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Old 08-28-2015, 01:39 PM
 
2,568 posts, read 2,207,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
You are exactly right Jonathan.

The problem with the public sector is we have way too many staff with too little work. So half of the work force are actually working half of the time, with the remaining time doing nothing.

Additionally, job security is a big issue - I mean people have too much of it. It is practically impossible to just fire someone who proves to be inefficient and less qualified once he becomes a permanent employee. Even after years of incompetence, their supervisor cannot let them go - the most he can do is not giving him important work and doesn't give him promotion, but this person will stay and keep making good wages. It is very easy to choose to be lazy within the government because nobody can do anything about it. In the private sector people worry about the jobs and have to do more and do better, in the public sector, one can afford not to give a damn if he chooses to.

I am not saying the while system doesn't reward hardworkers, it does as these people do get promoted faster. The problem is all the underachievers get to stay and continue wasting taxpayers money, and unlike the private sector, efficiency and cost is never an issue so the managers and directors really have strong incentives to let people go.
I've never worked for the government so I don't know what it's like in terms of efficiency and incentives, but the problem of bloated staff and inefficiency also happen more than you imagine in many large private sector publicly held corporations, in that there are always large groups of under-utilized labor force within a large company, and those people will always stay there no matter how well or bad they perform.

Yes there's the occasional layoffs and reorgs, but most of those only affect the lowest level blue collar workers, while middle-office white collars and middle-management hardly ever get touched even in private enterprises.

I used to intern with an investment bank on Bay Street that maintains a hugely bloated back office operational staff, who do almost nothing but punch their 9-5 time cards. There was nothing that can be done about those staff, because they are "sort of" integral to the operation of the bank, but at the same time their utility could really get automated anytime (as an intern in front office I could easily complete the work of 3 or 5 of those bank staffers in the back office).
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:47 PM
 
10,357 posts, read 8,035,648 times
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"About 12,500 employees from OPG and Hydro One made the list, up nearly 1,000 over 2013, when the auditor general warned those salaries were driving up electricity rates."


Well at least there's part of the answer as to why Ontario's utility rates are so high --- something I've never been able to figure out given the abundance of Canada's natural resources.


Electricity, education bosses top earners

I guess I just don't agree with most of the huge salaries for public servants. Maybe in research-related health care and university salaries. But certainly not for government bureaucrats. The emphasis in government should be in getting the job done at the absolute lowest cost to taxpayers. I don't believe that these high salaries are necessary to attract talented people. For example, there are lots of young unemployed elementary grade school teachers who are being prevented from finding jobs at all by the huge glut of baby boomers drawing big salaries and taking forever to retire, younger teachers who I would think be happy to teach while drawing a third of what the high-paid experienced teachers make, rather than be substitute teachers or work at Starbucks. And they would no doubt be talented and excellent teachers, because grade school teaching is not rocket science. And all 12,500 hydroelectric workers can't be PhDs or something, they're just regular (overpaid) workers.

Most of these high salaries are being drawn because an average worker just hung in there and stayed at the same place for 25 - 35 years, while they got constant cost of living increases,not because they are such exceptionally talented individuals. I know a bunch of them, especially in Ottawa, people who are still working at the same government division they got their first job at after graduating. They know they've got it good.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:32 AM
 
2,568 posts, read 2,207,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
"About 12,500 employees from OPG and Hydro One made the list, up nearly 1,000 over 2013, when the auditor general warned those salaries were driving up electricity rates."


Well at least there's part of the answer as to why Ontario's utility rates are so high --- something I've never been able to figure out given the abundance of Canada's natural resources.


Electricity, education bosses top earners

I guess I just don't agree with most of the huge salaries for public servants. Maybe in research-related health care and university salaries. But certainly not for government bureaucrats. The emphasis in government should be in getting the job done at the absolute lowest cost to taxpayers. I don't believe that these high salaries are necessary to attract talented people. For example, there are lots of young unemployed elementary grade school teachers who are being prevented from finding jobs at all by the huge glut of baby boomers drawing big salaries and taking forever to retire, younger teachers who I would think be happy to teach while drawing a third of what the high-paid experienced teachers make, rather than be substitute teachers or work at Starbucks. And they would no doubt be talented and excellent teachers, because grade school teaching is not rocket science. And all 12,500 hydroelectric workers can't be PhDs or something, they're just regular (overpaid) workers.

Most of these high salaries are being drawn because an average worker just hung in there and stayed at the same place for 25 - 35 years, while they got constant cost of living increases,not because they are such exceptionally talented individuals. I know a bunch of them, especially in Ottawa, people who are still working at the same government division they got their first job at after graduating. They know they've got it good.
So you've changed your original accusation that "government workers in Canada are paid substantially higher than private sector counterparts" to "I guess I don't like civil servants getting paid a salary that increases with cost of living".

Forgive us for questioning, but your line of logic is rather erratic thus far, and your cited data are selective and highly biased at best. And you don't even seem to live in Canada, so what what exactly are you grieving about? Perhaps a discussion of a similar topic in the U.S. C-D forums would be more appropriate in your case?
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:43 PM
 
10,357 posts, read 8,035,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonkid123 View Post
So you've changed your original accusation that "government workers in Canada are paid substantially higher than private sector counterparts" to "I guess I don't like civil servants getting paid a salary that increases with cost of living".

Forgive us for questioning, but your line of logic is rather erratic thus far, and your cited data are selective and highly biased at best. And you don't even seem to live in Canada, so what what exactly are you grieving about? Perhaps a discussion of a similar topic in the U.S. C-D forums would be more appropriate in your case?
First of all I spent half my adult life in Canada. And I still spend a lot of time there.

And I'm not just being "selective", I'm relating my own experiences and opinions which is what City-data forum is all about. I've experienced enough of Canadian life to know it is over-run with government, way over-regulated, taxed to death, and yay! out of that you get decent education and mediocre universal health care. Pretty well everything else sucks (especially the winters.) And don't bother saying...well if you don't like it go to the U.S. I did and I do, it's just that I have family obligations here in Canada.

It's also unfriendly. I always notice the big difference in the McDonald's clerks on the U.S. side of the border and their demeanor the minute you cross over the Canadian side. Friendly, pleasant, eager to serve you on the U.S. side vs. bored, indifferent, snooty and don't even make an effort to smile on the Canadian side. In the U.S. I walk in my neighborhood and people nod and smile and greet you as you walk by. In Canada, you walk by someone on a sidewalk and they avert their eyes and walk stonily past you with a frozen face.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:18 PM
 
2,568 posts, read 2,207,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemint View Post
It's also unfriendly. I always notice the big difference in the McDonald's clerks on the U.S. side of the border and their demeanor the minute you cross over the Canadian side. Friendly, pleasant, eager to serve you on the U.S. side vs. bored, indifferent, snooty and don't even make an effort to smile on the Canadian side. In the U.S. I walk in my neighborhood and people nod and smile and greet you as you walk by. In Canada, you walk by someone on a sidewalk and they avert their eyes and walk stonily past you with a frozen face.
Quote:
Pretty well everything else sucks in Canada (especially the winters.) And don't bother saying...well if you don't like it go to the U.S.
More and more dumbed-down generalizations. I mean, if you want people on here to take your posts seriously, you gotta do better than that.

After reading each of your posts, I feel like I need to read something by Stephen Hawking to recover my lost IQ points.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:21 PM
 
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Canada is a smaller economy and more physically remote, that's why consumer goods cost more there. It's not as expensive as Alaska or Hawaii.

I think people exaggerate the differences, the cost of things like eating out is similar in Canada compared to the States. When you consider the level of urbanity the rent isn't really more expensive either. Toronto is cheaper than cities like San Francisco and Boston in that regard, and comparably if not more urban.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:34 PM
 
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The prices for most everyday things are comparable. It's just specific items where the difference is noticeable, mainly due to (1) taxes (provincial differences) or (2) pricing set by a handful of industries that get trade protection in Canada, like the dairy industry. Things like meat, dairy, gas, and alcohol are a little more expensive in Canada. Not drastically more expensive, but there's a difference on certain items.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,663 posts, read 11,173,058 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottawa2011 View Post
The prices for most everyday things are comparable. It's just specific items where the difference is noticeable, mainly due to (1) taxes (provincial differences) or (2) pricing set by a handful of industries that get trade protection in Canada, like the dairy industry. Things like meat, dairy, gas, and alcohol are a little more expensive in Canada. Not drastically more expensive, but there's a difference on certain items.
Produce, clothing, vehicles, books...need I go on?

You're deluding yourself. It is significantly more expensive in Canada. Rye and electronics are about the only things that are a wash.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
22,152 posts, read 27,595,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyyc View Post
Produce, clothing, vehicles, books...need I go on?

You're deluding yourself. It is significantly more expensive in Canada. Rye and electronics are about the only things that are a wash.
I tend to agree.

Price of gas in the US is about 75 Canadian cents per litre or less. Just to use that one example.

Almost everything you need to buy is less expensive down there.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:53 AM
 
2,568 posts, read 2,207,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyyc View Post
Produce, clothing, vehicles, books...need I go on?

You're deluding yourself. It is significantly more expensive in Canada. Rye and electronics are about the only things that are a wash.
Clearly haven't lived in Europe or Asia. lol. North America in general is a huge bargain compared to some of the major cities abroad.

Also, from my experience, I think most items used to be about 15-30% more expensive (nowadays the same if not cheaper with weaker Canadian dollar). Things like wine where I could get a bottle for 7-9 USD in Trader Joe's in Boston would cost about 13-15 CAD in Toronto. More expensive yes, but I wouldn't say "significantly".
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