Happy CanaDay! Ready for HST?

The government of BC has found a terrific new way for you to help out with provincial finances: Buy more stuff.  It doesn’t matter what you buy, as long as you buy more of it and pay more taxes on many items.  Oddly enough not everyone loves this plan.

Oh, and for you sneaky unpatriotic types that were thinking about driving across the border to do some shopping based on new tax loophole, it’s not going to work right now.

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RP #82: Thanks for the response. I'm still not quite sure it is coherent. I was talking about university admissions primarily and public sector wages secondarily. You partly changed the subject to foreign workers sending remittances home and the BC Liberal decision to rescind contracts. I asked what an appropriate wage is for public sector workers in specific well-understood occupations (union in some cases, non union in my case) and what you would consider an appropriate wage for yourself. You suggested that I subscibe to the notion that public sector wages should be exhorbitant, and that all public sector employees do is wake up in the morning, check the paper and cash my gov't cheque. I can assure you this isn't true. If it were, how could UBC and SFU both be considered as one of the top 200 Universities… Read more »


#80 JL, I suggest you get out of the union fired dribble glass mentality and get a grip on reality. The excess money we pay to foriegn workers is all exported out of the country by the people we pay it to by way of remittances. Obviously we're paying too much for these services. 'Getting in' to Kwantlen and Langara is not 'going to university'. Try to get a professional interview with a two year shingle from Langara. Yes, I have a background in business hiring and I can tell you that if I have a stack of applications from prospectives the ones that aren't from a real university go in the garbage without consideration. I want to hire the kid who got 110% not the Langara flunky who's work ethic didn't cut it. Thats just the real world talking.… Read more »


A 1 bedroom suite for $1300. Seriuosly delusional!!!!!!!


Just looking...

Realpaul, Your arguments are not particularly coherent. I find it odd that you want people to earn so little for doing work that is needed by others. What is a reasonable wage for a teacher? Nurse? What is a reasonable wage for yourself? I suspect you are fine with others earning $8/hr but wouldn't agree that this is for you. Sure sure, you might 'earn' your money through private business, but we would have a woefully inefficient and not particularly effective system if we followed libertarian ideals and privatized everything. I am not informed in the area of health care, but I am quite informed about post-secondary education, being in that sector. As for your thoughts on university admissions, they are woefully uninformed. Competition exists for the most sought-after programs at the most sought-after institutions, yes. Is it 95% to… Read more »


Realpaul, sure bring in workers from other countries if we don't have enough here but pay them the going wage that Canadians receive. How is that discrimination? What you are saying is bring foreign workers here but pay them a low wage because their countries suck. Ouch. Now if that isn't discrimination then I don't know what is. I don't begrudge those that do jobs that are vital a decent wage. I don't lose sleep over my tax dollars being spent on decent salaries for doctors, teachers, and nurses. Obviously your priorties lie elsewhere and it seems you have real anymosity towards the public sector. Like I said, next time you end up in the hospital think about what you've written. I've been in the hospital frequently due to family illnesses in the last few years and the consequences of… Read more »


#77 A, And we wonder why theres people dying in the halls and two year waitlists for MRI's. If 95% of the budget is sucked off by these bloated parasite workers then what is left for health care itself? The unions answer is always the same 'the systems underfunded' they scream. No, the workers are overpaid and the taxpayer has hit the wall.


@realpaul: In Alberta, Healthcare Managers (ex-nurses) are paid $300K a year.


KWI # 75 those HEU contracts were pushed through by the union in the dying days of an unelected PC NDP dick named Ujjal Dosanj. The NDP picked Dosanj because they wanted to suck the Libs into a race fight in the upcoming election .The LiBs didn't bite and the NDP lost anyway. The HEU contracts were especially egregious because they extended value where none was due, the contracts would have taken away from all other areas of the budget and forced higher taxes to compenstae. That was another tactic that the NDP tried and failed to saddle us with. So the last minute sweetheart deals with the unions were overturned..so what…they were tantamount to criminal misuse of power in the first place. Thats why no one coplained about the contracts being rescinded except the NDP unionista. The workers were… Read more »


Realpaul in case you don't remember but in the early days of Campbell he broke the HEU contract he promised he wouldn't touch. He then privatized all the hospital cleaning services. All the former HEU employees were invited to reapply for their old jobs but only at a lower rate. I've had a family member contract C-diff at two different hospitals in the lower mainland because cleaning services have gone to hell under the low paid workers. So yes, we save money but at what cost? Our health and well being? Food servies have been provided by private contractors in hospitals as far as I can remember. Pretty much the only hospital employees who aren't private are the doctors, nurses, and medical staff. Why would we pay foreign workers less just because they earn less back home? That's discrimination. Far… Read more »


The idea that a minimally paid hospital worker can wheel the food cart up the service elevator in the same fashion as these bloated parasites we have here should be explored for efficiencies. The nurses union actively supports the importation of foriegn nurses to bolster its membership, why do we need to pay them twenty times their national wage to be here? Guest worker status anyone? Or is it all about dues coming into the union coffers? I don't hate unions btw, but they have served to drive up the costs of services to the public without a real assessment of their worth. This idea of being held hostage to the unions for taxpayer funded services is criminal. There is only so much in tax a citizen can pay and we have overstepped that threshold, its time to rationalize and… Read more »


Realpaul, next time you are sick and in the hospital I hope you remember what you posted here.

Why the union hatred?


Uh oh bears, Larry says average prices UP in June. Where is bear who crowing about $50K price drop in May and predicting imminent collapse? Back in hibernation?

No, bears are more interested in talking Olympics again. Don't you believe?


@realpaul: I wonder if Arnie has ordered proportionate cuts in payments to private prison operators in CA. My guess is he hasn't. BTW California spends more on prisons than on universities. Why hasn't Arnie simply taken all the illegals in prison (who comprise a large % of inmates) and put them on buses to Mexico? You might get a hint why from this: In the intensifying debate over budget-driven releases of state prison inmates, the state’s cash problems are well known. But at least one private correctional company is reaping major rewards. In three years, a private-prison construction and management company, the Corrections Corporation of America, has seen the value of its contracts with the state soar from nearly $23 million in 2006 to about $700 million three months ago – all without competitive bidding. Even in a state accustomed… Read more »


Heres another example of unionized wrongheaded greed spun as being 'good for health care'.


How does giving the already bloated salaries extra billions improve health care. In fact , it doesn't. What we need is more money going into health care and fewer dollars going into the pockets of the union parasites. Cut the salaries to half of what they are, we'd still have boatloads of Phillipino and Pakistani nurses desperate to come in and fill the jobs. If the local unions have priced themselves out of the market….so be it. Why should the rest of us have to keep paying higher taxes for these parasites to flourish? Wouldn't it be more Canadian to give the jobs to deserving immigraants rather than this local trash that simply wants to wallow in the public trough?


Now heres a great idea for a cash strapped province. Thx Arnold. I hope this idea takes off. Cutting the civil service wages to minimum is right where they should be for these lazy bloated parasites.



@Betamax: Further, remember that all the Olympic-related infrastructure was built at a time of inflated construction costs due to the concurrent housing bubble. Indeed the Olympics contributed to the expectations of the RE bubble and helped to drive it – a vicious circle. Thus the projects incurred excessive costs – which IMHO should be allocated to the total bill for the Olympics – and they did not employ resources that would otherwise have been unused. Some of the infrastructure may well have been needed or useful, but it could have been built a few years later for cheaper. Now we are headed for a bigger economic bust than if the Olympics had not been held. Contrast with both Expo and the Calgary Olympics, the infrastructure for which was built during a time of severe recession and double digit unemployment. This… Read more »


VHB: "We got assets (like a subway line and a highway) that will last for generations. You don’t think it is good accounting to expect to cover those expenses in 10 days of revenue generation do you?" We got things we didn't need to ensure Vancouver won the bid. I think it's perfectly good accounting to allocate expenses according to the reasons why they were incurred. The number of days of subsequent revenue generation are irrelevant when determining cost allocation. "You can hate on the government, the olympics and everything else as much as you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that we actually didn’t lose money on the olympics." That's not a fact, it's an opinion based on spurious accounting practices which many do not agree with. Further, I don't "hate on" anyone, and the fact that you… Read more »


@VHB: We may not have LOST money but we WASTED a lot of it. Suspect uses of capital include: – Expanding the Sea-Ski highway – The "bear patrol" security budget – Mid-air refueling of CF18s over Whistler. Other capital projects like the Oval or RAV line should have some years of their capitalization written off as wasted but not the whole amount. They would have been built anyways but likely some years later. To be honest most of the people I saw during the Olympics were Canadian. From that POV the Olympics was a temporary money dump that took away capital from other regions of the country. That could well result in other parts of the country receiving a larger portion of federal grants to even things out. But as long as everyone had a good time it was money… Read more »


@VHB: the books were rigged, hundreds of province of BC employees worked for Vanoc whilst being paid by the province – this ain't gonna show up in the books. This goes for BC Hydro employees, as well as some other crown corps as well. Also, they had some other tricks as well that were rigged (remember the asset sale in Delta?)

Towards your point about the new sky train line and highway, yes this is probably money well spent in the long run. However, do we really need a ski jump or a skating oval in Richmond, curling rink on Ontario St? yes, nice to have but this money could have been much better spent on education, healthcare etc…


Either this laneway house is really really tough to rent out or the tenants keep dieing of carbon monoxide poisoning.



@betamax: that lumps in operating expenses with capital costs. Try again. We got assets (like a subway line and a highway) that will last for generations. You don't think it is good accounting to expect to cover those expenses in 10 days of revenue generation do you?

Operating costs and operating revenue were pretty close to equal.

You can hate on the government, the olympics and everything else as much as you want, but that doesn't change the fact that we actually didn't lose money on the olympics.


Hogtown Hozer Says:

July 1st, 2010 at 10:31 am

For those that haven’t been here long, ’summer weather’ in Vancouver starts in middle of July.


… and lasts until the end of July.

Run Buddy Run

Go Argentina Go

Happy Canada Day Everyone!

We have got some of the most recent collection of few saying that Canadian are gushing about the words of mouth in appreciation throught the year that makes Canada the place of action and the best place to be.

Queen Elizabeth:Canada is a model for this world.

Bill Clinton:Canada is a leader for this world.

Barack Obama:Canadian financial institutions and health care system is the best in the world and Vancouver real estate is better than New York.

Ashleigh McIvor:It's an amazing adventure that takes Van Re kites towards moon.

Scott Niedermayer:Now more than ever, This is the best place on earth.

Denny Morrison:And for the reasons above,You gotta be here.

Go Argentina Go

Run Buddy Run


VHB: "But why are you, and others, so keen to make up stuff like ‘the olympics cost money’? It didn’t."

Someone hack your account?

Here's a 2006 quote from the Sun, even before security costs went ballistic:


B.C.'s auditor-general's office says the true cost of the 2010 Olympic Games to taxpayers is $2.506 billion.

Games costs $4.338 billion

Less: Games Revenues ($1.832 billion-)

Net Games cost $2.506 billion

Costs to be funded by:

Province of B.C. $1.5 billion

Local government cost $389 million

UBC property tax cost $10 million

Federal taxpayer cost $607 million

Total taxpayer cost $2.506 billion"



Spot The Speculator #3

"Their fortune is held up by the present real estate market. It is a thin thread on which to hang their financial lives."

A couple of Westcoast speculators are up to their eye-balls in RE. Twelve properties. A relatively modest 147% of their net worth in RE.