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forever sucking at the teat…

March 30, 2015

The Nova Scotia ruling Liberal Party announced a round of user fee increases for all governmental services last week – a tax hike is what it is – but no one wants to call it for what it is.

And while I have no issue with taxes, those announced last week were completely arbitrary and gratuitous, and given other government announcements last week – they were also insulting.

(Not to mention that we are already the highest taxed province in the country.)

What really got on a lot of people’s goats last week was who also got some tax relief.

On the same day that RBC announced yet another round of record quarterly bank profits (this time $2.3 billion -not bad for three months work), the NS government announced that RBC would be getting $22 million in wage subsidies to open a call centre in the old Blackberry call centre space (who, by the way, also got a $10 million handout the year before they closed).

I suppose with a projected profit line of $9.5 billion this year (on $150 billion in assets) the $22 million was much needed help.

The day before the announcement, the Minister for Housing in the province said that the 4,300 people currently on the wait list for affordable housing did not, in fact, constitute a housing crisis. (Homeless youth, with severe mental health issues, or intellectual shortcomings, have to wait upwards of 5 years for assisted housing.) The Minister further announced that the Government was going to cut millions out of the current public housing budget.

And then, to further add fuel to the government’s fire of colossal indifference, it was announced on the same day as the fee hikes that Irving Shipbuilding – a subsidiary of Irving Oil – of Irving family fame (the third wealthiest family in Canada, and 5th largest landowner in North America, and owners of all but one daily newspaper in the Maritimes) – was getting an undisclosed tax break for their new military shipbuilding development in the Halifax Harbor.

You know, because that $30 billion 30-year military contract they recently received was not, in itself, enough payola.

They somehow needed more.

They always seem to need more.

So, now, suddenly the government says it has no money – and that hiking 1,400 user fees will bring in $7.7 million and keep services in line with the increased cost of living.

A government issued food truck license has now instantly jumped 5 fold. Restaurant permits jumped $100. Event fees doubled.

It’s not hard to smell a rat in the kitchen.

That the government is so indifferent to its own olfactory stench however, has young people leaving this province in droves…

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