Finances and the national economic outlook for 2012 served as the centrepiece of last month’s issue when CBJ held an exclusive interview with federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Once again fiscal policy comes to the forefront following the recent release of the Drummond Report, which indicates just how critical Ontario’s financial status has become. While this particular document singles out the misspending of one province, on a much broader scale, it should serve as a stark reminder to the other provinces and territories the importance of keeping government fiscal affairs in order.
It’s all well and good to provide tax credits, subsidies and other benefits in an effort to kickstart economic expansion – on the assumption a governing body can afford to do so, or at the very least shows a reasonable plan for recouping those incentive-laden, front-end investments down the road. From what we’re seeing now, that doesn’t appear to be the case for Ontario.
Premier Dalton McGuinty and Finance Minister Dwight Duncan have some very difficult decisions to make with essentially two main options from which to choose, and neither will be popular. Option one: begin by streamlining or slashing programs and rolling back certain tax incentives and subsidies, or – dare we say it – Option two: raise taxes! As a rather ironic, if not humorous aside, the name “McGuinty” wasn’t recognized by Microsoft Word’s spell-check program. Word, constantly aiming to be ever so helpful, offered up one lone alternative choice – “Mutiny”.
This edition also has a distinct PDAC theme, with the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada holding their convention in Toronto this month, where major changes are taking place at the top of the executive branch. Scott Jobin-Bevans steps down after serving his allocated two-year term, with Glenn Nolan assuming the reins; he will work closely with Executive Director Ross Gallinger, who himself is still relatively new to that role, having replaced Tony Andrews last summer.
We also get the latest in an interview with Target Canada President Tony Fisher and the American retailer’s international expansion, north of the border. Come 2013, there will be an entirely new dynamic in the retail environment, which is great news for Canadian consumers.