Thursday September 29, 2016
Islanders will soon be paying a little more for most products and services, as the P.E.I. government is about to raise the Harmonized Sales Tax by one percentage point on Saturday.
The HST will go from 14 per cent to 15 per cent, and the cost of living is expected to rise by about 0.5 per cent as a result.
"For most people that are financing and so forth they're looking at $2, $2.50 every couple of weeks," explained Ron Martin, the sales manager at Reliable Motors in Charlottetown.
The dealership advertised the tax hike, hoping it would entice customers to buy before October 1.
[. . .]
The increase will bring in an extra $11 million for this fiscal year and an additional $22 million in future years, according to the province — extra revenue that's necessary to simply maintain core services, it said.
I wonder what other options are available.
Toronto’s bustling library system is the latest agency to say it can’t make city council’s directive to cut 2.6 per cent of its spending without hurting services to Torontonians.
At a meeting this week, chief librarian Vickery Bowles presented the library board with 2 per cent in proposed “efficiencies,” through increased revenue from space rentals plus lower spending, thanks to technological innovations including fine payments at self-checkout terminals.
The $3.529 million in savings includes eliminating 8.7 full-time staff positions. To hit the target approved by city council at the urging of Mayor John Tory, the library would have to cut a further $1.077 million.
Unavoidable costs for negotiated salary increases plus improved services — including expanded Sunday hours at some branches — boost the library’s 2017 operating budget request to $178.8 million, or 0.9 per cent over this year’s budget.
“If TPL is required to find equivalent savings to meet the (council-directed) target, the Library would then need to implement service reductions,” Bowles wrote in her report, adding she’ll continue hunting for efficiencies.
‘Please, remember me
Making fools of all the neighbors
Our faces painted white
We’d forgotten one another
And when the morning came
I was ashamed
Only now it seems so silly
That season left the world
And then returned
And now you’re lit up by the city’ - Trapeze Swinger: Iron and Wine
Charlottetown Police Services have laid 104 charges against two Prince Edward Island men after an extensive 18 month long investigation. Frank Dew has been charged with 26 counts of theft over five thousand dollars, and 26 counts of fraud exceeding five thousand dollars. David Cudmore has been charged with 26 counts of theft over five thousand dollars, and 26 counts of fraud exceeding five thousand dollars.
Charlottetown Police Services began their investigation after a complaint was received from the Prince Edward Island Department of Justice and Public Safety alleging misconduct by the companies Morton Dew Ltd., and Cuddy Financial Management Group, regarding client investment accounts. Accounts involve 37 victims and a multi-million-dollar loss of money.
Court date for the two accused to enter pleas on the charges have been set for the 27th of October 2016 at 10 am at 42 Water St., Charlottetown
A review of the TTC’s procurement policies is raising red flags about the transit agency’s ability to manage expensive capital projects, detailing billions of dollars in cost overruns and oversight practices that fall below public-sector standards.
The report, which will be debated at Wednesday’s TTC board meeting, was authored by consulting firm KPMG. The company examined nine capital projects that the TTC launched over the past decade-and-a-half and had combined initial estimated costs of $5.1 billion. Of the nine, six incurred inflated expenses that together totalled $2.9 billion more than original estimates.
They included the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension, whose cost soared over from $1.5 billion to $3.2 billion, and the Leslie Barns streetcar facility, whose price jumped from $345 million to $507 million. Three of four smaller-scale capital projects KPMG studied also saw budgets rise above initial projections.
The report, which council commissioned in March 2015, determined that the TTC is operating at a “low-standardized level of maturity” in the delivery of capital projects. That’s below KPMG’s benchmark for public-sector organizations. KPMG scored one TTC department as operating at an “informal” level, which means the consultant found that projects lacked documentation and standardized policies.
Hold your breath, Rogers is getting into the condo game.
The Rogers Real Estate Development company, which is privately held, announced plans to build a 10-condo-tower complex billed as “M City” in Mississauga, with the tallest tower measuring in at 51 storeys. First reported by BuzzBuzzHome, the $1.5-billion, 6,000-unit, six-hectare project will be built in downtown Mississauga, a short walk from the Civic Centre.
Proposed to be built on a parcel of land reportedly purchased for $170,000 in the 1960s by the Rogers family and originally intended for a radio transmitter, the ambitious proposal is part of a larger plan for Mississauga. Over the weekend the city to the west of Toronto announced a 120-hectare proposal along its waterfront, which Finance Minister and local MPP Charles Sousa said “will be much better than Toronto.” The project will include 26 hectares of protected green space, and take seven to 10 years to build.
I want to talk about the morality of driving.
I own a car, but I don’t drive very much. I generally take transit or walk everywhere I need to go. I use the car to take my kids camping in the summer, to venture out to Mississauga to visit my parents, and to cart musical gear.
But day in, day out, I don’t drive. I have had funny conversations with my disbelieving insurance company about the small number of kilometres I add to the odometer each year.
I can do a lot of my shopping on foot, and I commute by subway and bus. Taking transit means it takes me longer to get to work, but it’s better for the environment, and better for my health.
My halo is blinding, isn’t it?
Those of us who don’t drive often or at all are pretty proud of ourselves, maybe even a little smug. And why not? We’re making a difference: every car off the road reduces air pollution, to which several hundred deaths are directly attributable every year in this province.
- blogTO shares the new face of the Broadview Hotel.
- The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly writes about the joys of the unscreened life.
- Dead Things reports on a study suggesting that although humans are violent by the standards of mammals, we are among the least violent primates.
- The Dragon's Gaze reports on the discovery of five sizable planets orbiting HIP 41378.
- Language Log reports on the perils of 7 and 9 in Cantonese.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the usefulness of The Battle of Algiers.
- The Planetary Society Blog reacts to the Elon Musk proposal for colonizing Mars.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer responds briefly to the question of what Mexico can do about Trump.
- Window on Eurasia notes how the Russian invasion of Ukraine has spurred new arms purchases throughout the eastern half of Europe, even in Belarus.
Claude Monet's From Étretat: L'Aiguille and the Porte d'Aval is evocative of the sea.
James Ensor's From Beach at Ostend also deserves praise.
Monet's Les ombres sur la mer, Fécamp hints at so much for me.
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