Peter Holle

  • Manitoba’s bloated public sector

    Manitoba employs considerably more local and provincial public sector workers per capita than the rest of Canada. In an increasingly lower-income province facing a convergence of high debt, structural budget deficits and flat or declining equalization payments, policy makers in Manitoba need to seriously explore options for reducing the public sector wage bill. The most recent Statistics Canada data (2013) reports that 18 per cent of all jobs are in the public sector; that is, government employees at the federal, provincial and local levels excluding defence and Crown corporations. Manitoba’s figure is almost 30 per cent higher than the Canadian average, at 23.35 per cent of its total workforce. Only Newfoundland and Labrador has a higher proportion of public sector employment, with 27.5 per cent in the government sector.
  • The problem with 'free' parks

    The onset of a global recession has been met by a flourish of creative politics and policy from the bizarre (a wax museum to be built in California as part of the Obama stimulus package) to the verbose (Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's 7,000-word essay on economics), to the whimsical.

    Manitoba's recent initiative to remove user fees from provincial parks would be an example of the latter, but it is also a case study in bad public policy and of a broader malaise in Manitoba politics.


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