5 Things To Know Today
Federal budget to be tabled Tuesday. Hydro rates going up 5% on May 1st. Province willing to cover cost of Hurontario LRT. Stats-Can survey shows Torontonians have second-lowest life-satisfaction in Canada. Phil Rudd of AC/DC pleads guilty to threatening to kill.
FINANCE MINISTER TO UNVEIL FEDERAL BUDGET TODAY
Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver will be putting on a new pair of shoes on Tuesday marking the release of the next federal budget. Prime Minister Stephen Harper already released some details of the budget. A new “Family Tax Cut,” will allow parents with children under 18 to split their income for a tax break up to $2,000. They’re also planning on expanding the Universal Child Care Benefit cutting deep into the 6.4 billion dollar surplus projected in the 2014 budget. It’s also expected they will be announcing an expansion for the compassionate care benefits program. The program currently provides six weeks of pay, however, that will be extended to around 12 weeks. The budget is Oliver’s first, but Stephen Harper’s 10th. It’s expected this years budget will also reflect the Conservative’s platform ahead of the upcoming federal election. The official announcement is slated sometime after 4pm.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
HYDRO RATES GOING UP MAY 1
As of May 1st, household electricity rates in the Province are set to jump by an average of $5.71 a month. A change in the price for peak periods, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, to 16.1 cents per kilowatt hour will mean that Ontarians will pay more than twice as much for electricity during peak demand periods than off-peak times. The price for off peak hours, weekdays from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and all day on weekends and holidays stands at 8 cents. The mid-peak rate of 12.2 cents a kilowatt hour will apply weekdays from 7-to-11 a.m. and from 5-to-7 p.m. The Ontario Energy Board estimates the change will add $5.71 to the average household electricity bill however, they also say the change gives consumers more of an opportunity to lower their electricity bills by doing things such as laundry and dishes at off-peak times. The opposition parties say Ontario’s already high electricity rates will “go through the roof” if the Liberals proceed with their plan to sell 60 per cent of Hydro One, the province’s giant transmission utility.
PROVINCE REPORTEDLY FINANCING MISSISSAUGA-BRAMPTON LRT
It appears that Toronto’s downtown relief line is being pushed to the back burner. The provincial government is apparently ready and willing to front the costs needed to build a light rail line in Mississauga and Brampton, possibly shafting plans for a downtown relief line. According to the Globe and Mail, Metrolinx will be announcing on Tuesday its plans to move ahead on the LRT project, costing around $1.6 billion. The Globe is also reporting that the province will be going ahead without a funding agreement from the feds, though a pledge to build the rail could allow it to apply for federal assistance. The 23-kilometer rail line would run from Port Credit to Brampton GO stations, looping around the Mississauga City Centre. The province is already putting $13.5 billion towards Go Rail service expansion, leaving only $2.5 billion left from a total $16 billion set aside for transit in the Toronto and Hamilton regions. As for the downtown relief line, Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca told the Globe that the public would have to wait and see where the DRL sits in the “next wave” of priorities.
SURVEY: TORONTONIANS HAVE SECOND-LOWEST LIFE-SATISFACTION IN CANADA
According to a new study, people in Toronto are among the most unhappy people in the country, behind only those in Vancouver. The main question in the Statistics Canada survey was simply to rank “life satisfaction” on a scale of 0 to 10. 17% of the people in Toronto ranked their life satisfaction at 6 or less. Sageunay, Quebec topped the poll for the most satisfied Canadians.
AC/DC DRUMMER PHIL RUDD PLEADS GUILTY TO THREAT TO KILL
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd plead guilty today, admitting to a New Zealand court that he had threatened to kill a man who used to work for him. The 60-year-old Rudd also pled guilty to drug possession charges. He faces up to 7-years in prison on the threatening to kill charge. However, because it was just an angry phone call, his lawyer is seeking a remedy that wouldn’t involve a custodial sentence.