2014-07-07

5 millions pour la F1, rien pour le mascaret de Moncton

La F1 c'est une fin de semaine par année et pourtant le gouvernement
Harper lui accorde 5 millions de dollars par année pour les prochains
20 ans. Le mascaret de Moncton, quant à lui, est à tous les jours et
n'obtient pas un cent du fédéral. ;-)

2014-07-06

The CBC is a Waste of Money

The government subsidizes TV. That's like having the Queen on the money (they don't even do that in Scotland). It is anachronistic and should end.

Poor people pay far more federal taxes in Canada than in the USA. Granted, they get healthcare that is partially funded by the federal government, but mostly it is to pay for things of dubious value like 28 billion on national defence and 2 billion on the CBC/Radio-Canada.

TV, that can be paid for via advertising, channel subscriptions, video on-demand rentals, DVD rentals and Internet subscriptions (like Netflix) doesn't need the money from the poor folks that work at Tim Hortons.

Remember when Discovery and A&E had compelling programs? Those days are gone. That's because TV is a brain dead medium. The idiot box. You watch it when you are too tired to do anything else.

But even junk TV is expensive. So expensive that producing local content is prohibitive. Not even the CBC does that (no, stuff made in Toronto or Vancouver is not "local" when you live in the Maritimes. Heck, even a Stephen King novel contains more local content).

We watch Faulty Towers from 30 years ago, we watch the British and the American Office. Some people watch one ot the many incarnations of "The Bridge".

Meanwhile, many of us get our entertainment from the written word. Or family. Or sports.

I'm a huge fan of TV and enjoy CBC shows like Mr. D (made in Halifax). I probably get my money's worth (despite the CBC not having over the air in Moncton). But there are ways to charge me for that content. And if a show can more efficiently be made in LA or London, than so be it.

News and Weather Networks are Pointless and Should be Off Basic Cable

The only time I every watch a 24 hour "news" network is via the Daily Show with John Stewart. For anybody that can read, the Internet is a much better source of news. Dito, perhaps even more so, for the weather network. And yet Canadian cable and satellite subscribers are forced to fork over their hard earned dollars to these useless services because they have mandatory carriage imposed by the CRTC.

It is time to end this nonsense. 

Shediac-Bouctouche à 4 voies est un gaspillage épouvantable de fonds publics

Dès leur entré au pouvoir, les Conservateurs du Nouveau-Brunswick ont augmenté la taxe sur l'essence. Malgré cette augmentation, la taxe est moins élevé qu'au Québec ou en Nouvelle-Écoisse. Et contrairement au Maine, il n'y a pas de péage sur les routes du Nouveau-Brunswick. Mais malgré cette augmentation, le ministre des finances estime que la taxe sur l'essence ne génère que la moitié de ce qui est dépensé annuellement par le gouvernement provincial sur les routes de la province.

Et qu'est-ce que le gouvernement Conservateur fait, à quelques mois des élections provinciales? Il commence l'élargissement à quatre voies de la route entre Shediac et Bouctouche.

Est-ce que les 2500 résidents de Bouctouche ont besoins de 4 voies? Non, vraiment pas. Il y a effectivement 250,000 personnes dans le nord de la province. Mais cette région ce dépeuple. Il y a de moins en moins de monde. Il n'y a qu'un autobus par jour entre Moncton et Miramichi. Un!

La route 50 entre Gatineau et Montréal qui a ouvert en 2013 n'a que deux voies. Pourtant, les Conservateurs croient que Moncton (120,000) et Bouctouche (2,500) méritent une autoroute. C'est promouvoir l'étalement urbain. C'est un gaspillage épouvantable de fonds publics. Entre Moncton et Miramichi, ce n'est même pas le chemin le plus court!

2014-06-21

No Foreign Temporary Workers, But Students And Graduates Can Still Work

Full time foreign students can work in Canada up to 20 hours a week. In addition, they can work in Canada up to 4 years after graduating as long as the job is somehow related to their field. In Moncton, that means hundreds of foreigners working in call centres.

Without those workers, would Sitel et al increase wages?  Bell, for example, has outsourced to call centres in India, the Philippines, Tunisia and Egypt. So there is no guarantee that the jobs filled by foreigners wouldn't simply be shipped off overseas. It is significantly easier to have workers who speak both English and French to service Canadian customers, but when you pay your workers $4 an hour, you can have them sit around and do nothing, waiting for French calls. 

That said, the Moncton call centres exist thanks to provincial subsidies and a willingness by telecoms and banks to undercut union negotiated wages. So it is perplexing to witness a room filled with foreigners. Are they making our lives better, or worse? In theory, Université de Moncton enjoys the fruits of all those foreigners filling their classrooms and contributing tuition. But if they lower salaries of local workers, or displace jobs for local students, they might be lowering the number of Canadians that can attend the university.

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