Archives for the month of: May, 2014


Marketplaceā€™s investigation ranks 13 chains based on their inspection records, including coffee shops, fast food restaurants and family dining establishments




Canadian Words 1


Pierre Sprey is an aircraft designer, defense analyst, and record producer.

He is a critic of the F-35.




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Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government delivered its 2014-2015 budget on Thursday. Here’s what you need to know.

Revenue down, spending up
– The deficit is expected to rise to $12.5 billion next year from $11.3 billion in 2013-14, before falling to $8.9 billion in 2015-16. The Liberals say they still plan to balance the books by 2017-18.
– Revenues are down almost $1.2 billion from the budget projections for 2013-14 to an estimated $115.6 billion.
– Program spending will grow next year by almost $3 billion.
– Net debt ballooned to $269.2 billion for the year ending March 31 from $252.1 billion the previous year, leaving a debt-to-GDP ratio of 38.9 per cent, which is expected to grow to 40.3 per cent next year.

Tax hike for the well off
There will be a new tax rate of 12.16 per cent on income between $150,000 and $220,000. The 13.16 per cent tax rate for incomes above $514,000 will now apply to incomes above $220,000.

Tobacco tax hike
The budget increases the tobacco tax from 12.35 cents a cigarette to 13.975 cents or $3.25 on a carton of 200, but the tax rate on cigars remains unchanged at 56.6 per cent.

A new retirement plan
– The budget proposes a new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan for people without a workplace pension will require contributions from employers and workers of 1.9 per cent of salary. Someone earning $70.000 a year would pay $1,263 into the pension plan and their employer would match that amount. The new plan would be introduced in 2017.

An aviation fuel tax hike
Pricier flights? They could be on the way.

– The budget would hike the provincial tax on aviation fuel by four cents a litre over four years.

Lots of spending – Here’s the big stuff
The budget has lots of new spending.

– $29 billion over 10 years for public transit, roads, bridges and infrastructure.
– $11.4 billion over 10 years for hospital expansion and redevelopment projects.
– $11 billion over 10 years to repair, upgrade and build new elementary and high schools.
– $2.5 billion over 10 years for a new jobs fund which would give grants to corporations.
– $1 billion to help build a road to the remote Ring of Fire mineral deposit in northern Ontario, but the money is contingent on getting matching funds from the federal government.

The spending: the smaller stuff
Here are some of the smaller spending initiatives in the budget.

– $810 million over three years for community supports for adults with developmental disabilities.
– $294 million for a program that helps prevent homelessness.
– $32 million to expand school breakfast and lunch programs.
– Replace the Northern Allowance for people on social assistance with a Remote Communities Allowance adding $50 a month for the first person and $25 a month for each additional family member.



Canada’s top court has rejected the Harper government’s arguments five times in recent years.

April 25, 2014
The court rules that the Harper government cannot use Parliament alone to impose Senate term limits, allow consultative elections for senatorial candidates or abolish the upper chamber. The justices hold that the first two changes would need the consent of seven provinces representing half the provinces. Abolition would require provincial unanimity.

April 11, 2014
The government’s Truth in Sentencing Act sought to stop judges from routinely giving inmates extra credit for time spent in jail before custody. The court ruled judges have the discretion to allow up to 1.5 days credit.

March 21, 2014
The court rules 6-1 that Justice Marc Nadon, named to the Supreme Court by Harper last year, is ineligible to sit. They found he did not meet the special criteria laid out for candidates from Quebec.

Dec. 20, 2013
The court struck down the country’s laws prohibiting brothels, streetwalking and living off the avails of prostitution. The Harper government had strongly argued in favour of the laws. The 9-0 decision gave the government a year to enact a new statute.

Sept. 30, 2011
The court rules that Vancouver’s controversial Insite safe-injection facility can stay open. The Harper government tried to close it by denying it a renewed exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The court found that denial contravened the principles of fundamental justice and ordered the exemption renewed immediately.