By Kristin Rushowy Queen's Park Bureau Thu., April 18, 2019 The two services that operate interlibrary loans, deliver books across the province and provide support and training for library staff have taken a huge budget hit from the Ontario government. The Southern Ontario Library Service and the Ontario Library Service-North will see their budgets halved for the 2019-20 fiscal year. “We’ve pretty well been operating with no increases for quite a long time,” said Barbara Franchetto, chief executive officer of the southern service, where government funding is dropping from $3.1 million to $1.5 million. “Over time, we’ve always tried to become more and more lean, and more and more effective, and we have not replaced staff at the rate we would like. Over time, we’ve made the best with what we have,” she said. “This is definitely a turn for the worse for us.” Article Continued Below The funding decision … [Read more...] about Ford government cuts Ontario Library Service budgets in half
Balanced budget definition
By Griff Witte The Washington Post Thu., June 21, 2018 BERLIN—The German military has been, by nearly all accounts, in a woeful state. In recent years, its helicopters wouldn’t fly, its submarines couldn’t sail, and its soldiers have wielded broomsticks in training exercises for lack of guns. Amid an ocean of discord, one of the few issues that U.S. President Donald Trump and Chancellor Angela Merkel agree on is that needs to change. To Trump, Europe’s most populous nation is an affluent free-rider that has “taken advantage” of the U.S. military’s protective embrace for far too long and needs to start paying more for its own defence. Merkel sees her nation beholden to an unreliable superpower and has sought to coax Germans — and Europeans as a whole — to “take our fate into our own hands.” Yet after a year and a half of hectoring tweets from Trump and months of domestic political wrangling by Merkel, … [Read more...] about Merkel, Trump both agree the ailing German military needs a boost — so why isn’t it happening?
By Rick Salutin Star Columnist Thu., April 5, 2018 My favourite voice in the run-up to Ontario’s election so far belongs to Liberal MPP Bob Delaney from Mississauga. He’s the guy who blurted — when criticized over last month’s budget that will go into deficit in order to provide child care and similar benefits — “With respect, bulls--t … We have tripled (the debt) and we’re proud of it, because we can afford it. It’s the responsible thing to do. It’s the correct thing to do, it’s what people have asked us to do and I would do it again and do it proudly.” You’re not supposed to say stuff like that because it sounds “fiscally irresponsible” and it may be why Delaney has never been beatified into the cabinet. You’re expected to fuss and tut about going into debt and the burden it lays on future generations. Meanwhile, the most doughty cabinet hands, like Eric Hoskins … [Read more...] about Unmuzzle Bob Delaney, prophet of fiscal irresponsibility
Last August, social media personalities Youtiao666 and Preetipls and local singer Nathan Hartono were featured in an anti-theft awareness video. The video - a collaboration between make-up retailer Sephora and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) - was a hit with more than 120,000 views on Facebook, thanks to its over-the-top antics and comedic story line. It had Preeti Nair's online persona Preetipls - known for saying and doing politically incorrect things - stealing Hartono's dog and getting arrested for pocketing make-up. Michelle Lee and Charlotte Tan, the duo behind Youtiao666, were also transformed into an SPF anti-theft standee. The choice of influencers and the video's unconventional story line were deliberate. "Sephora chose to engage Youtiao666, Preetipls and Nathan Hartono for a social media campaign that took a tongue-in-cheek approach that... resonated with Sephora's affirmative stand on diversity and inclusiveness," a spokesman for Sephora told The New Paper. A spokesman for … [Read more...] about Reaching out to tap on social media influencers’ reach
The fast-food value-menu wars have flared back up with the release of McDonald’s new dollar menu and Taco Bell’s overhauled value menu. Taco Bell’s “Dollar Cravings” menu has 20 choices, including breakfast items. The majority of the items are delicious, but there are a few that are definitely not worth the trouble. With the unveiling of its new $1 $2 $3 Menu, McDonald’s fired the first salvo of the second Fast-Food War. But Taco Bell has been quick to respond in kind. Enter the chain’s newly expanded dollar value menu. There’s a lot of competition among fast-food chains to grab the attention of budget-conscious diners, and the spate of new menus has sped up the race to the bottom of the value barrel. And while many chains are slashing menu items to simplify customers’ choices, Taco Bell’s menu bucks the trend. With 19 food choices, and one drink, it far … [Read more...] about Every item on Taco Bell’s new $1 menu, ranked from worst to best