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PM Justin Trudeau's Canada

Taking a page from the Quebec playbook.

"and instead intends to obtain a full per capita share of the funding".

Thing is............the opt out 'option' is based on the province putting forward an equivalent plan. That's what Quebec did with CPP; and with Parental Leave; they have those, they just administer them provincially, and they are in fact equal to or more generous than their federal counterpart program.

Exactly how does Alberta opt out of Federal funding for the province to deliver these drugs at no cost, while delivering an equivalent or better plan? That makes no real sense to me.
 
Exactly how does Alberta opt out of Federal funding for the province to deliver these drugs at no cost, while delivering an equivalent or better plan? That makes no real sense to me.

This is an Alberta thing.

Their thinking is "Ottawa Bad, Edmonton Good!". They are much like Quebec in that they oppose anything the Federal Government proposes unless it is a deep blue conservative in power.

To me, this strikes me like the ongoing IVF debate in Alabama. They are opposing something just because the people in power do not believe in it. Pharmacare is good for the people of Alberta and I THINK this will come back to bite them in the ass.

Oddly enough, if the NDP was still in power this likely would have been accepted there.

I firmly believe that this will hurt the United Conservative Party and Danielle Smith.
 
Taking a page from the Quebec playbook.

"and instead intends to obtain a full per capita share of the funding".

Can't blame them. This became inevitable the minute we started making exceptions for Quebec, on areas that had nothing to do with protecting culture. End of the day, it just maybe how federalism is destined to function in Canada.
 
I share an enthusiasm for this and related projects. I do worry about how this will be delivered, our propensity to build enormous bureaucracies to administer the benefits and the Ying and Yang of financing the programs. The Ying being that the program is wanted, and the Yang being that we all want to enjoy the tax burden we could in, say, Alaska, Delaware, Tennessee, Florida ….. ( all below 6.5%) Tax burden is defined as the proportion of a person's income that goes toward taxes. In the USA, tax freedom day is April 18th, in Canada it is June 15th.

I worry about this too. We are incredibly inefficient compared to jurisdictions of equivalent debt and taxation levels. Look at debt to GDP levels in France or Spain. Very close to Canada. Yet, they've got networks of high speed rail, vast urban transit networks, etc All we've got is the debt.
 
This on Australia from The Economist a few weeks ago (Jan 18) could be describing us.

In Australia, as in most places, waterfront property comes at a premium. But to see the full effects of high-cost Australian housing, look beyond trophy homes on Sydney Harbour and beach pads in Bondi. In cities across the country, tents and other makeshift shelters are springing up by the water. They are the dark side of a housing market that has held firm despite rising interest rates. For households of all incomes, the share of homes that are affordable is at its lowest in 30 years.

Australians are not alone. House prices are high relative to incomes across the rich world, and last year defied expectations by rebounding after only the briefest of blips. Rental markets are hot, too. Vacancies are at or near historic lows in many rich countries, while rents are climbing quickly. In previous decades, notes Peter Tulip, an economist, rising housing costs were offset by cheaper lending. Now mortgage rates have risen as well, meaning would-be buyers can afford to borrow less.


What is behind the unexpected resilience in prices? It is partly down to global trends, such as people working from home more and so placing a higher value on their living space. But Australian policymakers are increasingly focusing their attention on three domestic factors, too.

The first is that foreign demand for Australian housing is greater than ever. Net immigration was 500,000 in the year to June, more than twice the intake in 2019. At the same time some 650,000 international students call Australia home, and all need somewhere to stay. And even foreigners who do not live in Australia full-time seem keen on its housing market: such buyers snapped up 10% of newly built homes sold in the third quarter of 2023.

The second factor is the cost of materials. The producer price index for construction has risen by 30% since the start of 2021. As well as making houses costlier to build, this has left Australia with fewer builders. More than 1,500 construction firms collapsed in the year to June, mostly owing to cost overruns. The result is a reduced supply of new homes and even more upward pressure on prices.

But the biggest brake on home-building, says Mr Tulip—and the third factor driving house prices up—is local councils’ planning rules. A prime example is Sydney, where large numbers of homes face development restrictions. Meanwhile, zoning rules raise house prices well above the combined underlying cost. Mr Tulip’s research suggests that, again in Sydney, this increase is a whopping 73%.

Might the government be able to ease the squeeze? It has promised to reduce immigration, to triple the fees paid by foreign purchasers of existing homes and increase taxes on properties left vacant. A national target to build 1m homes over the next five years has been raised to 1.2m. And there are some signs of planning restrictions being loosened. The New South Wales state government is rewriting its zoning rules to force local councils to accept higher density housing. Such efforts will inevitably provoke furious objections. But they will not come from the growing number of Australians who settle down for the night in a waterside tent. ■
 
This on Australia from The Economist a few weeks ago (Jan 18) could be describing us.

In Australia, as in most places, waterfront property comes at a premium. But to see the full effects of high-cost Australian housing, look beyond trophy homes on Sydney Harbour and beach pads in Bondi. In cities across the country, tents and other makeshift shelters are springing up by the water. They are the dark side of a housing market that has held firm despite rising interest rates. For households of all incomes, the share of homes that are affordable is at its lowest in 30 years.

Australians are not alone. House prices are high relative to incomes across the rich world, and last year defied expectations by rebounding after only the briefest of blips. Rental markets are hot, too. Vacancies are at or near historic lows in many rich countries, while rents are climbing quickly. In previous decades, notes Peter Tulip, an economist, rising housing costs were offset by cheaper lending. Now mortgage rates have risen as well, meaning would-be buyers can afford to borrow less.


What is behind the unexpected resilience in prices? It is partly down to global trends, such as people working from home more and so placing a higher value on their living space. But Australian policymakers are increasingly focusing their attention on three domestic factors, too.

The first is that foreign demand for Australian housing is greater than ever. Net immigration was 500,000 in the year to June, more than twice the intake in 2019. At the same time some 650,000 international students call Australia home, and all need somewhere to stay. And even foreigners who do not live in Australia full-time seem keen on its housing market: such buyers snapped up 10% of newly built homes sold in the third quarter of 2023.

The second factor is the cost of materials. The producer price index for construction has risen by 30% since the start of 2021. As well as making houses costlier to build, this has left Australia with fewer builders. More than 1,500 construction firms collapsed in the year to June, mostly owing to cost overruns. The result is a reduced supply of new homes and even more upward pressure on prices.

But the biggest brake on home-building, says Mr Tulip—and the third factor driving house prices up—is local councils’ planning rules. A prime example is Sydney, where large numbers of homes face development restrictions. Meanwhile, zoning rules raise house prices well above the combined underlying cost. Mr Tulip’s research suggests that, again in Sydney, this increase is a whopping 73%.

Might the government be able to ease the squeeze? It has promised to reduce immigration, to triple the fees paid by foreign purchasers of existing homes and increase taxes on properties left vacant. A national target to build 1m homes over the next five years has been raised to 1.2m. And there are some signs of planning restrictions being loosened. The New South Wales state government is rewriting its zoning rules to force local councils to accept higher density housing. Such efforts will inevitably provoke furious objections. But they will not come from the growing number of Australians who settle down for the night in a waterside tent. ■

The situation is indeed similar, but in more than the superficial cause of concern; its also in the made-up reason of zoning, which is almost certainly much less restrictive than it was 20 or 30 years ago, when housing was much more affordable.

(that's not an argument against zoning reform, just against blaming housing prices on zoning which is nonsense)

There really is no secret, in Australia, the U.S., Canada or elsewhere.

Ban anyone from owning more than 2 residences at all, ever. (waivers for estates for the recently deceased).

Don't tax foreign ownership of residential, outlaw it.

Don't insure mortgages with under 'x' % equity; ban anyone from buying a home without paying 25% down.

Cap foreign under graduate students to 10% of enrollment; and require the University or College accepting them to provide on-campus housing for 100% of international students.

Cap foreign graduate students (Masters degree/PhD/Professions) at 25% of enrollment and require provision of on campus housing for all students.

Eliminate capital gains exemptions on primary residences.

Treat capital gains on residential real estate as 'normal income' for the purposes of taxation.

Outlaw entirely shorr-term rentals, in purpose-built housing (non-hotel).

Do that and re-set the minimum wage to what it would be if growth in productivity over the last 5 decades has been shared with workers proportionately.

(I haven't seen the number for Canada for the above, but for the U.S. its $21.50 USD per hour) ; a straight exchange rate adjustment would put the minimum wage here at $29 per hour.

There ya go, now housing's affordable again.
 
You would have to ban corporate ownership of property as well, otherwise foreign owners could skirt those rules by wrapping in a holding company.
 
You would have to ban corporate ownership of property as well, otherwise foreign owners could skirt those rules by wrapping in a holding company.

There obviously has to be room for development assembly.

But there would have to be some sort of proof of same, such that its not 'hoarding' of properties.
 
The situation is indeed similar, but in more than the superficial cause of concern; its also in the made-up reason of zoning, which is almost certainly much less restrictive than it was 20 or 30 years ago, when housing was much more affordable.

(that's not an argument against zoning reform, just against blaming housing prices on zoning which is nonsense)

There really is no secret, in Australia, the U.S., Canada or elsewhere.

Ban anyone from owning more than 2 residences at all, ever. (waivers for estates for the recently deceased).

Don't tax foreign ownership of residential, outlaw it.

Don't insure mortgages with under 'x' % equity; ban anyone from buying a home without paying 25% down.

Cap foreign under graduate students to 10% of enrollment; and require the University or College accepting them to provide on-campus housing for 100% of international students.

Cap foreign graduate students (Masters degree/PhD/Professions) at 25% of enrollment and require provision of on campus housing for all students.

Eliminate capital gains exemptions on primary residences.

Treat capital gains on residential real estate as 'normal income' for the purposes of taxation.

Outlaw entirely shorr-term rentals, in purpose-built housing (non-hotel).

Do that and re-set the minimum wage to what it would be if growth in productivity over the last 5 decades has been shared with workers proportionately.

(I haven't seen the number for Canada for the above, but for the U.S. its $21.50 USD per hour) ; a straight exchange rate adjustment would put the minimum wage here at $29 per hour.

There ya go, now housing's affordable again.

As noted, I feel that based on real world experience in other jurisdictions, these particular sets of medications/devices should cost next to nothing to deliver on a net basis to government. Birth Control for 2 years is roughly the same cost as one abortion; its also a lot cheaper than the costs associated w/unwanted children, especially in low-income scenarios.

Likewise, treating those suffering from un-treated diabetes and/or insulin shock is a significant, avoidable cost.

Certainly, there are other aspects of full, comprehensive, pharmacare, but they're not as bad as most would think.

Consider that gov't pays for drug benefits for civil servants, police, ems, teachers, professors, most municipal employees etc. That's a lateral cost move from a corporate drug plan to a state one.

At the high end, in net cost, You're looking at 0.3% of federal spending.

And that can be mitigated with low co-pays, if desired.
Again, I have no issues with this and would support much of the population having the option to opt into a program that would support them in the fashion that the ever expanding civil servant class enjoys (and I partially benefit from this largesse as well to be upfront) Fair is fair and to those actually producing wealth through toil, they should be fully able to enjoy these same benefits.

My concerns again run to how do we pay for this in the longer term. Our debt to GDP ratio is somewhere above 106%, amongst the top ten nations (with 'advanced' economies) on earth. People will argue "nuts to that" as Japan is 255% of GDP, Greece & Singapore 168%, Italy 144%, USA 123%, France 110%, Portugal 108%, Spain 107% and then us, closely followed by Belgium and the UK. The G7 average is 128%

Somehow we have to service this debt, and in Q3 of 2023 this totalled CDN$10.1 cents for every dollar of revenue for the feds.

And then we have the productivity problem, an ongoing issue that puts us at a disadvantage constantly. Compared to our neighbours to the south, we are roughly 72% as productive, a number that has consistently slipped for the past 20 years. Internationally, Canada is barely in the top 20 industrialized nations, and we are less than 1/2 as productive as the land that Guinness built. GDP per capita and GDP per hour worked are fundamental building blocks of our living standards. And we are coming up short.

These are all fundamental challenges - delivering the programs that people (and the country) need, paying people (and certain segments of the employed) ever increasing wages and benefits, paying for the programs that these same people need. How we are going to grow our economy and our productivity at a rate to support those programs and to support the rate of spending by government and government institutions? This is a conundrum that politicians of all stripes seem all to readily able to ignore as long as the public is not really interested either - just keep bringing us the goodies.

I was going to go off and talk about how hard sometimes it was to keep jobs in Canada when our USA management decided almost everything made more sense to produce in the Carolinas, but we willingly export, and have exported so much technology and those jobs to other places, and we just seem to be content to do so. Why fight it? The history of Canada exporting technology and jobs is long and illustrious - Massey Ferguson, Champion to name a couple of local examples. Dead in Canada and alive and thriving elsewhere. As long as we have Costco and Walmart, all seems to be ok. We really are a country of "hewers of wood and drawers of water" and even those jobs the Chinese contend can be done cheaper in China, just ship us the goods. We already do so with logs, logs then made into plywood and veneers, and shipped back to Canada at rates undercutting Canadian mills, putting Canadian workers out of skilled paying jobs. The USA also exports logs to China as well, a thriving business, but imposes stiff duties on incoming plywood products to protect USA skilled trades. Canada is not interested in skilled jobs and has refused to even talk about protecting Canadian workers (But we'll fight to the death with the USA over softwood lumber duties). Perhaps the plywood is sold through Costco or Walmart.

Anyways, enough of that, let's see where the Liberals and the NDP take this initiative and the implementation of the programs so recently announced.








cy
 
Somehow we have to service this debt, and in Q3 of 2023 this totalled CDN$10.1 cents for every dollar of revenue for the feds.

I don't disagree w/your general thrust...........

Though I don't feel it apply to a program that should produce off-sets equal to or greater than expenses in the near term.

But....while not excusing what I feel is too deficit-tolerant a culture..........

I would point out that.........

The U.S. is spending 17% of their federal budget, in the current fiscal year on servicing their debt...............that's 70% worse than us......
 
I don't disagree w/your general thrust...........

Though I don't feel it apply to a program that should produce off-sets equal to or greater than expenses in the near term.

But....while not excusing what I feel is too deficit-tolerant a culture..........

I would point out that.........

The U.S. is spending 17% of their federal budget, in the current fiscal year on servicing their debt...............that's 70% worse than us......
Again, I would not disagree with your thoughts. But I am here and not in the USA, and while the countries share much, we are dissimilar in many ways. I think and believe that these programs (and others - I am sure we would share a list) can and should be delivered, and in many cases, are well overdue....especially for those of our society that are economically disadvantaged in a variety of ways. My concern is only sustainability over longer terms.
 

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