The Week Ahead: Summit on Housing, Human Capital, and Inequality

first_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago HOUSING 2017-06-18 Brianna Gilpin This Weeks Schedule:Current Account Deficit, Monday 8:30 a.m. ESTMBA Mortgage Applications, Wednesday 7 a.m. ESTExisting Home Sales Report NAR, Wednesday 10 a.m. ESTFreddie Mac Weekly Mortgage Survey, Thursday 10 a.m. ESTFHFA House Price Index, Thursday 9 a.m. EST The Week Ahead: Summit on Housing, Human Capital, and Inequality Sign up for DS News Daily Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / The Week Ahead: Summit on Housing, Human Capital, and Inequality Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago About Author: Brianna Gilpin Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago This Friday, Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester will be speaking at The Policy Summit on Housing, Human Capital, and Inequality: Transforming Regional Economies—Growth and Equity through Policy and Practice.The Summit is focusing on economic growth during the continued recovery after the Great Recession. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, it is important to understand how economic growth can more equitably benefit low- and moderate-income individuals and communities.Mester will be doing the closing address at the Policy Summit. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Related Articles The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Subscribe The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago June 18, 2017 996 Views Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago  Print This Post Previous: Potestivo & Associates Announces New Partners Next: Purdy Selects FotoNotes as Technology Solution Share Save Tagged with: HOUSING Brianna Gilpin, Online Editor for MReport and DS News, is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she received her B.A. in Telecommunication Media Studies. Gilpin previously worked at Hearst Media, one of the nation’s leading diversified media and information services companies. To contact Gilpin, email [email protected] last_img read more

Governor Wolf Signs New Legislation to Support Low-Cost, Clean Energy Technology in Pennsylvania

first_img June 12, 2018 Economy,  Energy,  Environment,  Infrastructure,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today signed Senate Bill 234, establishing Pennsylvania’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, a financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to commercial or industrial properties. This legislation represents a triple win, for small businesses who will save money on their electricity and water bills, for Pennsylvania’s economy through the creation of new good paying clean energy jobs, and for cleaner air and water as new clean energy sources are added to our diverse energy mix.“This innovative financing mechanism will support the creation of new clean energy and energy efficiency projects throughout the commonwealth, while also enhancing property values and employment opportunities, while lowering the costs of doing business,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “The implementation of this economic development tool in Pennsylvania is yet another example of the bipartisan work that can come out of Harrisburg when we work together on common sense legislation.”Currently the upfront cost of installing energy-efficient or clean energy technology can be prohibitive for many small business owners. This legislation provides a common sense, market-driven, and voluntary solution to this problem without requiring any public funds.This legislation provides a new option for local governments, who may choose to develop or participate in a PACE program. Once established, private lenders provide financing to building owners for energy-efficiency and clean energy technology upgrades. Then the local community simply collects an assessment on the improved building over a period of years and remits the payment to the lender to pay for the retrofit. In many cases, these upgrades can save the building owner more than the cost of the assessment, meaning they begin saving money immediately.“The PACE program is a voluntary market-driven initiative which will create jobs and enhance Pennsylvania’s clean energy portfolio,” Senator John Blake said. “I have enjoyed working with my colleague Senator Guy Reschenthaler and wish to thank Governor Wolf for signing this bipartisan legislation into law and I look forward to working with our communities to begin implementing PACE in Pennsylvania.”“We thank Governor Wolf for his leadership growing and sustaining good jobs in our state and protecting the environment and the leaders in the legislature that made this idea a reality,” said Khari Mosley, Regional Program Manager for the BlueGreen Alliance. “The Blue Green Alliance strongly supports commercial PACE because it will help our state by creating good jobs, boosting energy and water efficiency efforts, and make our state more competitive in the increasingly global marketplace.”“This is an important victory in the effort to promote clean energy in Pennsylvania,” noted PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur. “It’s impressive when Democrats and Republicans, environmentalists and labor unions, and business leaders can all come together to pass a critical clean energy policy like this.”“We’re excited for the potential of PACE to attract investment and boost economic development here in Pennsylvania. PACE financing will help our contractors provide needed energy solutions for their commercial and industrial customers while putting electricians to work,” said Jeffrey Scarpello, Executive Director of the Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association.“The signing of SB 234 marks a major step forward for Pennsylvania’s energy efficiency industry,” said Matt Elliott, executive director for the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA). “With PACE financing for commercial properties coming to Pennsylvania, we’re going to see more investment in energy efficiency, more energy savings for Pennsylvania businesses, and more energy efficiency jobs. The commonwealth’s existing energy efficiency programs now employ more than 62,000 Pennsylvanians in fields ranging from construction to engineering to manufacturing. The establishment of PACE financing will help further grow this important local jobs market.”PACE loans can be used to pay for clean energy upgrades such as new heating and cooling systems, lighting improvements, solar panels, water pumps, and insulation.Currently, 33 states plus the District of Columbia authorize PACE financing for clean energy and energy efficiency projects; this includes a diverse group of states such as Alabama, California, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Texas.Today, the governor also signed House Bill 566, House Bill 1793, House bill 1952, and Senate Bill 880. Governor Wolf Signs New Legislation to Support Low-Cost, Clean Energy Technology in Pennsylvaniacenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

DGOJ adds venue requirements to Spain’s lockdown easing

first_img Spain’s DGOJ has issued new guidance related to gambling venues reopening their business premises.Since mid-May, Spain’s federal council has enabled provincial governments to gradually ease lockdown restrictions, allowing retail and leisure businesses to reopen on the condition that they obey strict social distancing orders. Having reviewed the government’s ‘phase 2’ arrangements, the DGOJ has now published new guidance adding further transparency to the government’s 16 May announcement, which lifted a number of lockdown restrictions on retail and leisure businesses.However, it will enforce modified conditions on Spanish gambling operators, prohibiting the reopening of gambling venues in confined spaces such as shopping centres and commercial complexes.In its statement, the DGOJ underlined that re-opened Spanish gambling venues must have a ‘direct access to public roads’.The DGOJ stated that this order is extended to all forms gambling premises including lottery concessions, retail betting shops, arcades, bingo halls and casinos. Should conditions change, these restrictions will be eased.This May, Spain’s Consumer Affairs Ministry announced the appointment of Mikel Arana as new Director-General of the DGOJ, who will lead the gambling authority as the Spanish government drafts ‘stage 2’ of its federal gambling overhaul. StumbleUpon Related Articles Submit Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 Share Andrea Vota – Jdigital’s challenge of Spanish restrictions is led by logic and rationale August 13, 2020 Winamax maintains Granada CF sponsorship despite bleak Spanish outlook August 19, 2020 Sharelast_img read more

Whicker: The lonely brilliance of Jacob deGrom is on display in Dodgers’ loss

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Three years ago Jacob deGrom strode into Dodger Stadium and demonstrated the power of the solitary pitcher.This year deGrom comes out, every five nights, and shows us the futility of the lone rider.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.On Monday deGrom tied up the Dodgers in a two-hit knot through his six innings, giving up Justin Turner’s homer in the first and Manny Machado’s base hit in the fourth. He also singled twice, and drove in the Mets’ run with a two-out base hit in the fifth.The Mets pinch-hit for him in the seventh and loaded the bases with two out. Then Austin Jackson grounded to shortstop, the Dodgers ran off the field, and deGrom was left holding cold oatmeal, his 12th no-decision of 2018. Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco This time, the reinforcements showed up after deGrom retreated to his bunker.Related Articles Reliever Drew Smith got out of a second-and-third situation in the Dodgers’ eighth, and Brandon Nimmo, the best Met all season, cracked a three-run, pinch-hit homer off Kenta Maeda. The 4-2  loss shoved the Dodgers a half-game behind Colorado in the NL West.This is not college football. You don’t schedule yourself into winning streaks. The bad teams still have major league players and, in the Mets’ case, have perhaps the best pitcher in the game.In that 2015 Division Series, deGrom beat Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 and Zack Greinke in Game 5, with 20 strikeouts in 13 innings and four walks.This year, at 30, deGrom should make the other Mets ask permission to ride his bus.center_img DeGrom ranks first in National League ERA at 1.68. Only six other pitchers are under 3.00. He is first in OPS-allowed, with the combined slugging percentage and on-base percentage at .549. He is third in WHIP (walks and hits, per innings pitched) at 0.978 and second in strikeouts-per-nine innings, with 11.1.He also could become the first Cy Young Award winner who neither has 10 wins nor a winning record.He is 8-8. All eight losses have been quality starts (at least six innings, no more than three earned runs). In fact, he has allowed three or fewer runs in 25 consecutive games, the longest MLB streak since 1913.The Mets have provided deGrom with only three runs per game, if you extrapolate their output through 27 outs in his starts. Four wins have been vaporized by the bullpen.“We thought we were going to have a lot better year than we’ve had,” said Jay Bruce, as the Mets have hit 235 and rank 12th in runs scored.”The rest of it has kind of fallen by the wayside, but he’s held up his end. He’s pitching about as well as you can pitch.“He’s a guy you can hand the ball to, every time. There aren’t a lot of those guys out there. To me he deserves any award you want to put him up for.”DeGrom credited Turner for “getting me out of the game” with a 12-pitch at-bat that culminated in an error by shortstop Amed Rosario. But DeGrom fanned Manny Machado on a slider and retired Enrique Hernandez to strand Turner.Felix Hernandez needed the fewest wins to win the Cy Young. That was in the American League eight years ago, when he was 13-12 and David Price was 19-6, but Hernandez’s ERA was 2.27 and Price’s was 2.72.Last year Max Scherzer got the NL trophy with 16 wins, two fewer than Clayton Kershaw. He got 27 of the 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America.There is something of a crusade against the “win” stat when evaluating pitchers. The W depends on factors beyond a starter’s control. Everyone has known that for decades. But then strikeouts aren’t always up to the pitcher, either.In 1972 Steve Carlton went 27-10 for a lost battalion of Phillies who went 59-103. And they got him only 3.8 runs per 27 outs in his starts. But nobody was counting pitches then, and Carlton completed 30 of his 41 starts. Yes. Thirty complete games. Sometimes you have to do it yourself.“I think Jake is kicking it up another notch here lately,” said Gary DiSarcina, the former Angels shortstop who is now New York’s bench coach. “He’s going for it.””DiSarcina was in Boston when Chris Sale was calling down lightning, but says this is a different kind of tyranny. DeGrom is more of a tactician, with five clubs in his bag. He has thrown more changeups this season. In August, his slider averaged 92.07 mph, his four-seam fastball 96.99 (from Pitch F/X).Since Scherzer has virtually the same numbers as deGrom, plus 16 victories on a mediocre Washington team, he’s likely to win the Cy Young. Since DeGrom can’t escape the Mets and enter free agency until 2021, maybe give him the Cy Restless. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Canyon gets L.A. Baptist standout

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Colby Hyatt, one of the San Fernando Valley’s top returning high school baseball players, has arrived at Canyon High after transferring from L.A. Baptist of North Hills. As a sophomore last spring, Hyatt batted .355 with three home runs and 26 RBI, and as a pitcher he was 6-1 with a 1.10 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 51 innings to carry L.A. Baptist to a 18-4 record. “He looks like he’s a pretty good player,” Canyon pitcher Tommy Kimmerle said. Hyatt, a 6-foot, 205-pounder who grew up in Santa Clarita and starred in the William S. Hart PONY League as a youth, is practicing with Canyon’s varsity during fall workouts. He met Monday with Canyon vice principal Sal Frias and said his family has moved, which would make Hyatt eligible to play varsity instead of JV baseball this season because of transfer restrictions. Frias said he gave Hyatt a change-of-residence form. According to Southern Section spokesman Thom Simmons, Hyatt can only be eligible by changing residences or being approved as a hardship transfer. L.A. Baptist athletic secretary Karnel Watkins said she isn’t aware of Hyatt changing residences. Canyon first-year coach Scott Willis and athletic director Margaret Holoman weren’t available for comment. Canyon Principal Bob Messina said he has met Hyatt and is aware he has transferred from L.A. Baptist. “We plan on having everything taken care of before he starts playing,” Messina said. Saugus High softball standout Tiffany Huff, a power-hitting catcher who is one of California’s top prospects, expects to choose between Tennessee and Stanford after she returns next weekend from an official recruiting visit to the latter. Huff, who batted .460 with six home runs and 31 RBI in 27 games as a junior last season, visited Tennessee a couple of weekends ago. “It was fun. I like a lot of things there,” Huff said. Tyrone Millett, a running back who is considered Golden Valley High’s top football player, missed the team’s last game because of disciplinary reasons, and he might not return, according to head coach Rob Swartz. “I’m not sure if or when he’s coming back. I have to meet with his mother,” said Swartz, who’s scheduled a meeting for today with Millett’s mother. Golden Valley, a seniorless, first-year varsity program, is 0-3 and has twice allowed 66 points or more in a game. Football standout Richie Wirthlin, Canyon’s leading receiver and top defensive back, is expected to miss at least a month after breaking his hand in two places during a 34-27 upset loss at Simi Valley on Friday. X-rays taken Saturday revealed the fractures, but the good news is the bones are not displaced, which means surgery won’t be required if the injury heals properly while Wirthlin wears a splint. “We want to do what’s best by balancing in Richie’s desire to return and how long it’s going to take to heal,” said his father, Richard Sr. Sophomore Steven Wirthlin, one of Richie’s younger brothers, has been promoted to the varsity as a replacement after scoring five long touchdowns over two junior varsity games. In more Canyon news, the movie “Mr. Woodcock,” which stars Billy Bob Thornton and Susan Sarandon and includes a group of 2003 Canyon football players as extras, is in post-production and should be released next year. I would bet College of the Canyons football linemen Robert Roschfska (6-4, 350 pounds), J.J. Kuhaiki (6-7, 340), Eli Munoz (6-2, 350), Daniel Patricio (6-3, 320) and Fernal Vasquez (6-1, 330) are among the largest fivesome you’ll find on any team in the world – high school, college or pro. And finally, I still can’t get used to those darn yellow soccer lines that ruin the look of artificial turf on otherwise beautiful football fields. Gerry Gittelson’s column appears in the Daily News three times a week. He can be reached at (661) 257-5218 or [email protected] The fax is (661) 257-5262.last_img read more

2014 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index

first_img2014 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index results to feature in discussions at the 2nd Annual South African Competitiveness ForumJohannesburg, Thursday 4 September 2014 – The 2014/15 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, released yesterday, indicates that South Africa has improved in seven (7) of the 12 pillars on which countries are assessed.Improvements have been noted in the areas of:• Institutions• Infrastructure• Macroeconomic environment• Health and primary education• Higher education and training• Labour market efficiency, and• Business sophisticationCommenting on the 2014 results, Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said, “It is pleasing that South Africa has improved on these seven pillars. These speak to the success of South Africa’s collective efforts to create the conditions that will lead to improvements in the lives of the citizens of our country. These pillars are also aligned to the National Development Plan and these improvements show that we are making strides in implementing this plan. We must collectively play our part to continue implementing this plan and improving our competitiveness,” concluded Mr Matola.South Africa’s performance meanwhile declined in the following pillars:• Goods and market efficiency: South Africa has declined in 11 of the 16 sub-pillars in this category. Important considerations which have impacted on South Africa’s performance in this category include the effectiveness of anti-monopoly policies, the ease of doing business and the costs of agricultural policy• Technological readiness: this decline seems to have been influenced primarily by South Africa’s broadband capabilities• Financial market development: The most important issue in this pillar pertains to a rather significant drop from 1st to 43rd position in the Legal Rights Index sub-indicator.• Innovation: although South Africa declined overall in the pillar, we did improve in two areas: Government procurement of advanced technology products (119-112), and Availability of Scientists and Engineers (108 to 102).South Africa now ranks 56 of the 144 countries covered by the WEF Global Competitiveness Index having fallen from 53rd place in 2013/14.The second annual South African Competitiveness Forum scheduled from 4-5 November 2014 will look at these and other issues. Discussions with a range of stakeholders who will convene for the Forum, will look at how to improve and maintain South Africa’s competitiveness to ensure that we deliver on our developmental agenda which includes economic and social development.Note to editors:South Africa’s performance in the WEF GCI at a glance:About Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, helping to improve its global competitiveness. It also aims to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, contributing to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.About Play Your PartPlay Your Part is a nationwide campaign created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa.  It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young.  It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.There are numerous opportunities for each and every South African to make a positive difference in the communities in which they live and operate. Play Your Part encourages them to act on these opportunities, whether big or small. The campaign is driven by Brand South Africa.More resources from Brand South AfricaMedia are invited to visit SouthAfrica.info and Media Club South Africa for further resources that can be reproduced without any copyright infringement.  Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa.Join the conversation Follow Brand South AfricaTell us how you Play Your PartFacebook: www.facebook.com/BrandSouthAfricaFacebook: www.facebook.com/PlayYourPartTwitter: @Brand_SATwitter: @PlayYourPartSAWebsite: www.brandsouthafrica.comWebsite:  www.playyourpart.co.zaContactFor more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Boitumelo MpeteTel: +27 11 712 5007Mobile: +27 (0) 82 358 9047Email: [email protected]last_img read more

IT Poll: How Much Do You Consider a Vendor’s Road Map When Making a Purchasing Decision?

first_imgLast week as part of the HP ISS Tech Day I had a chance to talk to Bill Haggard, director of enterprise infrastructure for the Dallas Cowboys Football Club about why the Cowboys chose HP to power its data centers. It may not seem like a professional football team would need a data center, but consider this: in addition to powering all of the 665 point-of-sales (POS) terminals for concession stands and the 82 POS terminals for retail merchandise shops within the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, the Cowboys’ data center must support all the merchandise shops across the country. The company owns several other subsidiary businesses as well, and the data center at the Cowboys Stadium is the primary location for all the businesses’ IT infrastructure.Haggard says the Cowboys chose HP because the company shared its hardware roadmap and had a consistent plan for the next 10 years. Haggard and his team wanted to makes sure it wouldn’t have to rip and replace its multi-million dollar infrastructure investments a few years down the road if its vendor made some sudden changes.I thought this was interesting, as the rate of change is accelerating and technologies evolve quickly it seems like it’s increasingly difficult to make that sort of long-term plan. Certainly, it’s a good idea – but who knows what the market for solid-state hard drives will look like five years from now? Ten years ago, HP hadn’t even started offering its first private cloud bundle.How do you plan infrastructure in a rapidly changing technology environment, and how much does a vendor’s roadmap play into your plans? IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Tags:#enterprise#networking Related Posts Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…center_img klint finley 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Selling to Non-Prospects

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now There are always salespeople who believes they can convince those who do not buy and use what they sell to buy what they sell. Even when there is little evidence that this is possible and more than enough evidence to the contrary.They believe that the people and companies that aren’t already buying what they sell will recognize their need when presented with their product or solution. They think that what they sell will serve anyone and everyone. Why wouldn’t it? If some other company buys what they sell and benefits doing so, undoubtedly other company should be doing the same, right?But They Just Need TimeThese poor, lost souls spend time with contacts and companies that have never purchased what they sell before. They sincerely believe they can help, continually sharing their value proposition, working to convince the unconvinced to see the error of their ways.When they leave the customer meeting, they report, “That call went very well. They asked many questions, and I think they’re interested. They need more time to decide.” You must be optimistic and sales, but not delusional. Non-buyers aren’t often making a mistake. Instead, they recognize that what you sell isn’t valuable to them, even if it works well for others.The Three SinsThree sins are being committed here. First, you’re wasting the non-prospect’s time. That’s time that they can never recover, and that would be better off devoted to something that is important to their business. Second, you’ve wasted your own time, time that you should be spending with people and companies that already buy and value what it is you sell. For most of us, we’re in a competitive displacement business, meaning we have to take customers away from our competitors.Third, and finally, you are depriving your real dream clients of the time and attention they need from salespeople who can improve their results and who can help them create a better future.Engagement is essential, but it isn’t enough to indicate you are selling. There are some you should not try to sell.last_img read more

Baloney Meter Was the budget a political prop for the scandalplagued Liberals

first_imgOTTAWA — “(Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) thinks today’s budget will distract Canadians from all of this. He is using the budget — a critical element of any government’s agenda — as nothing more than a political prop in an unprecedented cover-up.” — Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer, March 19—Andrew Scheer and his Conservative caucus members have been scathing in their attacks on this week’s decision by the Liberal-dominated House of Commons justice committee to abruptly end its examination of the SNC-Lavalin affair.In addition to calling it a cover-up and a snub to all Canadians, the leader of the official Opposition called it an attempt by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to undermine the role of Parliament.The committee’s decision came on the same day as the federal budget was being tabled. So Scheer wove that into his broader criticism of the government, describing the budget as a “political prop” by a prime minister determined to divert the public’s attention from the scandal engulfing his government.That raises a question that cuts to the core of this week’s two big national political stories, the budget and the everlasting SNC-Lavalin saga: can the regularly scheduled tabling of a federal budget be described as a political prop?Spoiler alert: The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of “no baloney” to “full of baloney” (complete methodology below).Scheer’s remark earns a rating of “a lot of baloney” — the statement is mostly inaccurate but contains elements of truth.THE FACTSThe SNC-Lavalin controversy slammed like a runaway train into Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s delivery of Tuesday’s budget, the government’s final spending blueprint before a federal election scheduled for this fall.While the budget lockup was underway several blocks east of Parliament Hill, the Liberal majority on the House of Commons justice committee voted to end its five-week inquiry into the controversy, enraging Conservatives and New Democrats alike.By the time Morneau reached the Commons to deliver his 4 p.m. budget speech, he faced some serious Conservative roadblocks. The Conservatives forced a vote on a motion to allow MPs on the fisheries committee to travel. Several Tory MPs voted both for and against.They then stood — one at a time — to apologize for voting twice. But they each also managed to also denounce the Liberals’ earlier decision, which prevented former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould from reappearing before the justice committee. Chants of “Let her speak” filled the chamber, while more points of privilege and points of order ate up the clock.Morneau’s speech was delayed an hour, and when he finally rose to speak, he was drowned out by opposition MPs. Eventually, the Conservatives walked out of the Commons, with Scheer calling the committee’s decision “an assault on democracy.”Morneau’s budget aimed billions in new spending at a variety of areas — from pharmacare to retraining workers to helping first-time homebuyers. It was a deficit-friendly, pre-election platform that contrasted with the Conservative mantra of balanced books. Morneau decided the government would use up a big windfall, and run near-term deficits of almost $20 billion. He offered no timeline for bringing the budget back to balance, and made no apologies.The budget document credited a stronger economy for an extra $27.8 billion in revenue over the next six years, compared with the numbers in the government’s fall update. The new budget will spend about $22.8 billion of that additional cash, and the government said it has earmarked another $4 billion in spending since the fall update.Morneau called this “investments to grow our economy for the long term — while we bring the books back towards balance.”Trudeau, meanwhile, accused the Conservatives of using the SNC-Lavalin affair to avoid talking about their own “failed” approach to the economy. “The Conservatives still don’t want to talk about jobs, about growth, about investing in Canadians because they’re realizing they have no plan,” he said.WHAT THE EXPERTS SAYFinancial experts say that while budgets can certainly be used by governments to make political gains, they are an annual ritual of government that are scheduled to take place on dates that are set weeks in advance.  “The content of the budget is the real issue, and here the claim the budget was used as a prop is weak,” said Brett House, the deputy chief economist at Scotiabank. “Though the revenue windfall was spent, and we would have preferred to see it saved, the amount was not large and wasn’t devoted to a big signature project or program.”Kevin Page, the former parliamentary budget officer, agrees there is no single big initiative in the budget to draw attention away from other issues such as SNC-Lavalin.“Budgets are not mandatory but it is a long-standing tradition and a best practice to table a fiscal plan before the start of the fiscal year,” said Page, the president of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at the University of Ottawa.“This budget does not look like a prop.”Doug Porter, the chief economist of BMO Financial Group, says there is little doubt the government would like to shift the focus to other matters, including the economy and fiscal policy.“But, it’s also fair to say that, as the quote suggests, a budget is ‘a critical element of any government’s agenda,’” he said.Porter said the convention has generally become to unveil a new budget in February or March before the start of the new fiscal year on April 1.“It’s a convention that is followed by all 10 provinces as well.”THE VERDICTThe government usually releases a budget at this time of year. Though a lot is riding on the pre-election blueprint the Liberals tabled Tuesday, and Trudeau wasted no time in using it to attack the Conservative record, it didn’t feature a showcase signature initiative aimed at changing the political channel.For those reasons, Scheer’s assertion that the Liberals were using the budget as a political prop contains “a lot of baloney.”METHODOLOGYThe Baloney Meter is a project of The Canadian Press that examines the level of accuracy in statements made by politicians. Each claim is researched and assigned a rating based on the following scale:No baloney — the statement is completely accurateA little baloney — the statement is mostly accurate but more information is requiredSome baloney — the statement is partly accurate but important details are missingA lot of baloney — the statement is mostly inaccurate but contains elements of truthFull of baloney — the statement is completely inaccurateMike Blanchfield, The Canadian Presslast_img read more