DAVE AGAR

Monday February 11th Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 2/11/2014 7:25:00 AM

Olympics

Canada stands alone at the top of the medal board at the Winter Olympics in Sochi and while you slept, we widened the lead.

We picked up two medals this morning in the women's slopestyle ski event. Huntsville's Dara Howell won the gold and all of Huntsville including Mayor Claude Doughty exploded with applause less than two hours ago. Doughty was then on NewsTalk 1010's Moore in the Morning.

"We're still small town people at heart. We care about each other and that just showed through with Dara developing as a young person as a young Canadian and she turned out today to do the whole country proud."

Budget

It's federal budget day. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will stand up in the Commons around 4 o'clock but this will not be one of those budgets 'for the ages.' Instead you can expect him to set the table for next year's election by selectively touching hot button issues that perk up their ears of the middle-class.

By most accounts there will be legislation aimed at closing the retail price gap between Canada and the U.S....giving the Competition Bureau more teeth to end the practice of country pricing. The gap is anywhere from 10 to 50 percent.

Also expect to hear something about the hidden fees of credit cards and debit cards, the unbundling of cable TV packages, and more competition in the wireless business. Just what will be done in wireless is not clear but in the past Flaherty has said that even his wife Christine complains about her son's cellphone bill...specifically roaming charges. It is worth noting that the wireless companies including NewsTalk 1010's parent company Bell have been lowering roaming fees. In fact just this morning Bell put on lower roaming charges in Cuba,

Don't expect any grandiose spending plans. Nor will you get any substantial tax breaks. All that will be saved for next year's budget...the document the Conservatives will carry into the election campaign. For now the preoccupation will be to balance the books...eliminate the deficit by next year.
NDP leader Tom Mulcair says zero deficit onto itself is not smart given what's going on in this country.

"Balancing the books is a good idea but it's not an end in itself. We've got 300,000 more unemployed today than we had in 2008. We've got 260, 000 young people looking for their first job. That's a social tragedy so we can work on both at the same time."

In fact, Flaherty is expected to announce a jobs program for young people but not on a grand scale.
Get all the budget details on NewsTalk 1010's Live Drive with John Tory after the 4pm news.

Kathleen Wynne

Kathleen Wynne today celebrate her first anniversary as Ontario's Premier. For Conservatives and New Democrats they hope it'll be her last.

Wynne has sent a letter to Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath asking for their ideas for the upcoming provincial budget. If Wynne is suggesting she wants another budget deal to keep the Liberals in power, I don't believe her. Everything else about the Liberals in recent months demonstrates full preparations for an election, probably this spring.

"I need those real ideas. I get ideas from all over. I get ideas from people at Tim Horton's, I get ideas from the people who are part of the opposition parties. So I want those ideas, I want feedback. That will augment our plan to keep Ontario growing."

If there is a big idea out there I'm sure the Liberals would be willing and able to grab it out of the hands of the other parties in a bid to save the Liberals political backside.

As things stand now, Ontario seems destined to be mired in minority government for some time.

Susan Fennell

It now appears the Mayor of Brampton is going to have a fight on her hands to be re-elected.

Peel Regional councillor John Sanderson has filed his nomination papers hoping to replace Susan Fennell...slamming her out of the gate for her expense accounts and salary.

Sanderson says if elected he would not accept the 49-thousand dollar a year limo service that taxpayers pay for. He'd also cut the mayor's 2-hundred-13-thousand dollar a year salary to 1-hundred-85-thousand.

Fennel has sent an e-mail to the Globe and Mail saying her opponent has a "record of hypocrisy."

Shirley Temple

It's a name your parents or grandparents know well so you might want to mention it to them. Shirely Temple has died.
The 85-year old child star passed away at home in Woodside, California just before 2 o'clock this morning our time. Family spokesman Cheryl Kagan says Shirley Temple Black died of natural causes with her family at her side. This was a woman who was in the movie business at the age of 3 and largely out of the business by the age of 22. From there she went on to become an American diplomat, a former head of the U.S. Protocol office and an author.

"Her greatest achievement was being a wonderful mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and she was married for 55 years to her late husband Charles Alden Black."

 

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