Canadian penny fell victim to changing times The lowly penny, once an important unit of currency but long since reduced to providing little more than irritating pocket ballast and use in nursery-school rhymes, was declared officially redundant in the 2012 budget.
Aside from giving opposition members ample opportunity to criticize the Tory budget as “penny-wise, dollar-foolish,” the decision to eliminate the coins meant that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty could make a bedroom reference in his budget speech: “Pennies take up too much space on our dressers at home.” (Photo: Getty Images / Thinkstock)
Quebec, tired of being portrayed as a freeloader, demands more Graeme Hamilton: On the one hand, Quebec does not appreciate being depicted as a sponge that soaks up federal money to fund generous social programs not offered elsewhere; on the other hand, Quebec would like billions more dollars from Ottawa, please.
Budget showdown? No worries, say investors Budget battles and tottering governments have rattled investors from Dublin to Wisconsin. So Canada’s looming budget showdown ought to have money managers eyeing the exits.
Photo: Finance Minister Jim Flaherty holds up his ‘budget’ shoes after having them resoled in Ottawa March 21, 2011. Flaherty will present the federal budget on March 22. (Blair Gable/Reuters)
In short, the grave truth about equalization in Canada is this: the more productive and responsible your province, the lousier your access to medicine, nursing homes, schools, the justice system, day cares, and dozens of other services will be. On the other hand, the more a province proves itself fiscally careless and economically stagnant, the likelier its citizens are to enjoy the most well padded public programs on offer.
Protesters with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty disrupted a meeting of Toronto’s budget committee, demanding that Mayor Rob Ford reverse cuts they say target the poor.
Shortly after 10 a.m., Heather Schofield entered committee room demanding the attention of councillors who had been listening to a presentation about the city’s financial future. Budget Chief Mike Del Grande quickly recessed the meeting, as the procession of activists neared.
“We’re here because the proposed cuts that they’re making are devastating,” Heather Schofield told reporters after. “This is a crisis, we’re not talking about can we politely please ask sir for a little more food. People are dying on the streets of Toronto, that’s what we’re talking about. And if you want to tell us to stand in a queue and wait and speak politely, that’s bogus.” (Photo: Brett Gundlock/National Post)