail delivery.

 This is enough to make the "Guinness Book of World Records."

Canada Post announced the decision this past week and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is happy about it. He’s short of money and in no mood to shell out $ 1 billion or more to keep Canada Post in the black.

The bosses at Canada Post have figured out that getting postal employees to make one stop and filling up small "community" mailboxes on a street corner takes a lot less time that having them walk up and down an entire street door to door doling out letters from a heavy bag of mail.

Canada Post it will be able to lay off or  “retire” 6000 to 8000 door to door mail deliverers within five years. Now that’s real money saved.

Canada Post complains not enough people are using the mail. They are using those texting messages on cellphones and the internet e-mails. There were almost a billion fewer letters mailed this year. Even companies are sending their bills by internet.

And to encourage more use of the mails, Canada Post has decided to increase the price of sending an ordinary letter from 63 cents to 85 cents, and to a dollar before the end of next year. Whoever figured out that’s going to increase the use of the mails deserves a promotion – right out of the Post Office.

But in reality people will complain for a few months about those friendly ‘community” postal box monsters and the increase cost of sending a letter and then do exactly what the government tells them to do – exactly as they’ve always done.

It will be "fun" to see the old folks in wheelchairs making their way through the snowdrifts we’ve had this week...

Maybe winter tires might help.


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